11 Characteristics Of Highly Intelligent People

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Learn about the characteristics of highly intelligent people and get insights on how to improve yourself one percent better every day in this post. Keep reading to find out more.

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In this article:

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  1. They’re Highly Adaptable and Love Solving Problems
  2. They Know How Much They Don’t Know
  3. They Acknowledge (and Work Their Way Around) Humans’ Self-Centeredness
  4. They Know the Power of Social Likability
  5. They’re Less Susceptible to Groupthink
  6. They Know The Purpose of Anger and Use it to Their Advantage
  7. They Excel In Many Areas
  8. They’re Hungry for Knowledge
  9. They’re Aware of Things They Can and Can’t Control
  10. They Have High Self-Control
  11. They Work Twice, Thrice as Hard as Others

Highly Intelligent People Characteristics | How To Tell If Someone Is Highly Intelligent

1. They’re Highly Adaptable and Love Solving Problems

Intelligent people can adapt to challenging situations. They do this by coming up with possible solutions despite the restrictions and complications laid upon them.

This is actually backed by research. Intelligence can also be measured by a person’s ability to change his or her behaviors to effectively cope with or refine the environment he or she is in.

When faced with problems, they tend to use their brain to scale solutions and find the best course of action possible.

2. They Know How Much They Don’t Know

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Not knowing everything gives you that willingness to ask and learn.

One of the most impressive traits of intelligent people is they have no problem admitting they’re unfamiliar with a certain concept. This shows how important self-awareness is to them.

By understanding their ignorance, smarter people, being problem-solvers, can find ways to bridge this gap to enlightenment. They value the interactions they make and find a way to learn something from every interaction they make.

  • They look for mentors or people they can look up to so they can learn from them and find ways to improve themselves and overcome their bad habits.
  • Highly intelligent people also value their relationships with people in the same situations as they are. These people are in the same boat as them and can understand where they’re coming from.
  • Smart folks also see the value in interacting with people who have fewer experiences than them. They know these are people you can learn from — their questions and thoughts, no matter how basic, can also spark ideas and insights that can help in their pursuit for greatness.

3. They Acknowledge (and Work Their Way Around) Humans’ Self-Centeredness

This is more evident in emotionally intelligent people. They know everyone has a part of them that has a selfish nature, which makes people look out for ourselves first before everything else.

Turning this insight into something productive, people who are emotionally intelligent know that getting what you want means giving people what they want. The only way to make people listen to you is to have something beneficial to them.

By putting your own goals on the side and pointing the spotlight to other people’s agenda, your chances for success are raised exponentially.

4. They Know the Power of Social Likability

Smart folks are aware that likability is an important ingredient for success. Opportunities come from other people and people like to work with people they like.

So do they fake it? There are cases where they might but intelligent people would rather spend their time working with people they genuinely like.

5. They’re Less Susceptible to Groupthink

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Use data and logic to assess decisions.

When dealing with issues that ask for ideological or political positions, smart people would assess such issues as impartially as possible. They’d collect data and consider different points of view before coming up with conclusions.

Even when their positions are already expressed, new data and insights may cause them to refine their original stands. They’re just not easily swayed by groupthink.

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6. They Know The Purpose of Anger and Use it to Their Advantage

Anger can be a tricky emotion. Not knowing its roots and purpose can make it a destructive emotion.

In fight-or-flight situations, anger is one of the mind and the body’s responses. When a threat is sensed, the mind triggers fear and anger.

Fear is part of the flight response, anger is the emotional energy created for the fight against the perceived threat. These two can get confusing because the mind triggers them even if the threat is just imagined.

Highly emotionally intelligent people know this. They’re aware that anger and fear work closely together.

Anger is fear in disguise. For example, if you get angry at your boss for giving someone else a job you want and are working hard for, maybe the reason for your anger is because you’re really just afraid your boss doesn’t like you anymore and won’t promote you.

Smart people tend to extract “the fear” out of their anger to gain insights on what has to be done in improve the situation.

7. They Excel In Many Areas

Excellence doesn’t lie in one area only. Highly intelligent people have a variety of interests, and most of the time, they really excel in them.

Having a variety of interests allows smart people to dip their toes in different subcultures and take valuable learnings they can use for their goals. By doing so, they also cast a wide safety net for when things in one interest don’t really go well.

8. They’re Hungry for Knowledge

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Reach out for new knowledge for self-improvement.

These people have an insatiable hunger for knowledge. Being passionately curious often leads to greater experiences and knowledge.

If an extremely intelligent person wants to do something, expect them to literally hit the books in search of knowledge and insights. They’re fond of borrowing other people’s “10,000 hours” by finding valuable resources to read.

Smart folks aren’t short on techniques and tricks up their sleeves. One is they like to look at the biggest picture possible.

They know various skills can complement each other, which is why they value the purpose of mastering entry-level skills.

For example, if you’re trying to become a successful entrepreneur, sales, negotiation, management, and marketing are important micro-skills. Perfecting these micro-skills first can make your entrepreneurial journey so much smoother.

9. They’re Aware of Things They Can and Can’t Control

Highly intelligent people know they can’t control every aspect of their lives. Even with a great deal of preparation and planning, things can go wrong.

Yes, they’d be frustrated and upset for a while, but they’ll use solution-focused thinking to identify areas they can work on. They don’t dwell on bad things; they use failures to improve their tactics, thinking, and processes.

People with high EQ value their peace of mind — they work towards their goal best when their heads are unshaken. They know how to adjust their expectations to cushion the blow of disappointment and move forward by acknowledging and appreciating even the tiniest wins.

They also know that while regret is a natural response of the body, it brings nothing but negative emotions. Smart people learn from their mistakes and regrets and focus on the now—on achieving their objectives.

10. They Have High Self-Control

Smart people love to plan, set and clarify goals, consider alternative tactics, and explore consequences before starting something. This very nature helps them fight impulsivity.

There are studies linking intelligence and self-control. A 2009 study, researchers asked participants to choose between two financial rewards—a larger but later payout, or an immediate smaller one.

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Findings revealed that those who picked the larger but later payout had more self-control and generally score better on intelligence tests.

11. They Work Twice, Thrice as Hard as Others

Success does not happen by just hoping for it. Smart people know that the world doesn’t owe them anything and the way to success is by working harder than everybody else.

From acquiring skills needed for their goals to planning and execution, these people acknowledge that nothing great comes out of mediocrity and laziness.

Their minds are set on success and they gravitate towards it by working their asses off.

If we want to improve our minds, it’s only logical to take inspiration from the traits of extremely intelligent people. Adapt whichever item you find suitable for you and start your journey to gradually boosting your brainpower.

Which of these highly intelligent people characteristics do you think you have? Let us know in the comments section below!

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