10 reasons highly intelligent people prefer to be alone

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Have you ever wondered why highly intelligent people prefer to be alone?

Some might be labeled as antisocial, weirdos, or loners. Perhaps you’re even one of them. 

But there are actually 10 good reasons why people with high intelligence tend to enjoy their own company.

Let’s go through what they are. 

1) It stimulates them intellectually

Highly intelligent people love to explore complex ideas, dive into thought provoking topics, or immerse themselves into their endeavors.

Imagine trying to do this at a party, or any busy location where people can distract you. 

It seems downright impossible, right?

This is the first reason why highly intelligent people prefer to be alone. Solitude gives them the quiet space they need to indulge in their intellectual pursuits.

They can fully engage their minds without disturbances breaking their flow, and they allow their intellectual curiosity to flourish. 

For example, you can be sure that Einstein didn’t come up with his groundbreaking ideas while having small talk. 

Rather, he retreated to his study to unlock the secrets of the universe. 

2) It lets them reflect deeply

When you think of a highly intelligent person, what do you imagine?

Most likely, someone in the midst of deep reflection, whether it’s staring off into space or hunched over complicated math equations. 

(Personally, I think of that statue of the thinking philosopher with his chin in one hand). 

When you imagine this, you probably imagine them tucked away somewhere on their own, rather than surrounded by a bunch of people.

And if you’ve ever tried to think hard about something in a crowded and loud place (whether it’s a problem in your life, or analyzing your own thoughts) — you’ll understand why.

Having a lot of noise and movement around you disrupts thought patterns and makes it hard to stay engaged in complex ideas.

On the other hand, being alone gives you the perfect environment to sink deep into your thoughts or embark on an introspective journey

3) It supports their autonomy and independence 

Highly intelligent people value their autonomy and independence. 

They don’t need to rely on anyone else, because they have confidence that they can find solutions to all their problems and reach their goals on their own.

This is another big reason why they prefer to be alone.

It allows them to have complete control over their environment, schedule, and activities, without answering to anyone else.

As a result, they have full control over their personal growth and productivity, being able to decide what they spend their time on and how. 

They build a strong sense of empowerment and self-determination, which helps them further their own goals. 

If you’ve ever worked in an office where you had to adapt to the expectations of your boss or coworkers, you’ll understand this point very well.

That’s also why companies that allow their employees more freedom tend to perform much better — it gives free rein to highly intelligent individuals. 

4) It helps them focus fully

High intelligence goes hand in hand with several other traits: curiosity, adaptability, and ability to focus.

You carry these traits with you always, but to properly tap into them you do need the right environment — particularly for focus.

Being alone eliminates interruptions or distractions, whether it’s a colleague asking you for help with something, someone talking loudly on the phone next to you in a cafe, or even papers rustling in the library. 

You can think about what to have for dinner anywhere, but complex ideas that highly intelligent people tackle take a state of deep flow.

5) It helps them mentally recharge 

If you’re a highly intelligent person, you’ll know how much energy constantly thinking about something can take.

If you keep at it for too long, you’ll end up feeling drained to the point of exhaustion. 

So highly intelligent people need to retreat to a place where they’re alone in order to recharge

And since they engage their brain so often, they also need to recharge quite often. This isn’t something you can do just one afternoon per month. 

Others may not understand this need, and assume they’re being lazy or wasting time. But highly intelligent people know how crucial rest is in order to use their full potential.

It helps you replenish your cognitive resources and maintain your overall wellbeing, so that you can continue to think at your best. 

6) They value deeper connections

When it comes to relationships, highly intelligent people prioritize quality over quantity.

They cherish the opportunity to build deep, meaningful connections with others. But these can be a bit hard to come by — you don’t connect like that with just anyone. 

Rather than compensating with surface-level connections, highly intelligent people prefer to spend time alone.

Having small talk with acquaintances or chatting about superficial topics doesn’t interest them very much. 

They’d rather save their energy for the bonds that they can build up, and the people that really matter to them. 

They don’t hang out with people just because they’re afraid to be alone. On the contrary — they’re confident walking into a restaurant, going to a concert, or even hanging out at the beach on their own. 

After all, the deepest bond you can develop is the one you have with yourself. 

7) High sensitivity to external stimuli 

We’re almost constantly surrounded by external stimuli — sounds, smells, feelings, and movements in our environment. 

Spending time alone can be a way to manage and reduce the overwhelming sensory input. This is especially important to highly intelligent people, as they are often particularly sensitive to these stimuli.

I have a friend who is exactly like this. She is a super bright young woman, and comes up with fantastic ideas both in terms of her job as well as helping her friends with their problems. 

I invited her to come with me to a few events, and I noticed that she seemed to be more reserved when surrounded by many people.

Over time, I realized that this was a protective mechanism of her body, which felt overwhelmed by too much happening in her environment. 

She was often drawn to other people who seemed to be more quiet or stood alone at these events, and I would find her later with them tucked away in a quiet corner engaged in a deep conversation.

8) They stay free from social expectations

In a world filled with societal norms and expectations, highly intelligent people sometimes yearn for freedom from these pressures.

Sometimes this pressure is explicitly stated, such as your boss giving you instructions. Sometimes it is implied, like your partner expecting you to act a certain way at a family dinner. 

No matter how it happens, it is usually present in one way or another. 

Highly intelligent people of course understand that they don’t have to change who they are for anyone else. But, they also understand the importance of thinking about others and following certain norms. 

When this becomes too much, being alone grants you space to be your authentic selves. You don’t need to conform to social standards or perform for others. 

You become free to explore your interests, express your thoughts, and act on your own terms, without disappointing anyone else. 

9) They are emotionally self-sufficient

Do you know anyone who seems like they need to lean on others to feel centered and fulfilled?

Highly intelligent people are the opposite. They have a strong sense of emotional self-sufficiency, and navigate their inner worlds with ease.

They don’t need to feel admiration or love from anyone else — although they still value it, of course. But they can also tap into it from within. 

This is thanks to the deep understanding they develop of themselves, and the work they do to gain clarity and emotional balance

They appreciate solitude as an environment to process their feelings. 

10) It helps them grow as a person

For highly intelligent people, personal growth is a lifelong endeavor. There is never a finish line where they say, “I am complete now — I have nothing left to learn.”

Even when they reach expert level in a skill, they continue to remain curious and humble, seeking out others to learn from.

To adopt this approach, you need to do a lot of self-reflection. Both on your mistakes so you can learn from them, and also on your successes so you can understand what you did right. 

By spending time alone, intelligent people can assess their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and pave the right path towards personal development. 

Of course, they are also open to and value input from other people. But they know that first and foremost, growth always comes from within. 

Final thoughts

Are you someone who’s considered highly intelligent, and likes to be alone?

Now you know 10 reasons for this correlation — and it has nothing to do with being a loner or an outcast.

In fact, enjoying your own company only helps support your intelligence and tap into it, so you can reach your full potential. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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