7 Unsexy Signs You Have Impressively High Social Intelligence

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woman that looks smart


That’s how I’d describe intrapersonal intelligence. It’s one of the most difficult intelligence to develop. Do you know why? One word: Ego.

Intrapersonal intelligence is nothing but self-awareness. It’s about knowing who you are and how you fit into this world. However, developing self-awareness is opposed by your ego. This is because your ego doesn’t really care about self-awareness, instead, it cares about maintaining an image (even if it’s fake) in front of yourself and the world.

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Here are 7 unsexy signs you have impressively high social intelligence:

1. You don't listen to unsolicited advice 

Every once in a while, I read an article stating the importance of rejecting unsolicited advice. Smart. There’s a lot of stupid advice in this world — and you have to know which ones to reject.

However, no one ever talked about stopping the production of unsolicited advice in the first place. If there’s stupid advice in the world — who’s producing it? It’s us, of course.

And it’s simple.

  • When people know nothing about a subject —usually they don’t give advice about it. Sometimes they do — and that is just as stupid as one can get.
  • However, things get worse when someone starts to know a little bit about a subject. When they know something, they feel like they know everything. And then, they start handing out advice like they’re an expert. Yeah, right.

Of course, when you know a lot about a subject, you can give advice. However, to stop giving unsolicited advice, you have to know that you’re not an expert on every topic in the world. If you know that, it’s a sign that you have high intrapersonal intelligence.

2. You don’t proxy inflate your ego

Some people inflate their egos over greatness that isn’t even theirs.

  • “America is the greatest country in the world!”, says a man to a Canadian trying to belittle him.
  • “Our God is better than yours!”, says a person who never follows the principles his God preaches.
  • “There are so many Indian-origin CEOs as of today. Indians are very smart.” says an Indian who’s wasting his own life.

Look, if someone’s an American, and they think America is great (most people would disagree), it’s okay to be happy about it. It’s okay to be grateful for it. But how does it make sense to inflate their ego over it? If someone’s God is great — that doesn't give them the right to claim that they’re great just because they pretend to follow his ideals (when they actually don’t). If Indian CEOs are increasing, that’s good. Go India! But then again — do all Indians get bragging rights because of that, solely because they have the same country of origin?

Inflating your ego over greatness that isn’t even yours is a sign of high insecurity. If you don’t do that, it’s a sign of high intrapersonal intelligence.

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3. You don't inflate your ego over greatness that isn't yours

You shouldn't inflate your ego over greatness that isn't yours. However, what about the greatness that is yours? Here’s my opinion about it.

People who have high intrapersonal intelligence know the ingredients of their greatness. Yes, it’s a lot of their hard work. However, it’s also many other things.

  • Luck.
  • Opportunities created by others.
  • Support and sacrifice of people around them.
  • The curiosity of so many people in the history of humanity that have built a universe of knowledge accessible for people to use to achieve greatness.

For instance, if I achieve greatness as a writer — it’s because I belong to a minority of the Indian population lucky enough to learn fluent English. Then, I was able to use opportunities created by others — like the internet, writing platforms, etc. It’s my family and friends who supported me in so many ways. And at last, I was able to write well because of the foundation of knowledge created by centuries of human history.

Hence, while it’s okay to be confident in your greatness, people with high intrapersonal intelligence don’t let their egos inflate beyond control. No matter how great they get.

4. You deliberately look for your own flaws

Your ego hides your flaws from yourself. And it makes it so easy to look for flaws in others. Because looking for flaws in others is a simple(and did I mention — horrible?) way to feel good about yourself.

However, this also keeps people from gaining higher self-awareness.

People with high intrapersonal intelligence flip this. Their ego hides flaws. So they deliberately seek them. Because only when you actively seek your flaws will you be able to see them.

5. You aren’t afraid to look in the mirror

If you ask anyone, “Are you perfect?” they’d say, “No, I’m not. I have some flaws too.” But the minute someone gives them proof of their imperfection, they deny it. They get defensive — and act like they’re perfect. Funny.

But not you. Everyone is born with this asynchrony between knowing that they’re not perfect yet acting like it. However, you have labored to break it. You know you’re imperfect. And when you’re shown a mirror, you’re not afraid to look.

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6. You know the source of your desires

Society has this amazing way of telling people what they should aim for, and then, brainwashing them into believing that it was their idea. Truly impressive.

Most people live their whole lives chasing something that society told them they should chase. They think they know what they want. But I’m willing to bet that 95% of the people have no freaking idea what they truly want out of life — nor are they ever going to figure it out.

But you? Nope. You’ve opted out of this brainwashing. Your desires are your own. By deliberate introspection and exploration, you carefully curated your “want from life” list. And you protect yourself from the continuous attempt of society to shove its own list down your throat.

7. You respond well to unwanted situations

Most people are helpless only because they chose to be.

Life is unfair. And unfair, horrible things happen to all of us. However, how a person responds to those situations tells you everything you need to know about that person. There are two responses to any unwanted situations — “What can I do.” and “What can I do?”

The former is a statement. By saying “What can I do.” they’re saying, “I’m the victim here. This happened to me. I cannot do anything about it, except whine and complain.”
The latter is a genuine question. “What can I do?” Such a person realizes that yes, even though something terrible might have happened to them, it’s their job to take responsibility and figure out how to make the best of a situation.

If you’re the latter, it’s a sign that you have high intrapersonal intelligence.

Recap: 7 Signs of high intrapersonal intelligence

  • You don’t give advice on topics you don’t know much about.
  • You don’t inflate your ego over greatness that isn't yours.
  • You grow your confidence in your greatness, but don’t let it inflate your ego too much.
  • You seek flaws in yourself.
  • You’re not afraid to look in the mirror when someone shows you your imperfections.
  • You didn’t let society choose your desires.
  • You take responsibility and try to make the best out of bad situations.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.