16 Habits Of People Who Have Average Intelligence But Try To Seem Really Smart

16 Habits Of People Who Have Average Intelligence But Try To Seem Really Smart

Is there any ick stronger than someone trying to pretend that they’re cleverer than they are? To understand more about those people, here are some of the more questionable and occasionally cringeworthy habits of people who have average intelligence but try to make themselves out to be smarter than they really are. The crazy thing is, more often than not, it actually works!

1. They display loads of books they’ve never read.

Books are glorious things — they deserve to have pride of place in any abode. However, when they sit there purely as a decorative piece, without having even been read, it smacks of wanting to seem like you’re cool and distinguished rather than actually being those things. It’s performative!

2. They talk about articles having only seen the headline.

We’ve all done this one way or another, but when people are constantly trying to get away with it, it’s very transparent. Desperate, frankly. If these people are so concerned with appearing clever, why not take the extra four minutes and read the article? They might even be able to have a full conversation on the topic!

3. They start sentences with, “People say…”

A real sign of intelligence is having formed a well-rounded reflection. Simply talking about what other people say doesn’t contribute much to the conversation. It’s lazy and also lacks the courage of speaking to something you believe in. People say it makes them seem shallow.

4. They can’t handle conversations they aren’t controlling.

speaking on mobile

This concept has a huge overlap with chronic liars. When one gets used to staging each aspect of one’s life in order to maintain a facade, it gets fractured. People who are trying to convince the world that they’re more intelligent than they are rely on repetition, rhetorical devices, and props. They can’t handle when the conversation takes an unexpected turn.

5. They’ve memorized several “interesting facts.”

two female friends talking in a coffee shop

It may seem quirky initially, but when everyone has heard the same tidbit repeated back and forth for a year, it gets boring. Everyone can see it for what it is: a plea for attention. People can only be told so many times that the collective noun of a flamingo is a flamboyance, for example.

6. They say everything with immense confidence.

smiling man texting on mobile

There’s a misnomer that confidence = authority. However, that’s not the truth. Years ago, speaking with confidence may have been enough, but nowadays, workplaces are keenly aware of people who are trying to talk over people and control the narrative. Confidence is only effective when you have the knowledge to back it up.

7. They’re likely to talk over others to avoid being corrected.

two friends arguing on couch

Even when people are caught in their deception, they will double down and find a way to avoid being properly embarrassed. It’s like talking to a brick wall.

8. They have a superiority complex.

woman on serious phone call

To walk the walk, you have to talk the talk. That’s very clear in the example of people of average intelligence masquerading as geniuses. They act as though they’re better than everyone in the hope people will believe them.

9. They pick friends they deem impressive.

When normal people decide to start curating their lives to make out that they’re cleverer than they really are, everything becomes a selection process for their portfolio. This includes who they are friends with to create an illusion of sophistication.

10. They share nonsensical thought pieces all the time.

We are what we read on the internet… thankfully not! However, such is the frenetic desire to be viewed as knowledgeable, that people who want to appear intelligent will share a host of nonsense articles in the hope people are impressed. It’s just clogging up the feed, guys.

11. They were the same people to post, “going offline. don’t want to talk about it” on Facebook in 2012.

guy texting in office while working

This shows how the habits of people who are trying to conceal their average-ness can be traced back to when they were younger. The same people who were hankering for attention before have grown into anxious people clutching to the very same coattails of notoriety. Spoiler: everyone can see through them.

12. They interrupt constantly.

smiling woman talking on phone while walking

It’s one thing to interrupt a friend as part of your shared, excited catch-up. It’s quite another to have a habit of being the person who can’t let another person finish a sentence in the office. No one views these people as team players, and it’s a nasty habit of people trying to seem more intelligent than they are. It shows they’re intimidated by other people’s intelligence.

13. Their conversational crutch is “… well ACTUALLY…”

Is there anything more frustrating than a less-educated person trying to publicly correct another person who is clearly an expert? Nope. Constantly correcting people and not really listening to the conversation is a tell-tale habit of someone who is trying to come across as more intelligent than they are.

14. They think reality tv is trash.

Intelligence comes in multiple forms, including being emotionally intelligent. It’s highly likely that people who are chasing academic intelligence have no respect for emotional intelligence. They will never, as a result, achieve either because they can’t understand the value of enjoying reality TV without feeling the need to decry it as “high art.” We don’t care!

15. They don’t embrace change.

There’s nothing that liars fear more than change because it threatens their ability to deceive other people. Where truly intelligent people can readily adapt to new environments, average people struggle.

16. They elevate themselves by putting other people down.

This habit comes from deep-rooted insecurity, and the knowledge that they won’t truly be seen as intelligent until they work at it. It’s their way of maintaining a fake hierarchy that only exists in their mind. It’s sad.

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Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.