8 things intelligent people avoid doing in public

Intelligence is often associated with making the right decisions and behaving in a way that reflects one’s intellectual capacity.

However, intelligence alone doesn’t guarantee social grace and etiquette in public. In fact, even the smartest people can sometimes fall prey to awkward situations or social faux pas.

To avoid such mishaps, here are ten things that intelligent people tend to avoid doing in public.

From avoiding controversial topics to refraining from talking over others, these tips will help you navigate social situations with ease and confidence.

So whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, read on to discover the secrets of social success for the intellectually savvy.

1. Showing off their knowledge

One thing that intelligent people avoid doing in public is showing off their knowledge or intelligence in an arrogant or condescending manner.

It can be tempting to want to showcase one’s intellectual abilities, especially in a group of people who may not have the same level of knowledge or understanding.

However, flaunting your intelligence in a way that makes others feel inferior or belittled is not only rude but also a sign of insecurity.

Intelligent people understand that true intelligence is about being humble and using their knowledge to help others rather than to prove a point or gain recognition.

They know that there’s always something to learn from others, regardless of their educational background or life experiences.

Therefore, they refrain from showing off and instead focus on listening and learning from others, creating a positive and inclusive atmosphere.

2. Engaging in gossip or negative talk

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama and excitement of sharing juicy details about someone’s personal life or professional missteps, but this behavior is harmful and unnecessary.

Intelligent people recognize that gossiping not only damages the reputation of the person being talked about but also reflects poorly on the person doing the talking.

They understand that spreading negativity and engaging in idle chatter wastes valuable time and energy that could be used for more productive and meaningful conversations.

Instead, intelligent people focus on building positive relationships with others and discussing topics that add value and depth to their interactions.

They also recognize that speaking positively about others not only makes them feel good but also elevates the conversation and creates a more harmonious environment.

In short, intelligent people avoid gossip and negativity, choosing instead to spread kindness and positivity wherever they go.

3. Interrupting others when they’re speaking

We all want to share our own ideas or opinions, but interrupting someone else’s train of thought is not only rude but also shows a lack of respect for their ideas and perspectives.

This is why intelligent people recognize that everyone has something valuable to contribute, and they understand the importance of active listening.

They don’t interrupt because it makes others feel undervalued.

So instead, intelligent people make a conscious effort to actively listen to others, letting them finish their thoughts before adding their own insights.


They also ask questions and encourage others to share their ideas, creating an environment of mutual respect and collaboration.

By avoiding interrupting others, intelligent people show that they value and appreciate diverse perspectives, leading to more productive and meaningful interactions.

4. Making assumptions or judgments about others based on their appearance or background

It’s easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping people based on their race, gender, or socio-economic status, but doing so is not only unfair but also harmful.

Intelligent people understand that everyone has their own unique story and perspective, and they make an effort to get to know people on an individual level.

Not only do they recognize the dangers of perpetuating harmful stereotypes, but they also work to combat them in their interactions with others.

They never make assumptions or put people in a limiting box.

Intelligent people ask questions and listen to others’ stories, gaining a deeper understanding of their experiences and perspectives.

Intelligent people understand that everyone deserves to be live in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

5. Talking excessively about themselves

While it’s important to share your successes and achievements, constantly talking about them can come off as self-centered and arrogant.

Intelligent people understand the importance of humility and recognize that true success comes from collaboration and teamwork.

They also understand that it’s important to listen to others and learn from their experiences.

Instead of talking excessively about themselves, intelligent people focus on asking questions and showing interest in others’ experiences and accomplishments.

By doing so, they create a more collaborative and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated.

The bottom line is this:

Intelligent people avoid making everything about themselves, instead focusing on building meaningful relationships and celebrating the successes of others.

6. Engaging in unnecessary arguments or conflicts

Intelligent people realize there is little point in getting in a heated argument. 

They also know that arguments rarely lead to productive outcomes and that there are more effective ways to communicate and collaborate.

In contrast, Intelligent people focus on finding common ground and seeking solutions that benefit everyone involved.

They also recognize that disagreements can provide an opportunity for growth and learning, and they approach them with an open mind and a willingness to listen.

7. Taking credit for others’ work or ideas

It can be tempting to claim credit for someone else’s success, especially if it benefits your own reputation or career, but doing so is not only dishonest but also unfair to the person who deserves the recognition.

Intelligent people understand that success is a team effort and that everyone deserves credit for their contributions.

They also recognize the importance of giving credit where credit is due and acknowledging the hard work and creativity of others.

Therefore, instead of taking credit for others’ work, intelligent people make a conscious effort to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of their colleagues and collaborators.

By doing so, they create a culture of respect and recognition, where everyone feels valued and appreciated for their contributions.

8. Being closed-minded or resistant to change

It’s easy to become set in your ways and resist new ideas or approaches, but doing so can limit your growth and development.

Intelligent people realize the importance of being open to new experiences and ideas, and they actively seek out opportunities for growth and learning.

While they understand that recognize that change can be difficult, they also realize that it is the only way to progress. 

Therefore, instead of being resistant to change, intelligent people embrace it and approach it with a positive attitude.

They also encourage others to do the same, creating a culture of innovation and growth.

By avoiding closed-mindedness and embracing change, intelligent people create a more dynamic and progressive environment, where everyone feels empowered to explore new ideas and approaches.


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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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