9 signs you’ve got more common sense than the average person, according to psychology

Common sense is all about good judgment, and that’s not necessarily directly linked to intellect.

It’s about doing the smart thing in a wide range of situations, which takes life experience as well as brain cells.

Unlike intellect alone, it also takes into account social factors that contribute to doing and saying the right thing.

In many ways, common sense is what stops us from doing dumb stuff as we go about our daily business, which makes it an important life skill.

Do you feel like you’ve got more common sense than most of the people you meet?

Here are some signs that you could be right.

1) You’ve never fallen for a scam

Scams are prolific.

From blackmail scams, mortgage closing scams, charity scams, lottery scams, romance scams — the list seems endless.

It’s been claimed that as much as $1.4 trillion is being lost annually to frauds and fakers.

It’s hard to check your email, log on to social media, or even answer your phone without putting yourself at risk.

Yet those who fall foul are far from stupid. The reality is that these scams can be incredibly complex and sneaky.

Scammers use clever psychological tricks to manipulate us before we get a chance to step back and use our common sense.

Once upon a time the old saying that “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” would have offered us some protection.

But these days you need some next-level common sense to dodge their traps.

2) You prefer to do your own research

You’re not quick to jump to conclusions.

You think the best way to go about things is to keep an open mind and see what unfolds.

This protects you from confirmation bias and other things that tend to cloud your judgment and get in the way of common sense.

Psychology professor Jim Taylor says when it comes to common sense, we need to entertain things we may not always like.

“First, we can begin our ” inquiry” with an open mind, something sorely lacking in matters both trivial (Who’s better, Red Sox or Yankees, Red Sox of course) and substantial (how to fix the budget deficit). Without being receptive to answers that we may not want to hear, we might as well just ask ourselves what we want to be true and go with that.”

3) You’re not untrusting but neither do you take everyone at their word

As we’ve already seen, only fools rush in.

That also goes for our initial impressions of people too.

That doesn’t mean that you’re guarded or skeptical. Yet again, it just means that you know that reaching accurate conclusions takes time.

When we blindly believe everything people tell us it makes us naive.

Common sense tells us that even if most people in the world are good, not everyone is going to have your best interests at heart.

4) You know how to do countless practical little tasks

We often think of intellect as coming in one narrowly defined package.

But the reality is very different.

You don’t have to be book-smart to show you are clever.

Some people can effortlessly calculate the square root of a complex number but still can’t change a lightbulb.

It reminds me of a meme I once saw that said:

“I’m glad I learned about parallelograms instead of how to do my taxes. It’s really come in handy this parallelogram season.”

Common sense is what helps us carry out lots of generalized tasks throughout our day with ease.

5) You don’t take silly risks

Impulsiveness has been shown to be linked to several adverse outcomes in daily life, including psychosocial functioning.

Aka— how well we handle environmental and social tasks.

When we have an act now think later approach, we end up exposing ourselves to greater risk.

There’s an important psychological difference between calculated risks and stupid ones.

If you’ve got plenty of common sense, chances are you’ve always been pretty street-wise.

You don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger and keep your wits about you.

6) You’ve got a lot of life experience under your belt

…And not all of it has been pleasant.

The good news, especially when it comes to developing more common sense, is that we can learn more when things go wrong than when everything goes to plan.

As Licensed Clinical Social Worker Sara A. Showalter Van Tongeren explains, wisdom increases with experience and overcoming hardships.

“When we allow ourselves to sit with these threats, we can actually allow information that we gain as wisdom going forward. This wisdom can then inform how we choose to live. This wisdom allows us to be embodied humans, living with the full awareness of our limitations, fears, and threats.

As we’re about to see next, drawing on your experiences is what gives you a better read on things.

7) Your gut reactions usually turn out to be right

As we’ve just established, common sense relies a lot on experience.

Yet a lot of this stored knowledge and competency flies under the radar.

It’s not just guesswork, psychology tells us that our intuition is our subconscious mind accessing all of this in an instant.

Your gut is often right because behind the scenes your brain is applying what you already know to the current scenario to give you an informed judgment on how to best proceed.

8) You listen to your feelings

Sometimes the best thing on paper isn’t the best thing to do in real life.

That’s why looking too intently toward logic can be detrimental to using common sense.

Some people with incredibly high IQs can seemingly say the completely wrong thing and seem lacking in tact.

Being blunt is often a side effect of focusing too intently on “logic” and “facts” yet completely ignoring the human factor.

Our feelings make us more empathetic and considerate towards others which can form an important part of common sense.

Because common sense takes into account the context as a whole, and feelings are an undeniable part of that.

9) People turn to you as someone who gets the job done

Every friendship group or family has this person.

In your network, it’s you.

You are the one they call when they don’t know how to do something or when they need some good advice.

You’re the one people turn to when they need a grown-up influence who will make sense and get the job done.

In my friendship group, it’s our pal Rob who always has “emergency string” on him wherever we take a trip.

I’m not kidding.

And as over the top as that sounds to a lot of people, it’s actually come in very handy on plenty of occasions.

Which is no surprise to him, as he is blessed with an abundance of common sense to know this.

We live, we learn

Common sense isn’t static.

Whilst some people do seem utterly devoid of it, it is still a learned behavior.

Making more of an effort to reflect on the world around us and our choices can help us hone this skill even further.

As does coming at a problem or challenge from all angles and taking the time you need to make an informed decision.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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