Q. I tested as having a fairly high IQ but routinely have difficulty communicating with most people. Do you have any suggestions?”

A. Studies estimate that 2/3 of the population has an IQ under the Bell Curve (115 – 85 (with a mean of 100)).

Anyone higher or lower than that can have a harder time communicating and being accepted and rewarded. If the person ALSO has a brain lead outside of rewarded expectations for their gender it can be brutal and the person (if IQ is higher than the norm) must continually translate to a lower IQ's ability to absorb information. A failure to understand this is one reason individuals with a very high IQs run into difficulty when communicating with others.

Generally speaking when there is great disparity between IQs, a high IQ can translate for a lower IQ; a lower IQ likely would have great difficulty translating up to a higher IQ. For discussion purposes, let's say a person's IQ falls in the 97th percentile. That means in a group of 100 people there are only a few (half a dozen or so) individuals with whom it will be easy to communicate without having to restate or try to explain yourself (unless it is a very basic social-niceties type of conversation). That isn't either good or bad, it just is. You typically give up something to get something.

It can be exhausting to continually be monitoring how what you are trying to communicate is getting through and, if not, how you can redefine it or restate it in a way that is more likely to be understood. That's one reason it can be so necessary to have a few close friends who have a similar IQ and a similar brain lead—you tend to "feel smart" when you don’t have to translate. Some individuals turn to drugs to try to "feel smart" because they have felt like a misfit, or dumb, or at least not fitting in because of some of these factors, or they use drugs to sort of "zone out" from the effort of trying to be understood.