Do You Think You're Intelligent? Here's How to Find Out
The concept of intelligence and how it could be measured was spoken about long before psychometric intelligence tests were invented. In fact, there’s still no consensus on a single definition of intelligence, nor will there probably be as it’s such a complex and multidimensional phenomenon.
At the theoretical level, intelligence has been defined and structured in hundreds of ways Currently, the APA ( American Psychological Association ) defines this quality as “the ability to derive information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, understand, and correctly utilize thought and reason”.
For this reason, and because not everyone walks around with an intelligence test under their arm, in this article, we’ll give you 11 signs to help you recognize people who’d score highly in terms of the aforementioned definition from the APA. You probably already know some of them, but it won’t hurt to take a look. They’ll help you improve the way you read both others and yourself.
11 signs that indicate you’re intelligent
Apart from helping you recognize brilliant minds wherever you go, these signs will also assist you in carrying out an exercise in introspection and exploring your own abilities.
1. You learn from experience
Everyone makes mistakes, just as everyone succeeds. Intelligence isn’t so much about the first decision you make as those that follow. It’s not your choice of the goal but the path you choose to reach it. In fact, an intelligent person assimilates their experience and uses it to make better decisions in the future.
2. You adapt easily
Another sign of intelligence is the ability to adapt to circumstances as if they were fluid, and not a solid body. However, be careful, as it doesn’t mean lying or putting on a mask and it doesn’t only apply to social situations.
A change in environment, such as moving or starting a new job, can be the perfect trigger to test your adaptability.
3. You recognize problems in the environment
Although it might seem that problems are obvious, people often don’t notice them, hence they continue to hinder their lives. Recognizing the little details that need changing is another skill of smart people.
4. You have the ability to solve problems
Finding problems and leaving them as they are only leads to frustration and constant complaining. You’re smart if you go one step further and fix them. In fact, the effectiveness and efficiency with which you solve them is a measure of your intelligence.
5. You know yourself really well
Self-knowledge is another trait of intelligent people. It denotes reflection, introspection, and a good ability to analyze the human mind.
Honesty is also a note to keep in mind. If you’re intelligent, you’re aware of your limits and flaws, not just your virtues.
6. You have high empathy
Intelligence isn’t just about solving problems and adapting to the environment. Emotional intelligence is as important as the other kinds and, in addition, it can be learned. Therefore, if you’re an intelligent person, you’ll know how to develop empathy and manage it as best as possible.
7. You’re curious
What better way is there to develop intelligence than by studying everything new? If you’re intelligent, you’re not satisfied with generalist explanations nor can you resist exploring everything you don’t know.
8. You possess great powers of observation
Awareness of what’s going on around you, as well as being able to detect patterns in your environment and work with them, are other signs of intelligence. It means you really understand what’s going on around you.
9. You manage your emotions well
Working on your own emotions demonstrates intelligence. Responding to your own impulses and feelings with actions that maintain control over the situation yet don’t cause damage to your own emotionality is something to work on in the long term.
10. You enjoy solitude
You’re not necessarily a loner or an introvert, but you have no problem spending time alone. While you enjoy socializing as much as anyone, it’s not a necessity for you.
11. You don’t consider yourself to be smarter than the rest
This, in addition to being an act of humility, also has a certain logic. In fact, the more you learn, the more you tend to become aware of what you don’t know. Furthermore, a good ability to read others means you’re also capable of reading yourself and detecting areas in which you might not be so skilled.
As you can see, the signs that indicate intelligence have nothing to do with solving complex mathematical equations or discovering new planets. While these specific and highly developed skills undoubtedly produce wonderful results, the intelligence of ordinary people who walk the streets and make them a better place also shouldn’t be ignored.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Lievens, F., & Chan, D. (2017). Practical intelligence, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence. In J. Farr, N. Tippins (Eds.), Handbook of employee selection (pp. 342-364). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315690193-15/practical-intelligence-emotional-intelligence-social-intelligence-filip-lievens-david-chan