10 Signs You’re Way More Intelligent Than You Realize

10 Signs You’re Way More Intelligent Than You Realize

In psychology, one of the commonly agreed topics is how confidence can improve/worsen our performance. People who underestimate their own skills and capabilities can be seen almost anywhere. But it is important for us to realize our true worth and start acting on that so that we can reach our goals and be the best versions of ourselves. In this article, we will be talking about signs that show that we are more intelligent than we realize.

You’re constantly curious

Numerous studies have shown that people who are very curious are likely to be smarter. This is because curious people are always striving to learn new things and expand their knowledge (Jones,2018). Additionally, being curious will also help us develop a more refined form of thinking as a direct result of expanding our knowledge and being able to account for more possibilities.

You know there are many things you don’t know

There is a misconception that if people say they know something, even if they don’t, then they will come across as someone smarter. However, studies show that this occurs due to an overestimation of our cognitive abilities (Lebowitz, 2017). On the other hand, intelligent people are not afraid to admit they don’t know something because they prefer to give an accurate estimate of their knowledge. And being aware of this will result in them learning, as opposed to deceiving themselves that they know something they don’t.

You can be funny

A psychology study conducted by the University of New Mexico shows that funny people tend to be smarter. The study consisted of having a group of people write cartoon captions, and then taking a verbal intelligence test (Mautz, 2019). This is attributed to the fact that both cognitive and emotional ability is required to process and produce humour (Dowthwaite, 2017). Additionally, funny people not only make others laugh, they laugh themselves. These positive emotions increase the production of dopamine, which opens up the learning centres of the brain (Dowthwaite, 2017).

You have high self-control

Intelligent people can control themselves better and resist taking impulsive actions (Jones, 2018). A known study conducted by Yale University in 2009 supports this claim. The study consisted of giving participants IQ tests and reward money. Participants could choose between taking less money at that exact time or receiving more money later. The results were that people who scored higher in the IQ test chose to wait and take more money later, resisting the impulse of having money (Mautz, 2019).

You’re messy

Messy people use chaos as an incentive for creativity (Knox, 2020). People generally link messy people with laziness, with the argument that they could have things organized if they just put a little effort in doing it. However, a study led in 2013 by Kathleen Vohs showed that disorderly spaces incentivise creativity, as opposed to clean and tidy spaces which incentivise “playing it safe” (Knox, 2020). Additionally, since messy people are used to disorderly environments, they benefit from being able to focus under different circumstances, as opposed to people who can only be productive in neat spaces. One of the main examples that prove this is Albert Einstein, who was known to be messy (Knox, 2020).

You are fine being by yourself

According to a study published by the British Journal of Psychology showed that there is a strong correlation between how individualistic and smart people are (Mautz, 2019).  Being alone gives us more time to meditate and think about what needs to be done depending on our current situation, incentivising self-control.

You procrastinate

As opposed to what most people may think, people who procrastinate can be linked to be smarter. There are instances where smart people procrastinate because they choose to do things they find more valuable instead of doing trivial tasks. For example, someone who chooses to sit around daydreaming instead of doing the dishes can be perceived as a procrastinator. However, daydreaming stimulates creative and innovative thinking, therefore linking procrastination with high intelligence. Additionally, by not jumping straight into completing a task, procrastinators let more divergent ideas come forward to have a wider variety of options. This was the case for Steve Jobs, who used procrastination strategically to come up with a variety of ideas.

You stay up late

Several studies have shown a direct correlation between sleep habits and IQ. A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences showed that young adults who slept and woke up later had a higher IQ than those who slept and woke up earlier (Lebowitz, 2017). People who sleep later tend to get inspiration bursts due to the quiet environment where there are no distractions or obstacles to your creative thinking (Hustle, 2015).

You took music lessons as a child

Music lessons are believed to help with kids’ mind development. A study made by Glenn Schellenberg consisted of comparing the IQ of children who had 9 months of music lessons with children who did not take any music lessons. The results showed that the children who took music lessons had a relevant IQ boost as compared to the other group of children. Music is known to help with the development of language skills as it stimulates the left side of the brain (Paler, 2020).

You are left-handed

Research indicates that left-handed people have a divergent way of thinking. This allows them to solve problems and tasks more creatively (BrightSide, 2020). This is backed up by a study conducted by the University of Athens, who concluded left-handed people had high scores in divergent thinking and cognitive ability (Paler, 2020).

To conclude, it is important to understand how these characteristics might lead us to believe that we are way more intelligent than we think. At the same time, we should be aware of trying not to overestimate ourselves as this can be as troublesome as underestimating our intelligence. We should not believe that we are more intelligent just because we procrastinate. Rather, we should think about why we procrastinate and compare it with the reasons mentioned in this article to determine if we are smarter than we think.


Bright Side. 2020. 13 Signs That You’re Way More Intelligent Than You Realize. [online] Available at: <https://brightside.me/inspiration-psychology/12-signs-that-youre-way-more-intelligent-than-you-realize-252810/> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Dowthwaite, L., 2017. Funny People Are Also More Intelligent, According To New Research. [online] World Economic Forum. Available at: <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/funny-people-are-also-more-intelligent-according-to-new-research/> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Hustle, T., 2015. People Who Sleep Late Are More Intelligent And Creative. [online] The Hustle. Available at: <https://thehustle.co/people-who-sleep-late-are-intelligent-creative#:~:text=It’s%20the%20time%20when%20everyone,published%20in%20The%20Huffington%20Post.> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Jones, M., 2018. 10 Signs You’re Smarter Than You Realize. [online] Best Health. Available at: <https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/intelligence/> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Knox, J., 2020. Why Messy People Are More Intelligent, According To Science. [online] My Domaine. Available at: <https://www.mydomaine.com/why-messy-people-are-smarter> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Lebowitz, S., 2017. 13 Signs You’re Smarter Than You Realise. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/signs-youre-smarter-than-you-realize-2017-11?r=US&IR=T> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Mautz, S., 2019. 9 Signs You’re More Intelligent Than You Think, According To Science. [online] Inc. Available at: <https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/9-signs-youre-more-intelligent-than-you-think-according-to-science.html> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

Paler, J., 2020. 10 Signs You May Be More Intelligent Than You Realize, According To Science. [online] Ideapod. Available at: <https://ideapod.com/10-signs-youre-more-intelligent-than-you-realize-according-to-science/> [Accessed 10 September 2020].

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