There are many ways of determining how intelligent someone is. The most common way of testing someone’s intelligence is through intelligence quotient tests, or IQ tests, as we’ve come to call them. These tests are designed to measure ability and aptitude, but intelligence is not all about IQ.
IQ tests include problem-solving, memory, and reasoning skills, which can’t capture the broad picture of your capabilities as a human being. Furthermore, IQ tests don’t measure day-to-day traits such as creativity or emotional skills, and low scores on these tests don’t necessarily represent the actual intellectual abilities of a person.
Experts strongly believe that a single test simply can’t provide a clear picture of how intelligent a person is, mostly because there are multiple types of intelligence, not just one. According to a theory introduced by psychologist and Professor Howard Gardner, there are nine different types of intelligence.
There are also signs of intelligence that can show you whether you’re more intelligent than you think.
Are you empathetic?
Being empathetic is a key component of emotional intelligence, which refers to how you understand and express emotions. If you’re able to experience things from someone else’s perspective and acknowledge your own, then you have high emotional intelligence.
High emotional intelligence enables you to have a good awareness of what others feel and think and gives you the ability to sense when others are struggling. You can even notice the slightest signs in their body language. But just like any other skill, you can develop your empathy even more simply by learning about others and expressing your concern for them.
Do you value solitude?
A 2016 study that focused on the intelligence of happiness, population density, and friendship showed that people with a higher IQ did not feel satisfied with life when they spent more time socializing, in comparison to spending time on their own.
Intelligence and introversion develop while you’re spending time in your head reflecting on past experiences, mulling over problems, or brainstorming new ideas. Ideally, the less time you spend socializing, the more time you have to pursue your own interests – not to mention your introspective thinking.
In short, you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you when it comes to socializing. This leads us to our next sign of intelligence – self-awareness.
Do you have a strong sense of self?
If your sense of self is well-developed, then your perception of key life goals and desires is quite clear. A strong self-identity means that you are confident about your choices and how they reflect your beliefs, you know your strengths, and you feel secure in who you are.
Discovering things takes time, but even if you have established an identity for yourself, you can always put a bit more effort into expressing yourself freely, setting your own boundaries, and walking the path that aligns with your values.
Are you eager to know more?
You’re never satisfied with simple explanations and you’re always trying to find new ways to expand your knowledge. Your perception of matter is so good that you always ask thoughtful questions that get to the very core of an issue.
Even as a child, you spend your time exploring new interests or taking things apart to see how they work and what makes them tick. What you didn’t know is that your curiosity, in all its glorious forms, is closely tied to your intelligence.
You continue expanding your knowledge throughout your life because unlike those that wait for answers, you go looking for them. Your DNA compels you to find the answers to all the questions that pop into your mind.
Do you observe and remember?
You might not be Sherlock Holmes, but you’re often praised for your keen observations. You’re gifted with the ability to store memory and work with pieces of information as you wish.
Your ability to observe and remember in such a way relates to different types of intelligence, such as spatial-visual intelligence and verbal-linguistic intelligence. Additionally, if you’re able to recognize patterns or changes in a natural environment then you might be inclined towards naturalist intelligence, as well.
Do you have a good body memory?
Intelligence is not limited to your brain. For example, some people know their way around cities they’ve visited once and they did that years ago. Others pick up complicated dances just by looking at other dancers.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence helps you remember patterns or movements and replicate them without even trying. People who are good at sports and other physical activities usually have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
Do you handle life-challenges with any effort?
Facing challenges life serves you at every other corner can be quite hard for some people – but not for you. You’re able to adapt to new situations and recover from adversity, which makes adaptability and resilience the key components of your intelligence.
Even when things don’t turn out as you expected them to, you don’t wait for others to lend you a hand. You get up and keep moving forward. Such characteristics are quite rare, especially if you handle adversity with a sense of humor.
Research shows that humor is linked to creativity and intelligence, and dark humor to higher intelligence.
Do you manage your emotions well?
Every once in a while, people deal with painful or unwanted emotions – and that is a normal part of life. However, the way you deal with these emotions says a lot about your intelligence.
For example, people with high intelligence are able to express their feelings in healthy ways, know how to exercise self-control, respond to emotions productively, understand how emotions affect their choices and behavior, and most importantly, know how to recognize complex emotions.
Other signs of intelligence include gifts for peacemaking between quarreling friends or disgruntled coworkers, a tendency to worry about things, and pet ownership.
In summary, intelligence goes well beyond being book-smart, and just because you weren’t singled out as gifted when you were young, doesn’t mean that you’re not intelligent.