Why do smart people still suffer?

(opinion article)

Recently, I listened to the famous Ukrainian podcast “Простими словами”, which talked about this topic, so I wanted to cover a few points from there and express my own opinion.

By intellectualizing, a person reduces the volume of feelings to a certain minimum, talks about them, but does not have access to their residence. To a greater extent, a person lives his feelings with the mind.

Affect is a great emotional material. Isolation of affect is an attempt of the psyche to compensate for strong emotional tension and hide it in a kind of capsule. This is a normal evolutionary mechanism, which is necessary because in some situations affect may be too much and you must deal with it.

Intellectualization is a variant of a higher level of isolation of affect from intelligence. By intellectualizing, a person reduces the volume of feelings to a minimum without having access to their experience. But this does not mean that a person is not aware of his or her feelings. He or she is aware of them but through the mind.

It may seem that a person who intellectualizes his feelings is very conscious, mature, intelligent, so self-aware and accepting, but this is not the case. A person speaks about his or her feelings but does not have an access to these experiences. He or she can talk about feelings, try to explain them instead of feeling them fully. Maybe it’s cool because you have the opportunity to intellectualize your feelings instead of feeling some of them. But so a person doesn’t live his or her feelings and does not gain experience.

Intellectualization helps to protect oneself in the moments of crisis, thanks to which a person does not lose his sanity. Mostly this protective mechanism is inherent in intellectual people because intellectualization is seen as the protection of the ego. People who can intellectualize have very strong egos and psyches.

The reason for this may be an injury. For example, a person has experienced emotionally difficult events, so he had to narrow his experiences because otherwise, it would be very painful. Or a person lived in an environment that traumatized and caused a lot of emotional pain. Then the person feels pain but narrows this feeling through intellectualization as much as possible.

Sometimes the reason for intellectualization as a leading defense mechanism is an emotionless, insensitive situation in the family in which the child grows up. This emotionless background gives the impression that this is the norm. So many people are surprised when they meet emotional people and a warm, emotional atmosphere in families…

To sum up, I think that this information is important for our students and I strongly recommend that you should look it through.

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