What Were the Character Traits of Albert Einstein?

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As a boy and adult, Albert Einstein was a creative, intelligent and soft-spoken person who preferred solitude and immersing himself into elaborate constructions and thought problems over social interactions. He appeared aloof to many, but his concentration was in his work. Einstein always felt out of place at social gatherings and with friends and family. He treated his first wife Mileva Maric very poorly and flaunted his many affairs.

Little is known about Albert Einstein’s early childhood and development. The young Einstein was certainly a reluctant talker, but there are mixed accounts of him learning to speak late in his life. He did extremely well in mathematics and creative subjects, but he had no interest in anything requiring only rote memorization or forcing one particular mode of thought onto students. As such, he did not fit in with the Prussian model of education at the time and spurned it. He did not take to new languages with ease, but Einstein was able to completely master his native German, strongly implying that he was not dyslexic.

To many of his peers and the majority of the general public, Albert Einstein was an enigmatic genius and celebrity scientist. Those who interacted with him personally often referred to him as forgetful and absent-minded. Einstein would later say that a glass plane existed between him and other people. He felt uncomfortable around them and was never himself. Some scholars have described this as a type of social anxiety. He even felt alienated from his family, always preferring solitude to familial interactions.