Peter Rodgers, of Australia, has one of the highest IQs in the world.
The author and poet logged an IQ of 175 (a score over 160 is considered a genius IQ) at age 57, placing him near the top of The World Genius Directory, a list of the world’s smartest people as ranked by intelligence tests.
While flattering, Rodgers is quick to note that there are unexpected pitfalls of having a high IQ.
“Geniuses are the loneliest people on Earth because almost nobody understands them,” Rodgers wrote in an email.
Although Rodgers suffers from dyslexia and epilepsy, he says that at one point he was misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic and forced to take anti-psychotic pills for six years.
“When I was younger, I scored higher IQs and was terrified of how I would be victimised for my extreme intelligence.”
There are many different forms of intelligence. Academic intelligence is one, but there is also social and emotional intelligence. Research has shown that the latter forms — which include a person’s ability to read and express emotions and regulate others’ emotions — might be more important for obtaining leadership positions.
The traits that often characterise “gifted” individuals, such as grasping mathematical and scientific concepts readily, verbal ability, and unusual ideas, often lead these people to be “misunderstood and underestimated by peers, by society, and usually even by themselves,” Francis Heylighen, a research professor at the Free University of Brussels writes.
“As such, most of their gifts are actually underutilised, and they rarely fulfil their full creative potential,” he adds.
“Geniuses are never fully understood,” Rodgers adds. “So they usually live alone in life.”
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