The difference between the higher- and lower-IQed is that the higher are generally capable of seeing patterns more clearly, and grasping more complicated concepts.
It's not that they don't do as many stupid things.
I'm a case in point. I was told when young that I had a high IQ, but over the course of my lifetime, that doesn't seem to have cut down the number of dumb things I've said in the least. (In all honesty, it may have increased the number.)
I probably say more awkward and social inappropriate things than an 85 IQer. (This is not false modesty.) These faux pas fall into three major categories.
The first stems from a lifelong desire not to be boring. (I can't bear the company of the boring, and am well aware that others can find me so.) But if I try too hard to be amusing, or say the unexpected, I often lose sight of social propriety. (Which, frankly, I've probably done with this blog.)
The second category has to do with wanting to prove my masculinity, or my nerve. Even worse, in order to keep up that somewhat hollow macho front, I'll sometimes feel compelled to do something foolish. I don't even need someone else to manipulate me by challenging my masculinity, I do it to myself.
The final reason is just my blunt nature. I wouldn't ask someone if a certain pair of pants made me look fat unless I wanted an honest answer -- so I assume others do, too. Most people, of course, know better.
Little white lies: at 65, I'm still gettin' the hang of 'em.
Those three reasons probably account for maybe 75% of all the dumb things I say. The other roughly 25% are simply mistakes, usually just sloppy errors.
I usually know I've said something stupid the moment it's out of my mouth. Still, that's a second or two too late.
You'd think I'd learn from my errors. But somehow, I don't. (And how dumb is that?)
I suppose the biggest conclusion to be drawn here is that you should never, ever say anything in an effort to prove you're not boring, or are macho. And, tact is always a plus.
I don't think I'm alone. I've seen many smart people make unforced errors, if not quite as frequently as me. (I hope for their sake that they don't spend their lives the way I do, reliving their worst moments.)
There's not a day I don't do that. And that may may be the stupidest thing of all.
Looking at this post the next day, I see it's worse than introspective: it's navel gazing about my navel gazing.