This article has been updated and improved upon. So if you read any of its previous versions you will find that there are some new ideas in this one.
The whole world is fascinated by people who are intelligent, and all those with high IQs get admired. But what about those who aren’t on the upper scale of intelligence? Don’t they deserve groupies too? Well, the good news is that intelligence can be faked. At least, one can take advantage of the manner in which people assess intelligence. Simply do the following:
Remember the old popular saying, it is better to keep quiet and have people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt? Well the truth is that many of us expose our sandy-brain tendencies by saying too much in certain situations. Some people wouldn’t seem so obviously erm… dumb if they didn’t talk so much. The quiet fellow on the other hand, may seem thoughtful when he is actually thinking about a sandwich.
So, the next time you find yourself in a conversation where someone brings up subject that you are clueless about, find a short comment or expression that will allow the other person finish the conversation themselves. One good way to
get a person to take up your own share of the conversation is by following the next tip.
Answer questions with questions
Let’s say someone asks you what you thought about points raised by the president, while he was speaking on CNN. You may not have watched the entire broadcast or understood all the technical aspects of the discourse, but you don’t have to break into a series of clumsy “um-ums”. You could simply put on your game face and say, “Man, that interview! What parts of it did you find interesting?” Okay, nobody really speaks like that.
Apart from the fact that people’s composure gets thrown off when their questions are answered with questions, you will find that most people would rather air their own opinion than listen to yours. Sometimes people just want you to listen
This one seems pretty obvious, but it’s scary how so many people drop out of the habit of reading. Read everything from
fiction to non-fiction. You are bound to expand your horizons or adopt intelligent thought patterns from your reading list.
Don’t tell people that you read
This is a sneaky one. While so many public figures are fond of talking about the books they read, there are some who don’t say anything about their reading list. Mentioning the books you have read, sort of demystifies the knowledge or wisdom you seem to have. It’s almost as if you have given people a blueprint or recipe to acquire the same knowledge, or know what you know. A good example is rapper, 50 Cent. While 50 comes across as very intelligent, he hardly talks about books. However fans of his will see occasional clues that he may be an avid reader. This is just the kind of slyness that you would expect from the guy who co-wrote a follow up to The 50 Laws of Power with Robert Greene.
Own Lucky Incidents
Luck, Serendipity, Happenstance, none of us are immune to things that happen by chance. Smart people know that ‘bad outcomes’ could turn around in their favor. Smarter people go ahead and own some of these unfavorable developments. It starts with refusing to be upset or worked up when things don’t go your way. Thinking this way allows you to come up with the next line of action fast. Someone else in your shoes would spend too much time dwelling on their disappointment. But you just spring forward from any outcome and as a bonus, people will think that you anticipated and prepared for every outcome.
Study something impressive
People are impressed by degrees, so much so that a person could be considered to be intelligent just because of what their
CV says. I have a degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics, and people usually assume that I am a genius because of this. If I had chosen Theater Arts as my course of study, would that have meant that I was less smart? I may not be a genius, but I am not dumb enough to stop people from making that assumption.
Write a Book
This one is pretty obvious. Few things make you look like an authority, like writing a book. Just observe how news stations frequently invite authors to speak on important issues. Most of the authors you have seen on television were not being featured on a book review show. They were invited as experts and figures of authority. Smart.
A wise man said that to predict the future, all you have to do is predict people. Okay, it wasn’t a wise man, it was just
me. People can be very predictable in the way they respond to situations, and in terms of what motivates them. In this way, you could predict a person’s actions and reactions in most situations, without being privy to their private moments
and thoughts. You will be able to understand what is playing out, just by knowing the tendencies of the players involved. Some people are driven by their egos, some people are ruled by their hatred for following order. Some people
are incorrigibly dishonest… Remember; people are predictable, and they can’t help it.
People who wear glasses have had the unfair advantage for years, of being adjudged to be smart and decent. At a time, legal experts in the U.S were noticing a lot of defendants putting on spectacles to sway jurors. Even with the knowledge that we generally make this assumption – someimes wrongly – we can’t stop. Glasses = Smart and decent.
Learn a language
Learn a few international languages and you will be keying into a hot stereotype. It has become the mark of genius, as sold
to the world by Hollywood, and perhaps accounts of real life geniuses, that the truly brilliant ones have a command of several international languages. When you are speaking a foreign language, you may not be doing something that’s
impossible, but you will be doing something that a lot of people around you cannot do. And that’s impressive.