Intelligent people possess unique traits that are generally absent in the common population. This is why, to the common man, some behavioral traits of an intelligent person will always come across as weird.
No wonder history is filled with countless examples of people with a lower intelligence mistreating people with higher intelligence.
But thankfully, we are no longer living in the dark ages and as earth is experiencing a consciousness shift, intelligence on earth is on the rise and stupidity on the decline. This will continue to happen in the many years to come.
Meantime, here is a list of 9 common traits that intelligent people possess that differentiates them from the rest. Take a look and see how many of these you can relate to.
#1. Intelligent people are often plagued with self doubt
Bertrand Russel once said, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
The reason why intelligent people harbour doubt is because they have a higher degree of awareness (meta-cognition) and always look at the broader picture. So the more they understand, the more they realize how little they know in comparison to what is out there.
This realization makes them humble as opposed to less intelligent people whose thinking is limited to their specific set of unquestioned accumulated beliefs.
According to Liz Ryan, CEO/founder of Human Workplace, “The smarter someone is, the more humble they tend to be. Less-capable, less-curious people don’t doubt themselves a bit. They’ll tell an interviewer, “I am an expert in every single aspect of this topic.” They aren’t exaggerating — they really believe it.”
Research done by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, which became popular as the Dunning-Kruger effect, concludes with something similar – that people with lower cognitive ability suffer from illusory superiority and conversely highly competent people underestimate their abilities.
#2. Intelligent people have an ability to better adapt to environmental changes
Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa devised the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis which suggests that less intelligent people find it harder in comparison to intelligent people to comprehend and adapt to entities and situations that did not exist in the early days of human evolution.
This is also the reason why intelligent people like to go against the grain and think out of the box, making inroads for the less intelligent people to follow.
#3. Intelligent people are not big into organized religion
Intelligent people believe in deeply understanding a set of proposed ideas before accepting them. Most intelligent minds will start questioning the idea of God as presented by organized religions and sooner or later realize the apparent logical flaw.
It’s no wonder that various studies have confirmed that there is a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity.
But while intelligent people stay away from organized religion, it does not mean they are not spiritually inclined. In-fact, many of them are!
Spirituality to the intelligent is engaging in activities that help them understand themselves and existence on a deeper level. This is why they are generally attracted to practices like meditation, mindfulness, self inquiry, yoga, solo travel and other related practices and activities.
#5. Intelligent people are empathetic
Because intelligent people have higher awareness and always think from a broader perspective, they automatically develop empathy.
As you understand others more, you also cultivate the art of forgiveness. So intelligent people are more forgiving and try not hold on to vengeance.
#6. Intelligent people try to avoid unnecessary confrontation
Intelligent people foresee the outcome of a confrontation and avoid ones that seem futile. Others might perceive this as weakness but in reality it takes a lot of strength to contain one’s primal instincts and let go.
This does not mean intelligent people are passive. Instead they pick and choose their battles. They confront only when it’s absolutely necessary and even when they do, they make it a point to be calm and collected instead of letting their emotions get the better of them.
Avoiding unnecessary conflicts helps them conserve energy for the more important things that they value in life.
#7. Intelligent people are less prone to nationalism and patriotism
The more intelligent someone is, the less they look at the world in a divisive manner.
Intelligent people are more likely to consider themselves a world citizen or a conscious being as opposed to looking at themselves in terms of caste, creed, sect, group, religion, or nationality.
#8. Intelligent people have an insatiable sense of curiosity
Intelligent minds are innately inquisitive and have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. They are never satisfied with shallow observations and always desire to get to the core of the matter. The questions, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what if’ keep churning in their minds until a rationally acceptable conclusion is reached.
#9. Intelligent people prefer solitude
Being naturally curious, self reflection is extremely important to an intelligent individual. And the prerequisite for self reflection is solitude.
Willingly or unwillingly, intelligent people always find a need to withdraw from all the madness and spend time alone to recharge themselves.
#10. Intelligent people are not driven by their ego
Non-intelligent people are completely one with their conditioned minds. Their egos drive them and they have no ability or desire to come out of it. In other words, they love being blissfully ignorant.
Intelligent people on the other hand are self aware and sooner or later come to the realization that their ego structure is fluid and hence they have the power to raise above their ego.