Have you ever dreamed of being a hermit? Would you rather live in a country cabin, rather than a bustling city? Would you rather stick your nose in a book than throw your hands in the air? Do you hide when someone rings the doorbell unexpectedly? If this sounds like, there is good news. You are not antisocial. In fact, you could be a genius. According to studies, smart people choose to be less social for these reasons.
According to one study, people who are highly intelligent tend to associate with fewer people and seek social interaction less often. Interestingly, their life satisfaction increases when they choose to live by this strategy.
Smart people choose to be less sociable for these reasons
According to lead researchers Satoshi Kanazawa and Norman Li, for those seeking happiness, the “hermit in the forest” strategy might be the way to go, especially for people who are highly intelligent .
Through extensive research, these evolutionary psychologists were able to determine that human beings are happier living in less densely populated areas. They also found that happiness increases when a higher percentage of our social interactions are with our loved ones, as opposed to strangers, occasional friends, or acquaintances.
Having more life projects is a reason
Unsurprisingly, study participants reported a higher level of happiness when they had more frequent social interaction, except for one group. For smarter people, this effect not only diminished, it was actively reversed.
In fact, as the researchers explained, “smarter people experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.”
Carol Graham, who studies the economics of happiness, examined this effect in a Washington Post article . “The findings suggest (and not surprisingly) that those with more intelligence and the ability to use it are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other, longer-term goal.”
In other words, that nerd who says he has better things to do than hang out with friends is really right.
Smart people may be evolving beyond the need for social interaction
When interpreting the results of this study, evolutionary psychologists found great importance in this dynamic in relation to the “Savannah Theory.” This theory proposes that we find happiness in the same things that would have made our ancestors happy.
In the savannah, the population density would have been low, and interpersonal interaction would have been incredibly important for survival.
The results of this study, while ultimately supporting this theory, suggest that more intelligent human beings may be evolving beyond the need for very frequent social interaction.
Instead, they are beginning to favor activities that promote our advancement in the modern world, which tend to be more intellectually and economically based. We need less interaction than our ancestors, so more evolved human beings have stopped prioritizing it.
So the next time you choose to stay home instead of going to the club, don’t feel weird. Feel smart. You are an evolutionary breaker.
What do you think?