Having a high IQ has its challenges

Dear editor,

All my life, I’ve had a hard time fitting in with social groups and making and keeping friends.  I’d meet people I seemingly get along with, expend most of the effort in keeping these friendships going, and then several months later theses people would disappear from my life never to be heard from again. I had no idea why this kept happening to me until I picked up the book Gifted Adults: the Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential, by Marylou Kelly Streznewski.  I’ve known for most of my that I have a high IQ but until now I’ve had no idea how this has impacted my life.

From what I picked up from Streznewski’s book, the smartest two percent of the population have an extremely hard time fitting in with the rest of humanity.  We grow up assuming that everybody else’s brains work the same way as ours do and talk to them as if they do.  Unfortunately, when we blather on about our lives and interests, other people are either exhausted trying to keep up with our large leaps in logic, think that something’s off about us because they can’t, or are jealous because we think faster than they do.

Our work lives aren’t much better.  We see patterns and trends that others don’t see and find the solutions to problems that elude our co-workers. We also work faster and more efficiently than other workers, using the same amount of effort.  Because of this, our bosses think that we’re after their jobs and feel threatened.  The other employers also don’t like having us around because we make them look bad. On average gifted people last only 3 years at a workplace before our bosses and co-workers find ways to get rid of us, or because we get bored and lose interest.  Because of these problems, most of us are either self-employed, or work for companies that let us run our own work-places.

If this describes your life, I hope you’ll consider joining Mensa, the society for bright people. If you know somebody like me, please show them this letter.

Since the Comox Valley has a population of about 65,000 people, there should be at least 650 people here who qualify for Mensa membership.  (Not counting children who aren’t old enough to join.)  This organization can be found online at www.mensacanada.org. In the Comox Valley, we are fortunate enough to have someone living in the community who can test you to determine your intelligence level and prove your eligibility for membership.

I’ve known about Mensa for longer than I’ve known my IQ score but never wanted to join until now because I thought it was an elitist organization, and I hate elitism.  Today I see it as my only hope for a healthy social life.

Charlotte Ostrowski

Courtenay

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