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Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
February 20, 2024 ·  6 min read

8 Signs Of High Intelligence That Cannot Be Faked

IQ (intelligence quotient) tests aren’t the only way to measure intelligence. For one, these tests evaluate specific skills like memory, logic, and problem-solving. But that doesn’t encompass all kinds of intelligence or measure people’s overall abilities. After all, intelligence is a broad topic and psychologists study it from many different angles.

One interesting find is the Dunning-Kruger effect

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Essentially, people with low abilities tend to overestimate their competence while smart people often underestimate their brain power. So if someone is unsure about their level of intellect, it may indicate that they are smarter than they might think. At the very least, they are introspective and aware of their own limitations. Remember, intelligence isn’t all about test scores. It can appear in all areas of life, sometimes in very surprising ways. [1]

Read More: Giving your children experiences instead of toys boosts their intelligence and happiness

8 Types of Intelligence 

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A highly intelligent person is one who is flexible in their thinking and can adapt to changes, they think before they speak or act, and they’re able to effectively manage their emotions,” Dr. Catherine Jackson, licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist. “In short, they possess several different types of intelligence, including but not limited to intellectual, social, and emotional intelligence.[2]

Measuring Intelligence

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While some experts maintain the validity of the IQ test, some believe it can’t fully measure intelligence since there are too many facets of it. Psychologist and professor Howard Gardner proposed the now-popular theory that there are eight types of intelligence

These include:

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  1. Logical – This involves the ability to logically analyze, as well as skills in math and scientific investigation.
  2. Interpersonal – Also known as social intelligence. It helps people understand and positively interact with others.
  3. Intrapersonal – This is the ability to reflect and understand oneself. It can overlap with self-awareness.
  4. Naturalist – Good recognition and classification of different elements of nature.
  5. Musical – This is the skill of performing, composing, and appreciating music.
  6. Spatial – This is the awareness of how to use large space and smaller patterns.
  7. Linguistic – This refers to having strong abilities to use language effectively, whether written or spoken.
  8. Bodily-kinesthetic – Also known as the ability to use the body to create and problem-solve. [2]

Read More: Eleven-Year-Old Girl With Higher IQ Than Albert Einstein And Stephen Hawking

8 Signs You Have High Intelligence

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You may already resonate with some items here. But if you are still unsure, exploring the following list of traits and abilities may help you understand what types of intelligence you have and where your strengths lie.

You have a strong sense of self 

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There are many keys to having self-awareness, and one of them is your perception of yourself when it comes to your goals, values, characteristics, abilities, and other defining traits. People who have a strong sense of self often feel secure in their identities, know their strengths and weaknesses, and are confident to make choices based on their beliefs.  Even then, it may take further work for people to feel comfortable setting boundaries, expressing themselves, and making choices that aligns with their values. Overall, self-discovery is a long journey but when people make noticeable progress, it’s a sign of high intelligence. 

You’re empathetic

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Empathy is a main principle of emotional intelligence, and for good reason. This kind of intelligence involves acknowledging and understanding one’s own emotions, but empathy takes that further by becoming aware of what others are feeling. People can use empathy to notice others’ emotions through their behavior, body language, or tone of voice. Also, people use empathy to consider and accept others’ experiences and opinions, even when they don’t share them personally. It could also help with communication skills, managing impulses, controlling conflicts, and understanding how one’s behavior affects those around them. If that doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry. Empathy isn’t something innate; it’s a skill people develop through learning about others and actively showing concern for them.

Read More: Parents stumped by exam question for a 10-year-old

You value solitude

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Now, don’t think that intelligent people are antisocial loners. Instead, they could have a wide social network, socialize regularly, and cherish their loved ones. But they also value their alone time to recharge, introspect, and pursue personal interests and projects. Self-awareness also comes into play here. People with this trait can figure out the balance of being social and being alone. For instance, they’ll know how to pace themselves so they won’t feel burned out by accidentally booking too many social events at once. And they’ll ensure they’ll go out and recharge socially before they’re stuck in a rut or feel too isolated. 

You’re curious

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Curious people love exploring, whether it comes to new languages, cultures, books, art, and experiences in general. They don’t settle for the simple explanations; instead, they’ll keep digging deeper and keep an open mind as they learn and ask questions. Concepts and inventions that most take for granted, curious people want to understand more about. They do not struggle to admit they don’t know something because they are more focused on learning than pretending to be knowledgable. But their eagerness to learn is indicative of true intelligence. 

You have good observation skills

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Sherlock Holmes is a famous genius known for his deduction skills. Now, his abilities are often depicted like a superpower but nonfictional people can also be keen observers. “In a world where people talk to prove who they are, highly intelligent people are the opposite,” Jackson says. Observation is a skill that can be developed and it suggests intelligence. It can come in the form of good awareness of surroundings, strong attention to detail, and an eye for patterns. People with strong empathy may use their observation skills to pick up on the behavior and emotions of others. 

You have a good memory

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Working memory refers to the ability for people to store specific pieces of information and recall them to help with present experiences. For some people, this may come in the form of remembering faces, names, and lists. For others, this appears as good body memory. This means people can recall movement patterns and repeat them. For example, they could pick up on a dance routine fairly easily or they could navigate their way to a specific location even though they’ve only been there once a couple years ago.

Read More: 8 Physical Traits Mom Passes To The Baby (And 4 From Dad)

You know your limits

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Intelligent people don’t believe they know everything. They also don’t pretend that they do. Instead, they reflect on their own limitations and flaws and try to improve them. “If they can’t do something they don’t try and act as if they can,” Jackson says. “Instead they know their 8 Physical Traits Mom Passes To The Baby (And 4 From Dad)and can admit it. This allows them to be open to learning more from others and/or situations.” It also allows them to ask for help when they need it.

You’re adaptable

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Life throws curveballs to everyone but some people catch them more easily than others. Adaptability is the skill that helps individuals adjust to new or changing situations. It often links to resilience, the ability to recover from difficult events. People with this kind of intelligence may be unafraid of change and uncertainty, since they know they can bounce back. They may be able to keep trying even after continuous failures. 

The Bottom Line

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Rather than being rigid about what must happen, they remain mentally flexible, open-minded, and can easily adjust to life, no matter what gets throw their ways,” Jackson says. Facing adversity with a sense of humor is another sign of intelligence, since studies have connected an appreciation of dark humor with creativity and intellect. [4]

Read More: Evidence Your Older Sibling Is Probably Smarter Than You


  1. 13 signs you’re smarter than you think you are.” Business Insider. Shana Lebowitz and Áine Cain.  July 11, 2023.
  2. “10 Signs You’re Highly Intelligent, According To Experts.Bustle. Kristine Fellizar. June 30, 2021
  3. “11 Signs of Intelligence Proving There’s More Than One Way to Be a Genius.”  Healthline. Crystal Raypole. June 22, 2022
  4. Signs Of Intelligence: 22 Fascinating Indicators Of A High IQ.PsyBlog. June 22, 2021