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Why Don’t Smart People Have Friends?


In every situation, be it real-life or real-life, we see a certain category of people either bullied or just left alone. These people eat alone, work alone, basically do everything alone. And in most cases, it’s the nerds (in schools and colleges), and the extremely talented people (hackers, artists, etc).

If you are familiar with the TV show “The Big Bang Theory”, then you know what I am talking about. The main character Sheldon has a god-gifted brain with an uncanny ability to solve mind-boggling nuclear physics equations. He is funny, sarcastic and smart enough to be a mini Einstein, but the only person he is close to is his mother and his housemate Leonard. Others just fail to make head or tail of him and prefer to avoid him.

Even in real life, we may have noticed that the smartest people are never social climbers. They will be civil to everyone, and may not be socially awkward either, yet they don’t have a horde of people they can call “friends”. These people are the ones who never show up in parties, or don’t have a big group of BFFs, and don’t go out for drinks at night.

If you are an Indian, Aamir Khan is another famous example for you. He is funny, he is outgoing and he is very sensible and smart. Who wouldn’t want him around? But he is well-known from his absence in all the award functions and B-town parties thrown by his peers. The question here is, why?

Man is a Social Animal

It is a well-known fact that man is a social animal. Humans THRIVE on mutual relationships with other people. We need human interaction to live a sane life. However much we may boast about our independence to others, we are actually dependent on other humans. It is proved in my previous sentence also because even to boast, you actually need a human to listen.

For any human being, life becomes really difficult if they don’t have any contact with another human being. Nobody wants to be stranded alone on an island like Robinson Crusoe. And you may brag that you can live off Internet and food alone, but these hypothetical situations won’t come true. If they do, you know you will cry for your mom too.

Does this mean that smart people aren’t humans?

Some people may actually agree with me here (haha!) But, no. Smart people are as human as the normal ones. It’s just a matter of how someone’s brain works.

When I say that smart people don’t have friends, it does not mean that they don’t interact with the other humans at all. They just have a very limited circle of people that they are really close to and open up to.

Researchers say that smart people tend to keep to themselves and prefer observing their surroundings than actually being part of them. If you think about it, it does make sense.

Not many smart people are extroverts. Only a meager 10% of the smarter humans are extroverts, and even then they do not have a very big social circle.

10 Reasons Why

If we try to actually sit down and analyze what’s the real reason of their relative reservedness we will find a lot of theories that make sense. Here are just a few of them-

1. They are good listeners

Smart people are very analytical in any kind of setting. So rather than being a part of the conversation, they prefer to listen and observe the behaviors of others around them. It is part of their intuitive and deductive nature, where they observe and derive their own theories about their world. After all, their logical reasoning and exceptional observational skills are what makes them smart. But when they don’t take part in a conversation, people just assume they are disinterested (or boring) and tend to leave them alone. Hence, fewer friends.

2. They spend more time on skill-building

To smart people, social interactions are frivolous. They are just a waste of time when they’d rather be reading a good book or practicing a new skill. Smart people like to engage in activities that help them gain more knowledge and intellect. Skill building is far more interesting than building a social circle. Hence, they don’t seek out social interaction and have a smaller group of “friends”.

3. They value deep bonds more

Smart people are not social climbers. They do not care about the “we go clubbing every weekend” friends. Intelligent people know that these aren’t real friends and won’t come to their rescue if they get into trouble. This is why they tend to stay away from frivolous, short-term friendships and value deep, long-lasting bonds instead. Because of this trait, they may seem anti-social or arrogant, but they’re really just selective and seek deep-rooted friendships over others.

4. They interact with like-minded people

Like minded people are always attracted toward each other. People enjoy being friends with people whose brains are on the same wavelength as they are. Smart people have higher IQs, and their brain wavelengths don’t match with others’. So these people prefer the company of other smart people who can understand the musings of their active brain cells. They enjoy intelligent conversations about the world around them and would rather indulge in insightful conversations than petty gossip.


5. They’d rather be lost in their own world

Smart people have their own vision of the world, and they’re fascinated by it. They love to daydream about their theories of everything. When they aren’t daydreaming they are working to expand their skill-set. Among all this, they hardly find the time to socialize with other people or go to parties. They are way happier doing their own thing and getting lost in their world of whatever smart people daydream about.

6. They don’t try hard

Like I mentioned above, these people are way more interested in doing “smart” stuff than indulging in petty trivia. They don’t try hard to make others like them. Smart people are smart enough to know their own worth and don’t needother people’s approval. Sadly, many friendships are built on the foundation of how much effort you are putting in to make the other person like you.This is something smart people refrain from doing, or just don’t think of doing. Hence, fewer friends.

7. Others don’t understand them

Where smart people like to talk to like-minded people who can have intelligent conversations with them, the same applies to the “social butterflies” as well. Social butterflies would rather indulge in gossip and how many Instagram followers they have. The less smart people don’t match up to the IQs of smart people, so they don’t understand them. This is why they don’t approach smart people and tend to leave them alone with their ruminations.

8. They easily adapt

Smart people are observant and intuitive, this helps them easily adapt to their surroundings. They figure out very easily what is going to help make life easier, so they don’t have trouble. Others, however, have more trouble and hence need support. This is where friends come in. Smart people don’t feel the need to retain friends (unless they are close), because they don’t need them to settle in. They are also relatively more comfortable out of their comfort zone, which is why they don’t retain old acquaintances and superficial friends.  

9. They are more independent than most

This point is just a rephrase of the point above. Smart people don’t need people. They are self-sufficient, smart enough to overcome obstacles, and they know their own worth. These people take everything as a challenge they have to overcome on their own and this makes them independent. Friendships also mean dependency to a certain extent. The dependency may stem from the need for approval, appreciation or just manual help. Smart people lack this dependency, hence they have fewer friends.

10. They don’t suffer from FOMO

FOMO-Fear Of Missing Out. On what? For social people- it is missing out on the latest gossip, not attending social events, or not having enough pictures for social media. But for the smart gang, it is missing out on reading a good book, or not being able to practice a skill, or having a creative block. The two definitions are poles apart, and so are the two categories of people. The former definition is society’s definition of FOMO, which the smart people clearly don’t suffer from. There, you have your answer!

So if you have often caught yourself thinking why you don’t have as many friends as that girl next door, read through the above list. If you fit the description, maybe you are just too smart for the world to really appreciate who you are. And for that, kudos to you!

Shubhi Srivastava
Shubhi Srivastava
A pen is my mightiest sword.


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