Show your mental aptitude without saying a word

Did you know that there are at least seven different areas of intellect? When you hear the term “intelligence,” you probably think of it as a very high-minded or academic concept. In fact, there are far better indicators of your brainpower than your ability to use big words, solve math problems or recite obscure facts.

It’s natural to want to be perceived by friends, coworkers and strangers as an intelligent person. However, this doesn’t mean you need to start memorizing every article on the internet or using longer words. Believe it or not, many of the seemingly small or insignificant things we do every day can speak volumes about our judgment.

Here are 10 ways to speak volumes about your intelligence without saying a word:

  1. Remembering the details

Intelligent people pay attention. Whether this means noticing your surroundings, remembering a birthday or keeping up with your coworker’s coffee preference, an intelligent person makes the effort to take note of small details.

This doesn’t mean you need to keep a notebook full of every little thing, however. Noticing and showing you care, as a result, is a exercise that can be improved with practice.

  1. Actively listening

The importance of actively listening cannot ever be overstated. If you’ve ever experienced an interaction with someone who actively listens, you’ll understand how it is a perfect way to show your intelligence. In order to do this, you have to not only be completely present during the conversation, but you also have to understand how to be empathetic and show the other person that you value what they’re saying.

Active listening involves asking questions to clarify what’s being said and being able to restate the important points of the conversation and contribute meaningful responses. The better you are at active listening, the more intelligent you will seem.

  1. Having genuine Interests

Intellect is about much more than what can be measured on a test or read in a textbook. Intelligent people are curious, passionate and open-minded, and this is often showcased best by what your interests are. Whether you like bluegrass, quilting, creating websites or running marathons, the interests you are pursuing and learning more about is a sign of mental aptitude.

People are drawn to those who are genuinely excited about things, regardless of what they are. Don’t ever be ashamed of sharing your interests because they are a vital part of who you are.

  1. How you care for your environment

While this does include caring for nature and being mindful of the world around you, caring for your environment goes much further than that. Your environment includes your workspace, car, home and computer too.

Would you be embarrassed for a colleague or stranger to walk through your house, ride in your car or get a glimpse of your desktop? Intelligent people understand the importance of maintaining clean, organized and restful spaces. Clutter, debris and chaos are generally signs that you don’t value yourself enough to care for your living spaces. And while it’s true that some highly intelligent people function quite well in an environment of chaos, people are not likely to give you the benefit of being a cluttered genius upon first impression.

  1. How you approach a problem

Critical thinking skills are a major indicator of brainpower. Often, there are many ways to solve a problem. How you approach issues and challenges says a great deal about you as a person, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box or use an unconventional solution.

  1. The way you ask questions

Questions are a fact of life. Nobody knows everything, so you should never feel ashamed to ask a question. The way you ask questions is an interesting indicator of aptitude, however. Intelligent people ask specific questions, and they never hesitate to use questions to clarify a situation or learn a new skill.

The wisest things you can do are gracefully admit when you don’t know something and accept help. People will think very highly of you for this.

  1. The art you like

Artistic tastes are another personal, yet telling thing. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an “artsy” person, you will still have preferences for what types of photographs, advertisements and illustrations you tend to gravitate toward. These preferences show the world what types of imagery you find beautiful or motivating, and this can communicate volumes in terms of your cleverness and character.

  1. Your punctuality

Truly intelligent people understand the importance of punctuality. Not only is it better and less stressful for you when you’re on time, but it is also a major display of respect. By arriving to meetings, appointments and events on time or a little early, you are showing that you respect the other person’s time and place value on both the person and the meeting.

Aim to arrive anywhere you need to be at least 10 minutes early. This will give you a buffer in case you’re running late, while also keeping you punctual.

  1. The company you keep

The people you choose to spend your free time with are a major reflection of your judgment and self-worth. Your circle of friends and acquaintances show the world what your beliefs, thoughts and attitudes are about life, so bear this in mind when you are deciding with whom to associate. Believe it or not, your mom’s warnings about falling in with the wrong crowd are quite relevant when it comes to how other people perceive you.

  1. You are more than your IQ score

Your intelligence is about much more than grades, facts and IQ tests. Things such as emotional intelligence and mindfulness can often be even more important than your IQ score. Truly intelligent people understand that there is breadth and depth to life, and they seek to explore the world around them constantly.


If you already do these 10 things, then you should take pride in that. If not, making small adjustments here and there to incorporate more of these habits into your daily life will not only improve your image but also help you feel happier and more fulfilled.

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