5 Traits of a Truly Intelligent Person
March 30, 2021

Most of us define intelligence as possession of a high IQ combined with high EQ. That’s a pretty simplistic definition of what it means to be intelligent and humans definitely have much more to them than these test scores.

Of course, had there been a single formula to become intelligent you would’ve definitely learned it in school by now. So what is it that makes up the geniuses of the world? Let’s have a look at some unconventional traits that can make someone truly intelligent.

1. Empathy

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Understanding what other people are going through and accordingly modifying the behaviour of oneself is a sign of intelligence. In fact, a lot of people are not able to do this and it is also a pretty difficult skill to develop deliberately. Those who have this skill will have better chances at success in real life as they will find it easier to gain the trust of people around them.

2. Attention to details

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Do you fret over tiny details or get anxious if something is not perfect? Don’t worry, paying attention to small details is definitely a sign of intelligence. It simply means you can identify the smallest areas of improvement, and this ability does require a certain amount of smartness.

3. Humility

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The attitude of being humble about one’s skills and knowledge is not so common. The Dunning-Kruger effect supports the observation that intelligent people are humbler about themselves and tend to doubt their abilities more than the less knowledgeable ones who tend to be overconfident about themselves.

This is primarily because you need to be smart enough to know what you don’t know. But why is humility so important? Well, for starters it will always allow for the scope for one to learn more. Prioritizing truth over ego will also earn you the respect of others in the future when problems get too complicated to be solved by one single person.

4. Metacognition

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People possessing this ability can simply think about their own thinking. So, the highly intelligent lot is basically aware of their own thought and learning process and can also critically analyse the same. Apart from focussing on what to learn they also plan, monitor and analyse how they learn. Having a metacognitive learning process also means you are not just learning for the present but also developing your learning ability for the future.

5. Curiosity

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The curious ones want to know more just for the sake of knowing. They don’t always learn based on what goal they will achieve. This thinking helps them learn and acquire abilities that other people might never pay attention to and nevertheless can contribute significantly in developing one as an individual.

With the ever-increasing competition out there, there is a lot of pressure on us to be better than others. Thus, we often feel pressured and try to imitate what we think makes other people successful. Rather than making someone else your idol, strive to be better each day in the pursuit of what you truly want to be.

This way you are not limiting yourself to what others could achieve. In life, no single skill set will help you achieve extraordinary success. Such successes are mostly a culmination of multiple skill sets one acquires over a long period of time.

We hope this article will help you take a step forward in that direction. Do share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

FAQ: Traits of an Intelligent Person

What Defines an Intelligent Person?

An intelligent person is characterized by various cognitive, behavioral, and social traits that collectively contribute to their intellectual capacity and problem-solving abilities.
Three important points about traits defining an intelligent person:
1. Critical Thinking: Intelligent individuals possess strong critical thinking skills, allowing them to analyze information, make sound judgments, and solve complex problems effectively.
2. Adaptability: They demonstrate adaptability and flexibility in various situations, showing the ability to learn from experiences and adjust to new environments or challenges.
3. Curiosity and Creativity: Intelligent individuals exhibit curiosity and creativity, exploring new ideas, generating innovative solutions, and seeking novel approaches to tasks or problems.

How Can Emotional Intelligence Contribute to Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, comprising self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills, plays a pivotal role in defining an individual's overall intelligence.
Three important points about the contribution of emotional intelligence to intelligence:
1. Interpersonal Relationships: High emotional intelligence fosters healthy interpersonal relationships, facilitating effective communication and collaboration.
2. Decision-Making: It influences decision-making processes by allowing individuals to consider emotions and social cues, leading to more well-rounded judgments.
3. Stress Management: Emotional intelligence aids in stress management and resilience, enabling individuals to handle pressure and setbacks more effectively, which can positively impact intellectual performance.

What Role Does Continuous Learning Play in Intelligence?

Continuous learning is integral to enhancing and maintaining intelligence, contributing significantly to personal growth and cognitive development.
Three important points about the role of continuous learning in intelligence:
1. Neuroplasticity: Continuous learning stimulates neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and rewire, enhancing cognitive functions and expanding knowledge.
2. Skill Development: It allows for the acquisition of new skills, knowledge, and perspectives, fostering intellectual growth and a broader understanding of various subjects.
3. Adaptation to Change: Continuous learning enables individuals to adapt to changing environments, technologies, and societal advancements, enhancing their overall intelligence and adaptability.

How Do Problem-Solving Skills Contribute to Intelligence?

Strong problem-solving skills are a hallmark of intelligence, contributing significantly to an individual's intellectual capabilities.
Three important points about the contribution of problem-solving skills to intelligence:
1. Analytical Thinking: Problem-solving skills involve analytical thinking, enabling individuals to deconstruct complex issues into manageable components for effective resolution.
2. Innovative Solutions: Intelligent individuals utilize their problem-solving abilities to devise innovative solutions, applying creative thinking and resourcefulness to overcome challenges.
3. Adaptation to Challenges: Effective problem-solving skills foster adaptability, allowing individuals to navigate diverse situations and tackle unforeseen obstacles with agility and efficacy.

How Does Open-Mindedness Contribute to Intelligence?

Open-mindedness, the willingness to consider new ideas, perspectives, and information, is a crucial trait that contributes significantly to an individual's intelligence.
Three important points about the contribution of open-mindedness to intelligence:
1. Expanded Perspectives: Open-minded individuals explore diverse viewpoints, expanding their perspectives and fostering a deeper understanding of various subjects.
2. Continuous Learning: Open-mindedness facilitates continuous learning by encouraging individuals to embrace new information, contributing to intellectual growth.
3. Effective Decision-Making: It enables individuals to make more informed and well-rounded decisions by considering a wider range of options and viewpoints, leading to more intelligent choices.

In summary, an intelligent person embodies a combination of traits such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence, continuous learning, problem-solving abilities, and open-mindedness. These traits collectively contribute to their intellectual capacity, adaptability, and ability to navigate complexities in various aspects of life and work.

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