Seven Signs of Intelligence in Teenagers

Intelligence Teen cover

Teenage years are seen as one of the most important years in one’s life as a person is full of energy, partying like crazy, and constantly wanting to make new friends. But these ideas are implemented within our minds by the television and the reality of teenage years is that we must perform well at school or at the very least learn a useful skill that will allow us to be successful in life. Intelligence is one aspect of teenagers that is often overlooked unless a student is doing exceptionally well. But that is a wrong way to approach and identify it in youngsters.

What exactly is Intelligence?

It would appear that trying to define this word is useless, as we all know anyone who is doing good academically is intelligent right? Not necessarily, that is the definition of intelligence that was unconsciously fed to us by the previous generation. Actually, intelligence is something that can be seen as the heightened capability of mental reasoning, problem-solving, creativeness, and emotional knowledge. As you can see from these aspects, these have nothing to do with the scores in the school. The signs of intelligence never surface in school tests, as they are basically testing the memory.

Signs of Intelligence in Teenagers

Now that we have established what intelligence actually is, we can look into the signs of intelligence in youngsters.

1. Empathy: Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to intelligence, as it is often thought that people who are intelligent lack empathy. However, the contrary is the truth, intelligent people are highly empathetic and they are more than capable to understand the world from others’ perspectives as well. Given their mental capacity, smart beings actually give importance to other individuals’ emotional states and usually go out of their way to ensure that they are feeling better. In addition to that, this compassion is what drives them to perform better or work in the fields that will ultimately provide improvement to others’ lives.

Teen empathy

An empathetic girl comforting her friend.

2. Inability to Express: While these teens are highly empathetic and sensitive they can appear as if they simply do not care, why? Because they are unable to express these emotions as they start to overanalyze even their own feelings. Funnily enough, this specific characteristic has been observed in a multitude of geniuses, one of the best examples, Albert Einstein. Though he appeared to be solely scientific, he was very empathetic and often used to talk about human emotions and their mysteries.

3. Mature Friends: In a world where friend circles consist of people of similar age groups, intelligent teens usually bond with mature people, not just adults but adults who have accomplished something in their lives or have a unique life experience. This allows them to stimulate their ever-curious mind as these themselves are considered as young adults so it is natural that they find mutual interests among grown-ups, these teenagers also love discussing life with their grandparents. More often than not it is observed that these teenagers find themselves unfitting in a similar age group, again academically they might not be excelling but mentally they are years ahead of their peers and even their interests are shaped differently.

Teen grandparent intelligence

A girl spending time with their grandparents.

4. Reasoning: Advanced reasoning skills are often related to higher intelligence. Teenagers going through a lot of changes, it is a time of life where pretty much every child argues, however, most of them are whiny or simply get angry. But in the case of intelligent teens, they calmly offer counterarguments and respectfully present the perspective that allows them to clearly express their thoughts. Unfortunately, this trait is mostly suppressed by most as we live in a world where even if you present genuine arguments, your word would be taken as an indication of hate.

5. Creative: Another word that is misunderstood to the extreme, when we hear the term “creative” we quickly jump to the conclusion that it is related to arts but being creative has a completely different meaning. Being creative means that your teenage child possesseses vivid imagination with original ideas that can be applied to the world which will produce distinct results, art being the easiest medium is often utilized by them. But even in arts, where some people just copy or merge a couple of existing ideas, these just go a step above and think the unthinkable. Furthermore, they are also engaged in music, writing, crafting, and scientific experiments.

Teen writing sketching

A girl writing in her notebook.

6. Sense of Humour:┬áJust like other misunderstood aspects of intelligence, humor isn’t even considered a part of it. In fact, it is seen as the opposite of it. Intelligent teens not only enjoy a good comedy, but they also enjoy a little twisted kind of humor. Mostly these jokes are based on taboo or sensitive topics which are viewed as dark and problematic by society. But according to researchers, enjoying dark humor is a sign of high intelligence as a person can actually see through the comedy of life and laugh along with it.

7. Stimulations: One intriguing fact about intelligence is that it demands constant stimulation, whether it be from problem-solving or puzzle games. Therefore, you will often find these teenagers are constantly engaged in activities that provide certain stimulation to their brains like Rubik’s cube. According to scientists, it enhances cognitive functions along with improving one’s focus, the latter is extremely crucial for intelligent people. Even though they are highly focused and can sink hours into their projects with no other thought, this only occurs when they are doing something they are genuinely curious about. If they are involved in tasks they do not enjoy or are not curious about they start to lose focus and their minds wander off into solving other issues.

Rubik's cube solving

A Rubik’s cube is being solved.

Ultimately, intelligence is a trait, not a number. We must not be fixated on deeming teens intelligent or dumb, as it will affect them negatively in the long run just simply let them solve their issues on their own and see how they perform. Because in the end, life is about experience and intelligence is a minuscule part of it.


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