If someone uses these 12 phrases, they’re subtly displaying high intelligence

Ever found yourself mid-conversation, suddenly struck by the sheer insightfulness of someone’s remark? 

I’m not talking about those big, fancy words that some people use to sound smart. 

But rather an opinion or response that reflects deep thinking, empathy, and an understanding of the world that goes beyond what people generally have. 

You know, something they say that instantly makes you think they’re brilliant. 

Well, did you know these kinds of people also have specific phrases they often use? 

If you’re trying to find the brainy one in the bunch, knowing what these are can help. 

Or maybe you’re just downright curious about what makes some people more intelligent than others. 

Who knows…

After reading this, you might even realize that you’ve subtly been signaling intelligence without realizing it!

Ready to know what these phrases are?

First off, intelligent people often say…

1) “Let’s break down the basics…”

When someone uses this phrase, they probably have a deep understanding of the subject at hand.

More than that, they’re aware of the importance of foundational knowledge. 

The thing is, intelligent people know that complex ideas are better understood when dissected into simpler parts. 

So, they start from the basics to ensure that everyone involved has a solid foundation to work from. 

This makes communicating easier and problem-solving more effective. 

Whether in a professional or personal setting, breaking down the basics makes sure there’s a framework before the more complicated parts are tackled. 

If someone suggests doing this, it often shows that they’re educated and thoughtful. 

2) “Let’s think about this in a different way…”

Unintelligent people are often narrow-minded. They have one way of looking at things simply because that’s the only way they know how to. 

So, when someone uses this phrase, it shows they’re flexible and open to new ideas, AKA a little more intelligent and not afraid to learn. 

Finding new solutions is impossible when you’re unwilling to step back from conventional viewpoints. 

Exploring alternative perspectives is a must. 

Intelligent people often suggest and excel at creative thinking

And this usually involves looking at things from new angles and questioning the norm.

This phrase doesn’t only encourage diverse viewpoints. It also hints that the person using it is wise and capable of navigating complex situations. 

3) “I found a cool study about this…”

People who read through studies, or just read for that matter, are generally the curious and proactive type. 

They’re interested in learning about new things, finding evidence, and having the best knowledge on hand to make decisions. 

When someone uses this phrase, it hints that they appreciate research and data. 

It also shows they like to read stuff that challenges or expands their understanding. 

Truth is, intelligent people tend to have a thirst for learning. They’re the ones who are often excited about sharing intriguing findings with others and creating an environment of continuous learning. 

I’m not saying I’m the smartest person in the world, but I consider myself intelligent, and 

I have a habit of reading, learning, and referencing back to what I found. 

Kinda like what you’re doing right now. 

And whenever I come across someone who does this, too, I think they’re highly intelligent. 

All of this is also true when I hear someone say, “This makes me think of something I read.”

4) “Can you explain more about that?”

Like with reading studies, a genuine curiosity and eagerness to understand concepts fully indicate you’re in the company of a super smart person. 


Well, when someone asks this question, it shows they aren’t satisfied with superficial knowledge and want to build a better understanding. 

By asking for further explanation, they not only gain a deeper insight but also encourage open communication and mutual learning. 

Some people might find it irritating when someone keeps asking questions. 

But an intelligent person sees questions as the most powerful tool for learning. 

The best part?

This phrase isn’t just a reflection of their intelligence but also an opportunity for others to learn. 

Sometimes, people have viewpoints or a way of doing things simply because it’s what they’ve been taught. 

In this case, they never put any thought into it and don’t really know why they do or prefer it. 

When this question reaches a certain point, people are forced to dig deep and think about their reasons or choices. 

Now, you might wonder what intelligent people do when asked questions. 

Well, they’ll likely respond with a phrase like this: 

5) “That’s a really interesting question. Let’s look into it more…”

Unintelligent people usually cut questions short. They have limited knowledge about subjects and are unwilling to admit this or even learn more through collaboration. 

A response like this indicates that the person not only values the question but also sees it as an opportunity for deeper exploration.

Brilliant people embrace questions.

And when they don’t have the answers, they’re ready to admit this while still being open to learning and problem-solving

6) “It’s good to think about all the options…”

This statement subtly indicates high intelligence because it highlights the importance of being thorough, open-minded, and strategic when making decisions. 

Most people will go for the first option they see. 

And while this is sometimes a good thing, when you’re making big decisions like buying a car or accepting a job offer in a new town, you can’t be hasty. 

Intelligent people know that by exploring all possible options and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each, they can make better choices. 

This approach also demonstrates a capacity for critical thinking – a trait often associated with intelligence. 

When someone uses a phrase like this, it also shows they have an inclusive approach to decision-making and they’re not afraid of the choice they make having a learning curve. 

7) “It looks like there are good points on both sides…”

Seeing the value in different perspectives reflects a high level of intelligence. 

Simply put, almost nothing in life is black or white. 

There are valid arguments on all sides, and someone seeing this shows intellectual maturity and fairness in evaluating information. 

Intelligent people also know that acknowledging the strengths of opposing viewpoints doesn’t necessarily weaken their position. 

Instead, it encourages open dialogue. 

Anyone with a deeper, more thoughtful look into subjects is more intelligent than most. 

And when someone uses this phrase, it signals this. 

8) “I get what you’re saying, but…”

Even when someone sees good points from a different opinion, it doesn’t mean they won’t counter it. 

And when they do, they might use a phrase like this. 

They’ll listen and understand but then thoughtfully introduce their contrasting viewpoint or additional information. 

This communication method reflects intelligence because it values the exchange of knowledge. 

People who aren’t capable of understanding complex ideas will rarely challenge an opinion or perspective. 

9) “I’d love to hear a different opinion…”

Highly intelligent people are open and have a genuine desire to grow. 

They know that no one person has all the answers and that wisdom is found in the collective knowledge and experiences of others. 

If someone uses this statement, they show they’re open to diverse perspectives and actually understand the importance of it. 

You can not only feel free to share your opinion with them but also know that they’ll have the intelligence to fully grasp what you’re trying to say

Intelligent people know that exposing themselves to different opinions broadens their understanding while also challenging their preconceptions. 

Which leads to personal and intellectual growth. 

10) “If we look back in history…”

Looking back on history is a way to see patterns and learn from past events. 

Sure, we need to live for the now. 

But intelligent people know that while we do that, we shouldn’t ignore history completely. 

History shaped current events and decisions. 

When someone references it, it shows they’re aware that the past can offer valuable insight into the present and the future. 

Intelligent people often draw on historical examples to illustrate points, highlight similarities, or caution against repeating past mistakes. 

This approach adds depth and perspective to conversations and decisions. 

It’s also a subtle display of critical thinking. 

Similarly, someone with high intelligence could also say…

11) “It looks like there’s a connection between…”

Identifying patterns, relationships, and underlying links between seemingly different things, whether in the context of history or not, demonstrates analytical thinking and the ability to see what isn’t immediately obvious. 

People who excel at spotting these connections have excellent problem-solving skills, are innovative, and can understand the depth of complex issues. 

For someone who isn’t as intelligent, this just isn’t possible. 

I know it sounds harsh. 

But unintelligent people often don’t have what it takes to be the leaders of tomorrow. 

Intelligent people, however, can identify and explore connections that lead to breakthroughs. 

12) “It’s important to check the facts…”

Intelligent people value the truth

For them, it’s not always about what they grew up knowing or what they were taught to believe. 

They aren’t afraid to challenge what they know and understand the power of grounding decisions in verified information. 

If someone uses this phrase, they likely prefer prioritizing facts over speculation. Any information you get from them is generally also more reliable and evidence-based. 

Keep in mind that anecdotal evidence forms part of this, too. 

Intelligent people know better than to dismiss personal experiences or results due to a lack of scientific studies. 

They’ll always take all the information they can get into account. And only after thoroughly examining everything, form an opinion or make a decision. 

One which they can confidently explain, by the way.

Last words

Now, I’m not saying intelligent people are always right or know better. Just because someone uses one of these phrases doesn’t mean they’re superior. 

These phrases are just more commonly associated with intelligent people. 

So, if you hear one of them, you’re in the company of a highly intelligent person, more likely than not. 

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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