7 Reasons Why Highly Intelligent People Have a Hard Time Finding Happiness

There are some people in the world that many of us look up to- generally, these are people of high intelligence, who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of knowledge.

Many of us dream of one day being one of these people who sacrifices a life of comfort in favor of a life spent seeking higher knowledge.

While this is an admirable goal, it may trouble you to know that many highly intelligent people spend their lives looking for happiness, but never finding it.

There are many reasons why this phenomenon exists- today, we’ll take a look at some reasons why highly intelligent people sometimes have a hard time finding happiness.

1. They have high standards

People who are highly intelligent have extremely high standards for behavior, knowledge, and many other personality traits that people with average IQs just can’t keep up with.

This can lead to an intelligent person making a snap judgement against someone who they perceive to be less intelligent, and refusing to budge from their initial judgement, because to do so would be to question their own intelligence.

2. They overanalyze every situation

The more we read and think about a situation, the more we come to expect that it will go the way that we plan.

Highly intelligent individuals are usually excellent planners- they have the forethought and imagination to dream up a number of scenarios that could occur as a result of their current circumstances and make plans accordingly.

All of this planning often leads to a feeling of disappointment when real life doesn’t match their imagination.

Getting too involved in planning for the future can lead to intense over-analysis, which can be difficult to manage once you’ve allowed your brain to wander down that path.

3. They’re deeply ambitious

Intelligent people are generally very involved in harnessing their brainpower to push their career and their life forward.

Since they have the ability to think beyond their current circumstances, they often do, and can sometimes get caught up in striving for excellence.

While being career-oriented is admirable, many highly intelligent people get caught up in this, to the detriment of their everyday happiness and personal wellbeing.

It’s hard to maintain relationships with loved ones, family, and friends when you’re continually occupied with your own ambitions.

4. They pick the wrong measurement

There’s a notable phenomenon of highly intelligent people who cannot seem to reach the goals that they set for themselves because they simply don’t know how to measure their success.

The intense drive that they have to succeed has led to a situation where they just don’t know how to decide where the finish line is.

This often happens when a person aspires towards a vague goal like ‘I want to be the smartest person in my school’.

How do you measure what being the smartest person means?

Is it based on test scores, or final grades? Does it mean getting the most academic awards?

It’s impossible to succeed under vague guidelines like that, which can make highly intelligent people extremely unhappy.

5. They feel like no one can appreciate the depths of their mind

One of the happiest feelings in the world is sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone else and knowing that they understand what you’re saying completely.

People who are highly intelligent, who believe that they are smarter than the average person, never get to feel this joy because they’re too caught up in differentiating themselves from others. 

6. They’re continually curious


Another reason why highly intelligent people have a hard time attaining happiness in life is because their curiosity is so strong that it will always led them in search of more, rather than being content with what they have.


Curiosity is only worth something when you can be content with your newest discovery- it’s a hard to be happy when your mind is continually leading you forward, without giving you time to rest. 

7. They’re comfortable being alone

Most of us derive a large amount of satisfaction and joy from socializing with others.

It helps us to feel social, and strengthens the bonds of friendship and family relationships.

However, in the case of people who have above-average intelligence, research found in the British Journal of Psychology suggests that the more intelligent someone is, the less joy they’ll find in socializing with others.

People that are highly intelligent are usually extremely happy to be on their own, and while this is a great trait to develop, too much of it can result in people appearing standoffish or aloof, which can put people off.