10 little-known signs you’re much smarter than you think

We often underestimate our own intelligence, don’t we?

Thinking we’re just average, or even below average.

But what if you’re smarter than you think?

Because intelligence isn’t just about acing tests or having a high IQ. It can show up in small and unexpected ways.

So, grab a snack, settle in, and let’s dive into these 10 little-known signs that you might be much smarter than you think.

1) You’re curious

Ever find yourself constantly asking questions, wanting to know how things work or why things are the way they are?

Well, that’s because your mind is always eager to learn.

Being curious and having an insatiable appetite for knowledge is a classic sign of intelligence.

So, if you’re the type who can spend hours in a bookstore or can’t stop Googling about topics that catch your fancy, you’re probably a lot smarter than you think.

And guess what?

That curiosity makes you a joy to be around because you’re always bringing new ideas to the table!

2) You cherish your alone time

Smart people often love solitude because it gives them space to think, reflect, and come up with creative ideas.

They’re comfortable being alone with their thoughts, which helps them understand themselves and the world around them better.

That;s why they usually love curling up with a book or going for a solo walk.

And if you like the same things, know that you’re not weird.

You simply have a brain that functions better sometimes when you’re alone, which is a good sign of intelligence.

3) Your jokes are “too smart”

Are you the one who cracks up at clever puns or comes up with witty remarks on the fly?

That’s a sign of intelligence right there.

A good sense of humor often indicates a sharp and agile mind.

Personally, I’ve always been that person who laughs at jokes that fly over most people’s heads.

I used to think it was just my weird sense of humor, but then I learned that understanding complex humor is actually a sign of intelligence.

So, if you’re like me, laughing at the clever wordplay in comedies or creating witty comebacks, then you’re probably not weird at all — your jokes are simply too smart to be understood by many!

4) You’re versatile

Being able to adapt to new situations or changes is a significant sign of intelligence.

If you find it easy to adjust when life throws challenges your way, it’s likely because your brain is working overtime to quickly understand and respond to new circumstances.

But here’s an interesting fact: intelligent people are actually faster at adapting to change.

Because when you’re smart, you’re a fast learner, and this means you’re better at discarding old rules and learning new ones.

So if you find it easy to learn new concepts, adapt in new social circles, or are generally more receptive to change, you might just be smarter than you think.

5) You’re your own toughest critic

I know it might feel tough sometimes, being your own harshest critic.

But being self-critical shows that you have a deep understanding of yourself and demonstrates emotional intelligence.

It’s not about being hard on yourself. It’s about recognizing where you can grow and improve.

But remember this: it’s because you have the heart and intelligence to hold yourself accountable. It means you’re always growing, always evolving.

So next time when you see room for improvement in yourself, don’t be disheartened. Instead, take a moment to appreciate the smart, self-aware person you are.

6) You’re a bit of a worrier

youre in a relationship with an overthinker 10 little-known signs you're much smarter than you think

You see, I used to worry – a lot.

I would worry about missing deadlines, making the right decisions, or even what to cook for dinner.

I thought it was just stress, and maybe it is, but I learned that it’s also a sign of high intelligence.

That’s because if you’re worrying, it means you’re thinking ahead, considering different outcomes, and preparing for them.

It means your brain is working hard to protect you and guide you through life.

7) You’re a night owl

Are you more of a night owl than an early bird?

Do you feel more creative and productive when everyone else is sleeping?

If you answered yes to both questions, you might be smarter than you think.

I know society often praises the early risers, saying “the early bird catches the worm,” but night owls have are specially skilled, too.

In fact, studies show that people who prefer to stay up late often have a higher IQ.

That means you shouldn’t let people berate you for being a night owl or tease you for having a graveyard shift every night.

Because jokes on them – that’s actually your wonderful brain working its best when everyone else’s dozing off.

8) You’re open-minded

If you’re open to new ideas, willing to consider different perspectives, and love exploring the unknown, then you’re showing signs of intelligence.

Because to be intelligent means to be open-minded and to be curious and willing to consider new ideas. 

This helps you to adapt, learn, and grow, which shows that you’re not confined by your own beliefs and are willing to embrace change.

In fact, studies show that people who are more willing to accept change, to be open to newer, less traditional ideas (such as atheism) are more intelligent than those who choose to embrace more traditional values. 

So if people mock you for believing something progressive, you might just be ahead of your time because your mind is more open to new ideas than theirs are. 

9) You forget things

Do you often forget where you put your keys or forget to reply to texts?

While it might seem like a sign of being scatterbrained, it’s actually an indicator of intelligence.

And I would know, because personally, I used to be so embarrassed about how often I’d lose my glasses (spoiler: they were usually on my head) or forget the names of people I’d just met.

But then I learned something interesting: our brains are designed to forget unimportant information so they can free up space for more crucial matters.

That means it’s okay to forget dates and numbers sometimes. You might just have too many important things in your head that there’s no more space for irrelevant information. 

10) You doubt your intelligence

If you’re constantly doubting your intelligence, chances are, you’re probably much smarter than you think.

This is because smart people tend to have imposter syndrome.

I’ve personally spent a lot of my life doubting myself, thinking I wasn’t as smart as others.

But over time, I realized that this self-doubt was actually a sign of my intelligence. It showed that I was self-aware and constantly striving to learn and grow.

So if you’re always doubting yourself, thinking that everyone else is smarter or better, stop right there – you’re selling yourself short. You’re probably much smarter than you give yourself credit for!


And there you have it! These are 10 signs that you’re smarter than you think.

Did any of these resonate with you? If so, it’s high time to start acknowledging and embracing your hidden intelligence. You might just be a quiet genius in disguise!

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

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.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.