Seeking intelligent friend

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Scientists have a pretty good idea about what makes people happy.

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Exercise is known to reduce anxiety and help you relax. Reducing social media use will improve your emotional wellbeing. Being in nature brings us joy. Friends will make you happier.

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This quite surprising claim is backed up by research. In a paper published in the British Journal of PsychologyNorman Li and Satoshi Kanazawa explain why highly intelligent people experience lower life satisfaction when they socialize more frequently with their friends.

They based their findings in evolutionary psychology, suggesting that intelligence evolved as a quality for solving unique challenges. The more intelligent members of a group were more able to solve problems on their own without needing help from their friends.

Therefore, less intelligent people were happier to be with friends as it helped them to solve challenges. But more intelligent people were happier being alone as they could solve challenges on their own. The researchers came to their conclusion after analyzing survey responses from 15, people between the ages of 18 and They got their data as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a survey that measures life satisfaction, intelligence, and health. It refers to the concept that our brains did most of their biological evolution while humans were living in the savannas.

Back then, hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans lived in sparse, rural environments where it was uncommon to meet strangers. The theory comes from evolutionary psychology and argues that the human brain was largely deed by and adapted to the conditions of the environment before we created an agricultural-based society. Therefore, the researchers argue, our brains are not well suited to comprehending and responding to the unique conditions of modern-day society.

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In simple terms, evolutionary psychology assumes that our bodies and brains have evolved to be hunter-gatherers. According to the researchers, in the modern era many people live in places of a higher population density than our ancestors did. We also spend far less time with our friends than our ancestors did.

Therefore, because our brains have evolved to be best suited to the way life was as hunter-gatherers, most people these days would be happier by living in a way that is more natural to them: be around fewer people and spend more time with friends. No longer were humans rarely interacting with strangers.

Instead, humans were interacting with unknown humans constantly. This is a high-stress environment. Urban areas are still shown to be far more stressful for living than rural environments. Highly intelligent people, therefore, use solitude as a way to reset themselves after socializing in highly stressful urban environments. Gifted, or highly intelligent, is a classification aroundwhich is 2 standard deviations from the mean. So, if you put a highly intelligent person IQ in a room with 49 other people, the odds are that the highly intelligent person will be the smartest person in the room.

This can be a profoundly lonely experience. Evolutionary psychologists believe intelligence evolved as a psychological trait to solve new problems. For our ancestors, frequent contact with friends was a necessity that helped them to ensure survival. Being highly intelligent, however, meant that an individual was uniquely able to solve challenges without needing the help of someone else. This diminished the importance of friendships to them.

Therefore, a of someone being highly intelligent is being able to solve challenges without the help of the group. Historically, humans have lived in groups of around ; the usual Neolithic village was about this size. Densely populated urban cities, on the other hand, are believed to bring out isolation and depression because they make it difficult to foster close relationships.

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Yet, a busy and alienating place has less of a negative impact on more intelligent people. This may explain why highly ambitious people gravitate from rural areas to the cities. As the researchers concluded :. More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.

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One of the key takeaways from the research may be to apply this to the loners in your life. They may just be highly intelligent and able to solve challenges on their own. So, are intelligence and loneliness related? Are intelligent people more lonely than average folks? These anxieties plagued high-IQ individuals more frequently throughout the day, meaning that they were ruminating on anxieties quite constantly. This intense anxiety can cause social isolation, meaning that higher-IQ individuals might also be loners as a symptom of their anxiety.

Or, their isolation might be a way to manage their anxiety. It might be that social situations are simply causing them anxiety in the first place. Typically, human beings work well in groups by using their collective strengths to balance out individual weaknesses.

For smart people, being in a group can slow them down. I, therefore, concluded — after reading this research — that I like to be alone because I may be highly intelligent. But then I came across this brilliant quote by Carl Jung, and it helped me to understand my loneliness in a different way:. Carl Jung transformed was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Have you ever noticed that you feel envious when you browse Facebook? This is common according to research because most people only share the best of their lives or their desired personality.

Social media can be just as powerful in connecting others meaningfully. It just depends on how you use it. Immense life satisfaction comes from finding like-minded people in your life. People who you can truly express yourself to. The research study on the savanna theory of happiness is truly interesting for surfacing the idea that highly intelligent people prefer to be alone as a way to navigate stressful urban environments.

Their intelligence, therefore, allows them to solve challenges on their own that those in rural environments would need to tackle as a group. The research should be interpreted more broadly, not as a statement as truth but as an interesting exercise in thinking about who you are and comparing life in modern-day society with what it may have been like for our ancestors. I hope you are able to find people you can truly express yourself to. I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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A research study suggests that highly intelligent people like to be alone. And, for most people, being around friends makes us feel content.

Seeking intelligent friend

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