How to Identify Smart People: Quick Signs That a Person is Intelligent (2023)

Intelligence fascinates people. We want to know who the smartest people in the world are, where they go to school, what they do for a living. But how can you tell if someone is intelligent? Sure, some people have degrees from prestigious universities and work in high-paying jobs—but that doesn’t mean they’re smarter than you! There are many signs that point to someone being intelligent. Not only do they have an above average IQ, but they also have a better understanding of how the world works. They can predict what will happen in the future and are good at solving problems on their own. We’ll discuss how to identify smart people quick!

“Only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do.”

— Chris Rock

What makes a person smart?

We can learn to be smart. You can become smarter by being curious and seeking new information. It means knowing things others don’t, but also being able to communicate those ideas in ways that make sense together.

This includes understanding visual cues from signs around us all while not getting distracted.

Intelligence is a rare gift that the world has blessed only some lucky people with. It’s not just smarts and knowledge, but also the ability to learn quickly and solve problems. It takes more than simply being able to read well!

A smart person learns from experience and can adapt to new situations or environments. They use their intelligence to influence the circumstances that surround them.

Responding with open-mindedness and respect to other’s opinions is a trait of smart people.

They’re aware that life happens outside intellectual discussions—checking themselves before reacting when faced with difficult situations or new challenges. They plan, take action without hesitation, and make connections between both intelligences: emotional intelligence (connecting through empathy) and logic intelligence; being able to connect cognitively while still processing things inside.

Intelligent people don’t need recognition. They’re content within. They are less bothered with what the world does or thinks.

Someone who is smart is not afraid of differing from others, and recognizes how important it is for a society to work together and respect differences at the same time.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

— Bill Gates

What is the saddest truth about smart people?

Though we’ve discussed what smart people are like, let’s dive into the saddest truth about them: we misunderstand smart people.

We equate intelligence with perfection and assume that it’s better than everyone else, which is not the case. Intelligence does not make you better or worse. Society pushes an “or mindset. You should be this “or” that. We make judgments about how we will act or how others should act based on this idea of how it’s supposed to be.

We see the world in absolutes, which prevent us from seeing smart people for who they really are: just another human being like yourself that faces problems and struggles every day. They just have more knowledge of certain things, which have helped them grow as an individual.

They can teach us how to expand our knowledge and how we can achieve more in life if only we would look past the idea of perfection and allow ourselves to be open-minded about smart people. The best place to start is by identifying common traits they have that set them apart from everyone else.

Intelligent people can seem egotistical. Sometimes, they’re open about their determination to learn new things and how they perceive their intelligence. They’ll voice their quest to solve specific problems that we can see as boastful.

Smart people can be lonely people because they spend most of their time in their own head. It’s how they process all the information that comes at them from outside sources and how they plan for the future. They might seem distant or aloof to others, but it’s just because we don’t understand how much goes on in their mind.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt, while the stupid people are full of confidence.”

— Charles Bukowski

Why do smart people hide their intelligence?

Smart people keep their intelligence to themselves for several reasons:

  • They feel like they don’t fit into society. Others can’t keep up with their thought process.
  • It feels more comfortable to be treated like an equal. We often see intelligence as a threat, and that makes them feel vulnerable or inferior.
  • It’s how their parents raised them—treating intelligence as a distinct dynamic in the family.
  • Opportunities come when they don’t flaunt their intelligence.
  • Their personalities determine the quality of our relationships with them, not their knowledge.
  • Spending more time listening than talking helps them reach their full potential.
  • Attention-seeking is not a sign of intelligence, but a trait of a narcissism.
  • We see intelligence as competition, and they want to avoid that.
  • Collaboration is more likely to occur when the intelligence of each person is equal.

Why are smart people quiet?

Many smart people are quiet because they are in observation. They are listening to how others interact and how they can provide effective feedback.

Intelligent people rarely speak without cause. If an intelligent person finds something interesting, they will join in the conversation. They avoid small talk.

However, society often pushes this idea that louder people are smarter. This is not the case at all. In fact, smart people have a tendency to be quiet because they want their intelligence to speak for itself and not how it appears on the outside.

Smart people pay attention to how others interact with them so that they can better understand how they can use effective communication to speak to each unique individual.

Why do smart people avoid eye contact?

Their mind is in full-function mode, so they might fixate their eyes on something else while you’re talking to them. They’re also able to process what’s being said instead of just waiting for a pause.

Not all of them avoid eye contact, but it’s one sign that they are listening. Eye contact is how we outwardly connect with each other, but it’s not the only way our brains associate with the what is being said by the other person.

Smart people are confident in themselves and their abilities. They don’t need reassurance from others that they’re doing a good job or have made the right decision because they can trust their own judgment without needing someone’s approval.

“Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked.”

— Steve Wozniak

How to identify smart people quick

1. They respond with a question.

This is a sign that they are engaged in the conversation and thinking about how to best rebound what you have said, so it makes sense for them as well.

2. Considerateness is part of their nature.

When you are around smart people, you find that they are always pleasant and helpful. They know how to avoid conflict and how to pick their battles.

3. They are inquisitive.

Understanding someone is important to them. It’s common for them to say, “Can you explain how that works?” Digging deeper into a subject to gain clarity is how they operate.

4. They don’t react to an opinion with negative emotions.

They will ask probing questions to learn more about your logic, and are interested in how you arrived at your conclusion—not just hearing what you think. They’ll ask, “What led to that decision?” or “How did it make you feel?

5. They will try to make the conversation easy to understand.

Leaving all the fluff out, sentences are direct—to the point. They will say things like, “My point is…” and “The main takeaway here is…” They’ll avoid the use of big words or complicated sentence structure.

6. They are persistent with their efforts.

Time is life’s most valuable asset and intelligent people want to make sure every minute is going towards a productive goal. You’ll often hear them say, “If nothing else, I can always do more.”

7. They put their ego aside.

Perspectives are important; without them, how will we learn? Intelligent people know they aren’t the only ones in this world and are open to hearing different viewpoints. They’ll ask you how you feel about something instead of making assumptions because assumptions can lead to miscommunication or worse—bad decisions.

8. They will admit their faults.

Being perfect is impossible, but intelligent people know how to own their mistakes. They don’t make excuses for themselves or find other reasons why something went wrong besides the fact that they made a mistake. They’ll say things like “I should have done better.

9. They have originality in their ideas.

You will hear a smart person say, “I think…” or “In my opinion.” They won’t make statements of fact because they want to be clear that these are their thoughts and how they feel. They will also have a unique way about them—an originality in how they talk, how you meet them, how they dress, etc.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

— Albert Einstein


The saddest truth about smart people is that they’ve learned to hide their intelligence. It can be a lonely and isolating experience when you know the world doesn’t understand what makes you different, so it isn’t surprising that intelligent people often spend time alone in order to avoid judgment from others. But this isolation has other consequences too- not just for themselves but also for society! Intelligent people are curious thinkers who question everything and push boundaries, yet we need them more than ever before. Take the opportunity every day to have meaningful conversations with intelligent people. Make an effort to help them feel comfortable sharing how they think and what makes them unique

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