I hesitated to publish this post, as it’s hard to write about your natural gifts without sounding full of yourself. Yet something occurred to me recently.

Danger & Play is a website for gifted men. There is no way around it. All of the data (book recommendations, podcast popularity, and buying patterns) supports that.

As you have likely faced some of the same challenges as I have, you’ll read this piece in the spirit it’s written in.

What was life like growing up as a gifted man?

As a kid I knew I was different, and adults knew it too. They said talking to me was like talking to an adult. Teachers would ask me how I could read at such a high level and I could only shrug my shoulders. I didn’t grow up in a Jewish household where language fluency and intelligence were praised and nurtured. Reading simply came to me.

I often got into trouble for asking what to me were basic questions. “If you say God exits because something cannot come from nothing, then what did God come from?”

Without trying to be controversial, I told my mom that He-Man was nicer than God, as He-Man gave his enemy a second chance where as God was going to throw the Anti-Christ into a bottomless pit.

I was barred from watching He-Man and taught that children should be seen and not heard.

Unless I was doing something destructive that gave me a rush, or playing with guns, or reading war magazines, I was bored. Other people bored me so much that I’d rather be alone in my room than socialize.

I was an outcast and a loner. I was different. I was bullied.

As a human being, I was pulled by hormones and emotions into two different directions. I wanted to be popular and liked. Yet when I started gaining popularity, there was a sense of uneasiness, “This is what it is to have a lot of friends?”

I only went to one dance in high school – Senior Prom. I went to avoid the regret of never going to a school dance. It was, in a word, stupid.

College was better. Yet I was more likely to be friends with my professors than with other students.

My classmates would go out and get drunk rather than read. They would complain about being a broke college student yet they didn’t work part-time.

“How can a person waste time drinking beer and watching TV while complaining about not having money when it’s easy to get a part-time job,” I wondered with more than a little frustration.

Even though I had above-average looks and a nice body, I would go months without having sex. Dating was tedious. I often wished I was gay, as women made no sense to me. They were loud and dramatic and chattered on about nothing.

Although having a high IQ is often praised, being gifted presents real challenges – especially to men. It took me 37 years to fully learn how to understand and overcome these challenges.

The Down Sides to Being Gifted

Many people never overcome the challenges to being gifted. If you need proof of this, go read some blogs by high IQ men in their 30s, 40s, and beyond. They talk about their IQs non-stop, as they have not lived up to what they view as their God-given right to world domination.

Why is anyone older than 30 talking about his IQ? You either made it or you didn’t. If IQ matters so much, use it to succeed rather than wear it as a Boy Scout merit badge.

You felt entitled.

You have this sense that your broader understanding of the world around you entitles you to all that the world offers. Why should other people succeed more than you? Why did that suck-up get the promotion? Why did that idiot get the girl?

You brood when others have what you feel is rightfully yours.

You hid your intelligence.

IQ is praised in the West yet it’s also reviled. You learn that if you speak a certain way or talk about certain topics, people will say your points “flew right over their head.”

Your peers felt threatened and actively conspire against you.

To avoid drama, you would keep silent rather than deal with the hassle that arouse when you spoke out of turn.

Your skills with women were lacking.

You grew up being told that women are just like men, and that all men and women are equal. You knew this wasn’t true, but the truth was actively kept from you. Because the truth was hidden from you, dating was a chore at best and a nightmare at worst.

Gifted men struggle with meeting women as, statistically speaking, there are fewer gifted women than there are men. Brilliant men outnumber women 8 to 1.

Being brainwashed, you would talk to women as if they were men – indeed, as if they were gifted men. Because of this, women viewed you as weird. You were often kept in the friend zone.

You weren’t a natural athlete.

Gifted men live in their own heads. Although the body and mind are linked, the disconnect between body and mind seems real. You walk and sometimes randomly run into telephone poles, doors, and hundreds of other objects.

Your pain tolerance was higher than average. People would ask where you got a bruise. You honestly didn’t know, as you were disconnected from your body and didn’t notice small pains.

Your social skills were “naturally” lagging.

You didn’t really know how to act or fit in around other guys.

A man develops social skills by hanging out with people. Common everyday activities like “hanging out” don’t make much sense. You’re just supposed to sit there and talk about bullshit and nothing?

You were lazy.

School work and other subjects were a breeze. Because school came easily, you didn’t develop good discipline or solid work habits. You perhaps didn’t do homework, viewing it as beneath you.

You may have even said to a teacher or two, “My grade on the tests are high. Homework is only designed to help you prepare for the test. Since I understand the material, you shouldn’t make me do homework.”

There was a dark side to your gift. You fell into the mindset of believing that life should be easy. When something didn’t come easily to you, you quit.

What challenges did you gifted men face?

My list is far from exhaustive. What did I leave out? What did you struggle with?

How did you overcome these challenges?

I am going to do a second part to this series. Before I post my ideas, I want to hear yours.

What did you do to overcome the challenges of being a gifted man?