Socialize More, Live In The Country, Be Happier

A recently published study has found that life satisfaction is associated with lower population density and higher frequency of socialization with friends.

That is, people tend to be happier when they live in rural areas, and when they spend a lot of time with friends.

The study included data on happiness, IQ, living environments, and relationships, drawn from a British national survey of 15,000 adults aged between 18 and 28.

Unless You’re A Smarty-Pants


Are you ready for this?

For people with higher-than-average intelligence, life satisfaction is actually lower when there is a higher frequency of socialization.

In other words, this study offers scientific evidence for something we introverts already know: you actually feel happier when you spend less time with your friends.


Introverts, Everywhere

Socialize Less, Be Happier

Why might this be so?

Well, the researchers themselves propose an evolutionary theory: that human brains may have evolved to thrive in less-densely populated areas with fewer people. More intelligent brains, by contrast, have simply adapted better to our modern, urban environments.

Another explanation, advanced by happiness researcher Dr Carol Graham, is that intelligent people have other goals and interests they’re focused on. Too much socialising takes away from these projects and therefore undermines overall happiness.

What Does This Mean For Introverts?

Well, it certainly does not mean that introverts are necessarily smarter people.

But there is something introverts and intelligent people have in common: an interest in geeky pursuits.

For intelligent people it may be lofty goals and intellectual endeavours.

For us introverts, whatever our intelligence level, it may be reading or arcane hobbies or creative projects.

So, for those of us who take pleasure in solo projects and activities, being happy means making time for our interests.

And knowing that a little socialising goes a long, long way.