Why intelligent people can’t find happiness
There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at whatever it is one spends one’s days doing, and having the freedom to make life decisions independently.
But research into happiness has also yielded something a little less obvious: Being better educated, richer, or more accomplished doesn’t do much to predict whether someone will be happy. In fact, it might mean someone is less likely to be satisfied with life.
Here are five most likely reasons why happiness seems to elude highly intelligent people:
1. Intelligent people have high standards: Having standards is a good thing. It can help you stay on a positive path to happiness and success. Setting standards that are too high however, can become a problem. Intelligent people tend to know what they want, and they refuse to settle for less. Their high standards apply to every area of their life. Jobs, relationships, certain goals. This can make it harder for them to be satisfied. They may constantly feel like their achievements aren’t enough, or that their job isn’t allowing them to get ahead. Their standards can also significantly affect their relationships.
2. They are the victim of over analysis: Many people with high level of intelligence lean towards over-thinking and keep analyzing everything that occurs in their life, their surroundings and beyond. Too much thinking can be exhausting at times, especially when your thoughts lead you to conclusions which vex and frustrate you. They weigh you down, but you can’t help but think and think, no matter how draining the experience is. Their ability to analyze things is great. But, it is also true that we don’t need to pay attention to everything, and crowd our minds with unsavory thoughts.
3. Intelligent people are often too hard on themselves: If an intelligent person experiences guilt or regret, they’ll most likely hold onto it for years. It will constantly be in the back of their brain, and they’ll experience flashbacks to their past mistakes. Their tendency to over-analyze makes them extremely hard on themselves. The guilt, regret and negative emotions that they hold onto can greatly affect their happiness.
4. Intelligent people feel misunderstood: We all yearn to be truly understood, but intelligent people can hardly find someone who can understand them. When we have understanding people around us, half of the stress in our lives ceases to exist. There is nothing more comforting than having a meaningful conversation with a like-minded person who understands your views and ideas on everything spanning from personal life, philosophy, to global affairs and other complex questions. Most intelligent people feel misunderstood and lonely, as usually no one appreciates the depth with which they can see and analyze things.
5. Intelligent people seek bigger & better things: For highly intelligent people, reality is often not enough. They are constantly searching for something bigger and more important. A purpose, a meaning or a pattern. Something hidden that can make everything fall into place. They have a restless mind and a big imagination that doesn’t typically allow them to relax. Being unable to slow down and just enjoy the little things in life can end up stealing their joy.