Psychologist Shares Her Theory About People Who Have An Extremely High IQ

Your intelligence may be affecting more than you know.

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You may be wondering what the fuss is about when it comes to having a high IQ. After all, having one doesn't predict success, and it certainly doesn't make life easier.

Some could argue that having a high IQ is not a blessing, but a curse in disguise. So, what are the possible hardships that those with high IQs face?

Clinical psychologist Angelica Shiels discusses why a high IQ can lead to problems later down the road.




The Issue With High IQs

"Having an exceptionally high IQ is a type of neurodivergence that can influence both your relationships and mental well-being," theorizes Shiels. She continues by opening up about a recent experience with someone with a high IQ.


She states that her husband's friend was invited over to their house and while enjoying drinks, he said he recently got tested to see if he had ADHD.

Surprisingly, Shiels spoke up before he finished and claimed he didn't have ADHD but had a very high IQ. Her husband's friend was puzzled but slowly confirmed what she already knew. But how did she figure it out, and why does it matter?

During Shiel's education, she was required to administer IQ tests left and right. As dull as those tests were, they did help measure how our brains work.

The average person has an IQ of 100 and the standard deviation from the average is around 10 points.

"So, if we get three standard deviations lower than the average we are at seventy. An IQ of 70 is someone who's so profoundly cognitively impaired that they have a hard time with basic life skills and self-care skills," says Shiels. But how does this relate to having a high IQ?




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Only two percent of the population have an IQ of 130 or higher and chances are you won't cross paths with someone like that. Most doctors, lawyers, or psychologists you encounter probably have an IQ of around 120 at most.

"Through this, they tend to pick up new information and remember things more effortlessly," says Shiels. But people with higher IQs aren't fitting into this mold.


Sure, they can easily memorize things and have lots of brainpower. However, they often feel understimulated and uninspired by most things in life.

"Most people who have a high IQ are depressed, abuse substances, or aren't in relationships," says Shiels. Because of their intelligence, they constantly feel isolated and empty from the world around them.

Psychotherapist Imi Lo also adds that those with high IQs have difficulty being in relationships because of a lack of intellectual stimulation and the quickness of modern dating.

Moreover, these people are so understimulated that they view college as a waste of time. For them, college isn't challenging enough, or it's not seen as smart enough of an investment to pursue.




That's why people with high IQs often lean toward risky jobs — to seek the stimulation they need to feel alive.

"People with high IQs have brains that are vastly different from the average person," adds Shiels. They're not just asking themselves, "How do I feel about this?" They're approaching it more like, "How do I make sense of this?" And for the average person that's perplexing.

RELATED: 8 Unusual Traits Of People With Extremely High Intelligence


That's because our identities and the world aren't always something you can make sense of logically; sometimes, you have to feel your way through them.



So, if you've got a high IQ, it's likely you're dealing with a type of neurodivergence that requires some attention. But with therapy and other sources, you can work through what's holding you back and truly thrive.

Unfortunately, we were taught to view a high IQ as a gift, something to celebrate. But the reality is, it can be a lonely road, where you often feel misunderstood and isolated.


However, understanding those challenges, you can work through them and form meaningful connections with others.

RELATED: The Higher Your Anxiety, The Higher Your IQ (Says Study)

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.