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This feeling is extremely common with very intelligent/competent people. I think one reason is that it is difficult to find a valid basis of comparison. If something comes a great deal more easily to you than to most other people, you won't have to "work" at it the same way they do. Most of society measures a lot of things based on the time and effort you put into it. If you simply have a better idea/better understanding of something, that's not a valid measure. You may still work at it -- you may work very long hours in fact -- but if you are getting results that far exceed what others are doing, it can be hard to quantify how and why that is happening.

I think very smart people also get a lot of hostility from other people out of jealousy or out of feeling threatened, which I think is part of why some people seem "very sensitive" to criticism. And then if it is normal for you to accomplish things at a certain level, "praise" often rings kind of hollow. For some things, it is a little like if your spouse made a big deal every single day about "Gee, golly whiz, you drove home from work without getting into a deadly car wreck!! I'm so proud of you!! You are just so amazing!!" You might think something like "Um, yeah, I do that everyday. Shut up and get off my back you whacko."

The antidote to this feeling is finding a solid basis for comparison that makes sense to you, that is rooted in facts and not in social BS that can be biased either by being excessively impressed or hostility/jealousy. Sometimes people who know you well can give meaningful feedback, both in terms of constructive criticism and in terms of telling you 'Yea, verily, you did good -- most people can't do that' without it feeling like it just rings hollow. But most folks who are only acquaintances will not be a good source of meaningful, useful feedback for this issue.




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