How To Tell When You've Met a Truly Intelligent Person

Updated on July 16, 2014

Being intelligent in today's world is devastatingly undervalued. Idiodicy is glorified and thoughtlessness is turned to unwise carelessness, biggest offenders being media based outlets. For the select few of us intelligent ones, it becomes incredibly worrisome that we will be trapped inside meaningless relationships whilst also letting potentially profound ones slip through our fingers. This is not how we want to live our lives, but we fear that there is no way to prevent it.

However, this assumption is wrong. There are ways to avoid being swept up into the insignificance that is so horrifyingly prominent the modern world, but that means having to surround yourself with other kindredly intelligent souls. And that is where the real problem lies. How is one supposed to determine the intelligence of another without having had an extensive amount of time getting to know that person? It seems quite impossible, doesn't it?

Well, luckily for you, it isn't.

Not every intelligent person is easy to spot, so you cannot always tell much about a person's intelligence by the first encounter. But, here are a few ways that will help you tell within the beginning stages of any relationship the intelligence that you seek.

Want to know a person? Check out their bookshelf!

Books are the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer.
Books are the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer. | Source

Is The Person in Question...Well-Read?

Being a "reader" does not always mean you are well-read. Being well-read is a dying attribute as the years go on. Naturally, as time goes on, more books are written and access to books becomes less and less difficult to come by, which makes venturing out into different genres of reading less and less necessary. One person could live their whole lives reading the same type of book because the selections of the different genres become wider.

Being able to hop from genre to genre is an essential attribute to a well-read person. It means that they have a widespread range of interests and knowledge, and they can adapt easily to different environments, fictional or not. Possessing the ability to read anything from contemporary fiction to classic literature brings one to understand and recognize well things like symbolism, which transfers to their perspective of reality as well as on the written page.

Another important thing to consider are endings. An intelligent person can find the beauty and depth in every kind of ending, whether it be happy, sad, or bittersweet, and they can likewise see through the artificial components to a shallow story with every kind of ending of the same nature. There are many people who only enjoy books with happy endings, and these are the people that you need to watch out for. If they only like happy endings, it is a sign that they may not completely understand the nature of the world and that they are blind to the possibility of sad endings in life, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

Although being well-read is unfortunately no longer an overwhelmingly abundant trait in people today, it is nowhere near being extinct. There are still so many well-read individuals out there, all of who look at the world with an intelligent eye because of it.

...Appreciative of Art?

To be intelligent, one does not necessarily need to be an artist (though it never hurts, of course), but one must have a general appreciation for art. In a recent publication of The Guardian by Vanessa Thorpe entitled "Pity the writers in their garrets in a world that only a few can flourish", it is explained how many of the most talented artists (mainly focused on writers in this article) are paid less than even the worst football player is paid. The world has become diminishingly appreciative and respective of art in a time where people are constantly inventing new ways to waste time, so it is sometimes quite rare to find a person who genuinely understands the importance of art in the world.

Contrary to popular belief, however, art does not only include paintings and sculptures that are displayed at a musem. Art encompases the whole spectrum of creativity, including everything from music, to literature, to photography, to graphic design, and the list goes on and on. All of these types of art are important and deserve recognition, and someone who truly appreciates art will know that.

Don't Be Blind

...Open Minded?

One of the most fundamental characteristics that make an intelligent person is his or her open mindness. Someone who is open minded perceives that beliefs, although often glamourized, are useless if they hold you back from entertaining any ideas that might be contrary to that belief. Intelligent people know that to be able to fully comprehend the world that you live in, you must think about all of the possibilities, and most importantly, be open to the possibility that maybe what you believe is not quite right. Nobody like thinking about maybe being wrong, but part of being open minded is accepting that this is a possible outcome.

Many people cling to their beliefs as if they are fact, but that is the thing about beliefs...they are beliefs, not facts. Facts are right no matter what, but beliefs are unproven, so couldn't they be wrong? You decide that, and you also decide how open minded you want to be.

Another part to being open minded is being open to learn new things. Curiosity is a very important part to being open minded, because curiosity leads to discovery, and discovery leads to growth and self-knowledge. Learning about yourself is something that must happen, and if one is open minded, this self discovery comes sooner and more completely than it does to any other ordinary person.

Being thoughtful and curious are the two most important aspects to being open minded, and they cannot be overlooked when searching the crowds for signs of the most profound intelligence.


Passion. I have mentioned before in my writing how important it is to have, and it is no different now. Passion is arguably the most crucial element that makes someone truly intelligent, because that is what makes them who they are in their most honest form.

If one does not have passion, then one does not live for anything. And when people don't have anything to live for, they find ways to pass and fill their useless time; they find vices, and when passionless people find vices, it is damaging to more than only themselves. Any kind of relationship to be had with a person void of passion is likely to drive into the ground with you as the ultimate victim.

But don't worry, if you are passionate, it will be easy for you to recognize someone who is also passionate. It is the same with every one of these things I have mentioned in this passage. If you are a well-read, art appreciating, open minded, passionate person, if you are intelligent yourself, it will not be as hard as you think to find an intelligent person to connect and bond with. Whoever you are looking for - someone intelligent to love, or someone to just be a friend - if you display intelligence in your own character, you will find each other. You just need hope and a little bit of intuition.

You will never have to worry that you are wasting your life with unworthy people; you are intelligent.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      "Books are the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer."

      I disagree, I once read Twilight and felt like an idiot afterwards.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great article by the way Ms. Inkspill. Interesting name by the way.

    • Jane Inkspill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jane Inkspill 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for this comment, John! I appreciate people like you.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I for one cannot understand how anyone can go through life not being passionate about anything. I love to read about everything from economics to science. It has help me realize just how little I know. I don't like to just understand things superficially, but understand it at a deeper level. Thank you. It was very good.

    • Jane Inkspill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jane Inkspill 

      5 years ago

      Well, there is always room in every one of these areas for all of us, so don't be worried! I am not where I want to be yet either in all of these things, but that it why I am working every day to change that. Glad you enjoyed reading it! xx

    • Milagros Lasarte profile image

      Milagros Lasarte 

      5 years ago from Paris

      It did make me laugh to think people are in desperate search of intelligent partners/friends. I agree with every single thing you said. I'm maybe not as well-read as I wish I could be but I am trying to change this.

      Really enjoyed this :)


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