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11 Habits Only Smart People Have in Common

Turns out IQ tests aren't the only measure of high intelligence.

Turns out IQ tests aren't the only measure of high intelligence. Certain everyday habits tend to be indicators that a person is exceptionally smart, and many of them are surprising, what you might associate with precisely the opposite. According to experts—including those behind the YouTube channel Psych2Go—here are 11 habits only smart people have in common.

Being Messy


"When we think of someone who is highly intelligent, we tend to picture academic achievers who rank top of their class and tend to be organized," Psych2Go says. "However, a lot of highly intelligent people don't actually fall into this category. These are the type to most likely be messy because they tend to be highly creative. They prefer to reject conformity and generate unique, original ideas."

Cursing Frequently


Intelligent people frequently swear because they like to think for themselves, "not letting society tell them what they should and should not do," the experts say. "What makes a bad word 'bad' anyway, if you don't have any malicious intent behind it? Highly intelligent people don't see anything wrong with cursing if they see fit." "Not only that, they're often more creative with their curse words too, which means they have an extensive vocabulary." 

Staying Up Late


"Studies have shown that highly intelligent people actually prefer to stay up later than most and tend to be night owls who work through the night rather than sleep," Psych2Go says. "They're always up and about tackling a lot of problems and challenges. They prefer to do this at night, where they can think with less interruptions and be alone with their thoughts."

Taking Cold Showers


Highly intelligent people do this to clear their heads, the experts say. "Cold showers mimic the ancient practice of water therapy, which is said to benefit both the body and mind by pumping fresh blood to our brains and therefore improving our mood, memory, and productivity."

Talking to Themselves


"One possible reason why is that they might be the only person in their life who they can converse with on an intellectual level, or they just like to express their thoughts out loud," says Psych2Go.

Criticizing Themselves


"One of the most notable characteristics of a highly intelligent person is their humility and self-awareness," Psych2Go says. "They're always willing to admit that they don't know and that they don't have all the answers. They're not afraid to criticize themselves because they're always open to learning more and broadening their horizons."

Frequent Doodling


If you find yourself spacing out during meetings or conversations and doodling designs on paper, congratulations—this is another common habit of smart people. 



"Most highly intelligent people have a very rich imagination and use these creative ways to improve their problem-solving skills and get the mental stimulation they need," says Psych2Go. "Daydreaming helps us to think about things more deeply, and many highly intelligent people use this as a strategy to arrive at a breakthrough or make an important decision in life."

Wanting to Be Alone


Highly intelligent people tend to be more reserved and less sociable. They can get easily overwhelmed by being around large groups of people and prefer to spend large amounts of time by themselves.  

Reduce Unnecessary Complexity


In an article for Inc., life coach and therapist Matthew Jones looked at the daily routines and schedules of the highly intelligent Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, and Benjamin Franklin. What struck him "was their simplicity," he wrote. "Everyone knew that simplicity is velocity, and that the most intelligent, productive, and inspired people try to reduce unnecessary complexity in their lives."

Getting Enough Sleep


"The most intelligent people recognize the importance of sleep in sustaining high levels of physical and mental energy during the day," writes Jones. "Kant and Franklin averaged about seven hours of sleep per night, while Freud, somewhat of a night-owl, averaged six."

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