Are cafeteria people really smart?

This is how it is to be more intelligent than 99.9 percent of all people

During her master's degree in psychology, she was never at university much. She tried it, but she couldn't stand it in the lectures for long. Too little information was conveyed too slowly, the others asked too many questions. Then she went home after half an hour. And the others looked, whispered. She felt the judging looks of her fellow students. "Why is she going, she thinks she's something better." Sometimes she forced herself to hold out until the end of the lecture so as not to attract negative attention. But that was more torture than relaxation. She therefore preferred to teach herself complex teaching content such as perceptual psychology or neuroanatomy alone at home, it was simply faster that way.

Massimilla doesn't think she's any better. She's not arrogant or conceited, although she sometimes comes across as that to others, she says. Still, it's different. Something special. Massimilla understands things faster. It processes new information at high speed, can draw endless chains of associations, and recognizes connections where others see only chaos. Their ability is called cognitive intelligence. Massimilla is 25 and gifted.

Worldwide, 130 is the significant value. If you have an IQ of 130 or more, you are considered gifted. Around two percent of the world population reaches this value. Massimilla easily exceeds 130. She is not only one of the smartest two percent, but also one of the smartest 0.1 percent of all people. Massimilla does not want to say exactly how high her IQ is, because in the highly gifted scene "you don't do that."

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She has been in Berlin since February of this year to do her doctorate at Humboldt University. When I meet her at the Institute for Psychology on Rudower Chaussee, the first thing I notice is how fast Massimilla speaks. Ever longer sentences seem to bubble effortlessly over her lips. If someone interrupts us, stops them in the middle of a sentence, regulates the concerns of the others, and seamlessly follows them up again.

“Generally speaking,” she explains to me, “I can talk and think as quickly as I want. I have a lot of information in my head, and I keep coming up with something new about everything. Whenever someone says something, something jumps in their head. And I feel the need to express that too. "

It was like that at school. Massimilla started school early and was always best in class. At the age of 14, she took the first intelligence test to determine her giftedness. This diagnosis helped, it was her personal aha moment. “Before that, I just couldn't understand if someone else didn't understand me. Even if I explained it very slowly and in detail. "

In seminars at the university, fellow students, even professors, occasionally had problems understanding Massimilla, because their thought process is rarely linear. Thematically, it does not jump from A to B to C, but from A to X to 7 and π. And that's why it quickly happens that she leaves other people behind in conversation. "How do you get that idea again? That has nothing to do with it ”, she then gets to hear. What they perceive as a logical train of thought, others find overexcited and confused. Then she has to explain herself, or the conversation will come to nothing.

Even in everyday life, Massimilla offends every now and then. In conversations with “too little information density”, she begins to prematurely end the sentences of her interlocutor. Because she already knows what you're getting at. She is aware that this can seem impolite. But she never means it badly, because she is not a know-it-all. Smart shit maybe, but not a know-it-all. It's not about bragging about knowledge. It's about finding the truth; about not just leaving something wrong. Nonetheless, she had to learn by now “to shut up when in doubt. Because you always get it. It's a grueling feeling. "

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That's why she doesn't even tell most people about her giftedness. “It's made really difficult to speak openly about it. You get stamped quickly. You meet resistance, are considered conceited. ”Therefore, she would think carefully about who to tell about her high IQ. Hiding is only possible to a limited extent anyway, most of them notice it at some point. Associated with this is a certain amount of pressure. Once people know, they have certain expectations. “You don't know? I thought you were gifted? "

Massimilla met her best friends in the Mensa Club, a worldwide association for gifted people with an IQ of at least 130. There, highly intelligent people can network, discuss and spend time together. There are around 13,000 members in Germany. Massimilla can let her thoughts run free among cafeteria people. “It's absolutely a different feeling, because I let my thoughts really bubble.” A cafeteria meeting is like an outlet for them, nobody gets too much and nobody falls by the wayside in terms of content.

So far, Massimilla has only had closer relationships, whether partners or friendships, with people who were either proven to be highly gifted or who did not yet know it. Massimilla knew. Namely whenever the other person was able to follow your path of thought. “It would be difficult to get along with someone in the long run who doesn't think at my level. If, for example, I am not doing well, my partner must be able to understand what I am trying to say to him. ”She would not look for gifted people on purpose, but simply fall in love with them. It then just clicks. “Maybe I'm sapiosexual too,” she says with a wink. That is the erotic attraction to another person's intellect.

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At the end of our meeting, I ask her about the classic, the meaning of life. Massimilla's answer is a quote from Albert Camus Philosophical Essay The myth of Sisyphus: “I don't know whether this world has a meaning that goes beyond me. But I know that I do not know this meaning and that it is impossible for me to recognize it at first. What does a meaning mean to me that is outside of my situation? I can only grasp something within human limits. "