If you want to be seen as intelligent, never talk about these 10 things

You know how we all want to sound smart when we’re chatting with others? But did you know that there are some things that can make us seem not-so-smart, even if we’re really clever?

Believe it or not, avoiding certain topics can actually make you appear more intelligent.

Let’s talk about 10 things you should never mention if you want to come across as intelligent. 

1. Gossip

Hey, we all love a bit of juicy news, don’t we? But try to resist the temptation!

Gossiping about others not only shows a lack of respect, but it also makes you seem less intelligent.


Because smart people talk about ideas, not about other people.

So next time you’re itching to spill the latest rumors about your neighbor or colleague, just bite your tongue. It’s the smart thing to do. 

2. Your Bad Habits

Let’s face it, we all have a few bad habits. Maybe you bite your nails when you’re nervous or you can’t resist a midnight snack.

But broadcasting these bad habits to others doesn’t make you seem very savvy. In fact, it can lead people to question your self-control and decision-making skills, which are key components of intelligence.

Let’s keep those guilty pleasures to ourselves, shall we? Your image as an intelligent person will thank you. 

3. Personal Drama

Listen, we all have our ups and downs and life gets messy sometimes. But constantly talking about your personal dramas isn’t the way to showcase your smarts.

It can make you seem like you’re seeking attention or can’t solve your own problems – not exactly the image of a well-rounded, intelligent individual.

For example, a while back I was going through a tough breakup. It was all I could think about, and I was tempted to vent about it to anyone who would listen.

But then I realized – this isn’t going to help me solve anything, and it’s certainly not going to make me look smart.

So I kept my personal drama to myself and focused on finding solutions instead. Trust me, it’s a much better approach!

Absolutely, here’s the fourth point:

4. Money Matters

Talking about your financial status, whether you’re rolling in cash or struggling to make ends meet, is generally a no-no if you want to appear intelligent. It can come across as either boastful or like you’re seeking sympathy.

People who talk about their money, especially those who brag about their wealth, are viewed as less likable and less intelligent.

So, it’s best to keep your financial situation to yourself unless it’s really necessary to share. 

5. Your Grudges

We’ve all been hurt or felt wronged at some point in our lives.

Holding onto grudges and constantly talking about them can be really draining, not just for you, but for others around you, too.

It can also make you seem like you’re stuck in the past and unable to move forward, which isn’t the impression you want to give if you’re aiming to be seen as intelligent.

Letting go of grudges doesn’t mean that what happened was okay. It means that you’re choosing your peace and mental health over lingering negativity.

Smart people know that life is too short to hold onto bitterness.

6. Controversial Topics

Discussing controversial topics like politics or religion can be a mindfield. Even if you’re well-versed and articulate, these topics tend to divide people more than they bring them together.

And if you’re not careful, you could come across as argumentative rather than intelligent.

I learned this the hard way. A few years back at a dinner party, I started a conversation about a hot political topic.

Even though I thought I was making smart, informed points, I could see the discomfort around the table.

The lively mood of the party quickly shifted to an awkward silence.

That’s when I realized – being smart isn’t just about what you know, it’s about knowing when to steer clear of divisive topics. 

7. Your Failures

We all stumble and fall. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s part of being human.

But constantly talking about your failures? That’s not doing you any favors.

It can make you seem like you’re stuck in a loop of negativity or that you can’t learn from your mistakes, which is the opposite of intelligent.

The truth is, smart people don’t dwell on their failures. They acknowledge them, sure. They learn from them, absolutely. But they don’t make them the focal point of every conversation.

So when you feel like bringing up your past mistakes, remember this: your failures don’t define you, but how you handle them might.

8. Celebrity Gossip

While it might be tempting to discuss the latest celebrity drama, it’s not the best way to showcase your intelligence.

Celebrity gossip is often superficial and doesn’t contribute to meaningful or intellectual conversation.

People who consistently consume celebrity news tend to be less engaged with the world around them.

So if you’re aiming to come across as intelligent, it’s best to stick to more substantial topics. Let’s leave the celebrity chit-chat for those glossy gossip magazines. 

9. Your Physical Appearance

We all have those days where we don’t feel our best, right? Maybe you’re having a bad hair day, or you’ve noticed a new wrinkle.

But obsessively talking about your appearance can give the impression that you’re shallow or self-absorbed, which doesn’t scream ‘intelligent’.

I remember a time when I was overly conscious about my weight. I would bring it up in conversations, always fishing for reassurance.

But then I realized that by doing so, I was not only making others uncomfortable, but I was also reinforcing my own insecurities.

And neither of those things made me feel or appear smart. So I made a decision to stop focusing on my flaws and start appreciating my strengths.

Not only did it boost my confidence, but it also changed the way people perceived me. 

10. Your Insecurities

We all have insecurities. Things that make us feel less than or not good enough.

But constantly talking about your insecurities can make you seem like you lack confidence, which isn’t a trait associated with intelligence.

Smart people know their worth. They acknowledge their insecurities, but they don’t let them dominate their conversations or their lives.

So next time you feel like highlighting your flaws, remember this: your worth isn’t defined by what you think you lack, but by who you are and what you bring to the table.

And there you have it – ten things to avoid talking about if you want to be seen as intelligent.

Remember, it’s not just about what you say, but also what you choose not to say.

Keep these points in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to coming across as the smart, savvy person you are. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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