10 signs you’re a lot more intelligent than the average person, according to psychology

It’s a curious thing, intelligence. It’s not always about acing every test or solving complex equations on the go.

Psychology digs deeper into what signifies intelligence, beyond just book smarts.

And you know what? You might be smarter than the average bear and not even realize it.

In this article, I’ll clue you in on ten surprising signs that you’re more intelligent than you think.

Let’s get started. 

1) You’re a night owl

You know, there’s something special about those quiet, late-night hours.

As it turns out, being a night owl might not just be a lifestyle choice. It could be a sign of higher intelligence.

Psychology suggests that those who prefer to burn the midnight oil, rather than rise with the dawn, often exhibit greater intelligence.

This doesn’t mean early birds aren’t smart. But if you’ve always felt more awake and productive when everyone else is winding down for the night, it could be more than just a habit.

It might just be your brain showing off its intellectual prowess in its prime time. When someone criticizes your late-night habits, remember: it’s not insomnia, it’s intelligence!

2) You’re constantly curious

I’ve always been the type to question everything. As a kid, I’d drive my parents crazy with my never-ending “why’s” and “how’s”.

And guess what? This might be a sign of higher intelligence too.

Psychology highlights that those who possess an insatiable curiosity, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, are often more intelligent than the norm.

It doesn’t matter if your curiosity leads you to dive deep into obscure historical events, or if you find yourself fascinated by how things work, from gadgets to galaxies.

Being curious means you’re open to learning, constantly seeking out new knowledge and experiences. And that, my friend, is a hallmark of intelligence.

Keep asking questions. Keep wanting to know more. It’s not being nosy, it’s your intelligent mind in action!

3) You often talk to yourself

Let’s bust a myth here: talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re going crazy. On the contrary, it might be a sign of superior intelligence.

Psychologists found that self-talk can actually boost memory and cognitive function. In fact, it can help organize your thoughts, plan actions, consolidate memory, and modulate emotions.

In other words, those little chats you have with yourself might actually be a form of intellectual workout.

4) You’re adaptable

Ever find yourself in a challenging situation and somehow, you just manage to adapt and navigate through it? That’s not just luck, that’s a sign of intelligence.

Psychology suggests that adaptability is closely linked with cognitive abilities. The more intelligent you are, the better you are at assessing situations, understanding variables, and adjusting your behavior to achieve the best outcome.

Whether it’s changing your career, moving to a new city, or adjusting to new technology, your ability to adapt and thrive in new situations is a clear indicator of your intelligence.

Embrace change. It’s not just about survival, it’s about showcasing your intellectual prowess!

5) You’re a chronic worrier

Do you find yourself worrying more than others? It’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it might be a sign that you’re more intelligent than you think.

Psychologists have found a connection between anxiety and intelligence. Individuals with high IQs tend to have a higher degree of worry and anxiety.

It seems that the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to consider all potential outcomes of a situation, including the negative ones. This can lead to a lot of worry.

While it might feel like a burden sometimes, your tendency to worry is actually a testament to your intellectual capacity. You’re not being paranoid, you’re just being smart!

6) You’re empathetic

Ever feel like you can really understand and feel what others are going through? That’s empathy. And it’s not just a sign of a big heart, it’s a sign of a powerful brain too.

Psychology suggests that intelligent people often have high levels of empathy. This is because understanding others’ feelings requires a complex interplay of emotional intelligence and cognitive processes.

Being empathetic means you can perceive and interpret the subtle emotional signals that others give off. It takes a smart mind to truly understand the feelings and needs of others.

7) You enjoy your own company

I’ve always felt somewhat comfortable in my own company. I enjoy moments of solitude where I can reflect, dream, or just be.

And it turns out, this may be a reflection of intelligence.

Psychologists suggest that intelligent people often prefer spending time alone. They are comfortable with their own thoughts and use the time for introspection, creative thinking, and self-development.

If you prefer a quiet night in over a crowded party, don’t worry. You’re not an introvert or antisocial; you’re just smart. Your penchant for solitude is not weird; it’s a sign of your intellectual prowess!

8) You’re a little messy

Ever been criticized for your cluttered desk or disorganized room? Well, here’s a fun fact to throw back at the critics: a little mess might be a sign of higher intelligence.

Psychologists have found that people who thrive in chaos often have high levels of creativity and intelligence. This is because their minds are so occupied with thoughts and ideas that they don’t invest much time in organization.

A messy workspace doesn’t mean you’re disorganized. It could just mean your brain is too busy generating brilliant ideas to bother with tidiness. 

9) You’re self-critical

Do you often find yourself being your own harshest critic? If so, it might not be a flaw, but a sign of intelligence.

Psychologists suggest that intelligent people are often more self-aware and reflective. They are keenly aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are constantly evaluating and critiquing their own performance.

This level of self-analysis can be daunting, but it also leads to personal growth and improvement. So, being self-critical is not a weakness. It’s a sign that you have the intelligence to recognize where you can improve and grow.

10) You love learning

If there’s one thing that truly indicates intelligence, it’s a love for learning.

Psychologists suggest that intelligent people are lifelong learners, always eager to expand their knowledge and understanding.

Whether it’s studying a new language, diving into a historical event, or picking up a new skill, the pursuit of knowledge is a true sign of intelligence.

In essence: Intelligence is multifaceted

As we navigate the complexities of human behavior and cognition, it becomes evident that intelligence is not a one-size-fits-all concept.

Remember, the human brain is one of the most complex structures in the universe. It’s a beautiful tapestry of neurons and synapses, working together to make you who you are.

The signs I’ve shared are not an exhaustive checklist, but they do provide an intriguing glimpse into the various facets of intelligence.

The common thread running through these signs is this: Intelligence is not just about knowledge and skills; it’s also about curiosity, empathy, adaptability, and even your quirks and idiosyncrasies.

So whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, a worrier or a dreamer, messy or organized, remember: these traits are not just quirks. They’re indicators of your unique intellectual capacity. Embrace them. They make you the intelligent individual that you are.

And most importantly, keep learning, keep growing. After all, the true measure of intelligence is not just what you know, but your desire to know more.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder 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 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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