9 unconventional habits that indicate a high level of intellect

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Intellect isn’t always about high IQs or academic achievements. Sometimes, it reveals itself in the quirkiest and most unconventional habits.

Most of us have our own unusual habits, but did you know that some of these might just be a sign of a high level of intellect?

It’s fascinating to delve into the peculiarities that set smart people apart. And, as it turns out, these habits are not as random as they seem.

So, if you’ve ever wondered whether your quirky tendencies are a sign of hidden genius, this article is for you. Here are nine unconventional habits that might just indicate a high level of intellect.

1) Being a night owl

Have you ever wondered why some people are more active and productive at night?

Well, it turns out that being a night owl might just be a sign of higher intellect.

Research has shown that people who prefer to stay up late and do their most effective thinking in the wee hours of the night may actually have higher IQs.

This nocturnal habit stems from our ancestors who needed to think creatively and devise new solutions to survive in the dark.

2) Being a habitual daydreamer

I’ve often found myself lost in thought, even in the middle of a conversation or an important task. It used to worry me, until I discovered that daydreaming might actually be a sign of higher intellect.

Researchers suggest that people with a higher level of intellect are more likely to daydream as their brains process information more efficiently, leaving room for introspective thoughts and imaginative explorations.

For example, during a recent team meeting, while everyone was discussing the quarterly sales report, I found myself contemplating the solution for an entirely different project issue. At first, I felt guilty for zoning out, but then I realized that my brain was just processing the presented information quickly and moving on to other complex issues.

If you, like me, often find yourself daydreaming, don’t be too hard on yourself. It might just mean that your brain is working at an advanced level!

3) Learning new languages

Contrary to what some may believe, learning a new language isn’t just a matter of rote memorization. It’s actually a complex cognitive task that involves understanding new rules and structures, and applying them to communicate effectively.

People who are able to learn and master multiple languages often demonstrate higher cognitive abilities, particularly in areas such as problem-solving and multitasking.

While English is the most widely spoken language in the world, there are over 7,000 languages worldwide. And those who can navigate through multiple languages often exhibit a high level of intellect.  

4) Enjoying solitude

Often, solitude is mistakenly associated with loneliness, but individuals of greater intelligence frequently find solace in alone time.

Their preference for solitude isn’t indicative of antisocial tendencies; rather, they utilize this period for introspection, self-exploration, and profound contemplation—activities that foster mental stimulation and intellectual advancement.

5) Appreciating dark humor

Ever found yourself laughing at a joke that others found too dark or complex to understand? This could be a sign that you’re highly intelligent. 

Studies have found a correlation between the understanding and appreciation of dark humor and higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Dark humor, usually characterized by its complexity and layers of meaning, requires a certain level of intelligence to decode and understand. 

Thus, those adept at navigating its complexities demonstrate not only a keen intellect but also a nuanced understanding of human emotions and societal dynamics. 

6) Valuing deep connections

In a world where social media has us counting ‘friends’ in the hundreds or even thousands, those with a high level of intellect often prefer to have a few deep and meaningful relationships.

They understand the value of quality over quantity when it comes to human connections. They seek out relationships that challenge their thinking, stimulate their intellect, and nurture their emotional growth.

After all, forming and maintaining deep connections requires understanding, empathy, and emotional intelligence – all signs of a well-developed mind.

7) Embracing change

Change is a part of life, but not everyone handles it well. I’ve discovered that my ability to adapt and embrace change, rather than resist it, might be linked to a higher level of intellect.

Intellectual individuals often thrive in changing environments as they see them as opportunities for learning and growth. They’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zones and explore the unknown.

For instance, when my company decided to switch to a completely new software system, instead of resisting the change, I saw it as a chance to learn something new and expand my skill set. It wasn’t easy, but the ability to adapt helped me turn an initially daunting situation into an enriching experience.

8) Reading for pleasure

In this digital age of endless media and entertainment options, reading books as a hobby may seem like a rebellious choice. Yet, did you realize it’s a subtle badge of honor—hinting at a keen intellect?

Diving into a book isn’t just about expanding your knowledge or refining your lexicon; it’s a stimulating journey that ignites your creativity, sharpens your mind, and fosters empathy.

With each page turned, you’re sculpting your intellect, honing your ability to navigate the complexities of the world. Therefore, keep on flipping those pages—it’s not just a hobby; it’s a delightful rebellion against the status quo, and a celebration of your intellectual curiosity.

9) Questioning everything

Do you find yourself constantly probing the depths of “why” and “how”? If so, consider it a hallmark of your sharp intellect. After all, every monumental discovery in history has its roots in a simple question.

Intelligent people are often characterized by their relentless curiosity. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a constant desire to understand the world around them.

They’re not satisfied with just accepting things as they are. They question, analyze, and seek evidence. This habit of questioning everything fuels their learning and intellectual growth.

Embrace your quirky genius

The unconventional habits we’ve delved into aren’t mere peculiarities; they could be subtle cues of heightened intellect.

Whether it’s burning the midnight oil or relishing dark humor, these tendencies underscore the richness of human intelligence and testify to the diversity of our minds.

So, if you find resonance with any of these habits within yourself, embrace them. They’re not just quirks—they could very well signify your intellectual acumen. Remember, our minds are as unique as our fingerprints, and it’s these idiosyncrasies that make us beautifully human.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

If you want a happier life as you get older, say goodbye to these behaviors

People who become the best version of themselves later in life usually adopt these 8 daily habits