4 phrases truly smart people almost never say, according to psychology

Charlotte Brontë—the author behind Jane Eyre—was nothing short of revolutionary in her day.

In her body of work, Brontë masterfully created strong female characters, challenged gender roles, and addressed social issues such as class disparity and gender inequality.

As such, Brontë had plenty to say in the field of judging a person’s intelligence. She once said: “Intelligence and proper education will give you independence of spirit.”

She meant that intelligence, when given the room to grow and be refined, can lead people to think deeply, make informed decisions, and foster a healthy sense of self-reliance.

Essentially, being smart boils down to a person’s willingness to shape their own beliefs and think freely. That’s right—true intelligence cannot be prescribed.

There will be people who insist that being smart comes down to IQ and postgraduate degrees, but this is a limited lens to see the world through.

Here are four things an intelligent person won’t say, starting with one that I imagine Brontë herself would relate to: a remark on solitude.

1) “I always need to be around people.”

Research consistently reveals that those with higher intellectual capacity often find comfort and peace in solitude.

A study on the savanna theory of happiness explored the concept of solitude and how it intersects with intelligence.

(For those wondering, savanna theory is the field of study in which the evolution of early humans was influenced by the transition from dense forests to open savanna areas.)

“More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends,” researchers said.

Because I 100% had to break down this finding for myself, I am going to do it for you, too!

This finding basically points towards the fact that people who are considered intelligent are more likely to be happier in their own company.

Which is why you will usually never find a smart person uttering the phrase: “I always need to be around people.”

This harkens back to Brontë’s teachings on independence of spirit—while they might enjoy spending time with others, it is far from being a necessity in their life.

In short, these folks totally get the profound benefits of solitude and the power of “me time”.

In these environments, you are able to be in the zone—undisturbed and fully focused.

2) “I don’t worry much, at all.”

Are you a worrier? Often fret over the small stuff? Well, you might be a tad brighter than the rest of the pack.

Smart people often worry more—it’s a fact!

A study by Lakehead University titled “Is the worrying and ruminating mind a more intelligent mind?” concluded that a person with high “verbal intelligence” was more likely to “worry” and “ruminate”.

For those wondering, verbal intelligence is basically a person’s capacity to comprehend and synthesize spoken and written information.

In other words, worry can be a side effect of an active, forward-thinking brain. Which is why smart people tend not to say: “I don’t worry much, at all.”

This is because these types of minds tend to have a real flair for predicting challenges, connecting the mental dots, and all-round thinking ahead.

While we might all be kicking back with beer and a pizza, they might be sitting there stewing, always analyzing their next move and foreseeing possible outcomes to a situation.

It’s not to be seen as an inherent flaw, as such. Rather, it can be the quality that keeps the smart minds sharp and focused.

(Of course, an overload or excess of worry can become unmanageable anxiety, and I am not trying to glorify that disorder or make light of it.)

3) “I like doing things by the book.”

phrases smart people never use 4 phrases truly smart people almost never say, according to psychology

Sometimes the zaniest person you know is also the smartest person you know.

And the psychology backs it up!

Research in the Psychological Bulletin found that adopting an unconventional approach is a sign of smarts.

“Traits related to intellectual engagement and unconventionality were more strongly related to intelligence,” said researchers

Doing things by the book might obviously offer a sense of peace, security and predictability. But intelligence thrives in the unknown.

Which is why you will likely never find a smart person saying: “I like doing things by the book.”

Committing to doing things “by the book” implies a strict sticking to predetermined rules or procedures.

Rules have their place—they bring structure and order. But when was the last time groundbreaking, game changing ideas emerged from blindly following the status quo? 

Intelligence hinges on creativity, adaptability, and finding solutions that go beyond the ordinary. 

It’s not about reciting a set of instructions—it’s about reshaping the way things are done and making them much, much better.

So, go on, and embrace the wonderful chaos of innovation and unexplored ideas!

4) “I’ve never experienced issues with my mental health.”

A genuinely smart person would never make a statement like “I’ve never experienced issues with my mental health.” Why?

Because no one is immune to poor mental health. None of us! It’s just not how the brain operates.

And smart people know this. In fact, intelligence and mental health are often intertwined, with there being a discernible link between high intelligence and a higher likelihood of facing mental health challenges. 

An American scientific study found that highly intellectual people are “predisposed” to certain psychological disorders including “suspected mood and anxiety disorders.”

True smarts involves grasping the subtleties of your emotions and acknowledging that mental health is a dynamic journey.

This is because the brain, the most intricate part of the body, is not exempt from the stresses of modern life. 

True intelligence lies in acknowledging and addressing the intricacies of the human mind, accepting its failings, and understanding that poor mental health isn’t a weakness but a fundamental aspect of this little thing called the human experience.

After all, brilliance and vulnerability can coexist together in the same great mind. It’s in this way that intelligence is not about flawlessness, it’s about awareness.

Final thoughts

There is no such thing as a “smart” person and a “dumb” person.

Why? Because human beings are not a binary!

If we want a more nuanced, empathetic approach to how we regard those around us, we need to look at the things people say.

Other signs will come in the form of people who don’t follow the crowd, the solo players who cherish their alone time, and use it well.

And then there are the worriers—those who contemplate the big questions, or the meaning of life.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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