There are several instances in which a person can appear to be too smart. The first is when he has just begun to study something and is trapped by the Dunning-Krueger effect (in simple terms, when a person just begins to study something, he thinks he already knows enough to be an expert in that field). The second case is when a person simply feels or wants to appear smarter than he really is, even if he has no accomplishments that confirm such conceit.

In this article, however, I want to focus on five things that smart people really never do.

Pseudo-smart person can’t explain things in plain way

I noticed it when I was studying at university. And many people, both students, and professors try to look smarter than they really are.

But here is a simple way to understand that you are a pseudo-smart person: such people can never explain complicated things (in which they think they are experts) in a simple way.

Instead, they will talk in too many terms, specific words and try to put themselves in a higher position than their interlocutor. All this is just to prove to those around them (and to themselves) that they really are experts on the subject.

A smart person can always explain even very complicated things in a way that can be understood by someone who does not know the subject. Perhaps their explanation will be too simplistic, but it will be sufficient for a beginner who just wants to understand the question at a basic level.

So if you ask a person something and get an answer that you don’t understand, you are probably dealing with someone who is trying to seem smart, but really isn’t.

Pseudo-smart person talks a lot

Really smart people don’t talk much, at least they don’t talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

They are just too sure of themselves and value their time. No, of course, if you ask them or talk about it, many of the really smart people will be happy to talk about it, but they won’t force the conversation.

The other thing is pseudo-smart people, who often try to talk about themselves, their abilities, and achievements in the conversation. For them, it is just a way to assert themselves and prove to others and to themselves that they are smart (as they think).

A smart person doesn’t need someone to affirm that “Yeah, man, you’re smart,” it doesn’t matter to them, because they know it themselves.

Pseudo-smart person doesn’t like to be criticized

I’m talking about adequate and straightforward criticism, not about hating or trying to offend. Smart people are happy to accept adequate criticism and will either try to justify their position (if they are sure that this criticism is wrong) or will simply take it into account if they agree with it.

The other case is that of pseudo-smart people. They hate criticism because it makes them feel insecure. So often they react aggressively to criticism or will even try to criticize you back (often in an aggressive manner). This is simply because it is their psychological defensive reaction.

A smart person sees criticism as an opportunity to become a better person. A pseudo-smart person sees criticism as an attack on his status.

Pseudo-smart person doesn’t like listen other people

Another sure way to understand that you are a pseudo-smart man is to look at how he behaves in a conversation. Smart people enjoy listening to others. However, pseudo-smart people are often intolerant of others saying more than they do. So such people will try to pull the conversation over and take the lead in the conversation.

Smart people understand that most conversations have no result, but they can be useful to themselves. So they try to get the most out of the conversation and are willing to listen to others. For them, the conversation is only a part of their life, and not the most important one.

Smart people prefer to act, often aggressively and actively. However, they are more relaxed in conversation and often listen more than they talk. Pseudo-smart people behave differently, because for them talking is where they can feed their ego, so they behave aggressively in conversation.

So if someone is trying to take all the attention in the conversation to himself, then there is a high probability that this is a pseudo-smart person.

Pseudo-smart person enjoys conflicts

By conflict, I mean something less than a fight, like an argument or a quarrel. Smart people know how to defuse conflicts because they understand that it is unproductive. They simply feel uncomfortable in that environment and often try to smooth the conflict over.

Pseudo-smart people act differently, preferring confrontation because for them this is the ground where they can assert themselves. So if you communicate with an unapproachable interlocutor, who contradicts your every phrase – most likely this person is not very smart but is trying to seem that way.


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