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10 Signs You’re Exceptionally Smart Though You Don’t Appear To Be

10 Signs You’re Exceptionally Smart Though You Don’t Appear To Be

You could say that there plenty of not-so-bright people walking around, but it’s not that there are so many of them, it’s just that they are usually the loudest. There are a lot of extremely intelligent people out there, but they simply don’t advertise the fact that they are smart. It comes natural to them, and they try to live their lives freely and without consciously drawing attention to themselves. You can call it modesty or plain old good manners, but these people tend to look and sound quite average, until they surprise you with a gem of wisdom. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you might be one smart cookie, without appearing so.

1. You’re a night owl

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    As recent research suggests, those who prefer to stay up late, and do their best work at night, average higher IQ scores than morning people. That being said, staying up late won’t magically hack your brain into being smarter – smarter people are just more likely to work and party during the night, and sleep in. While all your friends are fast asleep, you are browsing the web for information, reading, learning to play the guitar and finishing up different projects – since this happens behind the scenes, your knowledge and skills will often be a surprise to people.

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    2. You’re the silent type

    You’ll find plenty of misconceptions about quiet people, e.g. being labeled as introverts, socially awkward and so on. This isn’t necessarily true, and while not all quiet people are necessarily smart, highly intelligent people will often refrain from speaking if they are accessing a situation. They will take some time to think about what was said and prepare an adequate response, and they find silence better than pointless small talk.

    3. You face your problems

    You may find yourself faced with a bunch of difficult problems, but a smart person won’t let that bring them down. A very smart person will know how to prioritize and deal with problems as they arise, before things even get a chance to start spinning out of control. If you are the type of person who faces problems and welcomes challenges, always dancing on the age of your comfort zone, chances are that you are fairly intelligent.

    4. You hang out with smart and creative people

    The company you keep is a good reflection of who you are as a person. Exceptionally smart people will tend to hang out with people like them, i.e. smart, creative and cultured. There are always some exceptions, but if about 80% of the people in your life are intelligent and interesting, you probably fit that description as well.

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    5. You strive for perfection

    Perfectionist

      There might not be anything that hints at great intelligence in your appearance or speech, the way you conduct yourself is an excellent indicator. Intelligent people always strive for perfection, so each time you see them you’ll be able to notice a few small improvements. They are always a bit different than before. This perfectionist mentality is applied to all aspects of life, from trying to look their best or working on being a great speaker, to spending hours practicing their golf swing or dart throw.

      6. You tend to be quite self-critical

      There are plenty of narcissists out there who sometimes lie to themselves and others about how good they are at something, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see someone being self-critical and accepting critique. Although someone might not be actively trying to impress and come off as smart, the ability to acknowledge one’s own faults and the willingness to work on correcting them can give their intelligence away.

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      7. You like to stay informed

      Intelligent people like to be up to date with the latest development in a number of different fields, always trying to improve themselves bit by bit. A smart person will stay up to date with local and global news, as well as try to learn all he or she can about topics that are directly related to their life or are interesting to them. Gathering information, learning new things and developing useful skills is a lifelong goal for highly intelligent people, and they will always have a way of keeping themselves busy.

      8. You’re constantly occupied with tons of different projects

      Speaking of keeping busy, a good indicator that you are dealing with a very smart person is the fact that they always have a few projects that they are working on. They might be brushing up on their French and learning a few useful Mandarin phrases, reading up on DIY home repairs, taking dancing lessons, working on some new recipes in the kitchen, or compiling a book on early medieval architecture. While a lot of people like to keep busy, a smart person will fill their free time with activities that help them improve in one way or another. Not all smart people are very productive, but it can be a good indicator of higher intellect.

      9. You ask all the right questions

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      Questions

        When talking to a smart person who doesn’t blow his or her own horn, you’ll notice that they don’t try to hijack the conversation or start long monologues. They will actually sit there quietly and listen to what you have to say, allowing for a few moments of silence here and there as they think things over. However, once they ask a question it really hits the spot. They actually give helpful advice or even get you to come to the right conclusions on your own. If your friends enjoy talking to you and tell you that you are a good listener, you are probably a good friend, and an intelligent one at that.

        10. You don’t think that you are exceptionally smart

        Due to something called the Dunning-Kruger effect people with a low level of competence will tend to overestimate their abilities, whereas highly competent people will tend to sell themselves short. This is due to the fact that the more intelligent, informed and skilled you are, the more you realize just how much space there is to further improve and you are not satisfied with your current knowledge or skill level.

        True intelligence cannot really be hidden away or masked effectively, nor is this the point of exceptionally smart people who appear seemingly normal. They wear their intelligence proudly, but they don’t flaunt it, although these ten signs are a dead giveaway.

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Last Updated on July 17, 2019

        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

        What happens in our heads when we set goals?

        Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

        Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

        According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

        Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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        Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

        Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

        The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

        Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

        So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

        Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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        One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

        Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

        Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

        The Neurology of Ownership

        Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

        In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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        But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

        This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

        Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

        The Upshot for Goal-Setters

        So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

        On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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        It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

        On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

        But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

        More About Goals Setting

        Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

        Reference

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