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Why People With Disorganized Mind Are More Intelligent

Why People With Disorganized Mind Are More Intelligent

The clutter continues to accumulate—it has all of your life. You can’t find your car keys or your cell phone; you get in the car to go somewhere and you find yourself going in the wrong direction; if you have a workspace, it’s a mess; nothing is ever “where it’s supposed to be.”

You “suffer” from what psychologists now call “chronic disorganization.” But, what these psychologists also now tell us it that chronically disorganized people have higher intelligence and greater creativity. So, take heart, and the next time someone criticizes you for you disorganization, give them some facts to chew on. And here are 12 of those facts that demonstrate the high level of intellectual functioning of the chronically disorganized.

1. They score high on verbal IQ tests, often in the gifted range.

IQ tests have two parts—verbal and performance. Verbal relates to areas of the brain that promote ideas, “global” thinking, curiosity, and “what if” questioning. The performance part of an IQ test assesses the ability to take factual information and manipulate it correctly—to apply it to situations, to see cause/effect correlations, and to comprehend step-by-step processes. Disorganized people tend to test well in the verbal range, because they can come up with unique solutions—they are not tied to the norms of current knowledge and traditional methods of doing things.

2. They have high creativity levels.

There are actually several normed tests for creativity, the most well-known being the Torrance series. These tests, when given to individuals with chronic disorganization find that there are high scores in areas such as storytelling, unusual visualizations, humor, breaking normal boundaries, thinking “outside the box,” and a richness in the images that they create in their minds. According to the authors of the Torrance series, individuals who score high on the test battery are most often those who have the ideas for new products and services, who invent.

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3. They have a broad range of interests.

Disorganized people evidently need to be involved in a variety of activities simultaneously. They have regular jobs, perhaps, but they are always doing other things on the side—they may have a band; they may be taking art classes; they may be designing websites or landscaping; they may be writing a novel.

The disorganized person loves the variety of new experiences and challenges. These are people who achieve great joy when they create something different and unique—an original recipe, a unique use for an ordinary object, or a software app that solves a problem.

4. They process information through their right brain hemispheres—the “creative” side.

Disorganized people do not think in straight lines—one solution for one problem, use the factual information and apply it to new situations. This is linear thinking and that is a left-brain function. The right brain processor takes everything in at once and lets all of the ideas bounce off of one another in his mind, and it is in the continual “bouncing” that creative ideas come forth. The messy office or home, the inability to put things away in pre-determined paces, the jumping from one activity to another in no particular order, are all manifestations of the bouncing of ideas in the brain.

5. They develop strong attachments to often un-related things and people.

The disorganized person, for reasons psychologists are as yet unable to fully determine, develops these strong attachments, especially to a wide range of objects and people with a large variety of personalities. Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss used the term “bricoleur” to describe these people. They see value in diversity, because diversity stimulates their mind activity. So, the disorganized person may have an eclectic group of friends and may even hoard some objects because they see so many possibilities for learning and doing. The work of Levi-Strauss is available online, as many of his books are now in PDF format, and easily downloadable if you’d like to learn more about the concept.

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6. They want to be around high-energy people.

People with high level of energy allow the disorganized person to meet the need for new experiences, to learn, and to satisfy curiosity. Because high-energy people always have something going on, the disorganized individual wants to be a part of those “somethings,” because there is the opportunity to have a new experience, to learn something new, to take what is learned and use it to generate new ideas. If you have not yet guessed it, the disorganized person is himself usually of very high energy. And the reason for the clutter and the mess? He doesn’t have time for such unimportant things.

7. They tend to lose track of time.

In this life, there are appointments, there are meetings, and there are social occasions that are set up in advance. When the disorganized person is 30 minutes late to a family dinner, to a meeting, to a wedding, etc., it is because he has been engrossed in another activity(ies) that are fascinating and/or wildly interesting and is just in another “zone.”

Time is linear and of less importance to this person. In the work environment, this individual may be late with a project deadline for what he believes is a very legitimate reason. He has become so fascinated with an aspect of the project that he has spent hours researching it, because there may be a better way. While this can be frustrating for a team of co-workers or a boss, the “better way” may in fact be a huge savings in time and money.

8. They have difficulty focusing when they are not interested or fascinated.

Disorganized people often have difficulty in school, not because they lack intelligence, for clearly they do not. But if they are not interested in the Civil War or in a geometric proof, they will not spend the time required to master that content or skill. Our schools are filled with disorganized kids who have a need to be “sold” that something to be learned is of value.

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If teachers do not find creative ways to engage them, they “tune out” and their grades can show it. But give them a project that fascinates them, and watch them go. Instead of writing a research paper, they may want to write a play, and we should let them. Instead, we tend to medicate rather than accommodate them.

9. They are intuitive, extroverted, and feeling according to personality testing.

A number of years ago, the Myers-Briggs personality test was formulated, and personality types were related to specific types of people. Disorganized people who take the Myers-Briggs test almost always score high in areas that, compiled, relate to a personality type identified as “visionary.” These people love a challenge and find inspiration in solving problems that others see as impossible. They are ingenious and often refuse to do a task in the standard manner. Visionaries want to try new methods.

10. They must be learning all the time.

Chris Fields, a researcher and scientist from Stanford University has developed an in-depth profile of the disorganized personality. According to him, these individuals are “addicted to insight”—they have a compelling need to research and learn, as long as the subject matter is interesting to them. When they do reach an “aha” moment and there is a new insight or solution, they exhibit extreme euphoria. This “addiction” may cause them to challenge school or work authority and to appear to be argumentative. In fact, some new insight has caused them to see a “rule” or a traditional way of doing things as dumb.

11. They think globally.

Global thinking was actually an educational psychology term before it became a term used to relate to the ever-shrinking “world” in which we live. The best way to describe this type of thinking on the part of disorganized people is through example. It is the night before Christmas and a number of toys need to be assembled before morning.

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The linear thinker will get out the instructions, and, step-by-step proceed through the assembly process. The global thinker will look at the picture of the finished product, and then assemble it based upon the picture. Both will probably be successful in the assembly (as long as there are no missing parts). It’s the approach that is totally different. The same thing goes for a planned trip. The linear thinker will make the lists and the reservations for along the way. The global thinker will just throw some items in a suitcase and head out, figuring out where to eat and sleep along the way. There is far more adventure in that.

12. They may seem “nerdy” or “know-it-all” to others.

Disorganized people need to discover the truth and, in most instances, their own brand of truth. They may spend a lot of time with books and on the Internet. In school, they may be seen as nerds; to psychologists, they may be identified as having Asperger’s. They do not have a lot of patience for those who want to “follow the book” on everything. They research and think about how not to “follow the book” and are usually pretty committed to voicing their ideas and opinions—thus they can get a reputation for being a “know-it-all.”

Featured photo credit: lassedesignen via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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