Being a teenager is hard enough, but imagine being a child prodigy—or the sibling of a child prodigy.
On Reddit, one concerned sister sees some problems with the way her 13-year-old child prodigy brother is interpreting his interactions with girls he likes.
Perhaps because of his parents’ coddling, he sees all disinterested women as turned off by his intelligence—and not, as his sister says, his condescending personality.
“So I have a younger brother (13) who is a child prodigy. I won’t give too many details but he’s well known in the academic circles of our country and attends an institute of higher education. Naturally people are impressed with his intelligence and he’s quite popular and makes friends easily. Our parents dote on him and have never told him ‘no.’ As a result he has become very arrogant, condescending and disrespectful to people he deems below him…that’s just about everyone,” the OP said.
“Lately he’s been openly talking about a girl he’s crushing on and much to his dismay she’s quite unimpressed with him. He often complains to my parents and I about his failed attempts to befriend her. I understand why she dislikes him. On one occasion he invited her over for a school project and I overheard their interaction. He was constantly talking over her, dismissing her ideas and even calling them stupid. 99% of the time he was talking about himself and his accomplishments, being in news articles, his future plans are etc. The poor girl obviously seemed uncomfortable.”
The OP said that her brother continued to complain about how girls only like “stupid guys,” and his parents assured him that this girl was just intimidated by his accomplishments.
After hearing this, the OP just told her brother flat-out that the girl doesn’t like him because he behaves like an “obnoxious, know-it-all a**hole.”
The OP’s parents were horrified that the 17-year-old OP said this to a 13-year-old child, but the OP stands firm that her brother has to realize that his “personality is becoming a problem.”
What do Redditors think?
“NTA- you actually are doing him a favor for him to learn this lesson now. Your parents are setting him up for failure. Regardless of intelligence and ability, a huge part of success is also likeability and the ability to get along with others. I have seen several brilliant people get nowhere because of their complete lack of emotional intelligence,” said genericname907.
“They’re also reinforcing potentially dangerous gender stereotypes. All the chat about how ‘girls are emotional and only like stupid guys’ is a ticking time bomb – however smart, this is going to turn him into someone potentially dangerous towards women in the future,” noted magschampagne.
“He’s on the path of becoming an incel if he starts blaming the woman/ lying about rejection. NTA best he’s told like it is because if it progresses his mindset on the whole thing will get more damaging,” said ClownsInMyPants.
“The parents would do him good if they looked into the ‘Gifted Kid burnout’ phenomenon. So many smart kids are complimented so much on their ability to be naturally smart, rather than the effort they put in etc. At some point being gifted doesn’t cut it and you need actual good techniques for studying etc, which gifted kids often aren’t taught and for long long time don’t need. When their entire self worth is based on being effortlessly smart it’s so easy for that to come crashing down the second they face difficulty, and cause some extreme burnout,” advised ChairmanGonzalo.
“Your brother may be a child prodigy for now, but if he keeps behaving like this he’ll just be a very entitled and obnoxious adult. Even if he makes use of his smarts and lands a stable career, that special smart boy charm is gonna wear off and reality is going to kick his ass when he realizes that no one likes him anymore. It’s best that he take that hit now when he’s young and has time on his side to learn, rather than down the road when he’s build his whole life around being a smart asshole and has no safety net because he drove everyone away,” said TheElvenWitch777.