It is very important for me to be smart. The smartest. Since childhood it has been the only thing that I have been. It has some nasty effects. An example is that I am very keen on name dropping, on dragging up theories that people know nothing about (I usually try to explain them in some sort of hands-on way, but…). A connected example is the fact that I often feel intimidated by other smart people. I rather be quiet than show people that I am not smart enough. Example: one of the parents at my sons daycare have a PhD in philosophy. When I found that out my first reaction was ‘I better keep my mouth shut’ (others might think it a great way to expand their knowledge). Which brings us back to the first example: it often works as a defence mechanism. When I fee that my de facto identity is challenged, I bullshit my way out of it.
I just think it is important that you know who you are dealing with. I am foremost a poser and a fanboy.
EDIT: a point of notice. What I’ve written above is not the rambling confession of some sort of sociopath with low self esteem. I actually feel inadequate and not only threatened among ‘smarter’ people. Partly it is because I have a hard time (as do everyone) to defend my world view against people with the self-assurance that education (of the sort that I respect , that is) brings.
I don’t know if I make myself clearer by this edit, or if I just come of even more as a falsely modest douche.