WE aren't the problem, YOU are
In other words, for highly intelligent, highly introverted individuals, Hell really is other people at the breakfast table. (And, as it turns out, most of the rest of the time too.)
And this will come as precisely ZERO surprise to almost every single one of you reading this. What can I say, my writing seems to be read by some pretty smart people.
Now, before I continue, the problem with writing anything about what it's like to be of reasonably high intelligence in a world that both relies upon and distrusts such people is that one inevitably comes across sounding extremely stuck-up. That is, sadly, unavoidable, but I can try to mitigate that fact somewhat by simply asking you to read this as a combination of objective analysis and subjective experience, written dispassionately to attempt to prove a point.
So if you get annoyed by what you find to be sanctimonious preaching about how smart people are TOTALLY better than average people, well, tough. That wasn't the intention, but oh well.
Anyway- as many people with high IQs will likely tell you, the biggest challenge that they will ever face is in the field of human relationships. This is not universally true, though; there are several extremely intelligent extroverts that I have met who only really come alive when they are the centre of attention at parties or pub crawls. But such types, usually falling on the EN(T/F)(J/P) end of the MBTI spectrum, are fairly unusual in my experience.
Most of the time, the highly intelligent people that you will come across in life are loners, both by accident and by design.
Now, despite the somewhat maudlin tone of Aaron's book, there are, of course, considerable benefits to having a high IQ. Tasks and routines that are challenging if not impossible for most people are a matter of course for the highly intelligent.
After all, the greatest President of the 20th Century, Ronald Reagan, was once very memorably called an "amiable dunce" by establishment scion Clark Clifford at a dinner party in Georgetown back in the day, and yet he turned out to be immensely intelligent and well-read, even though his predecessor was, in terms of raw intelligence, almost certainly smarter, and by some distance.
It is just that, relative to many of the people that I admire, I'm actually pretty dumb.
And those challenges are made far worse by, well, other people. There is no getting around this, and no getting away from it.
Different types of highly intelligent people react to this fact in various ways.
Some highly intelligent people- a distinct minority of an already small group, in my experience- simply shut themselves off from others and refuse to interact with them. It is from this small subset that you get folks like Ted Kaczynski and Grigori Perelman.
Most such high intelligences find ways to muddle along, somehow, with other people in their lives of considerably lower intelligence. Some even manage to thrive.
But overall, the harsh and unbending reality for most really intelligent people remains: other people will always pose problems for them.
There is no way to get around or past this. There is only adaptation and acceptance of it.
Even so, for those of you who stumbled across this post and find yourself wondering what to make of the next highly intelligent person that crosses your path, just remember: from his perspective, you're the weird one, and you're the problem, not him.