11 signs of a slow thinker who is secretly intelligent

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What does it mean to be a smart, intelligent person?

You might think of someone dynamic and loud, someone confident who overcomes all of life’s obstacles with ease, going from one place to the next because of their mental ability and general proficiency.


But not all intelligent people are quick or cunning.

There are many intelligent people who have amazing minds, but don’t think as quickly as the stereotypical intelligent individual.

Instead, these people take the time to think things through, but when they do, their answers and solutions are among the best.

Here are 11 signs of a slow thinking person who is unexpectedly intelligent:

1) They Seem Ordinary, But They Amaze People When They Speak

Intelligence isn’t always so easy to spot.

Sometimes you might run into the most ordinary-looking person; someone with a normal career, an average home and life.

And you might not expect anything of that person, until the moment you actually have a real conversation with them.

When they start speaking, you just know immediately that they have an amazing head on their shoulders.

Their thoughts are well-constructed, their arguments are on-point, and they’ve thought about everything deeply before saying a single word.

Slow thinking, intelligent people might not be spectacular or amazing, and they may just tend to live ordinary lives like most people.

But when they start sharing their thoughts, you can’t help but wonder: who is this person and how can I learn from them?

2) They Have an Incredible Yet Unexpected Skill and Expertise

High intelligence is often associated with people in impressive positions: scientists, CEOs, and doctors.

Essentially, you expect the most intelligent people to occupy the positions in society that require the most skill and brainpower.

And yet there are many parts of society that may not seem like it requires tons of intelligence and skill until you meet the people who actually run it.

Slow thinking, intelligent people tend to gravitate toward unique positions and careers in a society where their high level of intelligence can still be exercised, without the quick and tense demands of a more illustrious career.

This means they develop uniquely advanced expertise and skill in an area you wouldn’t expect, making even simple or mundane jobs seem like their own kind of science.

3) They Let Their Work Speak For Themselves

Intelligent people often know how to defend their thoughts and ideas.

They can properly articulate their points even when presented with questions and arguments completely new to them, because they can counter immediately with their quick thoughts.

But slow thinking, intelligent individuals prefer to stay out of arguments and discussions.

They don’t even try to win an argument with people who might have the ability to think much more quickly than they do, but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid at all.

It simply means that they know they have to let their work do the talking for them.

So they let their work speak for itself.

They do their thinking in preparation, rather than on the day itself because they know they need the time and space to truly get the most out of their talents.

And more often than not, they prove not just to themselves but to everyone around them that they have the intelligence to do whatever they put their minds to.

4) They Never Rush Into Anything

Intelligence often comes hand-in-hand with cockiness; and arrogant brashness that develops after years of knowing that you have a superior intellect to those around you.

But this arrogance and speed can also lead to tons of stupid mistakes, mistakes that could’ve been avoided with just a little more thought and preparation.

This is why slow thinking intelligent people know that they should never rush anything, no more how confident or self-assured they may be about it.

Even if something seems perfect already, they’ll still hold back and think it through before saying that it’s ready.

5) They Are Calm and Steady

There’s nothing quirky or fast-paced about a slow-thinking intelligent person.

They hold their cards close to their chest because they don’t want to say something they might not actually believe or truly think.

So unlike quicker people who can make decisions on a fly and let their emotions dictate the way they think and behave, slow thinking intelligent people keep a tight lid on their emotions, rarely ever reacting with passion or emotion, and almost solely reacting with thought and precision.

They don’t let their emotions get the better of them; no matter what the situation, they prioritize keeping their emotions in check, staying calm and steady, because only then can they truly think.

6) They Are Creatures of Habit

Intelligent people in powerful positions can be seen traveling the world one day, signing deals the next, talking to dozens of different people daily, and just changing the world in every way they can, day by day.

But slow thinking intelligent people are quite different.

They don’t like change in their life; they don’t appreciate disruptions and inconsistencies in their routine.

Instead, they thrive most when they can maintain their routines as creatures of habit.

They enjoy knowing how their day will pan out from start to finish because they need the time and space to properly think and work on whatever their current project is.

They make their lives as steady as possible, controlling every aspect of it, so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.

7) They Tend To Be Late Bloomers

How many times have you heard stories of amazingly intelligent teenagers who’ve already graduated with four degrees and are working on their graduate degree, or even their PhD?

You often hear stories of the smartest people who were smart from the moment they could first talk, and have been showing that intelligence every day since.

But intelligence isn’t always so obvious or quick, particularly in slow thinkers.

Slow thinkers tend to be late bloomers in life; they tend to reach their heights at later points in life, peaking decades later than you would expect.

And this is simply because they don’t rush things; they make their life choices with extreme care, and that may cost them a year or two here and there.

8) They Have Strong Moral Beliefs

The thing about slow thinkers is that they relish in the time they spend thinking about things.

When something interests them, they don’t let the speed of the event dictate the speed at which they make their decisions; they never like feeling like they haven’t spent enough time processing something, and they’d rather be absent to a discussion instead of present without the right thoughts to share.

This is why slow-thinking intelligent people tend to have incredibly strong moral beliefs.

Everything they believe in has been given the right amount of time and energy for them to truly believe in it.

They don’t make rash decisions and don’t believe in things lightly. Once they believe in something, they might never be convinced otherwise.

9) They Like Working Alone

These days, there’s so much emphasis on collaboration.

People love working in teams, having daily “scrums” together to brainstorm ideas and figure out solutions as fast and efficiently as possible.

And intelligent people usually thrive in these environments, bouncing ideas off one another and acting reactively to everyone else’s contributions.

Unfortunately, this is the last environment a slow-thinking intelligent person wants to be in.

They may contribute little to nothing in an active, real-time environment like that, where people expect answers and calculations right away.

Instead, smart slow thinkers tend to gravitate to positions where they can work alone, thinking quietly on their own for long periods of time.

The last thing they want is collaboration when they know they can solve a problem or come up with an idea much more efficiently if they had the time and space to do so.

10) They’re Very Careful and Precise

Slow thinking and intelligence often go hand in hand, even if that’s not what you often imagine when you think of high intelligence.

Intelligence is often associated with speed, with a dozen calculations going off in someone’s mind at the same time, and aggressiveness that could only be cultivated by a smart, confident mind.

But there are many ways that intelligence benefits more with slow thinkers than quick thinkers.

Slow thinking intelligent individuals end up being much more careful and precise than their faster peers.

But this also means they rarely (if ever) make mistakes because they’ve gone over everything a thousand times in their mind before attempting it in real life.

They don’t allow for mistakes – everything must be perfect, and they take the time to ensure perfection no matter what variables may be in place.

11) People Around Them Tend To Respect Them

One major sign of a person who is secretly intelligent because they’re a slow thinker?

Simple: the people around them tend to respect them.

Even if you don’t brag about your intelligence or show it off, over time people in your community will still recognize that you are unusually brighter than everyone else.

So they tend to respect you, especially when you’ve also shown the humility to live an ordinary life and career despite your high level of intelligence.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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