The 6 Unmistakable Signs You’re Highly Intelligent Even If You Don’t Think You Are

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. Some of the most successful and influential people in the world have built empires worth hundreds of billions of dollars after having little success in their studies.

Here are some examples to show you what I mean. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, dropped out of Harvard during his Junior year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said goodbye to the same institution after just two years. Finally, the “I, Genius” Steve Jobs dropped out of school without taking a degree.

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. These are as follows: linguistic, logical, body-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, spatial and intrapersonal.

Of these, the last one appears to be the most interesting, owing to the fact that it is the least self-explanatory. According to Gardner, individuals who possess intrapersonal development tend to be rather shy when communicating with others but at the same time, they are pretty much self-motivated.

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.

Here we come to what’s known as the Socratic paradox. The more we learn about life and everything, the more aware we become of how much there is that we do not know.

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. It is the natural thirst for knowledge that intelligent people possess that has led to virtually all of the greatest human discoveries.

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 emotionally 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

Smart people choose to be around other smart people. So if you have a highly intelligent bunch of friends, then you’re highly intelligent too.

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

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