7 Reasons Why Many Smart People are Unhappy

7 Reasons Why Many Smart People are Unhappy

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If you have ever noticed that many smart people are unhappy, there’s a reason for it. While many people make happiness a priority, intelligent people tend to devalue joy throughout their lives. They put other things before happiness and never take the time to evaluate that choice.

Studies indicate that being smart or better educated will not make someone happier. Instead, intelligent people tend to be unhappy when compared to others. However, if you’re smart, you don’t have to be unhappy.

When you understand better why smart people are less happy, you can work on those things in your life. Recognizing the obstacle is the first step to overcoming unhappiness, so admit if any of these are an issue for you. Then, make lifestyle changes that help you change your mindset and become happier.

As you identify the reasons that intelligent people are unhappy, you can remedy the issue for yourself. If another smart person in your life seems unhappy, you could use this information to help them, too.

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Reasons Why Many Smart People are Unhappy

Why are smart people depressed and unhappy? Let’s review a few reasons why intelligent people can’t find happiness.

smart people unhappy
1. People Expect Too Much from Them

While being smart is a good thing, others often expect too much out of an intelligent person. You might notice that they want you to do intelligent things on the spot when you’re unprepared and under pressure. When you do something well one time, people will expect it from you constantly.

Plus, people might ask you to do things for them while trying to relax and enjoy yourself. This situation creates stress, overwhelming feelings, and anxiety. It also causes you to always think about how others perceive you, limiting your ability to let loose and have fun.

Expectations from parents, friends, co-workers, or anyone else can cause a fear of failure. Plus, since people expect so much, they will notice every mistake you make, no matter how small.

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How You Can Overcome

The best way to handle people expecting too much of you is to learn to say “no” when people ask you to do things. Please don’t take on more than you can enjoyably handle simply because people expect it from you.

Additionally, focus on having fun and enjoying yourself rather than wondering what others think of you. Even if someone is paying attention, learn to enjoy yourself and ignore their expectations. Being happy is more important than pleasing others and living up to their expectations.

2. They Get Bored Very Easily

Smart people want to keep doing more, and they struggle with stopping to enjoy life right now. When something exciting happens, they might experience happiness for a short time. Then, when the excitement wears off, they are ready for the next exciting step in life.

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Since they are always working toward the next milestone, they dismiss happiness in the present. Intelligent people also give up on things as soon as they begin losing interest, rather than working to regain their passion. Sometimes this struggle can cause them to give up on almost finished projects.

If your restless mind requires constant stimulation, you will struggle with jumping from project to project. You will also continually think of the next thing you can do. Plus, you will always crave something new, different, or idealistic.

How You Can Overcome

When you get bored and feel like giving up on something, remind yourself that it’s worth the time and monotony. Finishing projects has a beneficial impact on your success, boosts your happiness, and increases your self-worth. You can also overcome boredom by giving yourself enough time to do things you enjoy that stimulate your mind.

Another way to overcome unhappiness caused by boredom is to become more aware of what you enjoy and what you are good at. When you work on things that fall into both categories, you are less likely to become bored.

3. They Worry Too Much About the Results and Not About the Process

Smart people tend to be more unhappy because they’re too future-oriented. They spend all of their time and energy worrying about the future and trying to force things to work out. This mindset causes them to miss out on the present, and they try to move forward quickly.

Smart people might miss out on important life events as they constantly strive to make progress. They feel like they are wasting time whenever they aren’t working toward their goal.

If you struggle with this, you might notice that you feel like a failure whenever something doesn’t go as planned. You have your mind so set on the outcome that the process causes intense emotional disruption. Plus, you will always strive for another goal or achievement, making it impossible to take a break.

How You Can Overcome

If you spend too much energy stressing out about the results, you’re missing out on the present. Find a healthy balance in life, and make sure you are present for important milestones in life. Avoid putting work before your children’s events or family weddings and gatherings.

Additionally, learn to adapt to changes in your plan. Obstacles and setbacks are bound to happen, and if you can handle them resiliently, you can find happiness.

overthinking meme
4. They Overthink

Smart people are prone to overthink, and they analyze every situation. They spend time reflecting on conversations, body language, and many other indiscrete things as a way to get answers. You might notice that they weigh the pros and cons of every situation, too.

If this is a problem in your life, it could lead to depression. The more often your mind recalls situations and overthinks them, the worse you will feel. Your mind is responsible for your emotions, so unsettling thoughts will cause unhappiness.

Overthinking also leads to not deciding at all. When you can’t figure out which route to take, you end up going nowhere, and nothing gets resolved. It will cause even more stress and unhappiness in your life.

How You Can Overcome

Anytime you find yourself falling victim to overthinking, replace each negative thought with a positive one. As you do this, you will become happier and think fewer negative thoughts. Practicing mindfulness can help you focus on positivity and becoming happy, too.

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Make a decision rather than spending too much time thinking about it all. Give yourself a time limit for deciding so that you don’t get trapped in a never-ending thought process.

5. They Are Hard to Please

Smart people tend to be unhappy because they are hard to please. They don’t like things to stay the same, and they think that everyone should always be doing more. This mindset can cause them to demand too much of others, and it might seem like nothing is good enough for them.

Smart people don’t like to settle for things being good when there is a chance that they can be better. They will continue to push for more and won’t seem to be happy with anything. If you live your life this way, it will cause never-ending disappointment.

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How You Can Overcome

Being happy in life sometimes requires settling because not everything can be perfect. Try spending time each day practicing gratitude to help you remember that there is pleasure in your life. When you think about the things you are thankful for, your negative thoughts will ease up.

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6. They Expect Too Much

Since intelligent people can do many things at a proficient level, they expect high-efficiency levels in everyone. When they expect too much, they are sure to be disappointed more often. Expecting too much leads to being outcome-focused, and you’ll likely be harder on people if you’re like this.

When you expect so much from others and life, you will have a hard time enjoying life. Even your achievements and hobbies won’t give you the level of desire you want. You will also always feel like your personal and professional relationships lack something too.

Your mindset can widen the gap between you and the people you love. You’ll always feel like they aren’t doing enough, and they’ll begin to avoid you because of it. Plus, you will feel the need to control everything, which can cause further issues.

How You Can Overcome

Rather than thinking that people aren’t doing enough, look for the best in them. Everyone has different strengths, and if you can identify that, you will realize that everyone is trying. Taking on this more positive mindset will help you overcome your unhappiness.

Learn to let go of control sometimes. It’s impossible to control others, so you can’t fixate on things being a specific way all of the time. Letting go of your need for control can help you see the good in each situation.

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7. They Sabotage Themselves

Smart people assume that they will always get what they want or need. When it doesn’t happen, they are shocked and disappointed.

Since they are smart, they often feel like they can skip over basic concepts and move on to the hard stuff. By doing this, they miss out on essential information that can set them up for failure.

Intelligent people also sabotage themselves by trying to hide their intelligence to blend in. They also measure themselves against unreachable standards.

 How You Can Overcome

Work hard to get what you want to avoid sabotaging yourself and your happiness. Don’t assume that you’ll achieve your goals simply because you’re smart. Learn the basics of all concepts and build from there, and then do your best.

Don’t let other people shame you into hiding your intelligence, either. There is nothing wrong with being smart, so don’t try to blend in with the crowd. You’ll be happier if you show the world who you are.

smart people unhappy
Final Thought on Reasons Why Many Smart People Are Unhappy

Being happy in life typically requires having meaningful relationships, being good at what you spend your time doing, and making decisions independently. Smart people struggle with those aspects of life, causing a tendency to be unhappy. Some describe this as being too smart to be happy–but that’s a fallacy!

Luckily, even with all of these reasons smart people are unhappy, you can overcome this stigma. Acknowledge the areas you must work on and shift your mindset to positivity. When you do, you will experience happiness.

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Sarah Barkley is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Baker College. She is experienced in all things related to parenting, marriage, and life as a millennial parent, but loves to learn new things. She enjoys the research that goes into a strong article, and no topic is off-limits to Sarah. When she isn't writing, she is immersed in a book or watching Gilmore Girls. Sarah loves reading classic novels but also enjoys a good thriller.

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