We all have come across intelligent people in our organizations, the Nation, and our social circles. Intelligence means different things to different people and in different situations, to some, it is the ability to solve problems and make decisions. To others, Intelligence could mean having emotional knowledge and creativity and to others, it is simply abstract reasoning.
Do you know someone you considered intelligent and capable of solving a problem or making a decision but instead withdrew? Why would an intelligent person withdraw from issues affecting the organization or from a discussion?
One of the major reasons for this withdrawal in my view is to avoid being misunderstood and branded proud or arrogant. In organizations where people are used to following established norms & customs, anybody who tells them the truth naturally becomes their greatest enemy. Others are already tired of being misunderstood when they exercise their intelligence in solving issues and they hence withdraw.
Another reason for withdrawal is because most times they don’t fit in and never will. To fit in, the intelligent may have to either pretend to be dumb or rebel and because neither of the two is pleasant and being themselves may be fatal they simply withdraw. Why would they be quiet and say nothing on issues when everyone else is contributing? Could it be because they think it is a waste of time for them to contribute since their opinion is different from the rest?
At times intelligent people withdraw because their consciousness is disturbed by small talk in light of the important and meaningful ideas that they feel they need to work on which at times are meaningless to others. It is possible for extremely intelligent people to face utter contempt, bullying, and emotional abuse from their group.
Intelligent people sometimes walk away instead of jostling crowds of people pleasers and rat racers, people who compete with others for status, power, or money. This is because intelligent people only compete against themselves and never with other people.
Some intelligent people withdraw because they want to have their own peace of mind and not waste time explaining their thoughts and ideas to people who they know will give no value to their opinions. Instead, they may be branded weird or crazy when they air their views. Intelligent people at times connect with themselves, recharge and think about their ideas in solitude.
What is your take on this? Leave a comment
Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance, and Management Consultant.