10 things intelligent people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

Have you ever wondered what sets successful and intelligent people apart from the rest? 

Is it their intelligence quotient or their level of education? 

While those factors certainly play a role, there are certain habits and behaviors that intelligent people consistently avoid.

We have researched extensively, consulted experts, and compiled a list of the things intelligent people never engage in. 

The goal of this information is not just to increase your knowledge, but also to empower you to improve your own intelligence and attain success in your life. 

These habits can be adopted and put into practice, so you can start experiencing the benefits immediately. 

So, without further delay, let’s dive in and discover the 10 things intelligent people never do and how you can apply them to improve your own intelligence.

1) They don’t waste time on things they can’t change.

Intelligent individuals possess the wisdom to understand that some things in life are beyond their control and they don’t spend their valuable time on trying to change them. 

Instead, they focus their efforts on things that can be changed and make the most of their time. 

Wisely allocating their time and energy is one of the key characteristics that sets them apart from others. 

They know that time is a precious commodity and that every moment wasted is an opportunity lost.

For example, instead of dwelling on a past relationship that ended, an intelligent person will focus their energy on building new connections and improving themselves. 

Or, rather than trying to change a difficult co-worker’s attitude, they will find ways to work around the situation and maintain a positive attitude themselves.

2) They don’t make assumptions without verifying facts.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships”

– Henry Winkler

And intelligent people know this all too well.

With this wisdom in mind, they make it a point to never assume anything without first confirming its accuracy. 

In their quest for knowledge and understanding, they dig deep and leave no stone unturned in order to arrive at the truth. 

They understand that assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and flawed conclusions, and so they take the necessary steps to avoid these pitfalls. 

For them, the pursuit of truth is a never-ending journey, one that they undertake with great care and attention to detail. 

They never make assumptions without verifying facts, and in doing so, they are able to navigate the complexities of the world with greater ease and accuracy.

3) They don’t avoid taking calculated risks.

Are you always looking for ways to play it safe and avoid taking risks

Well, let me tell you, intelligent people never do

They understand the importance of calculated risks in achieving success and growth. They weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks, and make thoughtful decisions. Avoiding risks may seem like the safer choice, but it also limits your potential for success. 

Don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk, it might just be the push you need to reach your goals.

4) They don’t ignore their passions and interests.

critical thinking 10 things intelligent people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

Whatever you do, always remember to keep your passions and interests at the forefront of your mind. 

Intelligent individuals never ignore what truly drives them and fuels their inner fire. 

They understand the importance of following their hearts and pursuing what they are truly passionate about.

They know that without following their passions, they will be unable to reach their full potential and achieve true success. 

Ignoring your passions and interests can lead to a sense of unfulfillment and regrets later on.

So, whether you’re just starting out on your journey or you’re well on your way to achieving your goals, don’t neglect the things that make you come alive

Cultivate and pursue your passions and interests with all your heart and you’ll be on the path to success and fulfillment.

5) They don’t surround themselves with negativity.

Intelligent people have a keen sense of self-awareness and they understand the importance of the company they keep. 

They know that surrounding themselves with negativity can be detrimental to their mental and emotional well-being. 

They understand that negativity can be contagious and can bring them down. 

This is why they make a conscious effort to avoid it.

Take my colleague, Jane, a highly successful businesswoman, for instance.

She had always been ambitious and driven, but found herself constantly bogged down by negative thoughts and the toxic attitudes of her colleagues. 

She realized that the negativity was holding her back and began to make a conscious effort to surround herself with positivity. 

She found a new job with a supportive team and made an effort to spend time with friends who had a positive attitude towards life. 

The change was immediate, her energy levels increased and her motivation soared. She found herself not just working harder but also smarter. 

She knew that surrounding herself with positivity was key to her success and well-being.

6) They avoid procrastination.

If you find yourself constantly putting off important tasks until the last minute, you may want to take a cue from intelligent individuals who understand the value of time and productivity. 

They know that time is a precious commodity and that every moment wasted is an opportunity lost.

They avoid procrastination, recognizing that delaying decisions and actions can often lead to added stress and suboptimal outcomes. 

Instead, they tackle their responsibilities head-on, staying organized and focused to make the most of their time and energy. 

By following this example, you too can learn to prioritize and stay on top of your to-do list, making steady progress towards your goals and aspirations.

7) They don’t neglect their relationships and social connections.

What does it take to build and maintain relationships that are fulfilling and meaningful? For the truly intelligent, it’s a commitment to never neglecting their connections with others. 

They understand that the people in their lives play a crucial role in their personal and professional growth, and they make a conscious effort to nurture these relationships. 

Whether it’s through regular communication, acts of kindness, or shared experiences, they don’t take their loved ones for granted and never let distance or busy schedules get in the way of maintaining strong connections. 

They also invest time and energy in building a diverse network of relationships, recognizing the value of different perspectives and connections. 

In short, intelligent individuals understand the importance of relationships and social connections and make it a priority to nurture them.

8) They don’t let their ego get in the way of progress.

condescending 10 things intelligent people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

There are certain periods in life when the ego can be a powerful force, controlling the way we think, speak, and act.

However, intelligent individuals have learned to recognize when their ego is getting in the way of progress, and take steps to keep it in check. 

They understand that allowing their ego to dictate their actions can prevent them from seeing the bigger picture and reaching their full potential. 

Intelligent people are aware that the ego is a strong influence that can obscure one’s judgment, create blind spots, and cause a lack of self-awareness

They know that the ego can cause one to overestimate oneself and underestimate others. 

They make a conscious effort to not let their ego guide their decisions and to maintain a humble and open perspective to avoid this.

9) They don’t shy away from asking for help or advice.

Nobody is perfect, not me, not you, not anybody. 

But the truly intelligent among us understand that there is always room for growth and improvement. 

They know that to achieve great things, one must constantly strive to learn and evolve. And in this quest for knowledge and progress, they do not shy away from asking for help or advice. 

They understand that no one has all the answers, and that by seeking guidance from others, they open themselves up to new perspectives and opportunities for growth. 

So let us take a cue from the wise and not be afraid to ask for help when we need it. 

It takes humility, but it will lead us to greatness.

10) They don’t make excuses instead of taking responsibility.

I had always been the type to blame others for my mistakes. 

Whether it was a missed deadline at work or a broken dish at home, I always had an excuse ready. 

But as I grew older, I realized that the only person I was hurting by making excuses was myself.

As I began to surround myself with intelligent and successful people, I noticed that they all had one thing in common: they took responsibility for their actions. 

They didn’t make excuses or blame others for their mistakes. 

They accepted responsibility and used their mistakes as learning opportunities.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but an important one.

I realized that by making excuses, I was limiting my own potential and holding myself back from reaching my goals. 

I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to change my ways.


As you have read through this list, you may have found yourself nodding in agreement, recognizing habits and behaviors that you too have fallen victim to. 

But remember, intelligence is not something that is set in stone, it is not a one-time achievement but rather a lifelong pursuit. 

By avoiding these 10 pitfalls, you are taking the first step towards a more intelligent and fulfilling life. 

So embrace the challenge, and strive to be the best version of yourself. 

The rewards will be immeasurable.

Picture of Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

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