Thursday, November 14, 2019

"People Skills," "Soft Skills," and "EQ" are Bullshit

"You see this all the way back in school, where ‘nerds’ are ostracized, to workplaces where higher IQ people are made to feel like misfits (“Low EQ”) and forced to follow ultimately flawed instructions from bosses who insist on obedience.

Having a high IQ, just like all things, has its pros and cons.

The pros are easy to spot – more financial and career success, more academic success, more business success, better analytical ability, etc. The cons are far more subtle, to the point that it is mostly believed that there aren’t any.

And because of this myth that intelligence can have no cons, the problems created by a high IQ often go misdiagnosed.

This leads to high IQ people trying to fix the “wrong source” – which in turn makes the problem worse.
You are told you need to work on your “people skills” – meanwhile, you can’t figure out why people find enjoyment in watching other people play football on TV (the answer is tribalism).

This misdiagnosis and dead-end “wrong source” fixes make many intelligent people feel confused, hopeless, and full of despair over time, especially when combined with the insanity of not being able to know what’s wrong with you."

You know what's wrong with you?  NOTHING.  Absolutely NOTHING.


Mr. Generic said...

I'm a big fan of your work, but I think that article written by Harsh Strongman is pure rubbish. Rather than insightfully identifying the challenges that high-IQ people face navigating the larger world, it reads as ramblings of a narcissist who is upset that the entire world has not been carefully crafted to cater to his own individual preferences.

And for the record, you don't have to "relate" to average-IQ people in order to understand and interact with them. You just need to get over your own egotistical sense of self-importance and actually listen to what they have to say every now and then, and observe their interactions with each other. If you are truly high-IQ (and not suffering from unrelated neurological conditions such as autism) you should in time be able to learn how they operate, what motivates them, and how to tailor your own speech, writing, and body language so you can effectively communicate a message ordinary people can easily receive.

Lastly, if one looks down on "sportsball" and does not see how following it can possibly be an intellectual pursuit, I would have to assume that he is fully ignorant of recent advances in the application of statistical analysis to competitive sports, and is also fully-content with his own ignorance. Maybe I am stereotyping a bit here, but contentment with ignorance is not a trait I frequently ascribe to high-IQ individuals (as opposed to potentially-narcissistic midwits, where it might actually fit.)

Unknown said...

I disagree with the premise that EQ and people skills are BS. EQ and people skills are like common sense. I see a problem is that too many of our elite leaders in Washington DC and New York are lacking. The elite colleges are mostly accepting high-IQ students who are on the aspberger's syndrome spectrum. They lack a basic common sense. They succumb to their own tribalism and greed just like average folks too. The problem is that they have lost the ability to lead people.

Tucanae Services said...

Hmmmmm. Well maybe. But try that with a doctor specializing in pediatric neurology.

Option 1: "He's dead Jim." -- DeForest Kelly, any Star Trek episode.
Option 2: "Your son has a ___________ tumor in the lower ganglia. We have treated patients like your son with chemotherapy and proton therapy. Now the changes of long term survival is less than 20% however we have been able to extend the life of patients a fully functional 10 years.

You don't have to make an immediate decision and if you wish I can provide several peers for a second opinion. I would suggest we meet again in two weeks to discuss the issue further. I will have the receptionist schedule it if you wish."

Which would you prefer to hear if it was your kid? Sometimes compassion has a place in life. But it is not the only thing.

Anonymous said...

I suspect EQ is a concept brought around by low-average IQ people to account for the gap between themselves and their higher-IQ colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I suspect EQ is a concept created by lower-average IQ people to account for the gap they feel with higher-IQ people.

Anonymous said...

Someone should write a book on this - sometimes having a high IQ is like a curse!

David said...

I always found that the people who complain about me not having "people skills", "soft skills" or "EQ" lack those skills worse than I do.

liberranter said...

"People Skills," "Soft Skills," and "EQ" are Bullshit

The new bullshit buzzword making the rounds is "Emotional Intelligence."

A Texan said...

Some of what he said is true, but I've interacted with some tradespeople over the years who watch sports and movies, but still pretty bright in their own way. Certainly less asinine than the PHd's I've dealt with when I was a staff person a at university.

I did the IQ test, and my result was not as high as off my SAT scores from a long time ago. I don't really understand how those symbols and patterns relates to IQ, but whatever.

Anonymous said...

The only people who care about muh soft skills are low IQ monkeys.