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21 Characteristics of Smart, Anxious Misfits

People-Holding-Question-Marks-In-Front-Of-FacesAre you a smart, anxious misfit?

If these words describe you, then compare the qualities listed below to your life. If the majority of them are true for you, then you very well might be a super smart, somewhat anxious social misfit. This can be a good thing!

Disclaimer: This article is NOT diagnostic in nature. ‘Smart, anxious misfit’ is not a clinical term. It’s a term I made up, pulled out of thin air.

Why? Because I can:) I gathered the ideas out of my own mind, based on my personal life.

Do you see yourself in the following 21 descriptions?

1. You’re undeniably smart, even if you’re uncomfortable with that. Whether or not you did well in school, you knew you were smarter than most other kids. If you’ve taken an IQ quiz of any kind, you’re well above average in intelligence.

2. You’re prone to anxiety, even though this may frustrate you to no end. It might be social anxiety. It could be general anxiety or even panic disorder. You may worry excessively or anticipate catastrophe. Some form of anxiety has a hold on you. You may believe that such anxiety ‘shouldn’t’ have such power over you. Yet, it does anyway.

3. Misfit. This is in the social sense. Whether or not you suffer with social anxiety, you realize you do not share common interests with the average person. You’re not so into pop culture. You’re probably not a mainstream sports fan. Even if you are, you may not appreciate how most others like to spend their social hours endlessly discussing these popular topics.

4. Most social conversations are a total bore to you. You may often think, how can these people sit here for hours and never really discuss anything important? How can these low-level conversations entertain them? Why can’t we all talk about something meaningful?

5. The vast majority of people you encounter are simply not that interesting to you. You may feel bad about this, as if you were being overly judgmental. You may have tried to take greater interest in people out of guilt. Didn’t work.

6. You probably have found it difficult to find and maintain friendships for any or all of the above reasons. Your friends may be few and far between and spread all over the world.

7. You may feel like you don’t belong for any or all of the above reasons. You probably have not found your tribe – a social group in which you genuinely feel at home and happy.

8. You may feel like a hypocrite for any or all of the above reasons.

9. You may feel arrogant for any or all of the above reasons.

10. You may feel that, since you are pretty smart, that you actually shouldn’t be having these kinds of problems. You’re so used to being able to figure things out. Still, the anxious and misfit aspects of your life go unresolved. You may criticize yourself for this.

11. You might feel like a fake for any or all of the above reasons. If people found out what you’re struggling with, what would they think? How could they understand?

12. You understand that things mean what they mean in context. Change the context and the meaning of everything changes. To you, meaning is not fixed, which makes it hard to relate to people who simply believe what they believe, as if were written in stone across the sky. You may even be jealous of people who ‘simply believe’ things, which is not something you are able to do.

13. Since you find it easy to take multiple perspectives and therefore difficult to take a firm stand on issues, you may wonder if you lack conviction.

14. You may live in your head and feel out of touch with your feelings.

15. You live life on the inside and may not be so highly observant of the outside world.

16. You’re not afraid to think about anything, and may even be disturbed by the extreme nature of your thoughts.

17. You don’t like dogma and shy away from dogmatic conversations. You may even be offended by dogma.

18. You’re creative. In other words, new ideas are not a problem!

19. You may have issues with authority because you are smarter than most authority figures.

20. You’re not always happy, but sometimes wonder if happiness is overrated. You may also look around at all the unhappy people and take some solace in the fact that true happiness is rare and that there are many other meaningful things to be.

21. You may engage in a variety of unhealthy behaviors to keep the boredom of life at bay.

Is this you – all or in part? Join me in my special Smart, Anxious Misfits Private Facebook Group.

21 Characteristics of Smart, Anxious Misfits

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). 21 Characteristics of Smart, Anxious Misfits. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Nov 2015
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