“We all have encountered someone who seems naturally gifted, effortlessly making the right choices, solving problems with ease, and excelling in various tasks. It’s common to feel a sense of envy in such situations. However, genuine intelligence transcends a high IQ or excelling in exams. In fact, there are specific behaviors that can signal a lack of true intelligence in a person, irrespective of their academic achievements. My close friend, who once struggled in school but now amazes everyone with her resourcefulness and problem-solving abilities, has been my source of inspiration in understanding what true intelligence entails. Throughout my journey to grasp the essence of true intelligence, I’ve identified seven behaviors that truly intelligent individuals, like my friend, never engage in. Intrigued? Keep reading to uncover the distinguishing features that set genuinely intelligent people apart from those who merely feign intelligence.”
1) Assume they know everything:
We’ve all come across someone who is eager to dominate conversations, correct others, and offer unsolicited advice just to seem intelligent. Or perhaps they genuinely believe they possess complete knowledge on a certain topic. However, true intelligence is marked by humility. I remember meeting an award-winning scientist at a networking event who surprised me. Instead of bragging about his achievements, he asked everyone questions and displayed genuine interest in what they had to say. When the topic of his research arose, he humbly acknowledged that there is still much to learn. This is something genuinely intelligent people understand. The world is vast and constantly changing, and no one can know everything. Assuming complete knowledge not only risks making you appear foolish but also renders your knowledge irrelevant. To be genuinely intelligent, embrace your knowledge gaps as opportunities for growth instead of seeing them as weaknesses.
2) Act disrespectfully:
While intelligence and respect should ideally go hand-in-hand, there are instances where they do not align. I have encountered people who are incredibly smart in their field but behave disrespectfully towards others. It’s as if they believe their intellectual abilities grant them the right to belittle or ignore those they consider “less intelligent.” In truth, this lack of respect indicates a deficiency in emotional intelligence. Genuinely intelligent individuals understand that everyone has something valuable to offer. They respect different perspectives and recognize the importance of treating others with dignity, regardless of their background or skill level. This is one of the most revealing signs of how someone understands the world and its people.
3) Ignore feedback:
When someone offers advice or criticism, our initial reaction is often defensiveness. It’s natural to desire acceptance for who we are and seek recognition and praise. It requires true intelligence to genuinely embrace feedback instead of dismissing it or letting it go in one ear and out the other. I have a friend, mentioned earlier, who excels at this. However, she wasn’t always like this. Initially, she feared performance reviews at work and would feel devastated or enraged upon receiving criticism. She strived for perfection and took any suggestion harshly. Now, she not only welcomes feedback but actively seeks it out. She asks her colleagues and boss how she can improve and eagerly works on herself. What changed? She learned to view feedback as an opportunity for growth. This mindset allows her to continually strengthen her intelligence, even though she is already successful.
4) Make impulsive decisions:
The allure of instant gratification is strong. We have all been tempted to make hasty decisions based on immediate rewards. Whether it’s reaching for another slice of cake while on a diet or scrolling on Instagram instead of studying, impulsive decisions are not exclusive to youth. They indicate a preference for instant pleasure at the expense of long-term consequences. Genuinely intelligent people understand the importance of delayed gratification and long-term planning. They do not let their emotions cloud their judgment and instead make logical, well-thought-out choices. Of course, it’s okay to occasionally indulge in something you love or make intuitive decisions. However, treating these instances as exceptions rather than the rule can help prevent regrettable decisions.
5) Dismiss other people’s opinions:
We have all been in a discussion where someone adamantly shares their opinion, which we believe to be blatantly incorrect. In such situations, a genuinely intelligent person would not outright dismiss that person. Opinions are subjective, and wisdom can come from unexpected sources. Even scientists have made breakthrough discoveries by considering ideas they initially opposed. Though there may not be a Nobel Prize at stake in everyday conversations, it is still crucial to remain open to different perspectives. Take the time to understand the person’s thought process behind their conclusion and ask for examples. At the very least, you will make them feel heard while gaining insight into alternative viewpoints, which is an invaluable learning experience.
6) Neglect emotional intelligence:
It’s easy to think that being smart means excelling in complex subjects or understanding intricate concepts like international politics. However, it is equally important to possess a different kind of intelligence-one that pertains to understanding people, their emotions, triggers, and behaviors. Genuine intelligent individuals grasp this concept. They don’t solely focus on logic and reason; they also pay close attention to the emotional dynamics around them. I once had a college professor who was a brilliant genius in his field. However, what set him apart was his ability to understand his students’ needs. He always knew when we were overwhelmed or confused and would crack jokes or adjust his teaching style to ensure everyone stayed engaged. It was not just about imparting knowledge; it was about making that knowledge accessible and meaningful to all of us. He comprehended not only his subject matter but also us. If you aspire to be genuinely intelligent, don’t limit yourself to books. Open your heart and mind to the emotions and experiences of others. This is a lesson life can teach you that no textbook ever will.
7) Hold grudges:
At some point, we have all experienced hurt or felt slighted. It’s a natural part of being human. Moreover, it’s human nature to cling to that pain, hoping the person who caused it receives their comeuppance and spending a significant amount of time harboring hatred towards them. While understandable, holding onto anger is not intelligent at all. On the contrary, it is akin to carrying around a heavy backpack everywhere you go-it slows you down and exhausts you. You may not have controlled the pain inflicted upon you in the past, but allowing it to continue hindering you in the present is your choice. Why let that person maintain a hold on you? Genuine intelligent individuals choose forgiveness, not because the other person deserves it, but because they deserve peace.
In conclusion, these are the seven things that genuinely intelligent people avoid doing. It is important to remember that intelligence is not a fixed trait; it is a dynamic and evolving quality. It is a journey of constant learning, humility, and making mistakes, acknowledging them, and growing stronger through the lessons they teach us. Earning genuine intelligence requires openness, self-awareness, and a willingness to continuously improve.