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SuperMouse's avatar

If you are naturally good at something do you automatically expect others to be good at it as well?

Asked by SuperMouse (30713 points ) March 22nd, 2012

If you are a great parallel parker does it boggle your mind when people just can’t do it? If you can solve quadratic equations in your head does it baffle you when people have to write it all out and still get them wrong? If you can draw a lovely picture while wearing a blind fold are you thrown when you see someone who can hardly draw a stick figure? Do you think other people must be good at the things you are good at? Are you surprised when they are not?

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24 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Not really, but sometimes I do get frustrated if people can’t understand me as quickly as I’d like them to. Still, that’s a really shitty stance and I am working on it.

Bellatrix's avatar

Actually I do think this is one of my faults. I am less tolerant of people who struggle with things I find very easy. I am unlikely to verbalise my frustration but I certainly do on occasions think ‘why are they finding this so hard?’. I am aware of this trait though so I make a concious effort to slap myself in the head when I find myself doing this.

Coloma's avatar

No, I may be frustrated but I don’t expect others to be mirror images of me.

SuperMouse's avatar

To clarify I am not speaking of feeling intolerant towards people who don’t share your talents, just being surprised by it.

In my case I am pretty good and doing research and I find myself being a bit surprised when other people aren’t as good at it. It isn’t a “mirror image of me” thing, it is just a “huh that’s different” kind of thing. In my case it is a good thing when I encounter people who aren’t great at it because I get to do something I love and am good at and help someone out at the same time.

Coloma's avatar

I’d ad that my pet peeve is when someone is ignorant about something but insists they know all about whatever it is anyway.

Recently I had someone ask me “Did you know that cats SEE with their whiskers?”
I’m pretty animal smart and replied ” Oh you mean they use their whiskers as a gage for tight spaces” and the person replied ” NO! They SEE through them in the dark.” 0-o

I didn’t even bother correcting them. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. I never understood why others found anything in school difficult. Even the subjects I didn’t like and that didn’t come easily I could master with just a little effort. I understand now.

Blackberry's avatar

No, it’s just a bit frustrating. Obviously, there are things I’m not good at that make me look like a toddler.

Bellatrix's avatar

@SuperMouse I am often surprised and on occasions I can be intolerant of it if I think it is a fairly simple concept/skill. I think sometimes it is about different learning and communication styles rather than a lack of ability.

I had a situation like this recently where I had to get someone I know to do some coding for me. I explained it four times. I drew diagrams (I thought they might be a visual learner). I wrote lists of instructions (with step-by-step directions). I explained what was happening before and what I would do with the work after because I thought this might help them to get how the work they were being asked to do fitted into the big picture.

The person still couldn’t get it. I began to think it was me and my communication skills. Since then I have explained what I want (I explained once – verbally) to two other people who went… yep… and did what I needed. The original person isn’t stupid and I don’t want to suggest that, they just ‘think’ and ‘process’ information in a very different way from me. It was very frustrating for me because I couldn’t work out how to explain to her what I needed and frustrating for her because she couldn’t do the work I needed completing.

rojo's avatar

I know I expect more from friends and family and am much more tolerant and accepting of those not closely related.

thorninmud's avatar

Yeah. It has been surprising to me to discover how many people have next to no intuition when it comes to problem solving in the material world. Things like anticipating how various materials will perform in a situation, whether a particular design idea is likely to work, visualizing potential solutions. I encounter people who make me realize that it’s possible to get to adulthood without really having to get to know the ways of materials and tools.

I teach a graduate-level class that involves some very basic shop techniques and I coach the students through a simple design process. This is all so second-nature to me, and not just because it’s my job. For as long as I can remember I’ve been trying to coax materials into cooperating with my vision. Every one of those encounters honed my internal models of how the material world behaves, until now I can just lean back, close my eyes, and see exactly what it will take to make something work. I’ve kind of assumed that everybody must have some version of that experience, based on their own negotiations with the material world, but clearly that’s not the case. Even some engineering students are helpless when faced with actually having to get out of the theoretical.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

When I’m really good at something .. I just want to try to help others be good at it too. I figure if I can do it… I should be able to help them learn how too. It doesn’t always work that way… but it gives me confidence that maybe I give them some insight into how I do it.

It’s really more fun to be able to teach people .. than even to be able to do something yourself.

lloydbird's avatar

I’m good at not expecting others to be good at what I’m good at.

marinelife's avatar

No, not at all.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m very patient with others when I get something easy. I’m willing to work a lot with them to help them understand.

Sunny2's avatar

Not at all. Talent is talent and I feel lucky to have the ones I have. I don’t expect others to have my talents. I know some of the ones I don’t have and am happy to get help when I need it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

If I know I am naturally good at something, then I do not automatically expect others to be good at it as well. If I do not know, however, then I probably will expect others to be just as good at it or will be surprised when they are not. I’m always surprised to discover when I am naturally good at something. My assumption is always that the contrary will be the case.

cookieman's avatar

No, because for as many things as I’m good at, there’s just as many that baffle me too. My skill may be your struggle and vice versa.

cockswain's avatar

If I’m in a pissy mood I’ll act that way. But not generally (I hope). I will, however, reason that if I can do it, anyone can do it too. It’s all a matter of effort and perseverance.

linguaphile's avatar

Thanks to a jelly, I was introduced to the StrengthFinders and Strengths Philosophy promoted by Gallup. It is amazing—it talks about 34 strengths and how we should work our strengths. I highly recommend reading up on all this and taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test—

One of the things the book does mention is how we are soooo talented and innate in our areas of strengths that it can be nearly inconceivable to us that others might not be remotely able to do that skill.

I can still hear all the people who are time-management whizzes saying in their cocky little voices, “All you need to do is man-age your tiiiime.” Yeah right. Easy for you, not easy for me. My strength is connecting ideas and explaining things—Easy for me, not easy for others.

Yes, I’ve gotten impatient when people have a hard time making connections or understanding concepts that I find utterly obvious, but on the other hand, I have some other skills that I rarely see in others—when I use them, I am fully patient and understanding when others can’t do it.

ucme's avatar

No not at all, diversity is a good thing.

augustlan's avatar

More so in my youth, I think. I couldn’t understand how anyone had a hard time with spelling, which seemed so simple to me. I also used to equate bad spelling with lower intelligence. Not proud of that.

Now I’m absurdly paranoid that I’ve made a typo.

tedibear's avatar

The only subject that I am like this with (that I can think of) is map reading. Unless you have a reading disability, how can you not be able to figure out a map? That’s my thought process; not necessarily a reasonable one though. Anything else though, if you don’t know it, it’s not a big deal. If I know it and you want to learn, I’ll do what I can to help you.

My husband, on the other hand, often assumes that everyone has the same breadth and depth of knowledge that he does. He’ll start talking like an engineer and I’ll understand the first two sentences and then I’m done. His brother once mentioned taking his car in for a fairly basic repair. My husband asked his brother why he didn’t just do it himself. Brother – who has been through this before – said that he wasn’t comfortable with trying the repair and didn’t want to mess it up. A couple of times he has assumed that I know something, or know how to do something. I’m finally at a point where I say, “What, with what you know of about my knowledge and experience, makes you think I would know anything about that?” It has helped him realize that not everyone knows the things that he does.

Coloma's avatar

@tedibear haha, well, that’s one of my weaknesses. I have boatloads of creativity, strong verbal and writing skills, a fast brain, but maps can boggle my mind. My daughter and I took a road trip together a few summers ago and she was great with the maps, it was humbling. lol

cwilbur's avatar

On a rational level, I understand that people are different, and in some ways I’m at the top of the scale, while in other ways I’m, well, not at the top of the scale.

My default assumption is that I am average. I frequently run into situations where this assumption is wrong, and it shocks me every time.

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