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6 Things You Do Without Realizing That Make You Look Less Intelligent

6 Things You Do Without Realizing That Make You Look Less Intelligent

We all like to think we’re pretty smart people. For the most part, we are.

However, our actions sometimes betray our intelligence in ways that we don’t really even notice – but are glaringly obvious to those around us.

Whenever you’re in a situation in which the way others perceive you is important – such as at school or work – you need to be constantly aware of how you portray yourself. From the way you dress and act to the way you talk and the content of what you say, the people surrounding you will use every opportunity they can to judge you – for better or worse.

Take this into consideration the next time you interact with anyone outside of your comfort zone.

Dressing Down

The way you present yourself to the world determines how you will be treated by those who don’t know you. If you dress well, you’ll give off an air of respectability. If you schlep around in sweatpants and a T-shirt, no one will feel the need to give you the time of day.

If your workplace requires you to follow a specific dress code, you should be sure to follow it exactly as written every time you walk into the office. Even something as simple as leaving your tie at home one day will lead your colleagues to believe that you don’t think the rules apply to you – or that you don’t understand the rules in the first place. If you choose to dress down even the slightest bit, don’t be surprised if your coworkers and supervisors don’t listen to a word you say.

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Misusing Words or Sayings

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    For those of us who remember Tim Allen’s sitcom Home Improvement, recall the ongoing shtick in which Tim’s neighbor Wilson would relay some sage advice to Tim, only to have Tim jumble up the story when trying to sound smart later on in the episode.

    While it was always good for a chuckle when done by a fictional character, mixing up popular words or phrases in the real world is more pathetic than hilarious. If you’re a professor of literacy education who thinks “conversate” is a word, for example, your students probably aren’t going to be able to take you seriously throughout the semester.

    Don’t simply use buzzwords just because you’ve heard someone else use them in similar situations. If you can’t explain what you mean without using a colloquialism, you probably shouldn’t have said it in the first place.

    (Author’s note: Sadly, the above example is a true story. Don’t be that person).

    Appearing Aloof

    We’ve all been caught staring into space at some point in our lives, and we’ve all had to pretend as if  we were really listening to whoever was speaking – whether it was our teacher, our boss, or our spouse.

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    While we often make the excuse that we were “deep in thought” when we get caught with a blank stare on our face, the truth is we simply weren’t focused on the task at hand. While there are many reasons why we may not have been focused on the speaker at the time, they’ll almost always assume we weren’t listening because we didn’t understand or care about what they were saying.

    When you fail to maintain proper eye contact and exhibit body language that shows you’re listening, the speaker is likely to think you’re completely lost and have no idea what they’re talking about. Either that, or they’ll think you’re focusing so intently on understanding what they’re saying that you don’t have enough brainpower left to nod your head in agreement.

    Either way, the blank stare doesn’t make you look good.

    Talking Too Much

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      We’ve all heard the saying “loose lips sink ships.”

      While unless you’re high-level military personnel, what you say probably isn’t a matter of national security. But the words that come out of your mouth can lead others to think you’re not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.

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      A good rule of thumb is to never say more than needs to be said.

      When you speak succinctly, you show that you’re able to collect your thoughts and explain them in an easily understandable manner. You know what’s important and needs to be said, and you know what can be inferred and doesn’t need explanation.

      On the other hand, if you’re one to babble on without thinking of what you’re saying, you give off the notion that you talk just to hear your own voice, or just say whatever’s on your mind and hope it makes sense to others.

      You have complete control over what comes out of your mouth. Choose wisely.

      Talking Too Little

      On the other hand, being too quiet can lead people to pass judgment on you, as well.

      For those of us who tend to take a backseat during conversation, we know that others may come to think that we’re being rude, or that we don’t have anything important to say. Though we know our quietness, shyness, or even introvertedness is not a sign of lower intelligence, others may not understand this so clearly.

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      Because of this, it’s important for the quiet ones among us to speak up from time to time. Remember: You don’t have to say a lot; you just have to say enough to let your counterpart know you’re listening and have some sort of intelligent opinion on the topic at hand.

      Judging Others

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        I realize this entire article is based around the fact that people will judge (and perhaps misjudge) you based on singular actions you take rather than seeing you as a whole person. I’m not saying this is right – but I am saying it absolutely will happen.

        But just because others judge you based on one-off encounters doesn’t mean you should do the same. In fact, it’s much safer to simply never judge anyone for anything, ever. None of us have any idea what it’s like to live someone else’s life. When you judge someone, what you’re really doing is assuming they’ve had the exact same privileges that you have had throughout your life. You’re holding them to your own standard, as if you should have some say in how they live their life.

        When you judge others, it shows you are only able to see the world through your own eyes, and have never once thought about the fact that, with seven billion people in the world, there are seven billion different ways to live.

        Featured photo credit: LB And the Ugly Suit / Jason Meserve / Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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        Last Updated on October 18, 2018

        50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

        50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

        Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

        It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

        It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

        Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

        Quotes for self-assurance

        1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

          2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

            3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

              4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                  6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                    Quotes about positivity

                    7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                      8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                        9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                          10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                            11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                              12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                  Quotes for work and success

                                  14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                    15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                      16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                        17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                          18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                            19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                              20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                  22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                    23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                      24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                        25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                          26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                            27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                              28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                  30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                    31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                      32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                        33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                          34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                            35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                              36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                  38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                    39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                      40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                        41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                          42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                            43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                              44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                  Quotes about money

                                                                                                  46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                    47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                      48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                        49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                          50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                            51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                              If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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