Intelligence doesn’t mean you have to talk a lot.
In fact, it’s often the exact opposite.
Here are the top ways to show you’re intelligent without saying a word.
1) Be punctual
The first of the key ways to show you’re intelligent without saying a word is to be punctual.
Showing up on time makes it clear that you take your commitments clearly and that you are able to manage your time.
To be sure, there are those who are tardy and still have brilliant minds.
But the habitually late tend to lose respect over time and create frustration in work colleagues, friends and family.
By making a point of being on time, you are showing your intelligence in managing your time, but you’re also demonstrating emotional intelligence in respecting the time of others.
This level of respect demonstrates a handle on yourself and your actions as well as real respect for others.
2) Be observant
Next up in important ways to show you’re intelligent without saying a word is to be observant.
As a general rule, people speak far too much and observe far too little.
Practicing active listening and observing those who are talking to you is key, but so is observation of your environment and what’s around you. Demonstrating intelligence has so much to do with demonstrating keenness of perception.
It’s about answering the question what can you see?
Think of it this way:
Two individuals sit in silence at the same beachfront bar. After a time period of their choosing, they are asked to name ten things they can see.
Individual number one speaks after only about 20 seconds. He goes for the classics: sand, waves, blue ocean, women in bikinis, guys in shorts, a palm tree, a paperback novel, a folding beach chair, clouds, a boat.
Individual number two takes ten minutes in calm silence and then lists off some deeper observations of the same objects:
The dark yellow-hued sand which changes color to more gray partway down the beach;
The way the wind wicks up curlicues of white foam on the rivulets of waves;
Women of all shapes and sizes wearing brightly-colored neon, pink and safari-themed bikinis;
Men tending to older age wearing swimming trunks and a minority wearing speedos;
Several palm trees along the edge of the beach with some having dried out remains of unpicked coconuts higher up in their branches;
A dog-eared paperback that looks well-read sitting by a Spongebob Squarepants beach chair;
The aquamarine ocean that looks like it’s from a cologne advertisement or an Italian holiday brochure;
Whisps of cloud that look like cotton candy;
A red-and-white striped boat that looks like it could belong to a local fisherman sitting out near the coral reefs.
Now, to be sure, you can’t demonstrate these deep observations silently, but you can take your time in silence to observe and perceive more deeply than somebody who feels the urge to talk right away. This gets at the truth that truly smart and perceptive people don’t feel a rush to be recognized or get the “answer.” They’re OK to let the surroundings soak in a little bit…
Another option, of course is to:
3) Write it down
Another of the ways to demonstrate intelligence without saying a word is to write instead of speaking.
Imagine the above scenario with the first individual talking about everything he can see on the beach to a group of friends while you sit and right your more in-depth observations on a notepad.
After about half an hour his friend comes over and says hi, asking what you’re working on.
You proffer the pad and the friend gasps.
“Man, Lola you gotta see this. This dude is writing like a Homerian epic poem about the beach scenery. Wow.”
You’re going to look a lot smarter than the guy sitting around saying some basic stuff about a woman wearing a bikini or how the waves are “cool.”
And you didn’t say a word.
You just put pen to paper.