One of my dearest friends is an absurdly smart person who works in a super-technical, intense science field. This person is also bound to be about an hour late to any hang out. As it turns out, smart people all tend to have some bad social habits. It's nothing to take personally. It's just the way their brilliant brains work, and that's OK.
Although highly intelligent people may be successful in other aspects of life, they aren't perfect. And sometimes, the social realm is where these mistakes show up. If this sounds perplexing, there's a pretty simple reason. "It’s because being social and contributing to a conversation is not a problem to be solved by thinking. It’s more about an energetic and spontaneous expression of how you’re feeling," wrote Sean Cooper in The Shyness and Social Anxiety Guy. You can't really study ahead of time for a totally off-the-cuff convo.
That said, this whole list is great news for anyone who happens to share these habits. Now you can claim that your lateness is only due to the fact that you're super brilliant. Whether anyone actually buys that excuse is another question entirely, but hey, at least you can try.
1. Running Late
The passage of time is pretty darn constant, which makes chronic lateness kind of baffling. But oftentimes, people who run late to everything simply believe they can accomplish too much in too little time. In fact, many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, said Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, in The New York Times. Their perception of time is off. They believe it's actually possible to get in a workout, run by the preschool, and meet up for lunch with you in under 20 minutes. (This does not happen, of course.)
Don't feel bad if you drop a swear bomb every now and then. "Taboo or ‘swear word’ fluency is positively correlated with overall verbal fluency," said Dr. Timothy Jay in Medical Daily. In other words? People who known a lot of swear words probably know a lot of non-swear words as well. Just consider it all part of a well-rounded vocabulary.
Complaining effectively, as opposed to simply venting, can be an effective way to get things done. "When we bring up something with a friend or a spouse and they can actually hear us and they say, 'OK that's a good point. I'm sorry about that, I won't do that again,' we feel really good," said licensed psychologist Guy Winch in Business Insider. It's a way to exert some control in your life, and there's nothing dumb about that.
4. Needing To Be Right
For some people, being right is so important. "It’s hard for anyone to graciously accept the fact that they’re wrong. It’s even harder for smart people because they grow so used to being right all the time that it becomes a part of their identity. For smart people, being wrong can feel like a personal attack, and being right, a necessity," said Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, in Entrepreneur. Being able to say, "Oops, my bad," is a skill all its own.
If you're prone to procrastination, blame your excellent imagination. "Wouldn’t it make sense that the people who are the most creative and capable – those that can envision potential negative outcomes and consequences — are the ones that are more likely to procrastinate on something like, say, filing their tax returns?" said Dean Bokhari in self improvement blog Meaningful HQ.
6. Overthinking Everything
Not every situation requires tons of deep thought. "Bright people are accustomed to succeeding through their thinking skills, but can sometimes overlook when a different approach would be more beneficial," wrote clinical psychologist Alice Boyes, PhD in the Harvard Business Review. In social situations particularly, a little compassion might be more helpful.
7. Interrupting Conversations
It's pretty rude, but not all people who interrupt you mid-conversation are trying to be annoying. "Some chronic interrupters really have a lot to say. They’re super-smart, their brains are moving fast, and they interrupt to keep things moving at a faster clip," wrote Temma Ehrenfeld in Psychology Today. Whether it's interrupting or some other faux pas, smart people may be more likely to commit certain social slights.