Why Having Fewer Friends Could Mean You're Smart

Sophie Miura
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Todd Cole for Lucky

If you can count your friends on one hand, a new study suggests that's a good thing—it could mean you're smart. We might be obsessed with growing followers on social media, but researchers at Singapore Management University have found that the intellectual crowd is happier with fewer friends. 

The study, which was published in the British Journal of Psychology and examined by The Washington Post, explores the variables that impact happiness, such as how many social interactions a person has or whether she lives in a dense city. Researchers found that while most people thrive on having multiple close relationships, those who rank higher in their IQ have the opposite reaction. Yes, regularly catching up with a big group of friends makes the more intelligent less happy. 

While the results might seem surprising, Brookings Institution researcher Carol Graham believes there's a logical explanation. "The findings in here suggest that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it ... are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer-term objective," she tells The Washington Post. In other words, smart people are likely channeling their efforts into time-consuming top-level tasks, so they find less satisfaction from social activities that draw time away from their work.

For the introverts, the next time you don't want to make the trek out to a social gathering, you have a great excuse! And, if that doesn't sound like you, don't worry. The majority of people still find happiness from having lots of tight-knit friends, so to each her own. 

Want to show your friends how much you care? Shop 15 under-$50 gifts your best friend will adore, then visit The Washington Post to read more. 

Does this research ring true for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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