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Highly intelligent, no social skills

This seems to be a common convention in television and movies, both comedies and dramas -- the person with a very high intelligent who has virtually no social skills -- but does anyone know someone like this in real life?

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4404/20/2013

Never met anyone like that.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 104/18/2013

Yes, if you spend enough time with those with extremely high IQs you'll find a large majority of them are socially awkward.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 204/19/2013

Absolutely. I am a scientist and I have worked with many highly intelligent people, most having not even basic social skills. You kind of just get used to it. It's refreshing in a way, not much gossip and no one is mean.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 304/19/2013

How is OP the only person who has never heard of Aspergers Syndrome?

God some of you live sheltered lives.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 504/19/2013

MIT began running a social skills seminar for new students. The advice was incredibly basic, "shake hands with people" and "say hello when someone comes into the room."

It was a much-needed addition to freshman orientation, although not entirely successful.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 604/19/2013

My boss -- she treats all of her underlings like children (although we all have advanced degrees) and expects you to ESP what she wants you to do from obscure clues. And what's more, if you can't do that, she believes in her heart that you're an idiot.

I hate her.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 704/19/2013

I've lived in college towns most of my life, surrounded by people with advanced degrees. Social skills are in short supply among these folks. They're primarily reserved & introspective, just quiet rather than rude. They're fine with each other but don't fit in too well with outgoing people who smile all the time & chatter smalltalk.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 804/19/2013

They are usually "intelligent" - only have a narrow knowledge one subject

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 904/19/2013

I worked at a university for 9 years and roughly half of my colleagues fell into this category. I liked them. No subtext, no pretense, no blame-game, just a get-on-with-it attitude. And they mostly liked the same things I do (books, films etc.) so there was conversation, just not the dreary, meandering watercooler chit chat.

I suppose there are a higher percentage of Aspergers or near-Aspergers types in academia and IT.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1004/19/2013

That sounds about right [R6].

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1104/19/2013

Sadly I am not highly intelligent but have no social skills.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1204/19/2013

I grew up near a major university, and hung out with the children of professors and researchers, and then I lived in Silicon Valley.

For a while there, it seemed like everyone I knew fit that stereotype, and the guys on "The Big Bang Theory" seem like old pals from that period. I'm sure my own social skills have suffered, from spending so much time around people like that.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1304/19/2013

Fuck social skills.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1404/19/2013

It sure fits me to a T. I avoid social gatherings because people seem to think it's somehow appropriate to start a conversation by asking, "What do you do?" I got some odd looks until a friend told me they want to know what kind of work you do so they can decide if you might be helpful to them. It also tells them how much money you make. I was telling them about my hobbies, kayaking and hiking, things that interest me. Or the book I was currently reading.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1504/19/2013

My "step" nephew. He's 5, could have a conversation at 7 months old, walk at 8 months, he's got pretty horrible social skills but they are trying to relocate to an area with better schools, hoping there will be some more interest in helping him.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1604/19/2013

It's all true.

Other truths revealed by TV and film:

Financial windfalls always result in some painful lessons for the recipients. In the end, the money is given back or given away and all live happily as before.

Rich people are always unhappy and miserable.

Rich people in TV and film live just like middle-class people, except that they have butlers.

Middle-class Manhattanites all keep cars.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1704/19/2013

I cannot fucking STAND the question, "What do you do?" I too feel it's only asked in order to make judgements. Not to mention--who wants to talk about work? I fucking hate my job & don't wanna talk about it when I'm not there! Hugely turned off by people who ask that.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1804/19/2013

Couldn't agree more, R18.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 1904/19/2013

Yes, lots of high functioning, high achieving people are socially awkward. See autism, asperger's, savant syndrome, etc. This is hardly new or all that uncommon.

[quote]Never met anyone like that.

From your post I can assume you only associate with stupid people, then.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2004/19/2013

I thought its acceptable to ask what do you do.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2104/19/2013

These people don't lack social skills. They lack social ability. It takes a mountain of effort that makes no sense whatsoever to an Asperger's person to simulate normal social behavior. their minds just don't work that way.

It's shown so often now in entertainment because Asperger's and Autism are becoming more widely known. I don't know if the incidents of people having these syndromes is increasing, or if it's just our awareness which is.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2204/19/2013

"What do you do" is a simple conversation starter. Anyone who reads more into it has their own issues. If you're sensing judgement behind the question, judge the person asking it, not the question.

I like to ask it because I like to hear what different kinds of jobs people have, and it's always good conversation karma to ask about the other person and not talk about yourself too much. You shouldn't define anyone by what they do for a living, but a chosen career path can certainly tell you something about a person.

If you hate your job, that's your problem, not mine. Asking a person you just met how they spend the majority of their existance on this earth is hardly a transgression.

Talk about lack of social skills...

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2304/19/2013

[quote]Asking a person you just met how they spend the majority of their existance on this earth is hardly a transgression.

That's just it. My job has never been "the majority of [my] exist[e]nce." If it were, I would consider that I had a lack of balance in my life.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2404/19/2013

But it's true R17. Look at all the rich celebrities arrested for DUI. People who should employ others to drive them around....

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2504/19/2013

You must have the luxury of working part-time, R24, or not having to work just to keep your head above water.

For most of us work is what we spend the most time doing. I spend far more time with my coworkers in a typical week than I do with family or friends.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2604/19/2013

"What do you do for work?" = "What, if anything, can you do for me?"

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2704/19/2013

That's sad, R26.

I worked my butt off for a few years until I got established. Now I work at home and follow my bliss, which is painting.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2804/19/2013

It's a popular theme because it's actor bait. Actors like to play smart and ~complicated~.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 2904/19/2013

Welcome to the world of science.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3004/19/2013

My friend's partner is an engineer, and smokes weed 24/7. The partner says it is because he is so intelligent that he has to smoke weed to communicate with people with normal IQs. Seriously.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3104/19/2013

I'm sad because I work full time, like most able-bodied, mentally competent adults? You sound laughably sheltered and out of touch, R28.

[quote]I worked my butt off for a few years until I got established. Now I work at home and follow my bliss, which is painting.

The implication here is what? That I'm lazy? That you're superior to me because you've apparently had greater financial success? Am I a failure because I have bills to pay and can't spend most of my time on my "bliss"?

Meanwhile you know nothing about me, starting with my age. Am I older or younger than you? Were my student loans bigger than yours? Did you put yourself through college like I did? Because I had to start working my butt off at age 14 just to have a chance at affording a decent education. Sorry I haven't reached my bliss yet, I'm still trying to get ahead.

Only on DL can you find a poster bemoaning the supposed judgement behind asking "what do you do for a living?", only to come back three replies later to tell someone they're "sad" for having to work for living. This place is just unbelievable sometimes.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3204/19/2013

I knew a guy in college who was literally a genius. Was taking college level courses in grade school, got a degree before he could drive or drink. Strange thing was that he never "got" jokes. If you told him one, he would go off on a tangent, trying to solve it as if it were some theoretical problem. "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "It's possible that the chicken was looking for a source of food or perhaps water across the road. Alternatively, it way have been seeking a mate or trying to elude a predator. Furthermore..."

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3304/19/2013

I know the poster child for this scenario. A very old friend of mine has a friend he's known since the 60's. His friend was an electrical engineer (now retired). He is (or was) absolutely brilliant about anything mechanical, but socially he's a moron. They used to work for theater productions doing the lighting and one of the directors asked my friend "your friend Bill, is he retarded?". I always thought there was something wrong with him mentally. He's now been diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease and is rapidly losing his ability to stay on his own.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3404/19/2013

Amazing how the unintelligent love to characterize their pointless chit-chat yapping as "skills."

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3504/19/2013

I know several people like this. However, I don't think intelligence is especially correlated with a lack of social skills. The stupid people with poor social skills don't get much attention.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3604/19/2013

My ex had an IQ around 144. Could inhale a book in a couple hours. He was okay with longtime friends, though sometimes careless and brusk. But meeting strangers (wait staff, new clients, retail, etc.) and he was a total jerk. I'd cringe and sink down in the chair.

Typical of the type, he was an awful dresser: faded, ill-fitting, often stained clothing. And he had to make an effort to remember to shower.

Big cock, though.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3704/19/2013

This is what dimwits are told to believe so that they might feel better about themselves.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3804/19/2013

R32, this is what I referred to as sad (but not unusual):

[quote]I spend far more time with my coworkers in a typical week than I do with family or friends.

I was lucky to get a lot of financial help with school, mostly some nice fat scholarship money (athletic, academic and an organization to which my mother belonged). I had a job that paid well, so I was able to cover a lot of the remaining cost and I graduated with less than $2,500 in student loans.

I've never owned property, so I've never had that particular albatross. I don't live in a major city, so my living expenses are relatively low. I live very simply, but well. I'm thinking about buying my building because the owner (who has become a good friend over the years) wants to sell and he wants to help me buy it. Most DLers wouldn't live where I do; from the outside it looks like a rundown old warehouse in a bad neighborhood. I created my living and work space and studio on the top floor. I like it because it has windows on all four sides that give me great light, and I park my 13 year old car inside.

I was already doing my job while I was in school but I needed a degree. I did the going to the office thing for some years while I got established, then my employer and I set up a work at home deal. I still work for him part-time but I mostly freelance now. And I paint.

I wasn't putting you down; no implications or inferences. I love my life but I'm well aware it wouldn't work for anyone else I know.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 3904/19/2013

"Brusk," R37? What would a guy with a big dick and a 144 IQ want with you?

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4004/19/2013

A lot of people that lack social skills are simply selfish.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4104/20/2013

R37, I'm similar to your ex. My IQ is only around 135, but I'm a bad dresser. I wouldn't mind dressing well, but don't care enough to make it happen, either. I have so much going on in my mind that clothes don't register much.

But mistreating humans is not acceptable. Did your ex have Asperger's? If so, he needs to learn how to simulate normal interactions. High IQs do not get a free pass to be assholes. It's fine to be awkward. It's not okay to be unkind.

So R37, what ended the relationship? And did you ever talk with him about needing to treat people well?

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4204/20/2013

"What would a guy with a big dick and a 144 IQ want with you?"

His politics and opinions were highly... unique. He was intimidated by other intelligent people and refused to debate/converse with them. Most of his acquaintances were mixed up, offbeat people.

There was a 15 year age difference.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4304/20/2013

Hell YES! My aunt's husband has a PhD from M. I. T. but was spoiled by his parents (I understand his mom even got him out of high school P. E. requirement) - regularly starts fights over politics at get-togethers ... as a guest in the home of folks with whom he knows he disagrees.

by Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.reply 4404/20/2013
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