Spending a lot of time alone? Are your friends complaining about you not being around much anymore? Newsflash; there’s nothing wrong with wanting some alone time. Who knows, maybe you’re someone who just prefers to spend time by yourself at home or away from others. Have you exceeded your limit for social gatherings and attending the one that’s been looming for the past month kind of makes you feel ill? If that’s the case, you may be in the minority, but you’re not alone. Research indicates that the happier you are with less social interaction, the higher your I.Q. Interesting….
People at the higher end of the I.Q. spectrum
reported being less satisfied with social
interaction, including just hanging
out with friends.
Wanting More Alone Time Suggests You’re More Intelligent
A study published in The British Journal of Psychology examined how intelligence, population density, and friendship affect contemporary happiness. While the predictable results showed that the more social interaction people have, the happier they feel, it wasn’t true for all people.
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 said that their findings found those with a lower I.Q. had more social interactions with their close friends and reported greater happiness. However, the more intelligent people reported just the opposite. They discovered that “the effect of population density on life satisfaction was determined to be more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-I.Q. individuals.” And curiously enough, “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”
Why Do More Higher I.Q People Prefer Alone Time?
You might wonder why the more intelligent among us shy away from parties and meeting up with friends. Perhaps you’re one of them. Maybe you know someone in your social circle that you have to push hard to convince them to saying yes to going out. There is a reason for their lack of social participation, and it comes down to on what they’re inclined to focus their attention.
People with higher I.Q.s are more willing to spend fewer hours socializing and lots more time focusing on their longer-term goals. In other words, they see socializing as reducing their focus on important work, and at times even interrupting their focus on a project. They don’t want to break the flow. Think of the writer who locks himself away to write his book, or the physicist working hours alone on research to understand the universe.
Here is the real rub for them; when they take time away from their work to socialize, they grow dissatisfied with life overall. Their goal has become their life.
Incongruity in Development
With respect to social relations, researchers’ think that our modern brains are very similar (if not exactly the same) to the brains of our early ancestors. At a time when human groups were tiny, getting along with your group or tribe, for the sake of your overall happiness, well-being, and survival of everyone was paramount. It begins to explain why it is so important to most people to have a good social circle of people surrounding us.
They see socializing as reducing
their focus on important
work, and at times even
interrupting their focus on a project.
However, it has been postulated that the more intelligent among us are better adapted to the challenges of contemporary living. It’s just easier for them. The result of that ease is that they have learned to leave behind that deep-rooted need to socialize to be safe and happy. In this they have adapted to ignoring those needs and are willing to blaze their own trail to achieve their own personal and professional goals.
Despite these results, however, I am not suggesting that intelligent people can’t or won’t enjoy socializing at the specific time and with the specific people of their choice. They simply prefer to have more time for themselves to focus—undistracted—on their thoughts and ideas. After all, happiness means different things to different people. And in the final analysis, isn’t the goal to be happy?
SEE A LIFE COACH IN BATON ROUGE
Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.