7 Signs of Genuine Intelligence You Can’t Fake

Have you ever met someone who was proclaiming their intelligence? How they knew everything and they were boasting about being the smartest person in the room? Did you feel like they were trying hard to be seen as highly intelligent and not as true as they advertised? While smart individuals are more likely to not believe they are smart, less intelligent people are more inclined to overestimate their competence. Intelligence is a coveted thing, and we’re encouraged to “fake it til we make it” with things we want so it makes sense. Some things in life can’t be faked and real intelligence is one of them.

In fact there are several indicators scientifically linked to higher levels of intelligence. A mainstream way of measuring intelligence would be the education system, that places too high a focus on the grades and marks of students. As Albert Einstein said, the system is like “Testing the ability of a monkey, a fish, and an elephant to climb a tree!’”. It’s not an accurate measure of genuine intelligence. 

Here is a short list of the subtle signs of genuine intelligence. See if you can identify these traits in yourself. 

  1. Open-Mindedness And Curiosity
“I know that I know nothing.” – Socrates

Do you ask insightful questions? Do you spend hours researching new, exciting topics? Open minded  people love information and knowing new things. They are life-long learners who aren’t afraid of exploring concepts and ideas that intrigue them. Curious people are more objective and willing to understand things in depth before making a judgment or decision. 

Curious people value knowledge which leads them to having thrilling, new experiences that they hold dear to them for life. They are not discouraged by not knowing things. In fact, it motivates them to learn more. 

  1. An Ability To Acknowledge Fault

Another surprising characteristic of intelligence is the ability to say when you were wrong. Intelligent people don’t struggle with admitting mistakes and faults and moving on because they don’t tie their self worth to their reputation or identity. They can admit faults and don’t feel inferior to people when apologize because they don’t believe that they are “losing face.” or self value.

Being able to be honest with themselves and others is not only a sign of intelligence but of integrity. They are never afraid of accepting their mistakes because they learn and grow from them and are therefore able to make better informed decisions in the future. 

  1. A Strong Self-Identity

Truly intelligent people have a firm, established identity. They are individuals who know themselves more than anyone else and do their own thing. They might not follow trends but when they do, they remix it to fit their personality and self expression. Tapped into their own psyche, they are more self aware than most. 

The aspects of having a strong self-identity is that intelligent people know their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and are clear on their goals and ambitions. They are aware of their internal dialogue and they accept their insecurities and flaws. Because they know who they are and what they have to offer, their sense of self-worth is mostly precise and they don’t falter because of their weaknesses; they work on them. 

  1. Being Witty And Sarcastic

Sarcasm might be seen as the lowest form of wit, but according to scientific studies, it’s a clear sign of intelligence. The stats show that humour and intelligence go hand in hand. 

A 2017 study in Austria  discovered that “funny people, particularly those who enjoy dark humor, have higher IQs than their less funny peers. They argue that it takes both cognitive and emotional ability to process and produce humor. Their analysis shows that funny people have higher verbal and nonverbal intelligence.”

Intelligent people seem to process information differently and score higher on the verbal intelligence portion of IQ tests. 

  1. Being Sensitive To Other People’s Feelings

As popular as IQ is, EQ or the emotional quotient is just as relevant. Having overall happiness, good quality relationships and achieving success is the result of a well-developed EQ. When you have a well-developed EQ, you are able to better deal with stress and understand those around you and where they are coming from. 

Having compassion for others means that you can look at things from their perspective from an emotional standpoint and that’s not an easy thing to do because you have to put yourself in their position. Sometimes you might realize that you’re in the wrong in a situation & that’s not a fun thing to admit. Being able to read these cues and really listen to people benefits you beyond personal relationships. You might be the smartest person in the world or even in the room but still lacking in understanding & compassion for others. 

  1. Taking Power Naps

Intelligent people often take small power naps. Think of Patrick Jane in The Mentalist. He was a busy bee (and “the smartest person in the room”) but he always made time to recoup from his rigorous job. While napping on the clock on the work sofa is NOT what I’m promoting or is possible, finding the time to nap actually nourishes your mind. 

Taking power naps every once in a while has a positive effect on your brain activity and gives you time to recharge. Power naps will have you feeling aware, fresh and most importantly, ready to conquer the world. A 2021 research paper published in the online journal General Psychiatry discovered that afternoon napping was linked to better mental agility, better locational awareness, verbal fluency, and working memory. 

  1. High Creativity Levels

Creativity is also another sign of intelligence. While people usually think that creativity involves only making art or artistic things, it is a term that is actually quite extensive in its use. 

With creativity, intelligent people think outside of their usual perspective, see things from different perspectives and excel at problem solving because they are willing to go beyond their comfort zone. They have creative solutions and innovative ideas. They are capable of making their vision a reality using knowledge, good observation skills and curiosity. 


While I believe that less intelligent people can overestimate their intelligence, I also believe that there are intelligent people who are aware of it and don’t underestimate themselves. There are different types of intelligences that are not popular or even known that are important and not celebrated. While intelligence is necessary, it’s not enough. Regardless of how you test in school or university, remember that knowing who you are in your own unique and individual way, is the most important thing and the best, truest way to be intelligent and you don’t have to fake that. 


*BRAINY DOSE. (2021, December 02). 12 Genuine Signs Of Intelligence You Can’t Fake. YouTube.com. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KldA3aD7wOU&feature=youtu.be

*Cai, H., Su, N. (2021, January 25). Afternoon napping linked to better mental agility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210125191846.htm#:~:text=Taking%20a%20regular%20afternoon%20nap,mental%20agility%2C%20suggests%20new%20research.&text=FULL%20STORY-,Taking%20a%20regular%20afternoon%20nap%20may%20be%20linked%20to%20better,the%20online%20journal%20General%20Psychiatry

*Dowthwaite , L. (2017, October 16). Funny people have higher iqs. here’s why. Google. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/funny-people-higher-iq-more-intelligent-685585%3famp=1  

*Ivanova, K. (2021, February 26). 8 authentic signs of intelligence you simply can’t fake. Google. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/iheartintelligence.com/8-authentic-signs-of-intelligence-you-simply-cant-fake/amp/  

*London, B. (2017, March 12). Revealed: The genuine signs of intelligence. Google. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4196534/amp/The-genuine-signs-intelligence.html 

*Mykh. (2021, June 30). 9 genuine signs of intelligence that people can’t fake. The Minds Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from https://themindsjournal.com/9-genuine-signs-of-intelligence-people-cant-fake/ 

Leave your vote

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 2

Upvotes: 1

Upvotes percentage: 50.000000%

Downvotes: 1

Downvotes percentage: 50.000000%

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hey there!

Forgot password?

Forgot your password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.


Processing files…