9 reasons highly intelligent people are usually lonely, according to psychology

Being alone is a good thing. It teaches you independence and self-awareness. But you can always have too much of a good thing.

Sadly, the smarter you are, the more likely you are to be alone in your life and feel lonely because of it.

Why? Psychology helps us explain, with these 9 reasons why highly intelligent people are usually lonely.

Up first:

1) You feel misunderstood by your peers

Feeling misunderstood by the people around you is a common factor in smart people’s lives. Why? Because the smarter you are, the harder it can be to build genuine connections with others.

You see and understand the world differently, so it’s hard to find someone who truly gets you – and you get them in return!

This is especially true when it comes to people your own age. When your maturity levels are so much higher than everyone else’s, you struggle.

In honesty, so do they! They struggle to get you, too.

It’s why you only really connect with people who are older than you or live somewhere different. And why you feel quite lonely most of the time…

2) You feel “different” from most people

And it’s because you ARE different! An average IQ is around 100 points. An intelligent person has around 130 points or above.

The majority of the population (98%) has an IQ below 130. That means only 2% of people in the world share the same IQ as you!

When you look at it this way, it makes sense why you feel so different – because you are! You struggle to feel included in your community because your community sees things differently to you.

Even though you may have good friends, you know they don’t think the way you do. It’s that feeling that makes your loneliness pang from time to time…

3) You’re hyper-aware of your flaws

Emotional intelligence and IQ intelligence don’t always go hand in hand. You can be book smart and not street smart at all!

But generally, they do go hand in hand. Which means you, as an individual, understand yourself more than anyone. You know exactly who you are and why you do certain things.

There’s a lot of positives to this. It makes it easier to handle conflict, reflect on your behavior, genuinely apologize to people you hurt, and follow your dreams.

But it also makes you hyper-aware of your flaws – and it’s this kind of self-awareness that can cause anxiety, insecurity, and just a ton of self-doubt.

Socializing can be hard for you because of this. You know what you’re doing and saying wrong, so you get nervous or overly anxious during and after the event.

These worries and insecurities, especially when it comes to socializing with others, can make you feel pretty lonely…

4) You can be intimidating to some people

It isn’t your fault, but some people find your intelligence intimidating. Even when you try to make friends, people simply don’t want to be friends with you.

You might find it easy to understand them and feel included in their company. But they aren’t so secure in YOUR company. Your knowledge is a threat to them, and they don’t understand you at all. In fact, they feel intimidated by you!

When someone feels this way about you, they might not be very kind. They might be rude, undermining, patronizing, or just downright mean.

I’m a firm believer that if people don’t like you, they aren’t your people – and your crowd is out there somewhere!

But with only 2% of the population sharing your level of IQ, it can be really hard to find your crowd. Which also means, it can be really, really hard to make friends…

5) You find it hard to trust others

People are capable of all kinds of nasty things, like manipulation, gaslighting, guilt-tripping, cruelty, the list goes on…

Of course, they’re also capable of really great, loving, caring, kind, and thoughtful things! But it’s human nature to focus on the bad, isn’t it?

Research suggests this is an evolutionary response. We need to remember the bad that happens to us and others so we can avoid it in the future and stay alive.

In the modern world, we remember the negative things to protect ourselves from the biggest form of harm we know – emotional pain.

Unfortunately, in a world where the news is at our fingertips, this can lead to trust issues that get severely out of hand – especially when you’re smart and have high emotional intelligence.

Reading something bad that happened to a complete stranger can create a fear that it’ll happen to YOU, too.

Plus, because you understand people, you understand what causes someone to snap out of control and act cruelly. Which leads you to an inevitable lack of trust in the good in others…

6) You don’t enjoy gossiping

Everyone loves to gossip, right? In general, yes. But when you have a high IQ and a mature mind, no, not really.

There’s a great saying that goes something like: “Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas”. Which basically alludes to: smart people don’t gossip!

Yet gossiping is an easy way to connect with others and make friends.

At work, school, or college, talking about other people is a common occurrence. When you get involved in the chitter-chatter, you have something to talk to other people about. It can help you make friends and connect with people.

When you don’t get involved or even want to, it’s a lot harder. Some people won’t know what to say to you if they know you don’t gossip. They may even think you’re “stuck up” or “boring” because you don’t want to discuss other people’s lives…

7) You don’t need external validation

Smart people tend to be very good at self-regulation. A study on children evidenced that the higher your IQ is, even as a child, the easier it is to self-motivate and manage your emotions.

So smart people don’t “need” others all that often. Rarely would they ever open up to a friend about a troubling situation or a big decision. Why? Because they can make the decision themselves – without validation from others.

This is a great thing for you sometimes, but not always. It isn’t so good for the people around you, either. When you don’t open up to people, they might not feel like they really know you. YOU might not feel like they really know you, either.

It’s why you might feel disconnected from people sometimes. You don’t think you need to talk to them about your life, so you don’t. But because of this, you miss out on forming genuine emotional connections with the people in your life.

8) You prefer time alone

It’s true that intelligent people tend to prefer their own company. Two main reasons exist for this.

Firstly, like we said above, they don’t need validation from others. They’re happy to do things by themselves and they don’t need someone supporting them to do it.

Secondly, because their mind is so “switched on”, they can stay in there for hours. They don’t need another person to talk to for entertainment. Their own brain is the entertainment!

Doing things alone all the time is usually nice for them. Yet sometimes, they realize that it’d be nice to have a bit of company.

But they only realize this when they’re already out by themselves, when it’s too late to find someone to accompany them. And that makes them feel quite lonely…

9) You have “unusual” hobbies and interests

No hobby is “unusual”. It might just be a little uncommon, especially for who you are! Like if you’re quite young, it might be rare to find someone your age who likes going to book clubs, birdwatching, or growing vegetables at home.

There’s nothing wrong with these hobbies, of course. They might just be less common!

But even so, when you don’t have friends or anyone in your life who shares your interests, it can feel quite lonely.

Even though you might want company birdwatching at the park, no one wants to join you. So you have no choice but to go by yourself and feel a little down about it…

Final thoughts

Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. The more you know, the less it can serve you. It’s why smart people often feel the pang of loneliness more than others do!

But even so, there are a lot of benefits to being the way you are. You’re you, and there’s so much good about that.

Besides, like I mentioned earlier, I really do believe that there are always people like you who are out there!

If there isn’t anyone in your school or current friendship group who likes comic books, that doesn’t mean no one in the world likes comic books. The same goes for any of your hobbies and interests.

You just haven’t found your people yet, and you might need to start putting yourself out there more to find them!

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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