Some people thrive in the absence of others- but what does science say about these brilliant minds?
In terms of our personalities and how we approach others, we are often placed in one of two categories: Introvert or Extrovert, but is it possible to be a little bit of both? Have you ever wondered what qualities specifically make up each and what they indicate?
In this article we reveal what it means to be one of those brilliant people who loves to spend time alone, and how it reflects in the personality.
One survey, conducted by the British Journal of Psychology examined 15,000 people who were 18-28 years old. The results were very consistent. Each respondent explained that they like spending time with people. So what impact does intelligence have? One researcher explains: intelligent people just don’t choose to be social, they’re more interested in achieving “long term goals.”
“More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends.”
While most people are happier when they’re surrounded by friends, it appears intelligent minds are happier when they’re not.
We can be alone in a multitude of ways, not just by the exclusion of friends. However, it seems that while those with higher intelligence do excel without social constructs in the way, truly being “alone” is rather difficult in modern times.
Even though many great thinkers have championed the intellectual and spiritual benefits of solitude–Lao Tzu, Moses, Nietzsche, Emerson, Woolf (“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table”)– many modern humans seem hell-bent on avoiding it. “Every time we have a chance to go running we plug in our headphones. Every time we sit in the car we listen to the radio,” notes Matthew Bowker, a psychoanalytic political theorist at Medaille College who has researched solitude. “I mean, my students today tell me they can’t go to the bathroom without their phone on.”
This is not to say that true solitude necessarily requires an absence of stimuli. Rather, “the value of solitude depends on whether an individual can find an interior solitude” within themselves, says Bowker. Everyone is different in that regard: “Some people can go for a walk or listen to music and feel that they are deeply in touch with themselves. Others cannot.”
So now that we know there are various levels to being alone, or finding solitude, we can look further into how this impacts intelligent minds.
They are some of the most loyal people you will ever meet.
Instead of going to clubs or parties every night of the week, these people seek out meaningful and trustworthy friends who they feel comfortable to welcome into their space and share details of their life with. It boils down to immediate gratification for some people, and individuals who prefer to be alone aren’t interested in such things.
If you have a friend who likes to spend time alone, you can guarantee that this person will be there for you through thick and thin.
They understand the importance of both your time, and theirs.
You’ll notice a word that keeps coming up in each point. The word is ‘time’. People who spend time alone understand and appreciate it’s value. They put a high priority on making that time available in order for them to function at their highest level and best self; so, when you are giving of your time they understand what you’ve given up for them. They have a deep sense of making sure not to waste your time or to spend time with people who are wasting theirs.
They practice self-care and enact boundaries where needed.
All of that time alone gives these people the space to think about what motivates them, what works and what doesn’t, and how to properly communicate this. You’ll find that they have strong and healthy boundaries and they exercise their right to communicate these in a really healthy and clear manner.
What we all need to remember during this, is that not everyone defines intelligence or smartness in the same way. One person might have more spatial cognitive abilities, and another might have an easier comprehension of internal rationalization. There are many different types of intelligence.
If you are the type of person who enjoys socializing and spending time with friends, it doesn’t mean you’re not an intelligent person- these studies referenced are the first study of their kind, and we believe more research needs to be done.
With that said, if you find yourself smiling while learning a new skill, or working towards your goals, you may not be a loner, or even antisocial, you might just be more intelligent than the average person.