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Jake Maddox

Field Service Engineer,

TEDCRED 10+

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Do you find it difficult to engage in intellectual conversations with people in general?

It happens to me all the time. My wife encourages me to have dinner with her friend and her friend's husband. "It's the opportunity to socialize and meet new interesting people!", she proclaims. And yet the same boring conversations unfold. The guy rambles on about how many yards this guy ran, and how many interceptions this guy threw, and did you see how many spiders that guy ate on Fear Factor, etc, etc. I ask something like, "Hey, did you see that they possibly discovered the Higgs Boson at the LHC?" And the guy looks at me like I'm from Mars, "The LH what?". Then my wife makes a comment like I'm a nerd then everyone laughs. I'm far from a social misfit or hobbit, I just prefer to discuss things that stimulate me intellectually. I hope I don't offend anyone for saying so, but most of the time I feel like I'm surrounded by people that are intellectually challenged, to put it kindly. And maybe that's just it, if you consider that the average intellectual quotient is around 100. They're easily entertained and amuzed to watch television shows cataloging the "real world" of college kids living in a house together, arguing over who got the most trashed the night before at the club.

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    Sep 2 2012: Anyone with a rich inner life has to live two parallel lives. One where you get to spend time with your peers, intellectual equals and people with interests beyond the mundane - for this you will need to find groups of old friends, new groups to join, attend workshops and seminars, do classes and spend time at philosopher and literary hangouts, watch PBS, join meetups, etc. The second is the life one leads with the rest of the world - family, wife's friends, social contacts at work - and though it takes training and skill to appear normal in their eyes - it is worth pursuing while once in a while being the go-to guy for intelligent conversation. By increasing your EQ and your empathy towards others you will find both lives more interesting and enriched as you might just learn something you never knew by hanging out with more socially inclined people - most intelligent people have a slightly lower EQ. Live both lives well and maintain a rich inner life always so that when you need to, you can retreat and hang out with your one true best friend - your self!

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