Have you ever wondered why you have no friends? Okay, maybe you have some friends, but how many? One? Two? Three?! Personally, most of my friends are spread all over the country at this point, from California to Tennessee, meaning I only really have one best friend.
Which isn’t a bad thing apparently. A recent study found that people who would rather spend their time alone than with friends are smarter than their more socially active peers.
Satoshia Kanazawa and Norma Li, evolutionary psychologists in the United Kingdom, recently discovered the genius of loners. Data from their study showed that most people’s happiness was positively correlated to decreases in population density, but that “extremely intelligent” people are happier when not spending time with friends and loved ones.
Ann Clarkson, communications manager from the UK division of Mensa, wasn’t entirely convinced, noting that “you can have gregarious people with high IQ as well as introverted people with high IQ.”
But went on to say that “it is also recognized that very intelligent people can sometimes feel isolated from those around them just because they think and see the world differently. Finding someone else who processes information as you do can be difficult if your brain works the same as only two percent of the population.”
Other arguments for why highly intelligent people tend to have less friends include them feeling more likely to be brought down by their peers, like when one student would rather work alone than with a group. Smart people tend to handle challenges better by themselves than with a group, making relationships less vital to their success and achievements.
However, Dr. Robert Sternberg, professor of human development at Cornell University, says that “highly intelligent people are the ones most in need of friends because their high (academic) intelligence does not always translate to high social/emotional/practical intelligence.”