How to Identify an Intelligent Person? Part One.
Biggest giveaway: Smart people are often quiet and very good listeners
That’s part of the reason they got smart, listening is about hearing other perspectives.
Smart people will generally hear you out and agree with you while occasionally throwing in bitty pieces of input that seem to really match what you were talking about. If they disagree with you, they will do that respectfully by sharing their own vision and also they will ask you about what your deeper opinions are on that topic.
It flows. Talking with un-informed, non-knowledgeable people usually ends up with dead ends. Conversations reach blocks, because one side doesn’t really know how to keep a conversation flowing. A smart person answers or asks questions in a way that leaves room for either more interpretation and more discussion.
They seem below average at first
At first glance, they usually seem below average. They try so hard to conceal it by remaining quiet and not engaging much, that they end up coming off as aloof and laid back.
If you find that the more you know someone, the smarter and smarter they become, then they were probably hiding it to begin with and are slowly becoming more comfortable being open with their intelligence. They are usually witty and sarcastic, but only because they value you and want to have nice conversations with you.
A conversation flows really smoothly and fluidly
Not many people are good with conversation. Most people tend to initiate ‘small talks’, but there is a limit to these kind of conversations and they soon reach to an end. Smart people tend to listen to what you are saying and they try to engage in conversations that actually matters. Their aim is to expand their knowledge and in the mean time, to teach you something if you are eager enough to learn. If the conversation really is flowing smoothly, then the person you’re speaking with is really smart or intuitive. They’re the one who’s making it flow well, bringing new topics and continuing to talk about things. It’s like the absence of crime might mean that the police are doing a bang up job.
Ability to generalize information and opinions
This goes along with asking their opinion on something. A lot of people get overwhelmed with the amount of information out of there, so they end up with a “I don’t know” response, or “I don’t know xx well enough/long enough.” A really smart person will be able to sum up their impression or their feedback in very few, general terms. They will go into more specifics solely upon request or further conversation, because they do not want to engage in a discussion where the other party is either disinterested or feels under-pressure for the lack of information.
They ask why.
Nobody really asks why, ever. Most people will not ask ‘why’ either because they think they know a lot, they have no interest to learn something new, or because most of the times, they feel like they will sound stupid if they ask ‘why’. This goes along with motivations, why people do what they do. Regular people are satisfied knowing that I like to read. No one asks me why I like to read though.
They are more interested in other people than themselves
Anyone who’s fully focused on another person and doesn’t really worry much about themselves or talking about themselves has some real shit going on. They have that internal validation going on, so their focus is now on other people. If I ever come across a person who is really just focused on me and hearing me out with what I have to say or my opinions, I know that they’re hiding some real big treasure inside. Because people who have treasure don’t like to let others know. They just try to find more treasure.
They ‘lose’ arguments gracefully
This one is big. Ever get into a discussion with someone, and then they suddenly just concede and basically say that you’re right and what you say makes sense and that you have won them over?
This either means that you’re too stupid to converse with, they don’t think a real discussion with you would be worth the time, they don’t feel like discussing it, or you’ve actually won them over. Most people can’t handle not winning an argument.
Why a smart person would hide their intelligence?
“Knowing everything in a discussion is both intimidating to some, seen as arrogance by others, and can just flat out kill the conversation.”
It's not so much hiding intelligence as it is being smart enough to realize that conversations aren't primarily about facts and being right, as they are about getting to know one another and exploring each-others views and thought processes.
Think of it as deliberately taking the scenic route with someone, even if you know of a faster shorter route.
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