Do Intelligent People Tend to Feel Lonely?

Aizaz Baqir
4 min readJun 24, 2021


“Lonely people tend, rather, to be lonely because they decline to bear the psychic costs of being around other humans. They are allergic to people. People affect them too strongly.”
David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

In my view, It is not only the intelligent people, but usually the SELFISH,GREEDY, ARROGANT, EGOISTIC, AND STINGY PEOPLE who end up being lonely in life. However, there is an exception too: People who, although, are not selfish or greedy and even then are lonely are the sensitive people likes of which have been described above by David Foster.

If we are not willing to share our time, energy, wisdom and money with others, we might feel isolated.

However there is a difference between being alone and lonely or “loneliness and solitude.”

There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness, loneliness is a negative state, marked by a sense of isolation. One feels that something is missing. It is possible to be with people and still feel lonely — perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness.

Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. Solitude is desirable, a state of being alone where you provide yourself wonderful and sufficient company.’

Thus intelligent people may be alone but not necessarily lonely.

Poor people are also rarely lonely. They convert their misery into blessing and joy by sharing the same with one another. On the other hand wealthy or greedy (greedy are not always rich but they love money anyway) convert the blessing into misery by remaining aloof.

A growing body of findings also suggests that “those with fewer resources attend more to the needs of others.”

For Example, one study found that those people driving the oldest, cheapest cars were more likely to stop for an experimenter that was waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk. Those with means to drive nicer cars were more likely to blow right through without stopping.

Whereas wealthy folks can rely on money when times get tough, the poor are more dependent on (one) another and invest more in their relationship.

To study and know more, click the link below:

Wealth can make us selfish and stingy. Two psychologists explain why

It is also a fact that people in rich countries are dying of loneliness and not in poor countries.

According to a study as many as a “third of Americans” are lonely. And similarly 18% of UK adults felt lonely “always” or “often.”

People in rich countries are dying of loneliness

I give you my personal observation. I am living in a posh locality )posh from a standard of poor/developing country like Pakistan) and exactly in front of my 250 yards house there are two typical models of “loneliness” and “connectedness:

  • One is a 1000 square yards modern bungalow filled with only three people (one of them is a servant living in a servant quarter inside)
  • Other is also a 1000 square yards Ramshackle filled with more than three dozens people living below normal urban standards and yet they are never alone and enjoy the life more than their arrogant neighbour.

Hence in my view the love for money and so called status has to do more with the loneliness than one’s mental abilities to solve a mind boggling puzzle.

Although loneliness is usually considered a social condition, but it can also be a mental condition.

Hence, solitude should not be confused with loneliness. Loneliness is a negative condition or state marked by a sense of isolation. One feels that something is missing.While solitude is a place where the creative mind can happily and eagerly express itself because when you’re able to disengage from the demands of other people and the world around you, you suddenly free up the mental space to focus on those things that have been seeking your attention for so long. In this situation you enjoy your own company as is explained in the following quote:

Originality and creativity both thrive in this situation.

Key is keeping the balance between social engagement and solitude.

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Aizaz Baqir

I am a freelance writer and translator based in Multan, Pakistan having interests in reading, writing, travelling and social services.