8 Signs You Are Smarter Than You Think

8 Signs of Higher Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Have you ever felt like you had a slightly different thought process from your friends? If so, it could be a possibility that it is a sign of higher intelligence. On a daily basis, we encounter problems from different aspects of our lives. Varying from person to person, these problems can be difficult or simple to solve. It is in these moments when we actually do not realise that we are a lot smarter than we think and it is quite the common occurrence. As different people display different levels of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ), this article will be telling you certain signs that relate to higher levels of IQ and EQ.

1. You Do Not Feel Smarter Than Average

According to the Dunning (2011), the Dunning-Kruger Effect states that intelligent people tend to underestimate their own intelligence as they are more aware of their own weaknesses. By understanding what we are lack, we tend to be able to improve ourselves even better. On the other hand, people who think they are smarter than everyone else, tend to be the ones who are actually less intelligent.

2. You Are Empathetic

So, what is empathy? It is simply put, the ability to understand the feelings of other people. Empathy as a trait has proven to be a sign of emotional intelligence in people. According to Ioannidou and Konstantikaki (2008), empathy is considered as a powerful tool of communication that aligns with the concept of the emotional intelligence quotient that involves the ability to assess our own emotions or the emotions of others. Being able to understand another person’s perspectives and feelings is a sign of emotional intelligence. This is because we are able to relate to their feelings and provide support.

3. You Are Creative

Now being the ability to be creative can be applied to many different things. Creativity is a sign of intelligence because it shows that an individual is capable of thinking in many different ways and having different approaches to the problems that they encounter. The ability to adapt to situations and adjust their thinking accordingly is a sign of intelligence. Creative individuals are also able to perceive things in many different ways to gain more perspectives.

4. You Are Proactive Rather Than Reactive

In our lives, it is highly common that people tend to react immediately after receiving information about something. Reacting immediately allows their emotions to take control over them as well. A sign that you are an emotionally intelligent individual is how you receive information. As mentioned earlier, many people tend to react immediately. However, an emotionally intelligent individual would often take some time to process the information and think about it. But let’s not confuse this as having slow reactions. It means that they would rather respond appropriately to the situation rather than allow their emotions to control them. Although it is normal for people to be more reactive than proactive, being able to slow things down and respond calmly is a sign of emotional intelligence as it shows that the individual is in control of their emotions.

5. You Are Open-Minded

According to Aitken Harris (2004), openness to experience was found to have positive correlations to the levels of intelligence. This means that being able to think openly and be open to new experiences are signs of intelligence. To put it into perspective, being able to be open to the perspectives of others, can help an individual to form their own perspectives. Having that exposure to different viewpoints introduces the individual to other ways of thinking before the formation of their own opinion. Additionally, new experiences are also able to expose an individual to new ideas and perspectives. Thus, if you find yourself being open to new perspectives, you may be smarter than you think.

6. You Practice Self-Improvement

Let’s begin with an example. You just had an argument with a good friend and you want things to be okay again and you choose to apologize first. Your friend apologizes as well and the two of you reconcile. It shows that having the ability to apologise shows that an individual is not prideful. Even though we find ourselves not entirely at fault sometimes, we practice self-checking to see how we could have handled the situation better. In doing so, we are able to apologize despite whose fault it is because not only do we value the relationship more than our pride, but we are also open to self-improvement. Being able to put aside our pride to save a relationship is a sign of emotional intelligence as we know what is more important.

7. You Desire Learning

A good sign of an intelligent person is when they know that learning is a lifelong experience. The desire to learn displays signs of intelligence because learning contributes to personal growth and an increase in knowledge. Wanting to learn more can also be perceived as being open to new knowledge and adopting new ways of thinking. As mentioned earlier, being open to new ways of thinking contributes to signs of intelligence. This desire to learn also allows individuals to become more creative in their thought process which also contributes to intelligence. It can also be due to the desire to self-improve and more knowledge can help people to improve themselves.

8. You Are Emotionally Aware

Being emotionally aware is a sign of emotional intelligence because it allows an individual to know when they are being manipulated or used. It can help an individual to see through people’s actions and evaluate the intentions behind them. Emotionally aware people are able to protect themselves rather well from emotionally manipulative people. Having that knowledge can make an individual potentially cunning as well. Although it can be a tool of manipulation, it can also be used to prevent manipulation.

So, how many of these signs do you feel that you align with? It is common that we often feel that we are not as clever as other people and that is normal. However, sometimes we need to realize that we are actually a lot smarter than we think we are in certain aspects. It is important to remember that not everyone knows everything and that is okay too. Our strengths and weaknesses are what makes us unique. We need not feel bad that we may not know as much on a certain topic, for we always have the option to research more into it and increase our pool of knowledge. We must understand that learning is a lifelong experience and that we should continue to seek knowledge and improve ourselves further. Being open to learning can be a life-changing decision.





Dunning, David. 2011. “The Dunning–Kruger Effect”. Advances In Experimental Social Psychology, 247-296.

Ioannidou, F, and V Konstantikaki. 2008. “Empathy And Emotional Intelligence: What Is It Really About?”. International Journal Of Caring Sciences 1 (3): 118-123. http://www.internationaljournalofcaringsciences.org/docs/Vol1_Issue3_03_Ioannidou.pdf.







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