Of course, we want to appear intelligent in social situations since this contributes to the right image we desire for ourselves. But could there really be some things that we do which give the exact opposite result? And to make matters ever much worse – with us being none the wiser?
Well, you will appear intelligent to others if you are wise enough to consider these points closely. Here they are:
1. Holding an alcoholic drink
Researchers call it “the imbibing idiot bias.” One study found out that people holding beer bottles in photos were perceived as less intelligent than those holding a glass of water.
2. Using big, fancy words when they are not necessary
Most students admit that they use more complex language in their writing so as to appear intelligent. Yet choosing more sophisticated words just for the sake of appearing smart usually backfires.
In one study, researchers took an essay with lots of long words, and created a simplified version by replacing the clunky words with shorter synonyms. As it turns out, participants rated the author of the simplified version as more intelligent.
So, you really need not be grandiloquent unless you absolutely have to, otherwise, people may think you are dumber than you are.
3. Misusing Words and Phrases
For example, the phrase “begs the question” does not mean “raises the question.” Instead it means “assumes what it should be proving.” As in: “When I asked the trader why I should pay more for the leather shoes, he said I would be getting ‘original leather quality,’ but that just begs the question.”
Even super-polished people can make these mistakes, but if you can avoid them, you will sound that much smarter.
4. Walking too fast or slow
When you are traveling in a group, be sure to match your pace with everyone else’s. That’s because research suggests people who walk slower or faster than those around them come off as less intelligent and less competent.
5. Avoiding eye contact
Maybe you are just nervous, but looking down at the floor or off to the side while you are talking to someone can make you look bad.
One study found that looking at someone while you are speaking to them makes you seem more intelligent. So, eyes forward people!
No matter how frustrated you feel, do not let loose a slew of expletives. In a 2012 CareerBuilder survey, more than half of employers said they would think an employee who swore was less intelligent. Don’t think your teachers, and that girl or boy you hope to impress will feel any differently!
7. Frowning or scowling
Not only will you look unfriendly, but you may also seem less intelligent than you really are. Recent research suggests that smiling faces appear more intelligent and trustworthy than angry faces.
8. Speaking in monotone
According to Leonard Mlodinow, speaking expressively enhances the impression of intelligence. It’s a matter of altering your pitch and volume and not pausing too often.
This is a handy trick to employ when you want to impress others with your brainpower during your next conversation or class presentation.
9. Being afraid to ask for advice
Some people are of the opinion that asking for advice when in a bind makes them come across as incompetent or “not smart”
To test whether these fears were based in reality, the researchers had participants play a game in which they were paired with “partners” (the partners were actually the researchers) who either asked for advice on a brain teaser game or didn’t.
Results showed that participants rated the partners who asked for advice more competent. In fact, the participants who had been asked for advice even indicated that they felt more confident, perhaps because they were flattered that their partner thought they were smart enough to offer suggestions.
So, you could be so worried about appearing stupid that you are missing out on prime opportunities to appear smart.
Do you agree with them all? While reading through, did you get to one and exclaim to yourself – gosh! that’s me!!? What are your opinions? Do let us know.