Everybody is circulating this report that finds “smart people” need more time alone. As if it is news. Surely this is self-evident?
And the study itself seems clueless as to why this might be: “Smarter people can more easily adapt to their surroundings in the modern world, so they don’t need close relationships to help them with food and shelter, like our ancestors did.”
That is just stupid.
The real reason is only too obvious.
Have you ever spent a lot of time around children? In large groups? Didn’t you find it exhausting?
Now imagine those children are, on average, as big and strong as you are. Now imagine that many or most of them have a chip on their shoulder against you, because you “think you’re smarter than they are.” One of them is almost inevitably your boss.
That is about what spending time with others, especially in groups, necessarily means to the especially intelligent.
No doubt they would love and cherish the sort of friendships the rest of us are able to have. This is not available, except rarely,
Moreover, instead of sympathy, they commonly get tarred with the obscene canard of “lacking emotional intelligence.” It is all supposed to be their fault for being “anti-social” or “inept at social situations.”
Let us be very clear: there is no such thing as “emotional intelligence.” Intelligence is intelligence, and it applies in interpersonal relationships just as any other situation. A highly intelligent person is also going to be unusually perceptive about social relations, and about the feelings of others.
And he or she has to be.