Intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, and use them to make judgements or have opinions based on reason. Being book-smart and knowing all the facts doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. It’s in your ability to constructively use the valuable information you have attained, and hone your adaptability skills while doing so.
So if you are one of the many people who didn’t score straight A’s in school, that doesn’t mean you aren’t smart- people exhibit intelligence in a variety of ways.
According to esteemed psychologist Howard Gardner, “Standardized tests only measure one kind of intelligence.” He has a theory that there are at least seven different types of intelligence that exist.
Let’s take a look at some of the signs you are highly intelligent, even if you might not feel like you are.
1. You have a tendency to underestimate your abilities
The inverse of the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to you; you’re the opposite of those who consider themselves more competent than everyone else. This effect occurs where people fail to critically analyze their own level of incompetence at a task, this lack of awareness leads to them over-estimating themselves. I.E: People who are too stupid to know how stupid they really are.
2. People who think they know everything usually don’t
As an intelligent being, you understand that there’s always something new to learn. Jim Winer writes: intelligent people “are not afraid to say: ‘I don’t know.’ If they don’t know it, they can learn it.”. Genuinely intelligent people do what they can to fill the voids that exist with knowledge instead of fret over the absence of it. Experts concur with the idea that a sign of true intelligence is knowing the limitations of your knowledge and skills.
3. You have an evolved sense of adaptability
Psychologists say that the very definition of true intelligence means that you do whatever it is that needs to be done to make it work, even if you don’t like it. Quora user Donna F Hammett writes, intelligent people adapt by “showing what can be done regardless of the complications or restrictions placed upon them.” So, the ability for you to use your brain to adapt to new situations and learning from change is also what makes you a smart person.
4. You have an insatiable sense of curiosity
Intelligent people ask questions like why, how and what if. According to MIT’s Hal Gregersen, questioning is one of the key traits commonly possessed by innovators.
Your thirst for knowledge will never be quenched, since you know the limits of your intelligence, you know that there is always room for more. So you ask questions, if not out loud then to yourself. You’re constantly in search of knowledge, be it theoretical of practical.
5. You have more empathy than most
You like to learn new things, so getting to know different people and learning from them is something you find enriching. Your level of compassion and conscientiousness makes you a highly intelligent empathic individual.
Research on the correlation between emotional intelligence and IQ has been done by Memory expert, Dr. Fiona McPherson, who says that more emotionally intelligent people have more effective verbal comprehension. Emotional intelligence and general intelligence have become inextricably intertwined.
6. Birds of a feather flock together
There are, however, exceptions to the rule, generally about 80% of the people you choose to be around are also as smart as you. Plus if your clever friends were drawn to you then you’re probably clever too.
By Raven Fon