9 Ways to Tell Someone is More Intelligent Than They Appear


Confidence does not always go hand in hand with intelligence, so people who appear bright are often not, and vice versa. It is challenging to spot an intelligent person just by looking at them, but a simple conversation might reveal that there’s more than meets the eye. You just have to know where to look.

Curious nature

Intelligent people are always curious, sometimes even brilliant. They tend to be open-minded and genuinely interested in expanding their knowledge, not because they want to outsmart someone but because sharp minds need to be challenged.

Creative approach

Creativity is an absolute sign of intelligence since it requires changes in thinking patterns. In other words, creative minds can complicate the simplest things and resolve the most complex ones because their brains are used to seeing things outside the norm or outside the box.

Distinctive sense of humor

A study from the University of New Mexico proved that people with a higher sense of humor, including comedians, have higher scores on verbal intelligence. Because intelligent people are fast thinkers, they will find it easy to come up with a punchline or a hilarious one-liner no one expected.

They are all over the place

Some of the brightest minds have various hobbies and are constantly seeking new ones. Their thirsty brains want to know everything, and they can be annoying by asking questions like “how” or “why” all the time. It is not about bragging or even being aware that you are the smart one. A truly intelligent person is attracted to knowledge, which has little to do with traditional education.

Questioning their smarts

Smart people do not think of themselves as intelligent. You’ve likely heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says that less competent or intelligent people consistently overestimate their mental abilities and vice versa. Smart people are aware of their shortcomings because there is so much more to discover and learn.

Listening and absorbing

Highly intelligent people are great listeners. They genuinely want to understand your point of view or to learn about your job. The topics are endless, and during the conversations, they absorb information and rethink various perspectives before giving their insight. It is great to have an intelligent friend not only because you can learn from them but because they are willing to learn from you.

Enjoying solitude

Many super-intelligent people were children with endless imaginations, so they learned to live in their heads. For intelligent adults, alone time is for planning, learning, of course, and thinking. Some studies showed that intelligent individuals have a smaller friend group and enjoy a secluded lifestyle. Some see it as a way to isolate because with high IQ and emotional intelligence comes a heightened sense of empathy, which is why the most brilliant people want to be in their bubble.

All about the details

Smart folks pay attention to their surroundings and the people in their lives. They also notice or remember details that most would overlook or forget. It is not that they see more, but they have a better capacity for processing and analyzing what’s in front of them.

It is okay to make a mistake

In most cases, intelligent people will admit they are wrong because knowledge is not a competition for them. They are problem solvers, so admitting their mistakes is the next step in finding out what went wrong and how to fix it. This is only tricky when it comes to matters of the heart because not all people with high IQ have just as developed EQ. However, they have a better capacity to develop their emotional intelligence, which can lead them to become less frustrated and angry.

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