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What are the signs of a truly intelligent person?  

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Posts: 1
Joined: 6 months ago

What would you say are signs that somebody is intelligent?

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Posts: 2
Joined: 6 months ago

Good evening Louis, this is what I definitely underline:

- They read as a hobby.

- They listen more than they speak and they are good questioners.

- They think before they speak.

- They know they are not always right and they don’t mind if someone proves them wrong.

- They don’t just dream big, they work really hard to achieve it.

- When they see a problem, instead of complaining about it, they try to find a way and solve it.

- They don’t give up when they fail, they learn from their mistakes.

- They try to do what is right and needs to be done regardless of what others think/expect.

- And they have a good sense of humor.


Posts: 4
Joined: 6 months ago

My controversial opinion on who is truly intelligent. This is just my analogy, I might be wrong. 


Throughout my life, I have been exposed to number of people that were viewed as 'intelligent' by the general public. I have, however, made a distinction of who I see as what I call a 'truly intelligent person'. I also want to point out that in my opinion 'truly intelligent person' is born that way not made. 

In school, for example, most people who were seen as 'intelligent' by teachers, or the general public were ones who were getting As all the time, that were teachers favorites, that perhaps had some very nice hobbies (read books, to play some instrument, or are part of some club). However, I always have seen these people as people who just knew how to follow orders very well and were lacking any amount of critical thinking (meaning they did not criticize the situation, or teachers, or teaching material, or the system they are in, they just did whatever they were told to do and they did it very well).

For me, the truly intelligent people are those who see the situation outside of the box, who apply critical thinking, who do not see the world as it is but as it could be. Those who can see the situation far beyond what it is and who do not necessarily follow the crowd. 

Truly intelligent people are those who change the world, make new laws of physics, invent a new cure for a major disease, invent companies that change the world, make new government establishments that are better than those that came before, etc. These people have a great amount of critical thinking, they do not follow rules by the book, they are rebels to some extend, do not follow the general path of the average person. They quickly pick up on patterns, they can make connections between patterns fast, they grasp on opportunities that others just do not see

Therefore, here is my distinction between what I call the fake intelligent person (follow rules very well in school, work, life, their brain is very fast but not fast enough as a truly intelligent person, etc.) and truly intelligent person (a very fast brain, typically slight rebel, changes the world). 

There is also another distinction I have seen in my life when it comes to 'fake intelligent' people (by fake intelligent I mean your brain is very fast, but you are not genius level as I describe a truly intelligent person, you follow rules, you get all As, you do almost everything you are told and you do it very well, and you are generally praised by the public, teachers, work, but you do not apply critical thinking too much, you just follow the rules most of the time, etc.)

I have 2 categories I made for people who are what I call 'fake intelligent people': 

1. You are perceived as very intelligent by the general public, your brain is fast, but your brain is filled with not very good information

- this is for example of, for example, some politicians who we see, or saw in the past. We can tell that they are not stupid (meaning their brain is fast), but their brain is just filled with not so good information. They are working with false/terrible information with a fast brain.


2. You are perceived as very intelligent by general public, your brain is fast, and you brain is filled with a good, common, sense information

-this is an example of a person whose brain is fast and you are operating under good, common-sense information. 


So that's my opinion. Summary of the signs of what I call 'truly intelligent person' are:

1. You think outside the box (You have well established critical thinking that you actually use)

2. Have a very fast brain (You pick up on patterns fast, quickly make connections, etc.) 

3. You change the world (You make a new invention, cure for a major disease, make a company that changes the world, etc.)

4. You are typically a slight rebel (You are different than other people, do not follow the crowd)

5. You do not see the world as it is but as it could be (You see opportunities that others do not see) 



The real world is not as categorical as I describe here, sometimes categories overlap and you can see a person who I call truly intelligent have a lot of sings of the somebody who I call the fake intelligent person. It all subjective to the actual person but in general look for a very fast brain and a great amount of critical thinking or thinking outside of the box.

L - Rathke
Posts: 28
Joined: 8 months ago

Hello @everyone!

Great points you already made everyone! Thanks for being part of this discussion!

I actually have a question for Petra. Your thinking-wise only included a pre-set "intelligence". What about people evolving over time and training their brains?
This definitely a core point that shouldn't be left out. I, myself, wouldn't have called myself intelligent some years ago. I lived my day and I was fine with it. But changing the way you think, brainstorming about core-life questions and break out of your comfort zone embraces so much potential.

For me, people educating themself regularly and with useful information are truly intelligent people. They know how life works.

Regarding again your thesis, Petra, it is more focused on a specific time and not including the whole. People can break from uneducated/"unintelligent" to intelligent and educated. Being on this track automatically builds connections and obviously, some people are faster with developing themselves, others take more time. But that is individuality. That is what is so great in our society. We can help others reaching more potential and skills.


I am always thinking like that:

Person A has a very good foundation for intelligence. As you said, fast-thinking, making bridges other people don't get right away and sees the whole picture. I agree!

Person B has a harder time. Needs help with a lot of thoughts, the person is not independent.


Mathematically, Person A has a good chance to develop faster than B. Exponential knowledge-gain. It could be an f(x)=1,2*x graph.

Person B's graph flat and constant -> f(x)= 1

BUT if person B is hard-working, talks to experienced people and really has an inner motivation, I believe that he can definitely get to the point of having as much knowledge as person A. 
The graph changes from f(x)=1 to f(x)=x^3. It needs more time to recap the knowledge BUT reaching a specific point, magic happens.

You can critically think about life questions, human relationships, reflect on the systems we live in and JUDGE them.

THAT'S when you reached the stage when your intelligence allows you to change the world.


Would love to hear your opinions on that 🙂


Posts: 4
Joined: 6 months ago

Yes, I feel that education is important but also having a level of critical thinking of if what you doing is good or not.

Very extreme example: 

In the past, people were being taught that the world is flat. If you perhaps study hard in some medieval school back then and get praise or some sort of 'A' for repeating the 'world is flat'. Does that make you intelligent? No, it does not. The truly intelligent person would challenge that opinion and perhaps employ 'thinking outside of the box' and proposed the correct idea of the world is round.  

So in summary, you should study and build upon your knowledge but be very critical to what you doing. And In my opinion, there is a difference between a highly intelligent person and a highly studious person but if you combine traits those two while employing critical thinking you can do well in life. 

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