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A failure to make eye contact

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Contrary to popular belief, a lack of eye contact doesn’t mean a lack of character. In fact, failing to make eye contact exhibits a strong level of intelligence, with the person having a highly functioning mind. Most people who avoid eye contact are deep thinkers, lost in the world of their own thoughts.

Bouts of anxiety

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Unfortunately, possessing a high level of intelligence sometimes comes with a hefty, uncomfortable cost. Many intelligent people suffer from extreme bouts of anxiety, usually caused by having an over-active mind. This, in turn, causes them to overthink, analyzing everything in their lives a thousand times over.

A deep desire to be alone

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Most intelligent people tend to possess introverted tendencies, requiring solo time in order to recharge their social battery. Time spent by themselves isn’t wasted, however, but spent reflecting on their actions or thinking up new, imaginative ideas that may bring them closer to achieving their long-term goals.

Being a perfectionist

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Intelligent people tend to be perfectionists – but only for themselves. There’s no judgment for other people’s failures or mistakes, instead, they hold themselves to impossibly high standards, feeling deflated if those standards aren’t met. They use their shortcomings to ensure they work more efficiently the next time around, learning from their mistakes.

A keen eye for detail

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Folk with a high IQ tend to notice small details that the rest of us miss. Whether it’s an error in an email, a change in someone’s body language, or a design flaw in a logo, there’s little that escapes the steely gaze of the intellectually superior.

Sticking to a routine

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One of the most positive habits of an intelligent person is the ability to create a routine and stick to it. Getting up at the same time every morning, for example, allows them to segment their time, ensuring they squeeze the most potential out of each and every minute of their daily routine.

Ignoring short-term satisfaction

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Smart folk will turn away from short-term satisfaction, favoring long-term fulfillment. This can manifest in small ways – like reaching for lemon water in the morning as opposed to that cup of coffee, or knowing when to turn off the TV to get a full night’s sleep. Seeing the bigger picture can sometimes mean sacrifice – and that sacrifice can result in forgoing immediate pleasure.


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Many people believe that procrastination is a sign of laziness. In reality, it’s a sign of intelligence. Smart people tend to put off doing certain tasks because they’re overwhelmed by the high standards they hold themselves to. Instead of pushing through and offering a subpar performance, they prepare their minds until they’re ready to tackle the task at hand.

A seemingly dull lifestyle

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From an outside perspective, an intelligent person may seem to lead a relatively boring life. Focusing on exercise, work, and personal growth, it can appear as though their days are monotonous. In reality, they’re just priming their focus, knowing that their hard work will eventually pay off.

High levels of empathy

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Intelligent folk tend to understand other people on a deep, emotional level – particularly those that are closest to them. The smartest among us can immediately identify and understand the emotional needs of their loved ones, knowing exactly how to act and what to say in times of strife.

Staying up late

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Many people believe that those who are late to sleep and late to rise are lazy, with low intelligence levels. In fact, the opposite is true, with research showing that night owls typically have a higher IQ score. Late-night larks keep our minds alert for longer periods of time, resulting in a constantly stimulated brain.

Having a quiet demeanor


You’ll often find an intelligent person observing a conversation, choosing not to participate in the fanfare of unnecessary small talk. Smart people tend to feel comfortable with extended periods of silence, knowing it’s better to say nothing at all than bore their pals with unnecessary waffle.

Exploring spirituality

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Spirituality and intelligence go hand in hand, with smart folk knowing that the power of the mind is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s through practicing gratitude, calming their nervous system through meditation, or getting their thoughts out by journaling, the smartest among us make a frequent effort to nurture their minds.

Remaining positive

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Intelligent people rarely look back – they’re too focused on moving forward. Therefore, they don’t tend to dwell in negativity. They realize that pessimism is a waste of energy, achieving nothing other than plunging your mind into an endless pit of despair. Instead, they have a light, positive outlook on life, realizing that life truly is too short to spend it complaining.

An acceptance of change

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Change is inevitable. Most intelligent people accept this fact, going with the flow with whatever life throws their way. If they get fired from a job, they don’t sit and wallow about it for days on end – they simply find employment elsewhere. With the mindset of everything leading them to their highest good, there’s little they can’t handle – including change.

Being trustworthy

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You’ll find that most intelligent people have a flock of friends around them, who usually spill their deepest, darkest secrets. Smart people are naturally more trustworthy – ironically because they’re more trusting of others, able to form deep, emotional bonds with people from all walks of life.

Finding solutions, not problems

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If something goes wrong in an intelligent person’s life, they rarely linger on it. Rather than droning on about their problems, they seek out solutions, looking to put plans in place to correct whatever wrongs have occurred. If it’s in the workplace, an intelligent person will be the first to seek a way to move on from an error and find a feasible solution.

Having finances under control

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Most smart people are good with their money, able to manage their finances effectively. This isn’t to say that every smart person is rich (or vice versa), but just that they understand the value and importance of money. They’re less likely to make rash, impulse purchases, usually managing to squirrel away some cash.

Obscure ways of thinking

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One of the biggest signs of an intelligent person is their unusual thought patterns. They tend to think of things that are outside of the box, coming in with novel ideas that are sometimes ludicrously far-fetched. Whether it’s at work or in personal relationships, a smart person can devise a way through any tricky situation.


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Science has shown that smart people tend to be lazy. This is because the more intelligent you are, the easier it is to become bored – leading to a lower engagement with physical activity, choosing instead to become more occupied with matters of thought. With a constant need for cognition, intelligent people often look as though they’re doing nothing, but in reality, their brains are working overtime.

Making quick decisions

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Intelligent people don’t struggle with decision paralysis, but instead are able to make swift, decisive choices. With their boosted brain power, they’re able to see all of the options available to them, weighing up the pros and cons in a speedy manner. This isn’t to say they rush into decisions – quite the opposite – just that they’re able to see the repercussions of their choices.

Rarely acting on anger

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Smart people see anger as a wasted emotion. If something triggers them, they’re unlikely to rage about it – but instead allow themselves to feel the emotion, discovering what’s happening in their internal world that caused such a visceral reaction. While they don’t suppress their emotions, they are able to examine their responses from an unbiased perspective.


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A messy home can, surprisingly, be a sign of intelligence. Research has shown that having a messy desk or bedroom can indicate a superior intellect, with untidy folk having their minds preoccupied with more important matters than cleanliness. Disorderly environments promote unorthodox ways of thinking, whereas prim and proper homes encourage more traditional methods of thought.

Accepting criticism

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Rather than seeing criticism as a personal attack, smart people are able to take the thoughts of others on the chin, not triggered by their words. If they see their insight as being helpful, they’ll incorporate the opinion into their actions moving forward. If they don’t, they’ll simply ignore the unwanted critique.

Seeing both sides of an dispute

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True intelligence is understanding that there are two sides to every story. Remaining impartial is a key skill that many intelligent folk possess, able to discard their own personal bias to reach a fair, balanced conclusion. The smartest of us know that life isn’t always black and white.

Being able to communicate

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Communication is of the utmost importance when wishing to convey a sense of intelligence. Being able to effectively express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions to people in different settings is a highly valuable life skill. Whether it’s in romantic connections, at the workplace, or with friends, effective communication is a key sign of intelligence.

Enjoying dark humor

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If you regularly laugh at taboo topics, it may be a sign that you possess higher-than-average intelligence levels. Studies have shown that enjoying dark jokes directly correlates to a superior verbal and non-verbal intellect, using humor as a healthy way to release repressed emotions.

A strong sense of self

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Having a strong identity is a valuable skill in life. Knowing your worth, your boundaries, and your skill set are all key indicators of mental intelligence – using past experiences to influence the future. Intelligent people often reflect on their own behavior, never satisfied with the amount they learn about their own minds.


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If you’re a creative soul, there’s a high chance that you’re also intelligent. Creative people tend to immerse themselves in environments that nurture new ways of thought, expanding their current mindset. If you’re able to come up with inventive, imaginative ideas, it’s likely that you’ve got an above-average IQ.

A use of profanities

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It’s a popular belief that people who frequently use curse words have a limited vocabulary. Research has busted this myth, proving the opposite to be true. The use of profanities displays a sense of rhetorical strength, with swear words being purposely selected to cultivate the biggest emotional impact.

Learning from mistakes

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The smartest among us use mistakes as a learning experience. Rather than wallowing over something not going their way, an intelligent person will feel grateful for the error, ensuring that they never repeat the same blunder in the future. Mistakes are bound to happen in life no matter how smart you are – a true sign of intelligence is how you use the mistake moving forward.

A high level of motivation

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While smart people can exhibit signs of laziness, they also possess high levels of motivation. With a one-track mind that’s focused on their aspirations, there’s little you can do to prevent an intelligent person from achieving their goals. Whether it’s in fitness or in the office, once their mind’s set on something, there’s no going back.

Emotional intelligence

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Intelligence doesn’t just relate to book smarts and academia. The most intelligent people have a deep understanding of emotional intelligence – both in themselves and others. Able to recognize toxic traits, they often assess their own sense of self, making alterations to any unfavorable behaviors moving forward. They’re also able to comfort others in an instant, knowing exactly what to say to ease their pain.

Being led by logic, not emotions

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Logic trumps all in an intelligent person’s mind. While emotions play a vital role in understanding one’s self, sharp minds understand that emotions aren’t facts – they’re just fleeting feelings. Logic, on the other hand, remains resolute, a constant resource which enables conflict resolution and emotional comfort.

Being thoughtful

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Thoughtfulness isn’t just a display of kindness, it can also show signs of intelligence. Catering to different people’s love languages shows an innate understanding of who people are at their core, adapting behaviors to better suit each individual. Being thoughtful also correlates to mindfulness – showing a true engagement with those around you.

A thirst for knowledge

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Of course, intelligent people are always seeking out ways to enrich their minds. However, people with truly brilliant brains understand that there’s no end to learning. They see every day as a chance to learn something new, whether it’s a physical skill or a new way to deal with personal relationships.

A lack of common sense

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Despite their high levels of academic knowledge, a lot of super-smart people significantly lack common sense. This is because their brains work differently, using their powerful minds to provide overt methods to relatively simple solutions. For those with impressive IQ levels, the simplest option isn’t always the most obvious.

Asking a lot of questions

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An inquisitive mind is a powerful mind. Intelligent folk seek knowledge from every source available, with a particular emphasis on humans. Intelligent people know that asking others about their life experiences is a quick way to learn – granting them a wider view of the world at large.

Being lost in thought

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People with a high intellect will often drift off into a world of their own, content to sit with their thoughts. It’s not that they’re purposely trying to be rude, it’s just that their minds are often so overwhelming, producing a constant stream of brilliant ideas and untapped potential.

Messy handwriting

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It’s no coincidence that you can never read your doctor’s handwriting. Studies have shown that the smarter you are, the more likely it is that your handwriting will be a mess. The science behind it is simple, the brain is working faster than the hand, resulting in smudged, untidy cursive.