When people think of intelligence, one of the biggest stereotypes that will come up is that smart people tend to be loners. While not every intelligent person is like this, in fact many are very popular, there is some truth to this. Intelligent brains operate differently, so to understand this better, in this article, we will be exploring why intelligent people are more lonely.
They Don’t Fit In
Having a high level of intelligence can make someone an outcast. Intelligent people are often wrapped up in their inner world, which can look as if they are detached and aloof. They often have ideas that are beyond the interest of their peers and find it difficult to reach common ground, making them more awkward in conversation. The things they say and do are “weird” and “far-out” that to others may just seem wrong.
They Feel Misunderstood
Intelligent people often have more needs than their peers whether it’s personally, academically, or socially, intelligent people often need an extra challenge. They are more emotional, need more stimulation, and are constantly pondering the world around them. While this makes them stand out, it also is a gateway for a lot of misunderstanding. They have needs beyond what is normally expected out of someone which can be off-putting to others. They may actually suffer from poor grades in school as the work isn’t stimulating enough, which can bring about all sorts of labels. In other scenarios they may be perceived as cold or intimidating even though that’s far from who they are.
Connecting With Others Is Difficult
Having a high level of intelligence, no matter the form, can make it difficult to form connections around others. Intelligent people may find that others are not interested in what they have to say, and that, conversely, it’s hard to find interest in what others talk about. Intelligent people often crave conversations that are deeper and with more substance that can be difficult to get out of people. They may not get the same out of gossip as they would talking about philosophical ideas, art, or something they are passionate about.
High Levels of Empathy
People with high intelligence often have a great deal of empathy towards others. Sometimes so much so that it becomes problematic. Things like world news can bring them down, even if the problem doesn’t affect them directly. Tragedies in the world can hurt them, and similarly problems with other people can impact their wellbeing as well. Having a high level of empathy makes it difficult when dealing with people and their issues, so people like this often will need more time to themselves. While an intelligent person may seem cold and distant, really they feel so much that they need time to themselves. Too much self-isolation can lead to loneliness along with the stigma that their recharge time makes them appear cold.
Their Brains Work Differently
As a whole, people who are highly intelligent think differently from the people around them. While this can make it hard to fit in and can be easy to misunderstand, there’s more to it. Highly intelligent people’s brains operate differently. Being able to process and form ideas at a high speed is unusual and can cause a person to act in odd ways. They may ramble on about ideas that seem nonsensical and are so complex that it’s difficult for the other person to comprehend or even understand where the ideas come from. What makes sense to them can be hard to explain to other people and they may inadvertently offend someone when they did not mean to. Overall, having a different mind will drastically affect how they view the world and how the world views them.
Intelligent people have different brains which require different needs. While it may be hard to build connections, it’s not impossible. Finding groups of people that share similar interests may be difficult, but rewarding. We hope you were able to find this article informative. What have you learned about this topic? Do you have any more to add? Let us know in the comment section.
- Deaton, E. (2022). Intellectual Loneliness: Despite High IQ Or EQ You Still Feel Alone. The Roots Of Loneliness Project. https://www.rootsofloneliness.com/intellectual-loneliness
- Mahony, S. (2022, February 14). Intelligent but. . .lonely. Sue Mahony, Ph.D | 1:1 Support for Highly Intelligent, Highly Sensitive, and Neurodivergent People. https://suemahony.com/intelligent-but-lonely/
- Sabater, V. (2022, February 21). Being Extremely Intelligent: The Dark Side We Don’t Talk About. Exploring Your Mind. https://exploringyourmind.com/extremely-intelligent-dark-side-we-dont-talk-about/
- The School of Life. (2017, September 17). Are Intelligent People More Lonely? https://www.theschooloflife.com/article/are-intelligent-people-more-lonely/