Tuesday, February 03, 2009

About Me-Smart

I have a couple of things about myself I want to post-essentially for me, but all are welcome to analyze either their own lives or mine. This is going to be a mini series of sorts.

As time slips through my fingers I chance to look at myself occasionally and notice that I'm changing right along with my children. Sometimes I like the changes I see and sometimes I don't.

Growing up I got good grades and was in the advanced classes so I always considered myself smart. Not the smartest, but smart nonetheless.

In college I was a "direct admit" into my college instead of waiting until my sophomore year to be admitted (the individual colleges had to accept you from the pool of incoming students to the university). I was in the honors program and graduated cum laude. Again, I knew I wasn't the smartest one there but I could hold my own certainly.

Then out of college I was recruited by a top company who, in the course of my employment with them, told us we were the best in the field. I believed them. Who wouldn't?

I have always felt smarter than the average person, including Tim-namely due to grades in school. However, I've been out of school for long enough (ugh!) that I think grades don't count anymore. Plus I've met a lot of people that I have no idea about how they did in school so I have begun to re-evaluate how I "rate" people's smartness.

It's really turned my world upside down to re-evaluate something I thought I already knew. Try it sometime.

It turns out, while never consciously thinking about it, I have always classified people as either smart or not smart and then within 'smart' I have various levels I categorize people. (It sounds kind of horrible, I know!) I have a few people I know well and then group other people with them that are like them. Examples:
Tim-smart but didn't do well in school because he didn't care to try
L (good friend from HS)-super smart, did great in school, but not a lot of common sense
Me-smart, did well in school, good common sense

Now when I think of these same people I think totally differently:
Tim-really smart and can figure anything out
L-super smart with expertise in her field
Me-smart, but finding my knowledge base is very small

Somehow I'm seeing the world through different eyes. Due to motherhood? Age? Exposure to different world views? Caring more? Caring less? Branching into areas where I have little
to no knowledge? I'm not sure but it's unsettling.

A couple weeks ago when I told Tim that I had come to the conclusion that he was smarter than me it threw him for a loop. (Have I always acted superior to him because I thought I was smarter? I fear I have! Not good for a wife to do and I'm changing that.)

Tim tried to tell me he's not necessarily smarter, he's just a "thinker." I laughed and said, "Yes, but what does that make me, a 'non-thinker'?"

It turns out Tim classified people entirely different than me: either smart or not. All the smart people are the same to him. While I find that odd, maybe it's better since it puts him on a level playing field with them. I realize this is all in my mind but it does play into my attitude towards people. I'm guessing that's partially why I have trouble keeping friends-no one likes a superior attitude, even a hint of one.

So I've eaten a piece of humble pie and am trying to not have a hierarchy in my mind of people-that just can't be good.

I'm not upset about my revelation, I just find it interesting that my view of myself is changing rather drastically at this stage of the game of my life.

I also believe God is showing me where my attitude has been wrong and my heart hard so he can begin to work in those areas. Which is both exciting and scary.


Brenda said...

Everything changes with time...A very wise person once told me, that time does not heal wounds it gives you a chance to look at things in a different perspective. So I think that this applies to your "thinking" as well, time is giving you a different perspective, because of events that have happened in your life you can look at things with a different perspective.

Jessica said...

Ok, I think I just realized that I do the same thing. I had never really thought about it, but I still classify people in smart categories. Interesting.

denise1006 said...

Whats funny is going thru school, I always felt that I was being jugded and stereotyped by people,(normal) and while curious about where I fell with the smart and not smart group lol I know its natural for one to classify, its a defense mechisnm in a way. We want to be associated with those we aspire to be like (dont we?) As we get older we realize that its more important how we see ourself and not how others see us.

Peyton's said...

I have two ratings, smarts (people who don't repeat them selves a lot - or prefer to hear their own voice and cannot listen to what other people have to say), and Spirituality, I have a hard time talking to people, who are clueless about the things they are insistent to talk about. Like people who say they are democrats, unfortunately the Democratic platform has evolved over time and if you say you are one then you also need to know what they stand for. One of which is Abortion, and you cannot be catholic and pro-abortion, so in the same you cannot be a Democrat and Catholic.

My eyes were widely opened this fall when all of the Catholics I work with were so happy that there democrat won, and I posed the question of their catholic belief, and the response was stunning, not to defend their religion, but instead, justify by stating that they have always been a democrat and will always vote as so. It is amazing how clueless they really are. When we knock on those pearly gates, and are asked what party we belong to, I doubt that stating democrat, republican, or any other political party is what they mean, I belong to the Jesus Party, through the Catholic church! Maybe if more people put Jesus first our country wouldn't be in the state it is in, and people wouldn't get into the situations they do and they would show responsibility for their actions!

Sorry, maybe this should have been a post in my blog instead of a comment in yours.

Deanna said...

I don't know that I've ever classified people in general according to perceived intelligence but now that I've read this, I'm going to reevaluate if I have.

I think I have a tendency to "rate" people by their amounts of "common decency". I have little or no tolerance for people who have a clear lack of compassion or regard for someone else's feelings/efforts/opinions/etc. So I guess this means that a person has a better chance of "faring well" with me if his/her paradigm is the same as mine. Is this any better than judging on pure intelligence.

Probably not. I need to be more cognizant of how I view others and work on this aspect of my daily life.

Thanks for the insight.