Someone that follows me sent me the pic above and a question. The question was:
Is intelligence an inherently an unattractive trait? The person also asked me “What is it about the human condition that seems to prefer less over more intelligent males?” They also followed up with a final question, which was “Why does this trait draw backlash, hostility, and resentment from friends, colleagues, and family?”
All of the questions were decent questions and I felt like I wanted to throw my two cents at it, so here it all goes:
First off, the first question is a good one, but it’s the wrong question. Intelligence isn’t an inherently unattractive trait. I can only speak from my own personal experience and also from other men in particular, but women find intelligence attractive. What women and men as well, find unattractive is a lack of “social intelligence,” an understanding of social cues, mores, and graces.
I’ve met people that are “on the spectrum” and have been diagnosed with something like Aspberger’s, where they were complete geniuses when it came to something like mathematics. They could solve the most complex equations in their heads, on the fly, in real time. Yet they had no idea how to relate to another human being. They had no concept of how to have a conversation. They had no social mores, would just blurt things out, and would make other people uncomfortable. Sometimes these individuals even came across as confrontational, even though they weren’t trying to be, and ultimately they would be shunned and avoided.
Social cues and graces can be learned. We usually do it from a young age where we observe our friends and families enteracting with other people in our worlds. Subtlety is key here, and I think that sometimes that subtlety is missed out by the highly intelligent person. They’ve got other things going on in their heads.
Most people that I have encountered that are considered intelligent have little or no understanding of social graces and social cues. I think this is because someone who is considered highly intelligent is usually focusing on other things. They are focusing on questions and ideas that you could consider “bigger picture.” They aren’t concerned with things like “small talk,” or general trivialities. Unfortunately, the average person isn’t usually too concerned with things that they don’t understand, and so they tend to focus on things that they do understand.
The average person tends to have more understanding of social cues and social mores or graces. Especially women. A guy who understands or knows “game,” has an understanding of social cues and social graces. He just “gets it.” People with high intelligence usually miss these social cues and graces or consider them irrelevant and unnecessary. And those cues and graces are unnecessary when you are trying to figure out a way to go beyond the speed of light or figure out a cure for cancer. Ignoring or dismissing those social cues won’t get you laid though.
Johanna Schopenhauer writing to her son in the above graphic, ripped him a new asshole, but it wasn’t because he was highly intelligent. It was because he doesn’t understand social cues. I imagine that Arthur didn’t understand the concept of “active listening,” and that he was merely “waiting for his turn to speak,” if even that. His mother probably saw him time and time again making social faus paux, which most likely embarrassed her, and in her mind, made her look bad, so out of frustration she gave him “both barrels.” I imagine that Arthur probably couldn’t have cared less.
Many highly intelligent people that I have met or talked to are very lonely people. They tend to spend much of their time in some form of isolation or with other highly intelligent people discussing their theories, ideas, and hypotheses. They can’t relate to the “average person.” Talking about what latest celebrity did what, or what the weather is like at the moment, can be a very taxing and dull prospect for someone that is highly intelligent. Many times a highly intelligent person would rather skip the “fluff” and get right down to the “meat and potatoes.” The problem is, the “fluff” is necessary. Talking about the weather and the latest celebrity gossip may seem mundane and boring, but it can be essential. Especially if you want to get laid.
Highly intelligent guys throughout the years have had this conundrum. They realized that something was off because the babes weren’t knocking down their doors to get at them and get their seed. So like any highly intelligent person, they decided that they needed to tackle this problem and so they started trying things out, making notes about their results, comparing those notes with other guys, refining their discoveries, and before you knew it, “game” was born. Think Ross Jefferies, Mystery, Style, etc. As far as I can tell, all these guys were highly intelligent guys, they just had one problem, they couldn’t get laid. Or they couldn’t get laid on a regular basis by the women that they desired. So they went out and started trying things and seeing what results they would get. There’s a ton of literature, blog posts, videos, courses, ad nauseum that covers all of this in more detail than I want, or will go into here. You want more information on that, you’ll have to do the digging yourself.
“Why does this trait draw backlash, etc?” That’s because no one wants to look stupid or like a fool. We resent those who make us look bad. We can be intimidated by someone that seems or is highly intelligent. On the other side of the coin, those who are charming and make us feel like we are the only people in the room will have us eating out of their hands. They are charismatic. You do that by paying attention to what the other party is saying, actually listening to them instead of just waiting for your turn to speak.
A person who “just gets it,” doesn’t try to outshine or outcompete with others, who pays attention to social cues and graces will be sought out by others. Throw intelligence into the mix, and that person is a rare find. Most women want a man who “just gets it” and is also intelligent to boot. He will be able to find better ways to provision, he’ll be more efficient at doing it most likely as well, and he’ll most likely be able to outdo his competition. What’s not attractive about that?
So in my opinion, it’s not intelligence itself that is inherently unattractive, it’s a lack of understanding of social cues and social graces. It’s the inability or the unwillingness to understand that there are certain “ways” to have conversations with others.
While intelligence may eventually get us to Mars and beyond and it may figure out a cure for all cancers, intelligence alone will probably not get you laid. That’s where learning about social cues and graces comes into play. That’s what is considered being “charming and charismatic.” Ignore and avoid this at your own peril.