People who are highly intelligent but lack common sense often display these 8 behaviors

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | May 1, 2024, 1:26 pm

We all know them. Those people who are incredibly smart, but seem to lack the most basic common sense.

Curious, isn’t it? They can solve complex equations in their heads but can’t figure out how to use a washing machine.

Sometimes it’s amusing, other times it’s downright baffling.

Does this sound familiar? Do you know someone like this or perhaps, you feel you might be one of them?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many of us know individuals who are brilliant, yet struggle with the simplest day-to-day tasks.

In fact, I’m going to share a secret with you.

There are certain behaviors that these intelligent yet common-sense-challenged individuals tend to display.

I don’t mean to offend or belittle anyone with this article. It’s just an observation that I believe many of us can relate to.

Intrigued? Let’s dive into these behaviors and find out more.

1) Overthinking simple tasks

Ever watch someone try to turn a simple task into a complicated process? This is a common trait I’ve seen among people who are highly intelligent but lack common sense.

I remember one time, my friend Mark, who is an astrophysicist, tried to bake cookies.

Instead of following the recipe, he tried to calculate the exact temperature and time for the perfect cookie. Needless to say, the result was less than tasty.

The point here? Sometimes, it’s better to just follow the simple instructions rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

2) Missing social cues

Social interactions can be a tricky field to navigate for these individuals. My cousin Emma is a perfect example of this.

She’s a genius when it comes to mathematics and computer programming, but put her in a social setting and she’s lost.

She often misses social cues that most of us would pick up on without thinking.

For instance, she might not realize when someone is being sarcastic or making a joke. Or she might keep talking about a subject long after everyone else has lost interest.

In essence, being highly intelligent doesn’t always translate to understanding the subtleties of social interaction.

3) Difficulty adapting to change

They often struggle with change. This is because their brains are wired to understand and master complex ideas, patterns, and systems.

But when something disrupts these patterns or systems, it can be hard for them to adapt.

They tend to prefer sticking to their known methods and routines, even if a simpler or more efficient way exists.

For instance, people with an extremely high IQ are often diagnosed with a disorder called Savant Syndrome.

This syndrome is characterized by remarkable talents, usually involving memory, but also significant difficulties in other areas of life, including adapting to change.

4) Struggle with practical task

They often find practical tasks challenging.

They can master the theory behind just about anything, but when it comes to putting that theory into practice, they stumble.

And it’s not for lack of trying or because they don’t care. It’s just that their brains are wired differently.

They may excel in abstract thinking and complex problem-solving, but everyday tasks can be a struggle.

It can be hard to watch someone you care about face such challenges, especially when you know how capable they are in other areas of their lives.

But remember, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s part of what makes us human.

5) Incredible focus on specific interests

This is something I’ve found to be quite endearing, even if it can be a tad frustrating at times.

People who are savvy in theory but clumsy in practice often have an intense focus on their specific interests.

Take my brother, for example. He’s a brilliant architect who can design beautiful, complex buildings.

But ask him about anything outside of architecture and he’s clueless.

Once, we were traveling together and got lost.

He was so engrossed in sketching a fascinating building we passed by that he didn’t even realize we had strayed off our intended path.

I ended up navigating us back while he finished his sketch.

It’s not that he doesn’t care about other things, it’s just that when he finds something he loves, he dives in headfirst and everything else seems to fade into the background.

It’s part of what makes him such an extraordinary architect, but it can also leave him a bit out of touch with the world around him.

6) A need for perfection

This is often more of a curse than a blessing. They often strive for perfection in everything they do.

They have a keen eye for detail that can sometimes border on obsessive.

The desire for perfection can be a double-edged sword. It can lead to exceptional work but also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.

7) Poor time management

They often struggle with time management and prioritizing tasks.

I’ve seen this first hand with my colleague, Steve.

He can code complex algorithms like nobody’s business but ask him to manage his workload and he’s lost.

He’ll often spend hours on intricate details of a project while neglecting other important tasks that need to be completed. 

This lack of time management skills can lead to inefficiency and missed deadlines.

8) Overconfidence in their intelligence

Being highly intelligent can sometimes lead to overconfidence in their abilities.

These individuals often believe they can handle any situation or solve any problem because they are smart.

This might not seem like an issue at first glance, but it can lead to them overlooking simple solutions or not asking for help when they need it because they think they should be able to figure it out on their own.

In conclusion, while being highly intelligent has its advantages, it can come with its own set of challenges when common sense is lacking.

Understanding these behaviors can help us better interact with these individuals and even provide support where needed.

After all, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s what makes us unique.