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Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
-- Ernest Hemmingway.(author)

Have any of you noticed this scenario? Any thoughts and details? Stories??


Thelordoftyrants 4 Feb 9

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Perhaps it is, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

Love Bertrand and on particular that quote.

Sounds like Trump in a nutshell.

@balou he needs to be kept in that nutshell

I doubt myself a lot.

I despise that man?? Who the fuuuuck nominated him??


High IQ tends to put you outside of the main-stream . In elementary school , you don't , "fit in. " You tend to get bullied . You become an introvert and tend to turn to reading , which puts you even further from the level of the kids in your classes . It doesn't actually mean you aren't happy . It means your happiness isn't derived from being with friends your own age . You're looking for friends your own mental age , who may have difficulty connecting with you , due to your physical age and development . I find myself smiling much more now , than at any point earlier in my life .

You described my sister, but not me 😉 I felt behind in grade school, and my ‘punishment’ was to be sat next to ‘a smart girl.’ I soon learned the depth of their pent up depravity, and loved it! They’d watch me count on my fingers ..and I’d have them bursting into laughter as the teacher spoke. Yah, smart still turns me on 🙂

...a very apt description on your part, though.. I just wanted to mention, such students don’t always go unnoticed or appreciated.

i can relate to that

@Varn I was that girl. THere was a kid that just could not sit still and was special in other ways. THey sat him next to me on purpose and told me that

cute outfit

@Varn and now that you have me thinking back : I was in the first grade on the playground. THere was a corner store across the street. A Spanish speaking lady came up to me and made me understand she needed someone to take care of her baby whle she went in the store. She gave the baby to me and left. ME?

And then you join this site. I wonder is it smiling or smugness? For some of us it is the later.

@btroje You must exude competence ...I hope she came back 🙂

@btroje ...don’t think I was all that ‘special,’ I could sit still.. My sister got stuck with guys like me, too, but with all her A’s, maybe her teacher though she needed some distraction 😉

@Varn you have to be special in other ways than that young man

@Varn she came back but not before the nuns lost it that I was standing there with a baby in my arms


I simply do not agree. Intelligence can take many forms. This is about the psychology of the person, not how intelligent he is. There is so much to be angry about in this world - mostly caused by stupidity. It is possible to be both happy and recognize these bad things. Here is where the word "spiritual" comes in. That can mean many things - but being positive, grateful for the good things in your life, having a comfortable degree of humility, and a good self image are certainly important for happiness and an enriched spirit. So you can be happy and smart at the same time.


“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
That is a quote from Isaac Asimov. I have observed the same thing since I came here. It may be tough to be clear thinking and a wide -eyed observer as a child and not get the feedback you expect, but happiness is a personal choice. Even the definition of happiness is personal. So, no, Ernest, I do not agree with you. You were clinically depressed, mushed up your brain with too much alcohol and ate your gun, if I remember correctly.


High IQ creative people are usually androgyne..or gender mixes.
Many of the most intelligent and creative of them suffer from mental illness issues, depression, and/or are on the autism spectrum.
Scientists found that DNA for creativity had increasing percentages of DNA flaws, increasing the likeliness for mental issues as the creativity levels rose.

The Complexity of the Creative Personality []

A very interesting set of observations.. I’d supervised primarily autistic students, and witnessed that ‘edgy behavior’ within the brightest ..actually, all of them to a degree. And take someone like an Einstein, they often fit within society like a thoroughbred in a barnyard..

The androgyny behavior has intrigued me, too. My observations have been - remove sex drive, or the capability and desire (if not the biological compulsion) to seek ‘normal procreation’ - and look at the freedom and opportunity to explore any and all human curiosities! …without the responsibilities of a relationship and dependant offspring..

Also loved the description of “...the color white that includes all colors...”


Sadly I know many people who are mean, and I take that as a sign of an unhappy person. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Happiness is a choice. I've known people who had everything going for them that were not happy. I'd look at them and think what more do you f**kin want? Stuff doesn't make you happy. I choose to be happy because it is healthier for me. My life isn't great, but damn it I will look on the bright side, it could be and has been way worse. And it is Friday and if I want to I will stop on the way home and get some good chocolate and some sushi, and I have a good book or Netflix, and some good stuff, and I will be happier than all get out. 🙂


A long time ago I worked with folks with Downs Syndrome. Overall, they seemed to be a happy lot. However, I wouldn't of traded places with them

Usually their greatest aspiration is to be normal. The saying of little things please little minds is very apt.


Yes, I find conversely, happier people are less intelligent, does that mean they are smarter because they have found way to be happy?

Nope. Ignorance is bliss.

@Atheistman Yes I am confused. given my goal is happiness yet I find that because of the depth of consideration of issues, it eludes me. I know many people who are happier, but not that bright, the have achieved where I have failed.

Ha, ha, that's funny...and it could be true, lol.

@Rugglesby A mouldy oldie!


No, not personally nor among my friends, in fact, au our age, (65 & way up) we have all dealt with setbacks & tragedies, and the overriding characteristic of the most intelligent people is an upbeat attitude of "let's go out for dinner & dancing"!

Happy to have that confirmed 🙂 I so admire one of the oldest active gentlemen I know, forever young, brilliant, and an inspiration to all. …so when I grow up 😉


There's nothing a little 420 listening to an Alan Watts lecture can't solve. But I think the acquisition of knowledge does tend to cancel out some of that childish sense of wonder and excitement. Some people likely realize that happiness is an active daily choice that sometimes requires a bit of delusion.


I love intelligent people ..I tend to both analyze and admire them 🙂 They’re too smart, or aware to maintain a constant state of giddiness, but there’s humor within. And when they burst into laughter - it’s a treat!

Few things annoy me ...nothing annoys me more than fake.. Dumb isn’t even fake. But folks who attempt to present happy or jovial behavior at all times... Come on, life’s also serious, and I think the intelligent both recognize and appreciate that.

Varn Level 8 Feb 9, 2018

Well... I'm intelligent in my own fields. I can also fly different aircraft.... I am so very happy... I have some concerns about some things but im living the


If you Google it there seems to be quite a bit of research that supports the corollary between intelligence and mental illness in general. I thought this article was interesting.
Generalized anxiety and depression here. First hit me in my teens and then I found love and chaos and all was well for years. I mean there were ups and downs but nothing like the pit. Fast forward thirty years and towards the end of marriage #2 it fucking snuck up on me. I didn't realize it was that bad. Now thanks to an amazing therapist (she says I did all the work) all is well again. I still see my therapist about once a quarter mostly to keep that door open. And I'll always be vigilant now, I won't let it get that bad again.


I would say talk to all of the people that are truly happy, and find out.


Intelligence can be a mixed blessing. It grants those who possess it an insight to the world and this has an impact on overall happiness. Those with it could see the paths that governmental representatives are taking, and this can have an adverse effect on happiness. Those of higher intelligence have a greater capacity for creativity, this could have a positive effect on happiness. Therefore happiness is subjective.

Gohan Level 7 Feb 9, 2018

Let's see. Average IQ is 100. My IQ is substantially higher than that, yet I have no creativity at all. And my older sibling has a borderline genius IQ, and he, too, is not creative at all. However, some of my siblings are very creative (artists, writers, musicians), and their IQ is within points of mine. So I don't necessarily think IQ and creativity can be conflated all the time. Sometimes, yes, but not as a general rule. I do agree, however, that happiness is subjective.


It's easy to just believe that we all go to heaven and are reunited with loved ones when we die... That helps people to be happy... It's depressing when you question it. I can't answer that question, but I still think the Bible is fiction. It's a crutch to provide temporary relief or happiness from the unknown.


There's some truth to "Ignorance is Bliss "! But, remember Hemingway suffered life-long bouts of depression, and eventually took his own life .


Some of the comments mention or allude to the fact that their are multiple intelligences. I would say the intelligence that is most closely correlated with happiness is emotional intelligence. The more emotionally intelligent you are the more skilled you will be to achieve happiness. 'Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences' by Gardner is a good place to start.

Right on, though I might use the word unruffled rather than happiness.


Being smart is a lonely feeling. Most people don't know what you're talking about.

It reminds me of a episode of the Simpsons where Homer discovers he has a crayon imbedded in his brain and that's what makes him dumb. So he has it removed and he becomes really intelligent but he soon finds that he's really lonely because nobody is on his level. So he has the crayon placed back in his brain.


Maybe it’s because intelligent folks think too much and question everything.


I think of happiness as a skill and like all skills it takes time and practice to improve.

Think of it this way... movie stars are unhappy. They kill themselves even though they have millions of dollars and all the fame and respect they could ever want.

Poor people THINK their unhappiness is due to the things they don't have in life. If you elevated a poor persons income, they'd definitely be happy for a while. But not forever.

So one of the keys to happiness I think is continuous financial improvement. You always need a goal, and you always need to be making progress toward that goal. But if you're overly focused on it you obsess over small failures and that can make you unhappy too...

So another key is knowing how to compartmentalize. When something is going wrong, address it logically, but don't allow yourself to focus on it in any more than is necessary to deal with it effectively. If you can't influence it, learn to not let it affect your emotional state.

I think what I'm trying to get at here is that happiness can be learned and improved... things that smart people are supposed to be good at. So I disagree with the post!


I’m not happy, but I don’t know if it works that way.


I must be dumb.

I am happy almost all of the time.

I am happy almost all of the time because I choose to be.

I do not tolerate negativity in myself (or others).

Maybe I have had a charmed life, but my personal talking therapy has worked well for me.

However - I do not underestimate how debilitating a clinical depression can be - this is very different to just being unhappy and requires skilled professional intervention.


This from a man who killed himself and then his gun got passed to his son who did the same thing. Maybe that proves his point.

Define happiness.

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