Something I’ve come to learn over the years in my journey of self discovery is that there IS a difference between being smart and being intelligent. Now this may seem obvious to many, but to someone like me who had very low self-esteem, feeling stupid being part of it, it wasn’t obvious to me.
I was actually called stupid by my own mother for about 4 or 5 years. I do not even know why she started and then stopped. I just recall it being from about age 14 to 19. When I finally got up the courage to inquire as to WHY she did this, she actually had the nerve to tell me it was reverse psychology! Uhh…sorry…THAT plan backfired…
Because of the issues already going on, I was already struggling in high school to begin with…so add being called stupid to the mix and well…you’ve just got a whole bag of disaster going on! Needless to say, I didn’t get very good grades, nor did I really have any friends. I just never seemed to fit in, but that can be a whole different story!
I was at best, a low ‘C’ student in HS. I hated being there, but I went to escape my mother. And my only motivation to graduate was to be better than her. I even enrolled myself in the alternative program. If it hadn’t been for that, I don’t think I would have graduated. It wasn’t until many years later when I attended college and earned ‘A’ & ‘B’ grades that it finally dawned on me. I’M NOT STUPID! I’m pretty smart actually…and with my self esteem issues, I felt a little weird and uncomfortable even thinking this. I felt arrogant. But the fact is that I happen to have two very intelligent parents. Unfortunately the intelligence of one has been blurred by the alcohol.
Most people tend to classify people as just smart, or one of two other ways: book smart, and street smart. After the discovery of my own level of intelligence, I soon began to realize that there were people out there that I started to classify as smart or intelligent. It’s hard to really explain the difference, but in MY mind, the smart ones were the ones who had a certain level of common knowledge, and had average knowledge about most things. The intelligent ones were those who were just all around super smart. They have quite a bit of book smarts AND street smarts, and are not arrogant about their level of intelligence. I happen to know of people that aren’t necessarily book smart OR street smart! So how do you classify THOSE people?! There is one who I look at as being lower level smart with a lower level of common sense (and sometimes wonder if that is being too generous!).
Most of the time, I am analyzing the level of intelligence in the men I meet, as I’m sure all women do. I’ve met some very smart ones that have even taught me things, which is of course one of the biggest reasons for wanting an intelligent man. Also it’s nice to be able to actually hold an intelligent conversation with someone. And something I’ve noticed more recently: the lesser ones just don’t seem to get my damn humor!
I’ve met two men recently who are actually quite similar, but do have slightly different levels of intelligence. The first, whom I will refer to as man A – not that smart. But he likes to THINK he is, and even once told me that he likes to dumb himself down, so as not to let people on to his supposed smartness. Well I really hate to break it to you, but you’ve apparently dumbed yourself down SO much that you just couldn’t pull yourself back! He did not take well to ANY sort of help on subjects he wasn’t familiar with. You know, because you are apparently insulting his intelligence by insinuating that he might not actually know something…UGH! And he was also highly lacking emotional intelligence. Something that goes hand in hand with being intelligent.
And the second one – man B, is smart to at least some degree, although not sure on his level of intelligence, but this guy likes to use big words to impress upon you how damn smart he is…especially for a cook. (He told me about the “myth” of cooks not being very smart. Umm…I wasn’t aware of this supposed myth…sounds more like you are just insecure.) When you attempt to inflate your actual intelligence, it ironically just makes you sound more stupid! Which I experienced with ‘A’ as well as ‘B’. I told ‘B’ that using words that the average person doesn’t understand makes him sound a little pretentious, which he then proceeded to define for me, along with the original word that I’d never heard of.
I don’t know if the similarities in these two has any merit on their intelligence (or lack of), but both have very obvious insecurities. They have spent a significant amount of time in prison which led to a lower level of social skills. These very obvious insecurities is the driving force behind their desperate need to prove themselves.
Either you’re smart or you’re not. This is where education comes in. I am somewhat educated, although still VERY ignorant when it comes to certain subjects, especially politics. There is no shame in not knowing something. If you don’t know it, LEARN IT! I am not a very good book learner, which is why I would rather be taught. Which is part of why I want an intelligent man in my life. I want someone who can teach me things. And I could probably teach them a few things as well. :-)
Not long ago, I tried to pose the question to my Facebook friends as to whether people with different levels of intelligence could sustain a long term relationship. I guess that depends on the individuals involved. I personally know from experience, that I can NOT be with a man that has less intelligence than myself. And it doesn’t help that I grew up in the bush, and have always been a little different than most girls. So I tend to have a bit of a different mindset along with a varied skillset.
Fortunately, I have also had the good fortune to meet intelligent men, so I have something in which to make comparisons. My father is quite intelligent. Unlike other girls, I tend to compare most men to him. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I have always made the best choices for partners. I now realize that there are many contributors to the very poor choices I’ve made, one of them being that the men of this generation seem to be lacking some basic elements that made a man a man back in the old days. These days, it’s hard to find a man. Most of what we are dealing with are boys. Boys that THINK they are men. Maybe because they’ve been to prison. Or fathered a child. Or several. Or they are gangsta. And unlike most women, I myself have fallen victim to these fake men. They are overgrown teenagers in a man’s body. They may be charming, or tell you the things you want to hear, but if you really pay attention, you will see the telltale signs on whether he is a man, or a boy. Real men KNOW they are men. They don’t NEED to prove themselves. They do it naturally, without even trying.