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A Stupid Fool,Dumb & Smart All at the Same Time? Is There a Difference Between The Two? Yes If You're an Educated Idiot.

Updated on September 22, 2011

I'm With Stupid! EQ vs IQ

Have you ever met an intelligent fool: A person gifted or talented in all ways but common sense and/or emotional maturity? How can a person have an exceptional capacity for knowledge but no personal insight? What do you think, can someone be both intelligent and stupid at the same time? I believe the answer is ‘Yes’!

Education or the successful acquisition of knowledge and the ability to remember and regurgitate facts is important for business and industry. These are necessary skills and are highly prized - world round, however ‘head’ knowledge does not necessarily guarantee success. I believe education in the wrong hands can be a dangerous combination. Past and present history supports this assertion.

On the other hand, there are intelligent people who are harmless to everyone but themselves. This could include the person who is a gifted mathematician, business owner, teacher, mechanical engineer, artist, or any other profession, yet they repeatedly find themselves trapped in unhealthy personal relationships falling victim & easy prey for those skilled in taking advantage of others. Many times this is ‘chalked up’ to past abuse, poor upbringing & habits, or emotional instability. This may be true in many instances but there can be another issue at work, lower EQ despite their higher IQ.

IQ vs. EQ - I KNOW what IQ is, what is EQ?

EQ is an acronym for Emotional Quotient also known as Emotional Intelligence. While IQ can give a quantitative value for a person’s ability to problem solve, remember facts, figures, & information, EQ can help estimate a person’s qualitative ability to survive, problems solve real life situations, and create circumstances for success in life. A person who is NOT exceptionally gifted with the traditional definition of intelligence (measured by IQ) may find they are able to prosper beyond the abilities of so called 'geniuses' as defined by IQ - when given similar obstacles and setbacks in life.

Maybe you know an individual who has risen from the ash heaps life dealt them, struggled through years of turmoil as children or teens, yet with limited resources or encouragement ‘found’ a successful and prosperous way of life despite it all? I know several of these individuals. They create and maintain an admirable level of 'success' in life.

The elusive ideal of SUCCESS - I am not equating large cash reserves with success. On the contrary many emotionally bankrupt people have lots of money. Cold hard cash can buy education but it can’t by wisdom or EQ. This is gained through experience or by a natural capacity to survive and succeed. A successful marriage, well adjusted children, stable & enriched lifestyle, love & spirituality that is both fulfilling and rewarding: these are the things that really matter and are a great example of success in life.

When the end is reached and our short 70 to 100 year journey here on earth is complete, these are the things which legendary success is measured by. This is the kind of success that reaches out to impact the world. Not many will enjoy the Rockefeller millions but everyone will benefit from the impact that Martin Luther King, JFK, Florence Nightingale, Billy Graham, and Oprah Winfrey (yes Oprah) have in our lives. The measure of their EQ and humanitarian deeds have changed the tide of history in a positive manner and create success for us all. Yes, some of their success is influenced by their ability to fund their deeds, others are funded by the value of their lives - priceless.

I’m With Stupid: Which one is stupid? The high IQ lower EQ or the High EQ lower IQ individual? As derogatory and degrading as this may sound, there remains an unmistakable level of truth. Which would you prefer on your team?

Fortunately the old saying is true: 'Two heads are better than one'. Both can benefit greatly from learning and appreciating their counterparts; leaning on the strengths of each other. When we gain a greater understanding of the importance of appreciating intelligence in all of its forms - not just measured by IQ, the possibilities for greater success can increase. The mixture of creative problem solvers with those highly knowledgeable in facts and figures can benefit any team, whether in the job market, social organization, or ministry groups. Like a successful marriage, the combination of the two is a beautiful thing. Imagine the possibilities for the future of our country when we make real advances towards the cultivation and assessment of excellence in problem solving, critical thinking, and creative abilities balanced by the important need for learning & recalling information. It is important to engage higher learning in the traditional form, but the addition of EQ related learning can also benefit us all.

If you're interested in finding YOUR EQ or cultivating your EQ and/or IQ, there are many FREE resources on the web. Try completing a simple search for EI or EQ Free tests, or feel free to comment here for suggestions.

"If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him." ( James 1:5)

"Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart".... Alan Alda

"Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think"...Ralph Waldo Emerson


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    • Wayne Tilden profile image

      Wayne Tilden 

      8 years ago from Roseville, California

      Just a couple things to remember that I read "somewhere"

      Your second year in college you are a "Sophomore" from the Greek "Sopho" - wise; "moro" - fool. So you spend your entire second year in college as a wise fool. (A wise guy?)

      A paraphrase;

      The higher the education a [man] receives the more [he] learns on a single topic, until [he] becomes a thouroughgoing ignoramus on all topics but one. It's better to leave your mind open to all possibilities.

      I know I didn't say that right, but you [hopefully] get the idea.

    • homsarrunner3 profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow. This hub describes me perfectly. I belive myself extremely smart (and modest, too!), yet I lack common sense and the ability to see things inside the box or even right in front of my face.

    • GreenMathDr profile image


      9 years ago

      Sounds like a good idea.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I call that unbelievably gifted! just wondering, by standard/traditional methods alone (no EQ allowed) what he'd rank on the IQ scale? If anywher near 'average' it would be some of the strongest evidence to support the need for schools to consider including development of EQ testing. Not to do away with the old, just add to it?

    • GreenMathDr profile image


      9 years ago

      I have a high IQ and at least some EQ, I have friends who have EQ coming out of their ears. And then there is my step father. What do you call a guy who literally dominates and controls their environment presence alone? He never graduated from high school yet he ran his own successful business from his early 20's; started a bank because he didn't like banks and grew it to 9 branches; had a day named after him in his home town; was always thinking and changing things so fast that he was hard to be around at times; problems would solve just because he would walk into a room- he didn't have to do anything. He was enough to give a kid an inferiority complex- but you had to respect him- he was just dynamic- and he wasn't even trying.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you for your comment Karen, I believe you have summed it up well.

      Derek H. - I admire your honesty & courage in sharing.

      Plastic Surgeon: So Very True! a charmer can open more doors (and keep them open) with one smile than a card carrying 'genius' at times. I think I may prefer the pendulum to swing towards EQ as well

    • Plastic Surgeon profile image

      Plastic Surgeon 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thank you for your excellent hub. EQ translates into many things. The ability to get along with others, relate and empathize with others, speak effectively to those quite different from you, and what can be best summed up as "charm." Both IQ and Eq are important, and one without the other can be quite a disaster but if I had to pick one over the other, I would vote for EQ. Someone with an excessive IQ but little EQ is generally quite a boor.

    • profile image

      Derek Hart 

      9 years ago

      Good hub.

      These people you talk about with low EQ are likely to have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a high function type of autism that impacts social interaction and emotions negatively; that's what it sounds like to me, anyway.

      I should know this because I have this disorder, & my EQ hasn't always been the best at times.

    • Karen Banes profile image

      Karen Banes 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Interesting hub. Everyone has different 'gifts' and, human nature being what it is, everyone finds it hard to understand why other people react so differently from themselves to various situations. This was a difficult topic to tackle but you did a great job of it. Well done.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      9 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I am glad you noted that wisdom comes from God. When I used to teach Bible to some very gifted sixth grade students in a private school, I tried to stress the difference between being smart and being wise. One of those students was smart enough to have grown up to be president, but when she got into a very large and well-known university she was not wise enough to protect her health by eating and sleeping properly, and this led her to near suicide because it threw off her body's chemical balance. It took her years to regain her mental health enough to get a paying job that was worthy of her intelligence and training, but she could have been an ambassador or secretary of state if she had been able to be wiser while in college -- not just smart. She is still very dependent on her parents for emotional support, though she is married and in her 30's. Her parents are constantly on call by cell phone. I hope she will be able to survive it when they go. Her parents are close friends of mine, and I have followed her life six grade 6.

    • robertsloan2 profile image


      9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Overall it's a good Hub, but I would not put Billy Graham in the same category as Martin Luther King or even Oprah, he's scary.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I'm actually at work but wanted to take a break to come & comment. Thank you for your comments Ann. I am so happy that you found something of hope or comfort here. You must be a great parent! I hope you & your son find lots of support. Although he may face challenges, I'm sure his God given strengths & talents will help him shine. I pray that he will have lots of friends, mentors, and supportive family all around him as he finds EXACTLY WHO HE IS & HIS PURPOSE during his quest. God bless you both.

    • profile image

      Ann Sowers 

      9 years ago

      I have a 16 year old that is a perfect example of no EQ. I should rephrase that, almost no EQ. My husband and I have spent the past 16 years banging our head against the wall, trying to help him overcome this affliction as I call it. We had steet eagle installed in his car, so I could guide him home if he got lost.

      It would be interesting for a medical study to be done, in order to find out if this is what would be considered a medical condition, something that happens during fetal development, etc.

      It is odd that our son was great at problem solving as a toddler. Once he started school it all changed. I am happy to say that we are finally seeing positive progress with our son. You could not ask for anyone better to be there for you during an emergency. He saved my life when I had a heart attack 3 years ago, and died in my drive way.

      We are giving him more and more responsibility and this seems to be the answer for helping him.

      Thank you so much for this hub. It really helped me feel as if we are not the only ones who have lived this. I hate to tell people that my child is very intelligent, but lacks in the common sense area.

      BTW, my oldest son is 29 and is very intelligent, but uses common sense constantly. I have never had to worry about him.

      Once again thank you for bringing this subject to light. I am sure you have given comfort to a lot of people. It sure makes me feel better.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Delaney - Ha lol thanks for the levity & the comment.

      Leslie - Congrats to you as well :-)

    • Leslie L. Sanders profile image

      Leslie Lee Sanders 

      9 years ago from Queen Creek, Arizona

      Congrats on the nom!

    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 

      9 years ago

      I beleive that Brick Tamland from the movie "Anchorman" summed it up perfectly when he said

      - "I'm Brick Tamland. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and am what some people call mentally retarded."

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Veronica-Thank you for your comments & Congrats to you as well

      Ixxy-Thank you: love 'weild it responsibility'.

      Catherine-THANK YOU for commenting, I agree, it is very important.

      Loua-'Emotional power'? hmmm... power in/of emotion? Profound statement!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You undoubtedly have a grasp of qualitative quantitative synergy to apply it in the metaphysical sense you have used it... The synergy is found in the balance of APTITUDE as INTELLIGENCE COMPREHENSION; knowing is intelligence where as aptitude is the emotional power with which one can apply the knowledge understanding which is known... This is why aptitude testing is important in vocation development...

      Informative and interesting information perspective...

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      9 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Great hub. EQ so important. Congratulations on your nomination.

    • lxxy profile image


      9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Loved this, very excellent points.

      If knowledge is power, than EQ is the ability to wield it responsibly.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Great Great hub! It just goes to show you that everything has it's place, and there's a place for everything. Congrats on your nomination!

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Jerilee Thank you for your comments & candor (lol) [ps love your writing style - 'Deluge']

      Ebook - WOW, I'm in awe... about the level of education BUT also the insight. Thank you for commenting

    • ebook_of_the_week profile image


      9 years ago

      You could not find a better example of an educated fool than me. I have a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, a Masters' in Business administration and a Masters' in Computer Science from Rensselaer before I realized that your education does not matter outside a few fields.

      Success is all about relationships and relationships are all about EQ.

      IQ has its place ... at the bottom of the pyramid.


    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Great hub! I once married one of them. He was a physicist, spoke 8 langages fluently, etc. Complete idiot when it came to everyday things (meant kindly) and total fool when it came to personal relationships. Not anything he could help as far as I could tell. He just didn't have a clue.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thanks Maggs, I appreciate your feedback.

    • maggs224 profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Spain

      A very interesting and informative hub very thought provoking though as Dame Scribe says so obvious yet I had not thought about it in this manner, though I have met quite a few very intellectual book smart people with high IQs who were not very happy or successful in their everyday lives.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      RM Thanks for the nod (& advice ;-)

      Ralwus - thank you for caring to comment-MUCH APPRECIATED!!!

      RippleMaker So true! I hope more educators work towards encouraging EQ, will benefit us ALL in the long run.

      Dame Scribe thank you for the nod, very appreciated.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Fantastic information and something that is so obvious! :) great article!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Steffsings, what a beautiful hub to think about. IQ is good but poor EQ will not take you anywhere since you will suffer from emotional hang ups and dysfunction that will make you unhappy all your life. Balance is the key. In our preschool, we are already trying to raise the kids EQ. But one needs teachers who have a pretty good EQ too. LOL Thumbs up!

      Sorry I got so carried away, I want to excitedly tell you that this hub is a Hubnugget Wannabe! Yes, yes, yes! Hep Hep Hurrah! Check it out: Be sure to vote and promote your hub okay? Enjoy!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh yes. they exist. JFK and then Johnson had a whole staff of them that came up with the tragedy for the Vietnam War.

    • rmcrayne profile image


      9 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Great topic. Congrats on your HubNuggets nomination.

    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you for commenting!

      I also believe there must be a balance - its strange how the IQ/EQ pendulum swings so drastically for some people.

      I don't know how I forgot Mother Theresa. I can't vouch for her IQ but her EQ defies normal moral limitations

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I fully agree with you that a high IQ does not necessarily make for success in life. The EQ counts a great deal and putting two or more heads together is the best bet of all when it comes to problem solving or creating new and innovative things for the future.

      Mother Teresa is one you left off of your list as to people who greatly impacted others.

      Thumbs up on this hub!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      You are so right. I guess it all comes down to balance. Having one set of positive traits is not enough.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Ain't that the truth? I do believe it's possible to be naturally one way -- higher EQ folks can learn to improve their intellect. AND I believe that high IQ folks can, with practice, love and support, become more street smart.

      That's a lot harder, tho.

      Good topic. Very well written. Welcome to HP! MM

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Great information. You are so right about the correlation of low EQ to disastrous relationships. Thanks, and welcome to Hub Pages! I like your style and will be back to read more.

    • Appletreedeals profile image


      9 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland USA

      good topic, I've met a few intelligent dummies too.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting Hub, thank you.

      EQ is a very important, though neglected factor in human development and I think it needs far more attention.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts

      Love and peace



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