No one wants to be viewed as a fool.
That being said, while it’s certainly tempting to worry about how others see you, it’s probably more beneficial to just keep working on broadening your knowledge every day.
Still, it can be helpful — not to mention a bit of an ego boost — to know when others perceive you as intelligent.
Here are several signs that you might be viewed as the smartest person in the room:
1. You don’t go around broadcasting how brainy you think you are
A dash of humility is crucial. Ever notice how smart folks tend to underestimate their competence, while idiots tend to inflate it? Well, it’s an actual phenomenon known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.
So if you’re going around spouting off about how smart you are, prepare to be met with skepticism.
2. You don’t drink in front of others
Unsurprisingly, people tend to look dumber when they’re seen holding a glass of alcohol. There’s actual research to back this up — one study published in the “Journal of Consumer Psychology” found that “people who hold an alcoholic beverage are perceived to be less intelligent than those who do not.”
So if your coworkers never see you sloshing around with a tankard of mead (or whatever your poison is), they might regard you as a bit smarter than average.
3. You do your best to make a good impression
This one is pretty straightforward. People who make a good effort to come across as intelligent tend to succeed, as Shana Lebowitz previously reported for Business Insider.
So if you generally act pretty smart, that’s how others will view you.
4. People come to you with questions
You’d never ask someone for guidance if you thought they were stupid, would you?
If the people in your life are constantly turning to you for insight, that’s a pretty clear sign they think you’re one smart cookie.
5. You look smart
No matter how many times we’re told not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s our human nature to do just that.
Wearing glasses, having a narrow face, a long nose, and a thin chin, and walking at a “normal speed” signal to others that you’re more intelligent than average, according to The Atlantic.
6. You use your middle initial
One 2014 study found something rather surprising — we view people with middle initials as smarter than average.
It kind of makes sense when you think about it. As the Wall Street Journal previously reported, “middle initials are linked in many people’s minds to higher social status and education.”
7. Your friends are smart
It’s true that birds of a feather flock together. If you hang around with smart people, some of their intelligence will rub off on you and people will likely perceive you as smart as well. It’s intelligence by association.
8. You’re not a social butterfly
Smart people should spend less time with their friends, as Business Insider previously reported. Highly intelligent people don’t mind being alone sometimes. If you don’t constantly need to be socializing, that might cause others to perceive you as intelligent.