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Understanding Intelligence – 20 Common Traits Of Highly Intelligent People

The group of ‘highly intelligent people‘ is incredibly diverse. Intelligence is not about having exceptional skills in a particular area, it is about being to cope the with the situation you are in.If you passed a genius on the street, you wouldn’t notice it. The reality is totally unlike the Hollywood depiction of a-little-broken geniuses stumbling through the streets and scribbling notes on the backs of trucks.

Traits Of Highly Intelligent Person

According to Howard Gardner, there are Nine Types of Intelligence:

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“NatureSmart”)

Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world. This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers. It continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligence, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music. As demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions. Mathematical and musical intelligence may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

4. Existential Intelligence

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Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

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Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart)

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Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self but also of the human condition. It is evident in the psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

9. Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.


Here are 20 characteristics of highly intelligent people:

An intelligent person knows what it means to be intelligent.

  1. They have fast reflexes.

  2. They have the ability to ignore useless information. (64% correlation)

  3.  Clarity of thought

  4.  Ability to express one’s own self

  5.  Courage to accept criticism

  6.  The will to change for the better.

  7.  Intelligent people are curious, they love to learn.

  8. They are very curious about many things. They want to know how and why?

  9. They have the ability to listen and to learn. They shut up long enough to be open to new ideas.

  10. Free thinker/non-conforming/averse to authority

  11.  Heightened sensitivity to both external and internal stimulus

  12. Rich inner world (the capacity to be able to generate experiences internally using experience and information synthesized from the outer world).

  13. Intuitive (Being able to almost feel what someone is thinking/feeling and able to almost predict what is going to happen next in any particular situation)

  14. Being able to read very deeply into body language.

  15. Very analytical/observing; being able to point out the nuances in everyday living situations.

  16. Tend to have at least 1 parent or person in their family who are also pretty intelligent.

  17. Thrives on intellectual conversations/complexities (a love for turning the complex into simple and being able to extract the complexity out of what others view as simple.)

  18. Likes to learn at a very fast pace and are able to demonstrate mental abilities well beyond one’s physical age.

  19. They are their own compass, they are usually quite confident, know what they don’t know, and follow the beat of their own drum.

  20. They talk briefly but pointedly and think and communicate clearly.


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