It’s all too easy to stereotype people.
We might think someone is smarter, simply because they wear glasses. We may be taken aback to discover someone has both brains and beauty.
Unfortunately, society loves to pigeonhole us. But intelligence is far too multifaceted for that.
The truth is that looks have zero to do with it.
So what does?
Here are the real hidden signs of intelligence…
1) You have a “clever” voice
It turns out, the way you speak sends more messages about your intelligence levels than the way you look.
Research done at the University of Chicago filmed students making elevator pitches. They then got professional recruiters and employees to watch, listen to, or read transcripts of those pitches.
What they found was that hearing the candidate’s pitches made them appear more intelligent, thoughtful, and competent compared to when they read it.
Meanwhile seeing the candidates on video didn’t make a difference. This suggests that sounding smart is far more of a thing than looking smart!
The study author Nicholas Epley says the findings highlight how the cues we give off are clearly more complex than we may think:
“What they show is that your intelligence is not necessarily something I can see on your body, but I think it’s a cue that we can pick up or hear in your voice.”
2) You’re far more of a night owl than an early bird
Maybe you’ve heard the saying:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Well, not necessarily the wise part apparently.
Early risers may brag about seizing the day, but it seems it’s the later-nighters that have more mental power.
As someone who usually has lights out by midnight, I hate to admit it. But there’s no denying that the research backs it up.
Isn’t that just about the best excuse you’ve ever heard to go ahead and have that lie in?!
3) You’re perfectly happy doing absolutely nothing
As a self-confessed lazy ass who loves nothing more than lounging around the house, I really like this next hidden sign.
Largely because it sounds like the perfect explanation for doing nothing.
But I promise I’m not making it up, it’s also true! One study highlighted that intelligent people are less active.
Here’s the thing:
Smart people spend a lot of time thinking and that is already entertaining enough.
As explained in the Independent:
“Findings from a US-based study seem to support the idea that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought. And active people may be more physical as they need to stimulate their minds with external activities, either to escape their thoughts or because they get bored quickly.”
4) You’re sensitive to the feelings of others
It’s so important to remember, not all intelligence is about being book-smart.
Good people skills are usually down to someone’s emotional intelligence.
This allowed them to better tune into the thoughts and feelings of others.
Ultimately, scientists believe that smarter people are usually more prosocial — aka helping, sharing, comforting, and cooperating.
So these good-natured and generous traits can all be signs of being clever too.
5) You’re great at concentrating
Keeping your mind on the task at hand is no mean feat.
Especially in our modern worlds filled with tempting distractions, it’s easy for your mind to wander.
The mental strength and agility to keep it on track is why it’s a hidden sign of your intelligence.
Studies have shown that being able to filter out unimportant background noise (aka irrelevant information and distractions) is something highly intelligent people do.
So if you can spend hours at a time immersed in a task, congrats, it shows that you’re bright enough to keep your concentration going.
6) You love alone time
Have you ever been accused of being a bit of a loner?
If so, your big brain could be the reason, rather than being anti-social.
In fact, one study found that highly intelligent people are often loners.
The reason can sound a bit puzzling at first. After all, we are ultimately social creatures by nature that have relied on living in groups.
But according to experts the very smartest people in society have what may be considered as “unnatural” preferences that our ancestors didn’t.
Very smart people simply don’t crave friendship and companionship in the same way.
7) You always remember every little detail
My boyfriend hates my memory skills sometimes.
Because I can recite a conversation we had months ago pretty much verbatim. As you can imagine, that’s annoying when you’re trying to deny something you may have said.
But it turns out a good memory might also be a sign of fluid intelligence. That’s your ability to take in complex information around you.
Good observation skills (which are linked to memory) are all part of it.
So if you’re great at spotting patterns or find it easy to recall words and text — it’s a reflection of your intelligence.
8) You’re modest about what you know and what you don’t know
Here’s the funny thing:
The people who brag about their intelligence may not be quite as smart as they profess.
It’s actually those who underestimate how bright they are that are far more clever than they give themselves credit for.
That’s because research has highlighted that a lot of people are ignorant of their lack of knowledge or expertise, and so they overestimate their competence.
That’s why humility is a true hidden sign of intelligence. You are smart enough to know your limitations and make room for learning.
9) You’re good with your hands
Take your mind out of the gutter, I’m not talking about that.
No, I mean that you have good bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, and so you find it easier to learn through physically doing something.
Those who are good with their hands are often craftspeople, musicians, or even people like surgeons.
But it’s not just hands, you might be good with your feet. For example, you find steps easy to learn and never put a foot wrong in your aerobics class.
Body intelligence is an all too often overlooked hidden sign of intelligence. But it brings with it better dexterity and coordination.
That can mean you have many talents and skills that seem to come more naturally — whether that’s sports, DIY, dance, etc.
10) You have a good sense of humor
Being funny is on a lot of people’s list of what they’re looking for in a partner. But the reasons why may run deeper than you think.
Sure, we all want to be able to laugh with our boo. But it’s also a sign that your potential significant other is smarter than average.
According to World Economic Forum:
“Evolutionary psychologists describe humour as a “heritable trait” that signals mental fitness and intellectual agility to prospective mates.
“In studies of attractiveness, both men and women rate funny people as more attractive, and cite having a good sense of humour as being one of the most important traits in a long-term partner.”
Studies have shown that being sharp-witted is a reflection of being smart — suggesting that the so-called class clown isn’t such a fool after all!
Hidden intelligence proves we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover
There’s no point in pretending that appearances don’t make a difference. It can be the first thing people go off in order to try and figure you out.
But hopefully, this article shows why none of us should ever judge a book by its cover.
Lurking within our chapters is more often than not a wealth of intellect that can show up in all sorts of ways…if we’re prepared to see it.