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Are You Intelligent, Or Just Think You Are? – The 5 Indicators That You Can’t Fake

March 13, 2017

Most people think the are smarter than they are but usually are wrong.  This has nothing to do with whether they have a high IQ or have trained extensively in an area (discussed throughout). These are indicators of whether you possess intelligence, but does not discuss whether you use it.

You can go anywhere on the Internet and find any research you want, but here are 5 indicators that show that you have potential for intelligence.

  1. You learn from mistakes
  2. You read for fun
  3. You can argue from multiple perspectives
  4. You think before you speak
  5. You don’t care what others think

I saw this at My Domaine which show 3 of them you can’t fake.

You Learn From Your Mistakes

Intelligent people are able to accept their own failures and re-purpose them into lessons for future success. In fact, a study on decision-making skills reports that critical feedback from a mistake results in better performance the second time around. So while errors and setbacks can be frustrating, highly intelligent people are able to perceive them as growth opportunities.

It could of course be argued that humans are not that intelligent to begin with as we’ve continued to make the same mistakes throughout history.

I would argue that you learn more from a mistake than success.  In giving one of my prodigy advice for life, I told him I didn’t remember every success because I expected it.  I remembered every failure as it hurt and I vowed never to do it again.  Some however never learn. They reveal narcissistic behavior which prevents them from admitting they were wrong.

You’re an Avid Reader

If someone doesn’t cite their sources but insists upon an opinion regardless of evidence, they’re likely exaggerating expertise. A simple way to check is by asking them what they do for fun. Beyond being a good way to gain knowledge about history or experiences that are different from your own, research shows that reading increases memory function, communication skills, and focus.

I am intrigued to talk with people with good vocabularies.  To a person, they are readers of books, not social media.

One of the most intelligent fellows I’ve met was an avid reader, but couldn’t put life together due to lack of common sense.  That is another subject altogether.  He was obviously intelligent, but he couldn’t make good life decisions.

I see people in the gym taking selfies (or at the party, or anywhere) to garner likes on their Instagram or Fake Book (ok Facebook, but it is edited and acts a lot like a high school reunion).  Those who are contemplating intelligent thoughts aren’t as concerned about likes or emoji’s.  They are enjoying a book.

You See Both Sides of an Issue

When someone can articulately and convincingly argue every angle of an argument, they’re genuinely smart. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, reveals the issues with assumptions; if someone is thoughtful and well-informed, they’re probably not faking their intelligence to get ahead. So while they’re really passionate and well-versed on a topic from their own perspective, if they haven’t evaluated all sides of an issue, they don’t understand it (or how to respond to it effectively).

This to me is one of the biggest indicators. The less intelligent can become so fixated on being right that they fail to observe the whole issue.  You can intrinsically know what is correct by understanding which part of the subject being discussed is not correct or what part is flawed.  The logic presents itself when you view it in its entirety.

I exempt lawyers here.  Some of them may actually be intelligent, but they are trained to argue any side of an issue.  Training is not an indicator that you are intelligent other than that you can learn.

You think before you speak

Truly intelligent people have a brain that is quicker than their mouth.

If you take your time to answer people’s questions and think them through to provide a genuine answer that you’ve thought about, you’re one step ahead. 

It is also related with being overly concerned with what others think of you and the idea that you must be right.  Many times, it is best to hear everything that is to be said before you respond.  This point helps clarify celebrity behavior.  They more often than not speak before they think or hear what is being said and then not thinking out the entirety of a subject.  Combined with living in a bubble, the few that are intelligent are overshadowed by the celebtards who have to be heard.  They expose themselves by opening their mouths, most often without their brain in gear.

You don’t care what others think 

Seriously intelligent people don’t consider other people when making decisions.

They don’t think about how others will feel as a result of their own actions and do things regardless of other people’s judgement.

The net of it is look at yourself or your behavior.  If you have these traits, you are likely more intelligent.

There are lists that say more intelligent people are messy and swear more, but I’d rather look for good qualities in people.

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2 Comments
  1. Santoculto permalink

    Maybe we have two types of smartiers

    macrospectively smarter
    and
    microspectively smarter

    the first is a great analytical thinker while the second is a great scientifical/technical worker.

    The first is talented to catch the big picture, namely the existential, political, cultural ones while the second, often as a believer of human social systems is talented to learn layers of abstract-technical human knowledge. Just like the difference between a parasitic wasp, a outsider, and a worker ant, a in-sider.

    The first is very suspicious about the system and have the skills to change it if s/he have the motivation enough to do it, the second, as a believer of system, work for it, improving it.

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