Did You Know

Messy Handwriting, Bad Jokes, And 5 More Signs That You're Secretly A Genius

Shared / Arthur Sasse - Wikimedia

Tell me honestly: how smart are you?

Most people will put themselves down and say, "Not very," but that's not being fair at all.

We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and a different kind of intelligence that we specialize in.

And, little do you know, you might have been a genius all along, just waiting for a chance to prove it to the world.

Research has uncovered a number of surprising traits that are linked to high intelligence. See how many describe you, and then think again about how smart you might be.

1. You have a great sense of humor

sense of humor genius
Comedian Mike Birbiglia.Department of Defence - Wikimedia

We usually don't think of the smartest person in our group of friends as a cut-up, but science says they are.

Researchers from the University of New Mexico compared verbal intelligence test scores with results from a cartoon caption contest, and found the sharpest minds usually scored well in both.

They doubled down on their research by comparing stand-up comedians to the general public, and found that the comics scored higher on verbal intelligence tests.

So here's a one-question IQ test: Why did the chicken cross the road?

2. Your workspace is a mess

Messy desk
Cluttered? You should have seen it before I cleaned up...Tracy Ducasse - Flickr

If your coworkers keep nagging you to clean up the dirty coffee mugs, food wrappers, and crumpled tissues on your desk, just tell them the mess helps you think.

Because that's what researchers from the University of Minnesota found in a study comparing messy and clean work spaces.

After asking subjects to solve problems in a messy or clean room, the researchers found that clutter actually helped generate more creative ideas.

We'll let the great 20th century physicist Albert Einstein sum things up: "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"

3. You get anxious

Anxiety
Stressing out about small details might be a sign of intelligence.Shared

A study published in Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience found that patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder who worried the most tended to be more intelligent.

It makes sense, because worrying was a smart trait for our ancestors, since staying on their toes kept them safe from unexpected risks and dangers.

On the other hand, the same study found that people without anxiety disorders who worried less also scored higher on an IQ test.

So what's the lesson here, exactly? Don't worry about it.

4. You think you're actually dumb

Genius
People who score higher on tests seem to think they got the answers wrong.Alan Levine - Flickr

A famous study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found people are often a lot smarter than they think - or even dumber than they realize.

In a number of experiments, subject were asked to take tests and guess how well they scored.

People with the lowest scores usually assumed they had the highest scores, while the eggheads assumed they had flunked more questions than they really did.

It seems that more intelligent people are aware that they don't know everything, while less intelligent people assume they do.

5. You're a cat person

Bad news dog lovers, cat people are smarter than you - but don't be mad, it's just science.

Cat people
Cat people scored higher than dog people on IQ tests.Max Pixel

A study of college students found that those who preferred cats to dogs scored higher on IQ tests, and it's not the first time researchers came to that conclusion.

While there may be a connection between brainy people and cats (they both like to sleep in?) researchers guessed that owning a cat, which are "low maintenance" pets compared to dogs, was better suited to people with demanding jobs.

Still, there are all kinds of jobs these days, so you might be a very intelligent dog person.

No matter how smart you are, and whether you own a dog or cat, you still have to pick up their poop, so who's the real genius: you, or your pet?

6. Your handwriting stinks

Handwriting genius
A dumb person's handwriting (maybe).Bich Tran - Pexels

While there's no research to back this up, it's often said that people with messy handwriting are just, "Thinking faster than they can move their hands."

Editors of history's most talented writers often complained they couldn't make heads or tails of their client's chicken scratch. Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables, was said to have handwriting that looked like "a battlefield on a piece of paper."

Doctors, who are generally highly educated, are also known for their messy handwriting, but that's mainly because they're always rushing to see the next patient.

7. You never go to bed on time

Insomnia
Being a night owl is a sign of intelligence.Bosland Corp. - Flickr

In 2009, researchers studying childhood sleep habits found that teens who went to bed late and slept in scored the highest on IQ tests.

It makes sense, since getting shut-eye clears harmful chemicals from your brain.

Another study comparing Air Force recruits found the same thing, but good luck asking your boss for a few hours of extra "brain sleep" before work.

How many of these qualities do you have?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.