Intelligence: My Justification for Loner Tendencies
I have been referred to in these terms, both jokingly and seriously at times in my life. Sometimes people are accurate in using these terms. But they alone can’t do me justice.
Don’t get me wrong, my most rewarding, raucous, and memorable experiences necessarily involve being with and bonding with my friends and family.
But I am dead serious when I say this: I am a person who needs my solo time.
I am not completely sure why this is.
I could refer to it as unwinding, giving myself space to think, or just removing stimuli so that I can calm my nerves and re-boot. It is some combination of these three goals which lend to my fondness for occasional solitude.
But now, thanks to science, I have another, more flattering explanation of and justification for my yearning for alone time: I am smart!
I always knew this. I don’t always work hard. Sometimes I procrastinate. You won’t catch me in the library past 7 p.m..But, I can safely say that I am more intelligent than the average Trump or Bernie voter, and apparently that combined is like 3/4 of the country. So, I like to think I am doing alright in the brain cell department.
A recent study enlightened me to the potential link between my smart-ass-ness and my tendency to retreat alone to my man-cave: I simply have better, more important things to do than chatter away with potential new pals.
OK, so maybe that’s not true.
I am not the doctor working on a cure for cancer, Einstein developing the theory of relativity, or Bill Gates devising the building blocks of Microsoft.
But gosh damn I can empathize with the feeling that a circle of tight, but relatively few friends is the way to go.
You have to be able to interact with strangers and colleagues in the world if you want to succeed. But you don’t have to befriend them.
Which is to say: I’m not above great conversation, but it really does have to be great conversation.
Dinner parties, weddings, family obligations. For these, it’s important to hone your small talk.
But that’s not to say you have to engage in this small talk if given a choice.
And, when given a choice, I typically don’t.
I’d rather be alone, with a book, a great TV show or movie, my extraordinary iTunes library or just my own brilliant thoughts.
I might mess around and write a novel one of these days. Maybe I’ll do that after I finish the 4th season of The Wire.
Being at a large, state school has furthered my appreciation for my smart, like-minded, sports loving yet impressively well-informed group of buds.
Sorry, but diversity of thought is overrated, at least when it comes to choosing your friends.
On practically any list of “Why Being Smart Isn’t Easy” ilk, you will read something to the extent of, “smart people only want to be friends with other smart people”.
Not completely true, there are always exceptions:
But in most cases, this is spot-on.
When given the choice between branching out, enduring potentially mundane conversation and even worse-extreme stupidity- I will choose the proven loves in my life every time. That includes, but is not limited to Youtube videos of Ben Shapiro.
To most, this is torture. Online fact-based lectures about politics and its most heated debates?
Bo-ring, most my age say.
Stim-u-lating, I say!
My list of things I love also includes my squad of ride or die comrades, with shared ideas, senses of humor, and experiences that will bond us for life.
With people you know, like really know, there is no worry of offending. No concern that you might have to endure a tense exchange over a comment taken the wrong way. Zero likelihood that I will have to deal with the ranting of a Bernie supporter, except to mock them, of course. There really are many benefits to sticking with your established crew…
Sure, there are most definitely some smart, insightful people at my university and in my vast, unchartered world that I would be better off for having met.
But it takes so much effort to find them…and they might be idiots!
Scratch that. Most of them will definitely be idiots.
If there is one thing I have far too much of in my life, one thing I would avoid above anything outside of bodily harm, it is idiocy.
There is plenty to see in the world, and I am often pleasantly surprised by the amount of cool, smart people in this world that I don’t know.
But when I choose to wind down on my own, please don’t call me a loner.
I’ve evaluated the situation, and whatever I am choosing to do is more rewarding, personally, than the alternative.
Namely, I am avoiding the mentally stunted that prowl this planet in droves, holding picket signs, clogging the left hand lane, and using Twitter as their personal microphone to spread their message of ignorant bliss.
Call me arrogant, you are probably right.
Call me conceited. Honestly, I won’t be offended.
Just don’t call me stupid. Or a loner.
It’s a smart person thing. If you don’t get it, I can’t reasonably expect you to understand.