Science says people who socialize more tend to be happier. Makes sense: Relationships, friendships, connections, spending time with people we enjoy... all of that makes us happier.

But that's not completely true if you're highly intelligent. If that's the case, socializing with friends will actually not increase your level of satisfaction with your life.

Here's why. When researchers followed people between 18 and 28 years old, they found the more most of the people socialized, the happier they were.

But not the subset of people in the study who were highly intelligent: The more they socialized, the less happy they were.

Why? Researchers ventured several explanations.

One theory is evolutionary: Greater intelligence lets smart people more easily adapt to a modern world where the benefits of staying in close contact with a social group for food, shelter, protection, etc., are no longer as important.

Another theory was aspirational: The smarter you are, the more focused you will be on longer-term goals -- which means spending time with friends can be distracting instead of helpful.

In short, if you're hanging out with people, you aren't getting stuff done.

Of course, this is just one study. It may be only directionally accurate.

And the relationship between intelligence and the desire for "alone time" doesn't necessarily work in reverse.

I'm a prime example: I like time alone... but I'm not particularly bright.

But in your case, if you like to spend time alone working on a project, learning something new, developing your business plan, or grinding away on the things you need to do achieve your goals, don't assume you're a loner.

And definitely don't assume you're antisocial.

There could be a much better answer: You might just be smarter than the rest of us.

Published on: Mar 29, 2019
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