Intelligent People Have Fewer Friends

December 4, 2016

It’s not considered intelligent to have only a few friends. On the contrary, lacking friends puts you in the category of oddball, among the kind of people who don’t like to interact with others. But is there truth in any of this? Is it true that having fewer friends is strange? Actually, some people say that it’s synonymous with intelligence.

This is a revolutionary statement that many people have identified with, while others have opened their eyes in amazement. One study has revealed that intelligent people have far fewer friends, perhaps because they act very different than what we’re used to.

Psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Lee concluded that people who live in places with a high population density feel less happy. This statement makes sense to many people,  but it had never been proven or even studied, it appeared. But now, it’s been illuminated by statistics, which confirm that the legend is true.

Intelligent people and friends

When you think of smart people, you might think of people who get good grades or always have a book in their hands. They prefer to spend their time in the library getting ahead on exercises assigned by the professor. Socialization is not something they need, and in fact, they’re happy in their solitude.

bird flying on book

The study, which was performed by the London School of Economics and Singapore Management University, revealed that people with a high IQ don’t need to interact as much as other people in order to feel good.

On the other hand, people with a much lower IQ did reveal a need to socialize, to spend more time getting to know people. This showed that intelligent people go against the current with respect to the rest of the population. They don’t do what’s considered “normal.” They’re happy without such an active social life.

Most people need to hang out with friends and other people who share their way of thinking regularly in order to be happy.

Participants included 15,000 people between 18 and 28 years old. This is a young age range, where the need for interaction and meeting other people is greater. But despite that, intelligent people didn’t feel as happy when they were socializing as others did. That pleasant sensation of being with other people and meeting new people is not experienced the same by them, which was a very significant result.

The Positive Side to Solitude

Solitude and independence

Many people have serious problems with solitude and emotional dependence. We weren’t raised to live on the margin of everything and everyone. We’re social beings who enjoy good company and even sometimes need this company. But what if you’re happy in your solitude?

The study showed that intelligent people are much more satisfied when they spend time alone. This doesn’t mean that they isolate themselves from the world; of course they interact with people, but only with close and familiar people.

girl surrounded by dandelions

Intelligent people can count their friends on one hand, and if they fail them somehow, they have no problem moving on. They’re prepared to face life without needing any support. In contrast to many people, they don’t leave their happiness in the hands of others.

Intelligent people are in harmony with themselves and socializing is not one of their priorities.

They’re much more independent and enjoy their solitudesomething that is unthinkable for most people. In this respect, the researchers turned to the Savanna theory, which focuses on the evolution of the human brain from the beginning until now.

When the Homo sapiens first walked the Earth, they weren’t separated from everyone else. Instead, they lived together in big, open spaces. There were very few people, and they formed groups in order to protect themselves and survive.

Intelligent people feel as though they’re in those wide and solitary spaces, with few people around them. That’s why they’re prepared to face challenges on their own, without help or support from strangers. They’re sure of themselves and counting on other people who they don’t know could slow them down.

The people who have contributed great inventions to the world weren’t exactly known for their sociability. Maybe their projects and goals made them much happier than interacting with others. Kanazawa, from the London School of Economics, also dropped another bomb: the most intelligent women either don’t have children, or have them later on.

They have a good point if you look around at the world. People with more education, a career, or some other type of training, don’t have kids until they’re over 30 years old. However, most people who end their education after high school already have a family with one or more children.

It seems like being more or less intelligent has a lot to do with dependence and the direction you take in life. According to the study, your level of intelligence can lead you down one path or another.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Solitude