8 signs you’re a highly intelligent person who doesn’t talk a lot

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Do you ever wish you were more talkative (or extroverted) in social situations? 

Well, hold up a minute. 

What if I told you being “the quiet one” might actually be a good thing?

In fact, research shows that more than 75% of “gifted” people (those with an IQ higher than 160) are introverts. 

Now I’m not saying there aren’t benefits to being extroverted. I’m not even suggesting that they aren’t smart. 

There are numerous types of intelligence out there. And according to various studies (including this one from 1999), extrovert and introvert brains simply work differently. 

But if you recognize these eight signs, you’re a highly intelligent person who doesn’t talk a lot.

Let’s dive right in.

1) You enjoy your own company

Do you relish spending time on your own? Perhaps you prefer kicking back at the end of a long day to the sound of silence, rather than hanging out with your rowdy mates.

Chances are you’re an introvert. But did you also know valuing solitude could be a sign of intelligence? 

It’s true. 

This study, originally published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, discovered a link between intelligence and those who felt content being alone.

But there’s more.

Researchers found frequent socialization caused lower life satisfaction in intelligent individuals

Simply put, they were less happy spending long periods around friends and family.

Look. It’s not that you don’t enjoy the company of others. But being alone gives you time to think, reflect, and innovate without distractions.

When you do talk though…

2) You talk to yourself

When you’re alone, do you ever catch yourself having a full-blown conversation with, well, you? In fact, you prefer it to speaking with others.

Don’t worry, you’re not going insane. At least not according to experts. 

Studies show that talking aloud aids with concentration and self-control (another indicator of intelligence). 

Not only that…

But talking to yourself (or even a pet, like a cat) can help you understand concepts better and explain them more easily to others later.

That’s why…

3) You choose your words carefully

We’ve already established that you don’t talk a lot. So when you DO finally say something, it needs to count.

That’s why you choose your words carefully (and think before you speak), only contributing to conversations when you have something meaningful or important to say.

But that’s not all.

Being clear and concise in your communication is a hallmark of intelligence. And not just IQ, but EQ (emotional) and SQ (social) too.

The same goes for self-control

What’s more, if you manage to convey complex ideas or emotions with precision and brevity (without being condescending), it demonstrates a command over language and respect for the power of words.

4) You actively listen to others

Oftentimes, the best thing you can say is nothing at all. And that’s where active listening comes into play. 

A skill you’ve gotten down to a tee.

Not only do you prioritize listening over speaking, but you go beyond simply hearing words or going through the motions. 

For you, there’s no point in dominating the conversation or jumping to conclusions. Instead, you take the time to absorb, process, and understand the intent and meaning behind what the speaker is trying to communicate. Not just in words, but through non-verbal cues. 

Then, (and only then) do you respond thoughtfully. 

So why is active listening so important?

Well, psychologists believe listening to others increases emotional intelligence (EI or EQ). 

In other words, it makes you more empathetic.

By that I mean, you have a good awareness (or sense) of what others are feeling or thinking on a deeper level than the average person. 

5) You are a natural observer 

Professor Layton has nothing on you!

When everyone else is chattering away, you’re quietly sitting there taking mental notes (who knows, it might be important later).

The thing is…

You have an aptitude for observing, remembering, recognizing patterns, and guessing “whodunit” before the big reveal. And that’s because you have an impressive working memory.

What’s that, you ask? 

Let me explain.

Your working memory is the ability to store and process information temporarily. Basically, it helps you keep track of what you’re doing (in the present) and connect the dots later. 

In short, it’s an important factor in decision-making and reasoning. Moreover, studies suggest there’s a link between working memory and fluid intelligence.

As if that’s not enough…

Good pattern recognition may also suggest high naturalist, spatial-visual, and verbal-linguistic intelligence.

All this combined makes you an excellent problem-solver (and a potential detective in the making). 

6) You are naturally curious

You’ve always been inherently curious about the world and how things work. Along with a willingness to question your own beliefs.

It’s what drives your perpetual need to learn, improve, and try new things. 

In a nutshell, you have a growth mindset. 

Well, not only does this investment in intellect help grow your smarts (cognitive growth). But curiosity, itself, is a sign of intelligence

That’s right. If you’re more interested in asking questions, seeking knowledge, and absorbing information, it’s a sign of intellectual curiosity.

This pursuit of knowledge also fuels your creativity.

7) You have a creative streak

You’re open-minded and flexible, so when it comes to finding solutions, you aren’t afraid to think outside the box. 

That’s because you have a creative mind, something that’s considered another sign of intelligence

And while you may not talk much, you vocalize your thoughts and feelings in other ways. 

Be it through creative problem-solving, the visual arts, music, or writing (you get the idea). 

And if you find yourself more inclined to execute plans and ideas than discussing them at length, it could be a sign of your practical intelligence (or “street smarts”).

8) You know yourself 

People often mistake your quietness for shyness, but you know the truth…

You have a strong sense of self and self-awareness to match.

Ultimately, you know your worth. Not only do you feel secure in your abilities, but you don’t feel the need to assert (or vocalize) it to others. Neither are you easily swayed.

You have the messy desk to prove it

And you guessed it, this capacity to understand your strengths and weaknesses is another sign of high intelligence. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

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With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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