“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”
Last week, I wrote an article about geniuses, something I was able to elaborate by watching two series on the matter. In both cases, a genius is defined as a person holding an Intellectual Quotient (later referred to as IQ) above 150. For those who are unfamiliar how an IQ is scaled, know that 100 is considered to be the average. For example, Einstein had a claimed IQ of 160. In the series Scorpion, character Walter O’Brien claims to be at 197.
Some are born with a high intelligence level, others develop through time. It takes both genetics and hard work to develop one’s IQ. However this does not mean that you will be able to do that without paying a price.
“We think too much and we feel too little.”
–The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin
One thing that we often hear when people talk about geniuses is that such high IQ levels are compensated with low EQ ones (Emotional Quotient). This may lead to something Doctor Robert Sutton from the University of Stanford describes as the Superman Syndrome when evaluating the profile of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In order to wrap it up, the Superman Syndrome is a behavioural trait resulting in a person either being a workaholic or a saviour, someone who can simply solve everything at the same time. Even the most impossible tasks. The extent of it is what we commonly know as the God Complex,
“The higher the IQ the lower the EQ. The more intelligent you are, the lower your ability is to communicate emotionally with people.”
Both Superman Syndrome and God Complex have three things in common: those who show these behavioural traits tend to think that they can solve any problem thrown at them, that they are always right, and often fail to understand or take others’ emotions into account when communicating or making a decision. Such people tend to rely so much on statistics, science and logic in order to process the world around them and make decisions on what should be done. The downside of such a constant approach is that they struggle in processing feelings – theirs or others’ – such as empathy, grief, hope and even love. Problems start to rise when these people work in teams as those leakages in EQ create tensions and miscommunications among members.
“Feeling hurt is better than feeling nothing at all.”
In a society that favours brain over heart, make sure to understand your feelings. We cannot ignore them, but we can try to understand them in order to know how to deal with them. This reminds of the music video of Linkin Park’s song Castle of Glass. We are not robots, we are not gods. We are not perfect, we are not emotionless. We make mistakes, we feel things deep in our bones. We fall down, we get back up. We let people down, but we also lift people up.
Too much IQ is bad. Too much Eq is bad as well.
The challenge is to find the right balance given the circumstances.
Trust me when I tell you that it is not always 50-50.
“Next time you think you are perfect, try to walk on water.”