Steve Jobs once said Bill Gate’s only problem was that he didn't try any LSD. While I do not condone law-breaking, I understand the point he was making. I’ve found the smart people who are NOT socially retarded were usually the ones that fell in the Steve Jobs camp.
There is a difference between choosing not to be interesting and mutually entertaining to another person while talking to them. Because you share different interesting, and mostly because not having the ability to be interesting. Some people feel like they have a lot of interesting things to say but they have a difficult time talking in everyday conversation.
It can be an issue with persons who are at a level just high enough that is becomes difficult to interact with people, because there really aren’t that many people at the same level. After a period of time the isolation becomes standard and the social skills atrophy. Regardless of intelligence, I find it difficult initiating conversation with people who can’t have a witty sense of humor.
I think there might be people who are intelligent and have sophisticated sense of humor, but their peculiar behavior, personality or wittiness rarely impress others. They tend to avoid interaction and create the impression of being boring. There are also people who are innately introvert and don’t care to attract others by pretending to have exciting character.
Higher intelligence (and the generally larger knowledge base that accompanies it) also lends itself to a more complex humor. Being social is a skill that can be learned (and practiced) just like any other. Perhaps a truly intelligent person wouldn't care enough about being boring to try to surpass it, but if the first impression was important than they would care.
Having a personality others can relate to or appreciate is a working progress. It’s a challenge for everybody, no matter how intellectual a person. Smart people depend on their intellect too much that can make them a bore. I always believe balance is needed. It’s always good to have a variety around us it helps to add needed spice to our life. I get scared of the idea of being boring. But if someone is an academic with incredible ideas, maybe what matters is their mind, not their charisma.
It could also be that intelligent people have different interests in general. That makes a big difference in the "want to bother interacting" equation. Engaging in spirited conversation can make someone seem very interested, but if the other parties rebuttal is always "that’s stupid man" then you lose interest very quickly.
I’ve seen people who can be interesting to anybody, regardless of the other person’s intelligence. They can turn a conversation around and make it good. And also enjoy it very much themselves. Everyone has their own preferences. I would rather spend an evening with someone of a lesser intelligence who was open, humble and yes, funny than a cerebral twerp who thought they were too good for the company.
Personally I think the greatest satisfaction comes from talking to as many different kinds of people as possible. There is no one with nothing to say, and lots of different kinds of intelligence. No one can be wise if they only look at life from one perspective. I’ll be honest, intelligence levels never cross my mind when I am talking to people. Intelligence isn’t an issue for humans. I only draw the line at racists and hostility, and those vampiric types that latch onto people. The reality is, all humans are highly intelligent animals. Some are more intelligent but that doesn't mean the rest are unintelligent.
I don’t judge people for their intelligence levels, but I enjoy having a meaningful conversation with people, whatever it’s about. A precondition for that is the ability and the desire to form coherent thoughts on different subjects. My cleverest friends love small talk. Yes, they can get intense and deep in the right circumstances but most of the time its just healthy silly small talk. They have a balance.
There’s a delightful novel called The Rosie Project; a socially challenged man who decides to search for love, the challenges all you bright people face feeling obliged to fit into social norms. When I’m not in a good mood, I’m bad at small talk … but when I have to, I’ve become good at asking people questions that keep them talking. Whenever I’m having a conversation, I don’t immediately register the meaning of what someone is saying. I have to literally go back in my memory, replay what I’ve heard, and break it into its parts to understand it.
Another mindset is to recognize that people who are good with people are displaying a kind of intelligence. Some socially awkward but high IQ people cary around a kind of smug defense mechanism that keeps them privately looking down their noses at people who are better people persons than they. Social intelligence is intelligence too! IQ and conceptual prowess is only one kind of intelligence. Start to respect people who are good with people as embodying an intelligence in their own right, and allow yourself to respect and admire them for the same way you might admire an intellectual figure in your fields of interest.
Personality may be fluid to some extent, but I have no idea why being boring should be considered. As an average person, sometimes in my very limited social interactions whenever I tried to be interesting, I would always end in disaster. Sometimes I have learned to be myself and it is easier and safer. You can always learn to be more outgoing. It takes a while, bit it’s definitely possible. You’ve learned to do a lot of other things right?
It has become trendy for some people pretending to be introvert and have somber character. Though, I used to think the opposite, but it implies that social fashions change and sense of humor might not be trendy anymore and boredom is replacing it. The two cents opinion I often heard: Why on earth it might be my responsibility to not be boring for the benefit of those around me. When I am bored, I don’t expect others to entertain me. Honestly, I don’t want friends that feel the need for me to unbore them. I like people to genuinely like me for me. I don’t want to have to pretend to be anything other than the way I am. Why would I want to be around people who expect pretense?
At some points, I agree. Rumi said, "Those who are of the same nature will fly off together. Eagles soar with eagles, pigeons flutter with pigeons." Similarities factor always take a large portion of human relations. If the train doesn’t stop at your station, then it’s not your train. LOL. It is too much work pretending, but if our personality is repulsive it is expected to have few friends. We should aspire being the best us without pretending by showing how wonderful we are naturally. Who we are is a work in progress …. that’s why I don’t poop my diapers anymore.
I believe there are times, no matter how exhausting, that it is my responsibility to help others feel comfortable in social situations. I call this "having manners." I find myself at times having to "act" brave when I am not particularly feeling brave. I do not consider this posturing. I have to be strong when I am not, etc. And social occasions often call for an appropriate display that will be comforting, interesting, entertaining, informative, validating, and rewarding.
I wonder if anyone has ever thought of focusing their intelligence on becoming more interesting people. Someone should invent that, a mathematical formula for being charismatic. Intelligence is common, wisdom and good manners are golden. There are many shades of gray between an obnoxious "life of the party" type and an intriguing erudite person you want to spend the rest of the evening in a corner with.