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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 March 22, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity.  We try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as our goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from us.

But what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?  It’s like your favorite food.  The more you have of it doesn’t always mean the better.  On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite of it.  So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

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We should always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

Video Summary

Assuming others are always happy is the biggest misunderstanding of happiness.

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time.  Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales.  On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives (including ourselves).  So it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

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In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life.  Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires, everyone has their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve.  As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time.  During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals.  But I got through them, and weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.   Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop trying to be happy. Just be.

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.  So what can we do?  First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness.  Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect.  It’s from experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing the same trials.  If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize.  If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.  It sounds like a paradox.  What I mean is, accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life.  Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude.  Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment right now, flash back your memory to when you had or didn’t have something.  I like to think about my career, for example.  When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated.  I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me.  But when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful!  This memory keeps me going when there are tough spots.  It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and sadness exist together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments.  Happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories.  But your life will also be filled with rain and storms that don’t ever seem to pass when you’re going through them.

But whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.  Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones.  Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”.  In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements.  Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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