Why Intelligent People Tend To Be Unhappy (Part 1 of 2)

Digging through the Internet, I happened to, by chance, come across this article that attempts to explain why smart people are not the happiest people in the world’s big tent.

Western society is not set up to nurture intelligent children and adults, the way it dotes over athletes and sports figures, especially the outstanding ones. While we have the odd notable personality such as Albert Einstein, we also have many extremely intelligent people working in occupations that are considered among the lowliest, as may be attested by a review of the membership lists of Mensa (the club for the top two percent on intelligence scales).


Education systems in countries whose primary interest is in wealth accumulation encourage heroes in movies, war and sports, but not in intellectual development. Super intelligent people manage, but few reach the top of the business or social ladder.


Children develop along four streams: intellectual, physical, emotional (psychological) and social. In classrooms, the smartest kids tend to be left out of more activities by other children than they are included in. They are “odd,” they are the geeks, they are social outsiders. In other words, they do not develop socially as well as they may develop intellectually or even physically where opportunities may exist for more progress.


Their emotional development, characterized by their ability to cope with risky or stressful situations, especially over long periods of time, also lags behind that of the average person.

Adults tend to believe that intelligent kids can deal with anything because they are intellectually superior. This inevitably includes situations where the intelligent kids have neither knowledge nor skills to support their experience. They go through the tough times alone. Adults don’t understand that they need help and other kids don’t want to associate with kids the social leaders say are outsiders.


As a result we have many highly intelligent people whose social development progresses much slower than that of most people and they have trouble coping with the stressors of life that present themselves to everyone. It should come as no surprise that the vast majority of prison inmates are socially and emotionally underdeveloped or maldeveloped and a larger than average percentage of them are more intelligent than the norm.

This was posted on Scribd, by Bill Allin, who is a sociologist who is most certainly more experienced than I on topics in this realm.  Thank Digg, where one can find many articles worth reading.

I would say this.  Read the article.  Think about it.  Then, steel yourself for the Part 2, coming soon (assuming that I can find the original posting), where I will explain to you in minor detail why this might be correct, and how a person can change this tendency without losing their mind, shunning society, and dying, finally, a broken old man on the street.  Or a broken old woman in some other way.


3 responses to “Why Intelligent People Tend To Be Unhappy (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Thank you for posting this. I look forward to part 2.

  2. Bill Allin’s article on sleep is interesting too. Looking forward to Part II too. Lisa

  3. Pingback: Shakadoo.com « Single Dads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s