bristol ozturgut

Me,

This conversation is closed.

How can I make myself more available to my community without making unfair concessions to my intelligence?

As a woman inspired by application of knowledge, I have committed myself to learning. There is a constancy to the pursuit of knowing that soothes me. But, despite the advances I've made in my own ideologies, perspectives and pursuits, I find that people are disconnected from me. I often feel alone, even walking around a city as sprawling and dense as New York. People rarely share my fondness for education. I feel alienated by my own vocabulary and interests.

What I have realized is that I will need to curb a part of my intellect in order to succeed in practically every domain of my life. My reasoning lying in my belief that success cannot occur without others' help. While I know that I am not a genius, I often find that those in position to help me are confused by, indifferent toward, or ignorant of information - in every domain, from who the hell Byron and Wordsworth are to why the moon is semi-shaded at points in the lunar cycle. Dumbfounded, I sometimes find myself insulted or even discriminated towards because of my mind. In the classroom, workplace, and even home, I am misunderstood and mocked.

What I am looking for is your opinion on how to remain an eccentric amid a disproportionate amount of seemingly-mediocre people. Moreover, I'd like to know your experiences in being discriminated against. How have you coped with the disparity between your and others' interests? How has this disparity affected your romantic relationships? When have you lost the edge at work to a charismatic, though shallow, coworker?

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    Gail .

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    Oct 27 2012: There are others here who share your experiences. Those who are intellectually curious mourn the absence of it in their cultures. It's very isolating. The easiest way to give yourself a reprieve from it is to volunteer some time to help those in need, or volunteer to take on a project that interests you.

    You do not have to fight to retain your eccentricism. It's part of who you are -- the best part. Those who love learning will affirm this.

    I do not feel discriminated against. I feel isolated. I think of myself as a sane person living in an insane environment.

    How have I coped with the disparity between my and others' interests? I found fields of knowledge where there is no disparity and I connect with them via the Internet. In NYC, you should be able to find a way to hook up in person.

    How has this disparity colored my relationships? That's hard to answer. I don't seek out friendship with the shallow ones. I also don't expect them to be who they are not. As to finding those who share your joy of learning, that should be easiest in NYC. Get out of your comfort zone and find or establish groups with similar interests.

    If your have not yet extended your education into the realm of what is happening in quantum physics and the research into what is "mind", do that. Paul Davies is a good place to start to get ideas, but discoveries are happening so quickly, making theories and hypotheses change quickly, that you should have plenty to keep you busy - because that will be your challenge -- keeping busy with your learning.

    As to losing the edge to a shallow, charasmatic co-worker, you are probably one of those who should be self-employed or a recognized expert in your favorite field (which will caused your knowledge base to be stilted).

    You are not alone, no matter how alone you (and I) feel.
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    Oct 27 2012: Bristol, to add to the insightful replies ... being humble and showing empathy goes a long way...but never lose your true self or your curiosity in the process!
    A quote by Apple Inc. "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. "
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    Oct 27 2012: Here is a closed conversation on a very similar subject. http://www.ted.com/conversations/13542/do_you_find_it_difficult_to_en.html
    You may get some ideas from reading the over 300 responses there.

    Here are a few other thoughts. Eccentricity has never been a problem in my life and I don't think should be a problem in a place like NYC, a well-known hotbed for creative people.

    I think you raise a useful question in your words "seemingly mediocre." To me these words suggest you realize that people may not be as mediocre as they appear to you superficially. Do not expect everyone to be interested in every subject that interests you, though.

    If you are a specialist in something, you might look for a place to interact with people who are also specialists rather than hoping to engage others who happen to have no expertise in that area. An example might be a book group or a lecture series at one of the local colleges or museums. For example, if you are an expert in classical literature, you might choose to interact with people on that subject by attending university seminars or joining a Great Books group rather than expecting to find people accidentally who share this specific interest.

    Once you find a few people with whom to discuss this special interest, it will take the pressure off your relationships with others.

    I think our culture at present tends to be condescending toward intellectuals, in part because some people assume intellectuals themselves feel superior. I think not acting superior, regardless of what your background or dispositions are, is helpful in human interactions.

    I have known quite a number of highly intelligent people, both male and female. None has had challenges in their romantic relationships, in part because they do not tend to get involved with people who don't love that part of them. That does not mean that partners need somehow to be matched by intelligence. I have known many who are not.

    Work promotions are not intelligence-based.
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    Oct 27 2012: Well I have thought about this and I am going to answer in the most polite tone I can.

    Community is not about you, or your availability, or your intelligence. That is the root of your problem. You don't seem to understand that community is about us, not you.

    I take each and every individual that crosses my path as a chance to learn something new. Everyone has a vast amount of experiences and knowledge that I can just dream about. I try and find out what that is and learn all I can in our brief moment together. Is it always fun? No. I really hate getting stuck at a party with someone blabbering on and on about the latest people magazine. (Sorry to all the gossip mongers. Just not my thing)

    But I get a chance to learn about that person, who and what they value and why. I learn about their community. What about their life has them so enthralled about the lives of others? Is this something that I could leverage if I needed help in a project that would need someone with these skills? Is there something I can contribute to their community. How can we work TOGETHER?

    I also get a chance to learn about myself. Why am I so bored and irritated by people who have such an obvious passion that I do not share? What is it about that passion that irritates me? What in my experience causes me to have different values?

    So each and every person I interact with is an opportunity for me to learn. NOT for me to teach or demonstrate my intellectual prowess. There are not there to entertain me. We were brought together as a community to learn, help, and support each other.

    You just need an little attitude adjustment.

    My husband never graduated High School and I have a terminal degree. Intellect has nothing to do with romance. Happens in a different part of the brain.

    "When have you lost the edge at work to a charismatic, though shallow, coworker?" Thinking back, it has happened several times. And each time it worked out better for me than if I had stayed.
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      Oct 27 2012: Linda, as usual, I agree with much of what you say.

      Life can be quite intriguing of one has a natural interest in other people's stories. This may include the stories they tell but often even more the stories they are through the lives they lead.

      This may be something of an anthropological viewpoint.
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        Oct 27 2012: "The stories they are..."

        I love, love, love that! Am shamelessly stealing it;)
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          Oct 27 2012: It's not stealing! It's folding other people's stories into ourselves.
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      Oct 27 2012: I'm a bit embarrassed at how poorly I crafted my question. I had meant to open a conversation more about what eccentricity does to the human collective's ability to survive. Darwin asserted that adaptability ensures survival. In my books, those who live in the "average zone" tend to live the mildest, longest lives. I wanted to explore that channel a little more. Please don't think I disdain my community. I know I was built to inspire and build and I am worth no more than others around me.
      • Oct 27 2012: How many languages do you speak? If more than one, do you find that you can express yourself better in one of them?

        I am not sure that Darwin is too relevant here? Of course, traits that are outside of the norm could prove to be successful at adapting to new environments but could equally prove to be unsuited to them. There is a randomness to Darwinian evolution after all.

        To fully understand the depths of others is not simple. The quote from Mandela above is pertinent as it suggests that "society" is a naturally normalising force. It is something that thrives with consensus and consensus can obviously limit eccentricity.

        There is perhaps a difference between what people feel and what they show however. I would refer you to the work of Theodore Zeldin who through decades of interviews with people all over the world and construction of their portraits has shown the richness of their internal lives, thoughts and emotions.

        These may not be superficially evident, and I would agree that one can stimulate a richer emotional landscape through challenging one's perceptions, but even so, there is no-one on earth who lives an unchallenged life and consequently no-one who does not have something to share.

        I think that your desire to learn more about others is very exciting; the more that you feel the value that they can bring to your understanding of the world, most likely the more that they will do so.

        Theodore Zeldin's website and Oxford Muse foundation which encourages conversation dinners between strangers to talk and learn from each others' emotional experiences: http://oxfordmuse.com
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          Oct 27 2012: Oh I really like this. "The more that you fell the value that they can bring to your understanding o the world, most likely the more that they will do so." Your entire response was poignant. I will most certainly check out Theodore Zeldin. As for my using Darwin's observation, I simply wanted to catalyze a conversation and that was the easiest place for me to start. No doubt your insight can help me get closer and closer to the question I'm really trying to ask. Thank you!
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      Oct 27 2012: Alright... I want to come at this one head on, and see how you respond, just because I respect your intelligence.

      For someone like you or I, engaging with a person obsessed with "Jersey Shore", is inefficient, and wasteful, because that person has nothing to teach you. You and I both already know what shallow looks, sounds, and thinks like. You're lying. You've met enough shallow people... and you don't need to learn anything by meeting more of them : p

      Shallow, arrogant, narcissistic, and stupid, are not valid life perspectives we need to learn from... Are they? Do you really believe that?

      Maybe that's a masculine feminine thing... Maybe I'm just an outlier... But, I can't imagine thinking it would be a good idea for me to spend more times at a party where people are gossiping about nonsense, and I don't think any of the smart men doing that, are happy, because I hear them complain about it all the time.
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        Oct 28 2012: I have two questions for you, David, that I am curious about, particularly given that we are of different generations.

        First, what proportion of people do you think are "obsessed with Jersey Shore?" I know it was (or is?) a popular program- that's all I know about it, but in NYC, do you think it's hard to find a couple million people who are not obsessed with Jersey Shore? I don't think the Jersey Shore problem is terribly difficult to work around.

        Second, do you know very many people who are so intelligent that they are very limited in their ability to interact meaningfully with others?
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          Oct 28 2012: Jersey Shore is an example... Discovery, and History, are infected with reality TV and nonsense, deadliest fishing, ice road driving, and bigfoot. There is almost nothing intelligent left on television. It's not even a niche market that is considered anymore. There's no independent news, it's all biased left right bs. It's not just that Jersey Shore became popular, it's that it became the norm. The hedonists won.

          Finding a million people who aren't obesessed with pop culture, even in New York, would be very difficult. Finding 10 people is difficult, especially if you have that odd combination of being intellectual, engaged, and also wanting to go out, and see concerts, and experience life.

          It's so easy for intellectuals to turn to homebodies nowadays. It's something I have to fight with myself. Museums galleries, and local concerts are a cheap good time, but you have to get out there, and meet people, and when 99% of people are just living in a fantasy world, and gossiping about nonsense, that takes a lot of energy. Luckily when you actually get to a good show, that number drops to about 90% and you can meet some fascinating people.

          I have never worked, at any company, or participated, in any class, where most people weren't talking about perverse television designed to appeal to the worst desires in them. Or gossiping without shame about their personal lives. Meanwhile, I was in college, and working, during the longest war in US history, and an economic collapse. Those were unacceptable topics. You were a little weird if you cared about those things.

          To put it quite simply, talking about reality, when things are bad, makes people unhappy, and making people unhappy doesn't get you laid, or make many friends... Most people in my generation were raised by hippies, or devout religious people, and all that matters is that they're happy, and they think positive, or that god loves them. My generation thought "The Secret" was science for awhile...
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          Oct 28 2012: And, yes, of course smart people are social outcasts, and they always will be, but it's societies fault. Tesla didn't have difficulty interacting meaningfully with other human beings... Other human beings had difficulty interacting meaningfully with him.
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        Oct 28 2012: And I, in thirty plus years of working, have never worked anywhere or participated in any class in which more than a trivial number of people discussed TV shows. What an interesting difference.

        I asked about whether you know (not know OF) many people so intelligent that they have challenges interacting with others. My point is that while there are surely some extreme outliers, most smart people, I think, are not nearly so "far out in the tail" as to pose some of these issues.

        Of course lots of people have social issues but I don't think it is typically because of their intelligence.
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          Oct 28 2012: LA la land... It's a different world, New York is a bit better, but it's still very pop oriented.

          I'm guessing you live in the liberal bubble. Weren't you a teacher? Yeah, when you spend all your time with college graduates with middle class incomes... you'll have a very different perspective. I worked a bunch of labor jobs... very different life experiences. Mine is much more representative of the general populace though, if that is the case. I am pigeon holing you a bit there so if i'm wrong call me out on it.

          I also notice, that you didn't object to the "or gossiping shamelessly about their personal lives" part of my statement, to an intelligent person, that is just as frustrating. You are suggesting that people are "far out in the tail", because they lack social skills... I am suggesting that the only reason smart people are "far out in the tail", instead of stupid and crazy people... Is because we now let stupid crazy people run things, and we have accepted that as normal. When stupid and crazy, is popular... The smarter you are, the crazier you look.
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        Oct 28 2012: I do live in the liberal bubble and have spent much of my life in academic settings, but not all.

        I wasn't saying people are far out in the tail because of social skills. I was only saying that I think people have to be pretty far out in the tail of extreme intellect before it should realistically pose extraordinary communications problems. Anyone may have trouble communicating but I don't think smartness is typically the reason until you start getting, perhaps, to extreme outliers.

        Self image can interfere with communication as well as tendencies to pigeonhole others in negative ways. I am not suggesting these apply to you or to anyone you know, but these dimensions of people sometimes make personal relationships challenging.
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          Oct 28 2012: I agree completely, and it is even a weakness I must work on correcting in myself. The liberal bubble is much nicer, more comfortable, and makes a lot more sense than the conservative bubble. Two of my best friends are school teachers, and I respect the job immensely... but sometimes they say things that "just wouldn't fly in the warehouse", if you will.

          The problems of a person in their thirties or forties who used to rely on physical prowess to make a living, and now see minimum wage as their future, are different than the problems of people in air conditioning making 60k a year with pensions. Middle class, no longer exists for physical laborers, and that is what really scares them and motivates their votes... and lives. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
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    Oct 28 2012: Bristol, I was raised in an orphanage and I saw one statement in your replies that stood out and spoke volumes to me about you ......", bouncing around families and foster cares". I understand your community and what you seek.

    I wish you luck in finding your answers. I found mine after years ... the answers were there all the time.

    All the best. Bob.
  • Oct 28 2012: Question:


    What I am looking for is your opinion on how to remain an eccentric amid a disproportionate amount of seemingly-mediocre people.



    Learn to equally value other humans beings and their intellectual, emotional, cultural contributions (even if these are somewhat different than your own.)

    For example, you may talk to a farm worker about Byron ... He/she may or may not be interested but will most likely listen politely. Now, if you are open to LISTENING in return, you may hear this same farm worker speak poetry back to you as she/he shares their wisdom about the seasons, insects, birds, soil and what grows in the field and is harvested for your table.

    Take time to listen and you will find that you can be nourished by others and that they have much to exchange if you are willing to accept new gifts.

    It can be a lonely life otherwise.
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    Oct 28 2012: Short answer, that is much easier said than done... Create your community. Focus... Find one subject or issue you believe you have an insightful grasp of, and create an organization, or business, dedicated to spreading your knowledge and solutions. Make them come to you.

    "Dumbfounded, I sometimes find myself insulted or even discriminated towards because of my mind. In the classroom, workplace, and even home, I am misunderstood and mocked."

    Get used to it. People are stupid... Just look at history, most of our species existence has been squandered murdering each other over fairy tales. All great men and women ARE discriminated against, and always have been. They used to crucify people like us. At least things appear to be moving in the right direction : )

    If you don't want to be surrounded by people talking about Jersey Shore, start your own small business, and never hire more than 8 people. Once you hit 10, you can be shut down at random, and you can be sued for having a personality difference with someone you might have hired, ain't freedom grand.

    In a corporation, promotion is directly related to sociopathy : p
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    Oct 27 2012: The problem, (if you will) based soley on the information you've provided, is that you might be knowledge biased. Maybe your grasp of knowledge makes you come off cold. Perhaps you might have some insecurites in which you aptly cover up with logic. TED.com will help you channel your love of knowledge but he's unvailable for romance. You may want to look at a topic on vulnerability on ted talks as a place to start your journey.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
    knowledge and wisdom don't always sleep together. Many times they have separate rooms.
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      Oct 27 2012: Yeah, my objective vocabulary is misunderstood. Every word is literally-meant. I am actually quite an agreeable, lovely person! (There's something elementally wrong with that statement if I have to assert it. Ha!)
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    Oct 27 2012: Don't try too hard to please people or make them like you. (It doesn't seem like you are trying to do that though); but make sure that you really care about people that you interact with. And make sure you are not shackled by obvious character flaws.
    There are people who share your vision and ideas and outlook about life; and you will find them or they will find you. But believe me, you are not alone!
    Prejudice and discrimination would never end in the world; that is a fact of life. If you decide not to be a victim or someone who just reacts to what other people do; then you will focus on your goals and dreams, and on reasons why you will be successful.
    You have the desire for continuous learning; which is a good start. From there I'd say: Just keep moving.
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      Oct 27 2012: You really touched on something important here. This year I've discovered how wasteful it had been for me to enthuse strangers. This was because I felt I could spread my lovin' broadly. But I've since realized that it was diverting my energy from my family and friends, whose relationships with me still have so long a season to bloom. Since diverting my energy back into these ballasts of me, I have realized I get a return! There is an energy rebate going on between us and it refuels me. Now I have even more love to spare for the random stranger in need by giving first to my immediate community.
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    Oct 27 2012: I discovered a long time ago that humans are extremely dumb and unworthy of my efforts to cope with their mediocrity.
    Yet every single person, I found, is brilliant in some way.
    It's a matter of curiosity and, perhaps, confidence. Find out who the people are, and stick to who you are.
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      Oct 27 2012: well.. poo. I was looking more for something regarding survival of the fittest, blablabla, maybe something about the bell curve but.. I suppose this does the trick.
  • Oct 27 2012: Maybe volunteer at a local college or with gifted students. There are organizations that celebrate the intellectual, such as Mensa.

    Often when you share your experiences with someone, say by revisiting a museum or the zoo, you notice things in a different way than you did the first time. I like the comments below that suggest you should try new experiences. Your perspective about photography, painting, writing, golf, or automotive repair might be different if you see them from the perspective of the doer. Some folks with a keen gift enjoy focusing on the quality how they communicate, such as study of argumentation theory, logic, writing style, and eloquence.

    I have no such gift as you describe, but when I look to expand my horizons, I think about my experiences and try to transpose one experience over another to see if by blending two or more things, a new series of thought or perspective results. For example if I had to write a book about automotive repair, what would I include? How would I select what to shoot? How could i best communicate the needed information to my audience?

    There is an adage that states "Information not transferred is lost." How might your thought best be transferred in such a manner so as to record them for posterity and perhaps share them with the public? You-tube? Toastmasters? A guest lecturer series at a college?

    Here is a challenge. Since you are committed to learning, how do you rate the knowledge you are gaining? How effective is the communicator of this knowledge? Are there things missing? Is it organized in a manner that makes sense to you? Now,once you have learned something, what can you find that relates to the new knowledge? what should be the next step in your learning? There are people that do these sorts of things for a living. Perhaps in your pursuit to share your insight and knowledge you will find others will a similar interests.

    Have you ever been to one of the TED events?

    Stay positive, be receptive, smile!
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      Oct 27 2012: Information not transferred is lost is exactly what I am realizing. My research and respective projects have no place for history if I do not share it! I'm starting to realize I need others' help. I'm also told that asking for it will make others like me more. Sadly, I haven't been to a TED event. The first thing I did when I moved to NYC in May was to look up when the World Science Festival was being held. Was a little late on the uptake and right now I can't afford much else than a couple games of pool and a lager each week.
      • Oct 27 2012: Realize also that your obviously a strong personality. Some folks feel the need to compete with you, others are turned off by such strength, but there are also many that are attracted by it. Other responders pointed out that you might give folks a chance to earn your respect, as you earn theirs. You may find out there a group of folks for which the rewards are worth the effort. Perhaps if you explore their work, thoughts and originality fully, you will find a more palatable blend of personal interaction. Similarly, your body of work, thoughts, creativity, originality and perspective should do more to define you than anything else. It is also generally best to give folks the benefit of the doubt initially when communicating, so that you can rule out some sort of misunderstanding or temporary lapse in thought for something more disrespectful, intentionally misleading, or mean. Those folks are out there, but 9 times out of 10, when my initial reaction is to 'respond in kind', I find myself later wishing I had not done so because there was more to the story. Enjoy your pool and lager. Perhaps one week try wine and cheese and darts to chance the pace! Good luck.
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      Oct 28 2012: Robert, as you twice mentioned automotive repair, have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? I think you might enjoy it.
      • Oct 28 2012: Yes. Owned it. Actually read it when it came out. ..a few years back!
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    Oct 27 2012: Well crap. This went entirely in the wrong direction. A lot of you mistook my attitude. I was trying to be objective, not condemning. I wanted to explore how humanity is affected by variability. For example, should I live as the animals who are seemingly the safest, being in the middle of a flock, or as those who are more able to expand knowledge, while being on the outside of the flock.

    Please don't think I disdain my community. My question was framed in order to learn how many of you brilliant, compelling conversationalists have experienced that bell curve, how you have come to terms with your eccentricity, and how you were able to overcome the disparity between yourself and the average while helping the mean.

    This only goes to show that I can learn to be ever more explicit in my communication. That probably has a great deal to do with my frustration.
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      Oct 28 2012: I think you express yourself well, Bristol! What you describe above is how I interpreted your question, I know.

      What I think I hear in many of the responses is only that people don't think of themselves in this way- as being somewhere on a bell curve with most people below them. Looking through that sort of lens is not the only way of looking at yourself in relation to the people around you.

      There surely are people who insult or scorn people they think of as self-consciously smart. But enjoying learning is actually innate and assuming it is a rare trait is not valid, I think. People only vary greatly in how they like best to learn and what interests them. Some people, for example, place great trust only in their own observations and are put off by people who typically cite other people's work and ideas.

      One of my colleagues tells a story to her classes about her son's coming home with teammates from a high school football practice and for some reason she needed to wash everyone's clothes. When she dumped out the pockets before throwing the stuff in the washing machine, she found an eecummings poem in one boy's pocket.

      There are more avid learners out there than you think, and what they have discovered through their ways of learning might be a nice complement to what you have learned through yours.
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    Oct 27 2012: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?" --Nelson Mandella

    When you say, "how to remain an eccentric amid a disproportionate amount of seemingly-mediocre people", it almost reads as if you are setting up eccentricity as an antidote for mediocrity, and drawing a correlation between intelligence and eccentricity. I think there may be a correlation, but eccentricity is a result not a goal. If there's any truth to that, then these mediocre people may perceive your eccentricity as a criticism of themselves, and that may be why you are not as available to them.

    Your words said something interesting about how you may think. You said, "how to remain eccentric" as if you value eccentricity as a thing in itself, rather than as the result of your own personal choices. Is there any truth to that or am I way off? I could well be way off? If that's the case, then I would argue you should be yourself whoever that is, and if you are eccentric, then so be it - but I don't think eccentricity should be the end goal in itself.

    Discrimination is making pre-judgements based on a persons's appearance or membership in a group. Looking at your lovely profile photograph, I would guess you are tired of people pre-judging you because of your appearance? Is that accurate at all? Or is that not a typical image of you?

    Thank you for raising this question - it's something I've struggled with as well.
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      Oct 27 2012: Last night I had a thought. I have felt rather isolated, seeing myself as a unit of a whole. I feel ignored and isolated because my input general gets cast out from consideration. It makes me feel powerless to affect change in anyone not already in my circle of family and friends. So, perhaps I needed a perspective change. I then considered what it would be like to envision myself not as a unit of a whole, but as an outside stressor. Perhaps my input is better regarded as the thing to trigger change and adaptation in my community.

      I don't mean to discriminate. I've actually only begun to consider that my viewpoint is at all worthy. Up to this era in my life, I have been that student that keeps quiet and gets on with my work to achieve projects and ideas on my own as I've been shut down my peers since grade school. I'm sure many of you have felt similarly and I wanted to know how you've framed your ideologies to embrace this, overcome it, and contribute. I suppose that's it. I'm looking for an ideology change! I know have so much to offer but I also know it is generally harder for people to meet me on my level of thinking. I've come to this conclusion many times and it has often shut me down, but I don't want that to happen again! I'm bright enough to see that my failure to contribute because of this is unforgivable. My ideas won't get anywhere without others' help.

      My remaining eccentric was simply me vacillating between "curbing my enthusiasm" or learning to adapt. I suppose I am seeing that I need to adapt to survive as well and that concession cuts me up.
      • Oct 28 2012: Yo I read quite a few of your posts and I really believe that your 'problem' is way more about how you present your knowledge (or yourself if you so wish) than with any of the things you believe them to be.

        I had this same problem. Where I felt like all my comments were so right that I just couldn't believe that people ignored them. In fact I had a project at a company where they didn't listen to me at first... had a group of around 6 people working on the project for half a year... and then finaly asked the question I asked in the 1st week of the project. Which lead to them realizing that the project was impossible to create withing 3 days after asking this question.

        Now that kept me wondering why they would blow so much money on it while I pointed it out in the 1st week... So I asked why nobody except me had asked this question already... but everyone seemed to have forgotten already that I asked the question and they kinda thought I was imagining things (even though it was in the documents that I said it).
        The problem I had was that I always "talked down" aka I would say: "The world doesn't work like that it works like this" and even though I was backed up by tons of research... the people in charge just didn't believe their own views to be wrong!

        Now the above story is filled with errors on my part... even though "I was constantly right".

        I have already pointed to the book by Dale Carnegie (how to make friends and influence people) in a previous post and if you can find yourself in the above story.... I would really suggest that you read it (or any similar book based upon it).
        There are quite a few books based upon it.

        There is nothing wrong with knowing more than everyone else... and you never need to hide it either! (although you'll probably find other people who also know a lot about stuff you don't know everything about :))
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          Oct 28 2012: I am quickly realizing I have a problem in communicating. I've been rather quiet all my life, bouncing around families and foster cares, so I feel like I am just now starting to tackle what kids learn in early grade school. I will check out that book by Carnegie, thanks!
      • Oct 28 2012: I hope you can find some of the answers you're looking for in there :)
  • Oct 27 2012: Well regarding this there is 1 major book I'd like to point out to you.
    Dale Carnegie's "How to make friends and influence people".

    The part of your post that bothers me the most (and to which the book is most relevant) is the line "I often find that those in position to help me are confused by, indifferent toward, or ignorant of information"

    Nobody is indifferent towards things they like. Perhaps you are seeking help in the wrong place.
    Also it has many examples as to why jobs go to different people and for 'different reasons than their qualities'.
    The book goes into these (and many other social issues) with a lot of examples (perhaps it's better to buy a current day version of it if you so wish... I at least struggled a bit with the somewhat 'old' english being used in the origional).
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    Oct 27 2012: I should have added one more specific idea in response to your question: "How can I make myself more available to my community without making unfair concessions to my intelligence?"

    Jump in with both feet and do not worry about your intelligence or concessions to it. You will lose none of what you have or are by participating.
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    Oct 27 2012: Eccentric is cool, nothing wrong with it, you've just got to find the eccentric circles and people experience and curbing your enthusiasm or just learn to swap your perspective to slide behind the others eyes and try and see what they are looking at.

    A good tedster to watch in posting conversations is Theodore A Hoppe, A professional but also a good unofficial knowledge caster as well as Fritzie.

    If i've got it wrong then it isn't going to cause the big chill but the two guys are always good for thoughtful posts and good luck, Fate is what you make.
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    Oct 27 2012: (It seems I've a massive ego, on review of this.)

    I'd like to start this conversation by opening up with Darwin's assertion that adaptability is the key to survival. While an observation about the anatomical evolution of a species, adapting to environmental (or other) changes, I think this can also be applied to the collective intelligence of our human communities. What's more, I have just radically shifted my perspective from that of myself as a unit of a community, working to affect my own diminutive force on the direction of the community as a whole, to that of myself as an external stressor on a community, forcing a community to adapt to my changes.

    What I am faced with is the toss up of being the silver fish in the outermost shell of a school of fish versus the fish crammed into the core of the school. The former is blessed with sight and the ability to break free, should a predator attack. However, being in the outlying areas of the school of fish opens me up to the vulnerability of attack. An extended metaphor, but I feel it fits.

    I suppose this is the toss up between surviving and exceeding.
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      Gail .

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      Oct 27 2012: Let me offer you a suggestion and a challenge. Explore your beliefs and challenge them.

      You believe that your uniqueness makes you vulnerable. I used to believe that, but I learned that I am not vulnerable to anyone. The vulnerability of self is a belief system that has been imposed upon you. It's a false belief. Not only are you NOT vulnerable, but you are a very POWERFUL person. Because you don't know that you are a powerful invulnerable person, you have been using your power in attempts to prove to you how powerless and vulnerable you are. This is a choice.

      Those who have learned how to deliberately manifest their intended consequences are a growing group. It's like a global movement in its infancy, but it's not a small group.

      If you can manifest anything that you want in your life, then you simply need to know how to manifest things, and when you are satisfied as to how good you are at it, manifest a satisfying social group.

      It is not a toss up between surviving and exceeding. (You do not have a massive ego. Shallow people have massive egos and they tell you that self-esteem is bad. I know how hard it is to "come out" as a smart, learned, and competent person. LOL I also know how to recognize someone who is awakening (the no-longer-shallow people say they are "awakened")

      Google how to manifest or create your reality. Test the idea. Your life will be so changed that you will be able to achieve any goal that you want and you will not be held down by the muggles.
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        Oct 27 2012: My word! This really enthused me. You hit it on the head: I am fed up with my inability to manifest my ideas! I guess that's what finds me here on Ted now. This is where the wizards go.
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      Oct 27 2012: Being the fish at the edge of the school has so many advantages. You need to use those.

      You can see the big picture that the fish inside the school cannot.
      Your perspective is clear and unique.
      You can leave and join another school without disrupting the current school for they will not notice. This may sound sad at first, but it is a real advantage. You would like them to miss you but not be relieved you are gone. Be happy if they do not notice.
      It is a relief to swim freely and you have that opportunity.
      You have access to resources the rest of the school does not.
      You get to watch them swim around like idiots.
      You get to swim in sunlight whereas only those at the top of the school have access to sunlight.

      I used to hate being marginalized. I just didn't understand. I really love sunlight.
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        Oct 27 2012: This was incredibly lovely. I think I may even put it to paper and pen to keep on my wall. I often stumble over phrases that inspire me and like to have it near my door so when I leave, to enter the world, I am given a little.. power up. "I really love sunlight" will now replace last month's "Love it or leave it."