Updated date:

10 Ways to Impress People With Your Intelligence If You Have Little

Jorge has been an avid reader of personal development literature for years. He likes to blather on about what he's learned.

Ever wanted to make people think you're terribly smart, but don't want to go through the long, drawn-out effort of actually working on yourself intellectually so that you can gain a better understanding of life? Want to remain as mentally lazy as possible, while still keeping the appearance (to those who will fall for it) that you have great wisdom?

Here are 10 easy ways to do just that:

1 - Read Wikipedia a lot and spout random facts about things that no one cares about.

There's no better substitute for actual understanding than the memorization of random, undigested facts, so fire up that Wikipedia!

Quote exact sentences from it in conversation. If anyone talks about anything remotely similar to something you read on Wikipedia, start giving a lecture about it like you're some kind of expert! You practically are, after all--you even edited part of the wiki article yourself! (For punctuation.) There's also no chance that this other person read that same article already and you're being tediously redundant--no at all, in spite of the fact that Wikipedia is ridiculously popular.


2 - Get a dictionary or thesaurus and learn to use sesquipedalian words, including the word "sesquipedalian."

Use "two-dollar words" to the point of actually reducing the efficiency of how you speak and write. In fact, use words that are not only long and hard to pronounce, but also ridiculously obscure so that someone would probably have to look through two or three different dictionaries to find one that had a heading for it.

3 - Argue with people a lot and be adamant about what you say even if you don't know what you're talking about.

Everyone has to have an opinion about everything. EVERYONE. Don't make yourself the exception. Have a really strong, rabid opinion about something even if you don't know about it and don't know what you're talking about. Argue and duckspeak until everyone knows that you hold this particular opinion and it has practically become part of your personality.

People must know (or think) that you have strong opinions. A person with strong opinions usually (or at least by implication) is someone who thinks, and people who think are smart--so everyone (especially people dumber than you) will think you're smart, even if you make no sense.

4 - Watch the news, especially political opinion pieces, and repeat things that they say to people.

As if it's your own opinion. Obviously, you can't rely on your own judgment because, as highlighted in number 3, you're not supposed to know what you're talking about, so just borrow someone else's! Usually people on TV are smart, otherwise they wouldn't be on TV, right? You can probably trust them to be right about everything.

5 - Get into a career or college major that sounds complicated or brainy, but really doesn't have to be, like Philosophy.

If it's something abstract enough, you can be intellectually dishonest and B.S. your way to a B.A. Trust me, no one will notice. Just talk about Nietzsche a lot. Tell people you're an Existentialist. Look quiet and brooding (and people will think you're preoccupied with thinking).

6 - Give people B.S. advice when people don't ask for it.

Even when no one cares, tell people what they should do in a given situation, even when you have no real right to be giving advice and even if it's in poor taste. (e.g. "Gee, I wouldn't buy that coffin for your recently deceased mother, Steve. It may be pretty, but at those prices? In this economy? I think you should really buy a cheaper one and use the saved money to invest in time share properties in Miami! That's where it's at.")

7 - Try to point out other people's mistakes that most everyone else just ignores, with no sense of irony.

"You just ended your sentence in a preposition, George. I mean, really? Need to go back to grammar school much?"

8 - Make jokes that aren't funny about things that aren't funny that no one is going to get, that make references to things most people don't think about on a daily basis, so that you can feel like it "went over people's heads."

And make sure to seem indignant and surprised when people don't get it.

"You people just don't get it because you've never read Sartre's work. scoff" (Hint: Neither have you. That's what makes it so awesome.)

9 - Tell people you're related to a well-known genius.

Nothing like genetics to seal the deal. Many people have some sort of ingrained belief that genes are largely responsible for a person's intelligence, so tell them you're the great-great-great-great-etc grandnephew of Leonard da Vinci or something.

10 - Read literature that makes no sense to you and consume art that equally makes no sense to you, and be pretentious about it, even if you don't understand it (because it makes no sense).

And when people tell you they don't get it, act pretentious and say that it can't be explained to someone who doesn't already inherently understand it, and that you are one of the privilaged few.

Above all, don't let on that the emperor is naked, so to speak.

Got that? Good, now go be a fake genius.


Emmyboy from Nigeria on January 20, 2013:


What a terrible way of faking intelligence. But the funny thing is that some of those things you mentioned will actually make someone become intelligent in the process.

You know what they say? Fake it until you make it!

Thanks for sharing.

Edoka Writes on January 28, 2011:

LOL!!! Funny, but those are good ideas! HA! I actually know someone that seems to do everything you've mentioned, and it's hilarious to be around him.

blue.lotus from Cali on January 28, 2011:

funny funny funny!

hubpageswriter on October 07, 2010:

The wikipedia serves a lot of purpose for sure.

wifelv from mi on September 29, 2010:

Even a fool is considered wise when they shut their mouth. Speaking is a dead give away to lack intelligence. For wisdom need not defend itself.

Jorge Vamos (author) on September 29, 2010:

Aw, man, that reminds me: I forgot to mention the whole coffee thing! How could that slip my mind?

Number 11: Drink coffee with unpronounceable names.