This Theory That Messy People Are Smarter Sounds Kinda Sketchy
A theory that messy people might actually smarter than their organized counterparts is circulating the internet right now, and although I would like to believe it, I’m not quite sure my mom would buy it if I cited it her as reason for never needing to load the dishwasher again.
MyDomaine published the article, “Why Messy People Are Smarter,” explaining a few reasons that slobs like me and Albert Einstein should be proud of the way we are. According to them, messy people “challenge the status quo,” since we are taught from a young age to be clean. And we go and defy that. I appreciate that, but being messy makes my life harder. When I’m messy in my room, it’s usually ’cause I’m messy in my whole life.
Another: they are not lazy, but rather find value in “chaos,” which is important because one doctor cited in the article says, “Physicist Adam Frank states disorder is the natural law of the universe.” That just seems like a bit of a stretch in general. Being as clean and organized as we are is actually something specific and special to human beings, a sign that we have higher brain capacity than other animals of the natural world.
Then, a comparison between messy people, and a high pain threshold:
“Like people with high pain thresholds who may not notice low-level pain, messy people may just not feel their space as keenly as neatniks,” Richard A. Friedman, a behavioral doctor, wrote in a 2003 NY Times article quoted by MyDomaine. Didn’t they have any more recent studies to use for this?
Either way, this part is cool, this makes us sound cool and tough, more than anything else:
“Messiness has been deemed variously a moral failing, a hallmark of laziness, a serious character flaw, or a hardwired human behavior,” Friedman writes. “Contrary to popular belief, messiness is not necessarily a sign of mental disorganization. Nor does messiness seem to preclude productivity: Some of the most creative and prolific people are inveterate slobs.”
That, I can get down with. I’m not trying to hate on myself for being messy, and I’d like to think I’m smarter than everyone else, but the only legit takeaway I get from this article is that messiness shouldn’t be a moral failing. We’re just a group of mess-makers, trying to get by in the world — and apparently, we are also less likely to “donate to charity.“