8 Signs That You’re Smarter Than Average

Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up intellectually? You think that you have nothing to offer and you’re not very bright? Well, you might not be giving yourself and your brain enough brainpower credit.

While being intelligent plays a role in determining your success in life, it’s not the most important factor. In the movie Forrest Gump, the main character is said to have an IQ of 75. But that didn’t stop him from starting his own business in honour of his army buddy, winning tournaments for table tennis on a national level and running cross country. Even though it’s fictional, it goes to show that being smart is not always based on IQ. So here are 7 short and maybe surprising signs that you are smarter than average. 

  1. You Don’t Need To Put Much Effort Into Anything That You Do

This doesn’t mean laziness. For you, this just means that you don’t have the same uphill battle in skill building that other people do in certain fields of your career or life. 

Vanderbilt University psychologists David Hambrick and Elizabeth Meinz conducted a study that showed that talent is important and that some people don’t have to always work as hard as those who strive to be good at something. Their innate talent makes it easier for them to grasp whatever they are interested in quicker than those without the natural talent for it. 

  1. You’re Funny

A 2011 study by Greengross and Miller that took 400 psychology students and tested their intelligence, showed that the smartest of the students were the funniest. 

Apparently, there is a strong connection between being funny and having high verbal intelligence and abstract reasoning. It seems that one’s wittiness is the result of a sharp mind. 

  1. You Talk To Yourself A Lot

While talking to yourself might make it seem as though you are crazy, and should be avoided, you’re actually not. It’s a sign that you have self control. 

Psychologists Paloma Marί-Beffa and Alexander Kirkham stated that talking to yourself improves self-control and that it’s a form of intelligence. In a conducted study, it showed that the measured concentration and performance from reading out loud by one group was far better than reading in silence of another group. 

  1. You Don’t Mind Being In Your Own Company

Being alone doesn’t equate to loneliness (all the time). Those who can’t stand being alone suffer when they are forced to be alone and that can be emotionally stressful and draining for them. 

On the other hand, a study by Li and Kanazawa shows that those who don’t have a constant need of being around others are smarter than those who do. (No shade, extroverts). It demonstrated a connection between solitude and intelligence. Those who are alone can capitalize on this by thinking with more clarity, prioritizing important things and planning their next move. 

  1. You’re Anxious

As much as it absolutely sucks to have an anxiety disorder, apparently it might have a bright side to it. According to Lakehead University psychologist, Alexander Penney, those with higher symptoms of anxiety were smarter in different ways than those with milder or no present symptoms. 

Those who ruminate and worried a lot scored higher on verbal intelligence than those who scored lower and had higher nonverbal intelligence scores. It seems that a “worrying mind is a searching mind.” 

  1. You’re Creative

Contrary to mainstream belief, creativity isn’t just about being able to draw, paint, dance, sculpt or sing. It’s usually associated with those beautiful things but it’s a wider definition. Creativity  means being able to create something out of nothing and shifting something that exists into something different. 

Clinical neuropsychologist, Dr Katie Davis, stated that creativity is a form of intelligence because it requires outside thinking, flexibility and changing thinking pattern. 

  1. You’re Curious

Curiosity may have killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back. So if you’re a curious person, you’re actually smarter than you think. A curious person is one that is open to new ideas and information. A questioning mind makes one more inquisitive. 

A Goldsmiths University of London study discovered that “how people invest their time and effort in their intellect (i.e. feeding their curiosity) plays a huge role in cognitive growth.” A Journal of Individual Differences study showed a correlation between children who are highly intelligent being more open minded and curious as adults. 

  1. You Don’t Think That You’re Smart

Socrates was once called the smartest man in Greece but he is allegedly reported to have said that he knows only one thing and that is that he knows nothing and science might have proof of that contradicting statement being true. 

The Dunning-Kruger effect was discovered by psychologists and it states that more intelligent people are aware of their limitations in their intelligence and that those who are less intelligent tend to overestimate their mental capabilities. Those who are aware of their limitations surround themselves with people who counterbalance their limitations and from whom they continue to learn from. 


This is not a closed list of indicators that you are smart. Intelligence is not one thing only. There are many different types of intelligences that are all relevant for their own reasons. However, if you want to be more knowledgeable about something that you are interested in and you love to learn, then the more that you learn, the smarter you become. And remember that it’s not just about being the smartest person in the room: it’s about wanting to learn more and using what you have learned and maybe even sharing it. 

See you soon, Psych2Go-ers. 


*Bradberry, D. T. (2019, October 10). 5 scientifically-proven reasons why you might have a higher IQ than the average person . Business Insider. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.businessinsider.com/5-signs-youre-smarter-than-average-according-to-science-2019-7?IR=T#2-youre-left-handed-2

*Breeze, J. M., Marί-Beffa, P., & Kirkham, A. (2011, October 27). The impact of verbal instructions on goal-directed behaviour. Acta Psychologica. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001691811001867#

*Dunning, D. (2011, June 7). The dunning–kruger effect: On being ignorant of one’s own ignorance. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123855220000056.  

*Greengross, G., & Miller, G. (2014, December 13). Humor ability reveals intelligence, predicts mating success, and is higher in males. Money: Retirement: “The Unvarnished Truth” – Dan Zwicker, P. Eng. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://beyondrisk.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/humor-ability-reveals-intelligence-predicts-mating-success-and-is-higher-in-males/

*Lebowitz, S., & Cain, A. (2018, November 17). 15 signs you’re smarter than you think you are. Google. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sciencealert.com/17-science-backed-signs-you-re-smarter-than-you-realise/amp

*Li, N. P., & Kanazawa, S. (2016, February 4). Country roads, take me home… to my friends: How intelligence, population density, and friendship affect modern happiness. British Psychological Society. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bjop.12181?referrer_access_token=hnd2bchcbhHYvt3Gb-1FaIta6bR2k8jH0KrdpFOxC656jY8Tw-L3ckZc33iG8sZqkL4UaG9VIQQYXj0aUuZ48pd-T0u5SNhjvj5xjuEX1VS42USF2EojG4wwEFTDcvgHzKPAahWaJ2OJ705dQihCv0BrUoGdPa7opSVqPsbWC2PnZXrUQ57NTyM0QOgKhv8DiO3wKFUevmlrKd0FNwB5Zt39alp8gcBwA5ECy6kbMsFeetgiMpVBljIG_6nP-yO4.  

*Mautz, S. (2019, July 11). 9 signs you’re more intelligent than you think, according to Science. Inc.com. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/9-signs-youre-more-intelligent-than-you-think-according-to-science.html

*Soulfulvoicess.(2021, October 26). Are you Smart? Instagram.com. Retrieved November 9, 2021 from 

*Hambrick, D. Z., & Meinz, E. J. (2011, November 19). Sorry, strivers: Talent matters . The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/sorry-strivers-talent-matters.html.  

*Wilson, D. (2015, April 15). Do smart people worry more? Slate Magazine. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://slate.com/technology/2015/04/do-smart-people-worry-more-iq-is-correlated-with-anxiety.html

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