10 Things Intelligent People Never Do (So You Shouldn’t Either)

10 Things Intelligent People Never Do (So You Shouldn’t Either)

Intelligence is not just about being smart, but also about making wise decisions and avoiding behaviors that hold you back.

Here are 10 things intelligent people never do, and you shouldn’t either.

1. They never stop learning

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Intelligent people love to learn. That’s what made them so smart in the first place!

And I don’t mean that they have their nose stuck in books all the time, but that they have an open mind and never stop thinking and asking questions.

They would check out new types of music, read books, attend events and even just listen to what other people have to say.

There is only so much time in this world and they would rather invest that time in bettering themselves than talking about pointless drivel like gossip and rumours.

Another thing we associate with intelligent people is knowledge. They just seem to know a lot, somehow…and this is exactly why.

2. They don’t passively accept things

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a moment; the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” – Confucius

Intelligent people are not afraid to question the status quo or challenge authority.

Think about it: true intelligence is not just about being able to reproduce facts or solve mathematical problems.

It is also about being curious, open and willing to consider multiple perspectives.

And that’s exactly what questioning everything is.

It shows that you’re not content to just accept things at face value – you want to dig deeper, explore new ideas and think critically.

Intelligent people tend to question things because they have a natural curiosity and desire to understand how things work and why they are the way they are.

This can lead to them asking a lot of questions and seeking answers to things that others might not think to ask.

3. They don’t pick fights

“Be calm when arguing for vehemence makes error a mistake and truth rude.” -George Herbert

Intelligent people avoid arguing with people. Arguing is counterproductive.

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Even if you win an argument, you don’t get any social points for it. Most of the time it just makes someone look bad.

As Dale Carnegie said:

“If you argue and rankle and contradict, you can sometimes achieve a victory; but it will be an empty victory because you will never gain the goodwill of your opponent.”

Now don’t get me wrong:

Intelligent people enjoy discussing ideas, even with people they disagree with.

But they know that a calm conversation in which both people genuinely listen to each other leads to much better results than a heated exchange.

If someone is angry when they talk to them, they simply try to listen to what they have to say and they respond in a calm and collected manner.

If the other person continues to be aggressive and angry, an intelligent person will walk away from the conversation because they know it’s just a waste of time.

4. They don’t speak without thinking first

“A fool is made more of a fool, when their mouth is more open than their mind.” -Anthony Liccione

It’s easy to be socially intelligent. Heck, being socially intelligent is often a product of doing less.

Intelligent people know that it is better to hold back a little.

As Abraham Lincoln said:

“Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Now this does not mean that a socially intelligent person becomes mute. They do not avoid sharing their opinion completely.

They take the extra second to think about what to say, and they make sure that what they say actually adds value.

By saying a little less, you have a greater impact on what you say. This means that people are more likely to listen to you when you speak.

After all, think about the people you know who are constantly talking and talking and talking. Do you take them seriously?

Socially intelligent people know that it’s better to be someone who doesn’t run their mouth constantly, and instead jumps into a conversation when they have something worthwhile to say.

5. They don’t focus too much on the negative

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a man can change his life by changing his attitudes.” —William James

Thinking in the worst case can be useful… sometimes.

When someone is planning a wedding, for example, it is important to consider what could go wrong.

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What if catering does not arrive on time? What if the weather is bad? What if crashers ruin the event?

These are important problems to have prepared solutions for should they arise.

But spending too much time worrying about what could go wrong may not be productive either.

It can affect one’s emotions negatively and can even prevent them from taking action.

So highly intelligent people instead recognize that some things can go wrong and address them in the present moment as soon as they can.

6. They don’t try to change what is out of their control

“We must learn to accept the things we cannot change, have the courage to change the things we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

“For after all,” wrote the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “the best thing to do when it rains is to let it rain.”

There are many things in life beyond our control that cause stress and frustration.

Traffic on the way to work.

The rainy weather on a special day. How others treat us.

The foolish think they can change these things to whatever they want.

The intelligent know that it is impossible.

They understand that there are things in life that are within our control – our patience and humility – and beyond our control.

Focusing on what they can control is what makes intelligent people so effective in life and work.

7. They don’t shy away from challenges

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

Intelligent people do not settle down and grow their roots in one place; they are always looking for new ways to excel.

It’s easy to think that smart people were always born smart, and while that may be the case for some, it’s not true that intelligence is always innate.

Contrary to popular belief, intelligence can be honed just like any other skill, but what really separates the good from the great is grit and determination.

It is the first step to achieve excellence.

Intelligent people are who they are because they don’t shy away from challenges.

They expose themselves to stimuli that will encourage them to utilize their problem-solving skills.

They allow themselves to fail, learn from their mistakes and find better strategies to get higher.

8. They don’t forget to see the bigger picture

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” —Sir Edmund Hillary

When something frustrates us, it’s easy to see it as the most pressing problem ever.

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It takes over our whole mind and world; we get so stressed that we can’t even see straight.

But intelligent people understand how to put things into perspective.

They can go back to their problems and ask themselves, “How bad is this problem, really?”

The world doesn’t end just because the shirt you ordered doesn’t match the website, or because the food you cooked wasn’t as good as you thought it would be.

In the bigger picture, these issues are nothing to stress about.

9. They never strike out

“Never make decisive decisions when angry. The rage that shuns judgment fades, and only the consequences remain afterwards.” -Stewart Stafford

Apart from their hunger for knowledge and deep understanding of life, intelligent people are known to manage their emotions well.

They don’t shout abuse just because they are angry.

Sure, they get angry, but they notice HOW they express anger.

Things are bad enough, so they are careful not to make things worse. Instant emotional relief can be great in the heat of the moment, but they’d rather think ahead.

People can mistake this for them being doormats, especially if all they are used to is being aggressively restrained when people are angry with them.

But make no mistake – intelligent people are as far from being a doormat as you can get.

10. They never engage in pointless interactions

“I hate small talk. I want to talk about atoms, the universe and everything.”

Although intelligent people are generally very patient, they won’t necessarily extend that patience if they know you’re just wasting their time.

They won’t stick around if they could sense the conversation devolving into nonsense.

They will stop dating someone who is clearly not interested in them, or who plays mind games with them.

Intelligent people value themselves and their time. For them, it is the most precious thing they have, and they would rather spend it on things that really matter.

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