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Prefer Alone Time To Social Gatherings? Science Says It’s Because You’re Highly Intelligent

Prefer Alone Time To Social Gatherings? Science Says It’s Because You’re Highly Intelligent

There’s nothing wrong with wanting some alone time. Perhaps you’re someone who would actually prefer to spend time by yourself at home or away from others instead of going to that social gathering that’s been looming for the past month and you promised you’d go to. If so, you’re not the only one and research has found that the happier you are with less social interaction, the higher your I.Q is.

Does Wanting More Alone Time Really Mean You’re More Intelligent?

Researchers recently published a study in The British Journal of Psychology [1] that looked into how intelligence, population density, and friendship affect modern happiness. While the conventional results showed that the more social interaction people have, the happier they feel, it wasn’t true for all people.

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They surveyed 15,000 people between the ages of 15 and 28 and noticed a surprising pattern – People at the higher end of the I.Q. spectrum reported being less satisfied with social interaction including just hanging out with friends.

The lead authors of the study, Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Li said that their findings found those with a lesser I.Q. had more social interactions with their close friends and reported greater happiness. However, opposite results were reported by the more intelligent people.

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“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialised with their friends more frequently.”

Why Do More Intelligent People Prefer Time Alone?

So why is it that more intelligent people shy away from parties and meeting up with friends? Perhaps you’re one of them or know someone in your social circle who you have to spend vast amounts of time convincing to say yes to going out. Either way, there is a reason for their lack of social participation and it’s down to what they tend to focus on.

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People with higher I.Q.s are much more likely to spend less time socializing and more time focusing on a longer term objective. In other words, socializing is taking away their focus from important work or just interrupting their focused flow on a project. Think of the writer who locks himself away to write his novel, or the doctor working on research to cure cancer.

It’s thought that taking away important time to work on these types of higher goals or objectives in their career will make an intelligent person less satisfied with life overall.

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Mismatch In Evolution?

The researchers’ results suggest that our modern brains are still very similar to the brains of our hunter-gather ancestors in terms of social interactions. Back when tribes were very small, getting along with your peers for the sake of your overall happiness, well-being and survival was paramount and explains why we take so much from having a good circle of people to be social with.

However, it’s thought the more highly intelligent among us are better adapted to the challenges of modern life and may find it easier to leave behind our ingrained need to socialize to be happy and adapt to the need to forge ahead on developing modern intellectual theories and concepts.

Despite the results, this isn’t to say intelligent people can’t or won’t enjoy socializing if need be, they just prefer to have more time for themselves to focus more on their thoughts and ideas. After all, happiness is found in many different ways for different people.

Reference

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26847844

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2]Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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