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Socializing

  1. Oct 15, 2004 #1
    I'm looking for suggestions on how to cope/deal with a social issue. I have a problem dealing with my friends. They are not the nerdiest people in the world, but they aren't dumb either. They achieve marks of around 80-89% for the most part.

    However, they don't seem to have any interest in maintaining an intellectual conversation. They say things like "Did you notice how the teacher always does this...?" Of course I noticed, I'm not completely blind, and as an intellectual what they're saying is equivalent to saying "Did you ever notice the door is blue?"

    Anyway, to cope with this problem I make jokes involving complete nonsense that make everyone laugh. I shroud my intelligence and they don't even realize it - despite the fact I achieve well academically. Anyway, they say I'm annoying but they do it while laughing most of the time.

    So basically it seems like my choices are to be annoying all the time and bother them occasionally, or be depressed. If I stop talking - literally - for any period of time, I start thinking how stupid their conversations are. However, if I join them by saying random things, I can get the temporarily relief that comes with contagious laughter - when you make other people laugh. It doesn't work well when they try to make me laugh.

    Anyway, it may not be my intelligence entirely that separates me but my abstract type of thinking. Regardless, I'm unsure what I should do to cope/change. High School is clicky and I'd hate to avoid the majority of people my entire life, since most people either bother me or are uninteresting (from my perspective).

    So basically it seems like my choices are to be annoying all the time and bother them occasionally, or be depressed. If I stop talking - literally - for any period of time, I start thinking how stupid their conversations are. However, if I join them by saying random things, I can't the temporarily relief that comes with contagious laughter when you make other people laugh. It doesn't work well when they try to make me laugh.

    Anyway, it may not be my intelligence entirely that seperates me but my abstract type of thinking. Regardless, I'm unsure what I should do to cope/change. High School is clicky and I'd hate to avoid the majority of people my entire life, since most people either bother me or are uninteresting (from my perspective).

    Thanks for reading.
     
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  3. Oct 15, 2004 #2

    Phobos

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    Plan to go to college Dooga?

    You are correct that high school is clicky & there's peer pressure, etc. When you get to college, you're going to have a clean slate socially, academicly, etc. (unless it's a small local college that eveyone from your high school attends). And in college, the intellectual bar will be raised. You will be challanged. You will have new friends.

    So for now, enjoy it. Have fun with your friends. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. Your friends probably know you're intelligent. If you don't abuse them with it, they will probably respect you for it (even with some teasing).

    Don't hide yourself. It's a waste of time you'll regret later.

    I'll bet you could have better luck with intellectual conversations in a 1-on-1 situation than in a group setting.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2004 #3
    thats exactly my answer, you say stupid things in a group te BE able to laugh, it relieves presure, makes you feel refreshed after a while, like phobos said, intellegent conversations are in 1-1 convos, you have to remember to have fun, to live a little, thats what life is all about living, experiencing new stuff, it cant be serious all the time
     
  5. Oct 15, 2004 #4
    Dooga, I know how you feel, im in the exact same situation. Usually I can talk to my friends for a short period of time about an interesting topic (at least to me it is interesting) before they wander off.

    Over time I started to notice that I was talking to myself, not others around me. This has made me a very lonely person, because most of the time I cannot relate with most of the people at school; ive slowly been distancing myself from everyone around me. 99% of the high school conversations I have noticed are useless and devoid of meaning.

    After psychoanalyzing my own behavior, I concluded that the reason that I bring up topics that most people dont care about is that im subconsciously trying to attract the attention of the people who do want to talk to me. So far it hasn't worked.

    A while back I realized that I would never fit in, so I might as well not even try. I must try to find my own way and I wont be content or even happy until I do so.

    My advice as of present is to be patient. This is difficult for me to do, because the nature of this loneliness and not having anyone to talk to can be depressing at times.
     
  6. Oct 15, 2004 #5

    Monique

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    I think it's time to stop the self-pity and be pro-active: go and find the people who share your interests. Be it on the internet, here in these forums, or in academic clubs.

    I had the same feeling as described above, but believe me: interacting with people who think they are the smartest person alive and have the need to press their intelligence upon you is no fun either.

    Being egoistic and self-centered is a bad trait, but I've also seen extremely intelligent people who were very social, outgoing and interested in about anything. I admire the last group, they are the most interested in learning new things and not in boosting their ego.
     
  7. Oct 15, 2004 #6

    Moonbear

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    What they said.

    Really, it's just a high school thing. Tough it out, have fun doing what you do, and when you get to college and are in classes with people who are interested in the same major you are, you'll have plenty of intellectual conversation to go around (you might even start wishing you could talk about the door being blue again).
     
  8. Oct 16, 2004 #7
    I suffered from the same problem through most of high school. BY the end i had a group of friends who were all comparably intelligent and could carry on an interesting conversation (it took four years, but i succeeded).

    BUt the thing about college, i haven't found it to be really true so far. I'm faced with the same social problems i had when i started high school --generally i start talking to people, but their eyes just glaze over in a dull stare of uncomprehension--usually followed by the "you're such a genius" which has gotten really old, really fast. Actually in high school i learned not to talk to people not in my close group of friends, just because i hate being treated like i'm some great special person, it might sound nice, but it just gets really old. And now in college, i'm faced with the same thing all over again. I'm not challenged anymore here than i was in high school, maybe even less, people always talk about college being a whole new level, well it hasn't been really. I really consider the entire educational system in this country to be a total failure, but thats a whole different issue.
     
  9. Oct 16, 2004 #8
    You seem to be familiar with the Internet. Use it or other methods at your disposal to broaden your experiences and make other friends. Perhaps you will get along better with these people if you also find other places that are good outlets for you as you are.

    Don't settle for a situation that you don't like. Broaden your horizons. There is a world of people out there, and many of them are like you.

    I must be quite out of touch with young people if nerd is now a synonym for intelligence. In my day, it was not at all.
     
  10. Oct 17, 2004 #9
    If being intelligent a social disease, you are running with the wrong crowd. Being one of the crowd is a nice feeling, but is it worth it if it means dumbing down? Face it: the people who you are going to feel comfortable with are uncommon, therefore harder to find. On the other hand your average person ain't so bad, as long as you treat them as an equal, not as your superior who you need to entertain.
     
  11. Oct 17, 2004 #10

    Phobos

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    franznietzsche - Is it your freshman year? In some schools, that can be a general-study, high-schoolish transitional year. Hopefully you will find it improve as you go on. Or perhaps you could consider going to a new school...one that specializes in your major. You could expect to find more serious mindsets in a school like MIT or Caltech than at a "party school". But don't expect to ever be 100% free of social cliques.

    Monique is right - - people need to actively seek out their social/academic niche.
     
  12. Oct 19, 2004 #11
    Sorry, connection is really buggy right now for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2004
  13. Oct 19, 2004 #12
    1) It is my first year, but the program is not normal here, its not the regular no classes in your major till 3rd year. You have to declare a major immediately, and You start taking classes in it along with GE right away. (Its CalPoly SLO).

    2) My currents schedule is:

    General Physics I (calculus based)
    Calc II (Integral)
    General Chem I
    Expository Writing.

    (Thats only one GE course, which is right on one per quarter, every quarter.)

    3)As for school choice, i went to what i could afford. UCSB was my first choice, there is a special physics program there in the College of Creative Studies, its about 14 students each year, seperate from the normal physics major. I got in, but alas, no money for going there.

    I'm not unhappy with my school, just that my course work is unchallenging and repetitive. I love the place, love living here, my classes just bore me. As for MIT or CalTech, i would love that, but I don't have that kind of cash, not even close.

    As for the social thing, I adapted in high school, that method serves me well here, so i manage to avoid to the radar of those ill-equipped to appreciate a good discussion of relativity. Its gotten better in the past weeks, The department send out a list of professors working on research for senior project opportunites, and i've just started meeting with them asking to work with them, even though i'm still a first year. Its given me something more enjoyable to do. I think one thing is that we have a small department, its about 140 students total, and i haven't had much chance to socialize with them, as opposed to the general school population. Hopefully that will start to change.
     
  14. Oct 22, 2004 #13

    Phobos

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    Can you ask your advisor about accelerating your course schedule?
     
  15. Oct 23, 2004 #14
    I appreciate everyone's comments. I do plan to go to University; however, I am unsure of what I will take at this time. In terms of 1-on-1 conversations being more intellectual than group ones, I agree for the most part. Unfortanately, the majority of conversations in High School are group conversations.

    Motai, it's glad to know I'm not alone. I'd never thought of it before, but I may echo your behavior in hoping someone else will here my conversations. For example, I talk about Shakespeare constantly and ramble on about how I can't wait to take Calculus.

    I think I'm being fairly proactive. I joined TADD which isn't that entertaining, I've joined the school newspaper (I'm not sure how it will go yet), and I've started up a Website club to remake the school website. The Internet - as much as I enjoy physicsforums - does not provide a proper supplement for human intellectual contact.

    Nerd is a slang synonym for intelligence where I'm from atleast. I don't know if it's applied in that way other places.

    I've accelerated my course schedule once already. A problem that arose was I wanted difficult work, not more work. However, the acceleration of my courses did help some. As soon as my physics teacher adjusts my the course material for me, all my courses will be advanced. The only one that won't be will be Political Science, which is a grade 12 course that I only choose because I couldn't fit anything else in that spot.

    I talked to the school board about a special education plan, but they want me to apply myself further - because I previously coasted along - and then come back to them.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2004 #15

    JasonRox

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    Don't feel bad.

    There is no Physics Club at my university, and I've heard that by the time I'm in 3rd/4th year the class size for the physics courses are between 0 and 6, so...

    ...enjoy yourself.
     
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