How to Act Smart In Front of Your Friends

Before proceeding, think about why you would have to fake being smart to anyone. Especially friends. If you are just trying to impress a temporary acquaintance read on but remember, if your friends don't like you for your real self it is time to find new ones. More-over, you would be better off investing the time you would put into following these tips in educating yourself. But remember that you should think smart also.


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    Speak with confidence and talk clearly and with pride, but not conceit (don't think you're more valuable than others). To do this, be poised that you are saying true things. Do your research and only say things you know to be correct. People quickly learn who they can trust and who they cannot. If you frequently say things that turn out to be untrue, your words will start to carry less weight over time. If your friends are talking about something you don't know much about then stay quiet and listen. Don't be afraid to give a short opinion at times but if you don't look welcome to just stay quiet. When you get home look up whatever it is that you didn't know about (see articles, Wikis, and blogs about it, or read books) and educate yourself on it until you have a much clearer idea what your friends were talking about and until you're very confident you have enough knowledge to give just opinions and suggestions on the topic. Just double check and make sure it's all correct!
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    Listen attentively and wait for a chance to add to the conversation with something relevant to the topic. Do it out of interest, not if you're trying to prove something socially. Don't stray or steer the topic; let it flow naturally. Your attentiveness and awareness of the conversation will improve the perceptions of those around you.
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    Talk about things that interest YOU. Don't pretend to like something in a sad attempt to fit in, and avoid negative topics.
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    Buy a thesaurus, and use it regularly to learn new words. Adjectives and adverbs can be easily replaced with better, stronger, more suitable words. Don't overdo it though, try to keep it to one per sentence.
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    Subscribe to word a day websites. Also build and increase your vocabulary. Simply using a single word doesn't make you smart, but understanding its meaning and usage helps. You can consult a dictionary or encyclopedia in order to really understand the etymology of words.
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    To become knowledgeable you must be interested in learning. Try to drop your lazy habits. Note down things you'd like to learn about, and don't look at just one source- many facts vary, and it's important to understand the different views on it. This is where listening pays off. If you don't know much about a subject, it's as easy as hopping on the computer and typing the subject in Google, or going to a library and finding a book on it, or asking somebody knowledgeable on the topic for their view on it. Being smart isn't as much about knowing, as it is being willing to learn, and knowing where to learn.
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    Be "in the know." Read the newspaper and watch the news everyday and mention articles to friends and peers who you think will be interested. Do not mention things at awkward times, such as in class, tests, or while an event is going on; find the right gap to bring it up and spark people's interests. Be interesting with news to your friends, and if they seem interested, keep on telling them more. Just make sure it's all legit. Remember there are lots and lots of articles lying around on the Internet waiting to be read. There's usually a section to comment on most modern blogs, so you can express your view after observing the article and researching facts mentioned in there a bit to justify yourself. Maybe the author will reply and share more with you. A great way to obtain knowledge.
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    Don't be sarcastic. Raise your eyebrows as a greeting or as recognition of something. Witty expressions are valued when done well. Learn off others who are good at expressing witty things and understand what's attractive and what's not attractive about it. Make sure you still remain honest, but don't spit out too much.
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    Speak clearly and avoid "um"'s and stop using the word "Like" (especially while giving a report); you could say "aa-and" or "bu-ut" to hold the floor. The worst of all might be saying "know what I'm saying?" every other word. Breathe deeply instead of filling the space with a useless "as I said."
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    Sit in a room full of friends. Just sit and be very quiet if this is not the way you normally act. Be a quiet person most of the time but occasionally nod and smile knowingly so you don't seem ignorant. This may cause them to think that you are observing (or teasing) them, and they may act differently. This may make them feel self-conscious, so try not to make people feel uncomfortable too much, or you may risk losing your friends.
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    Learn quotes used by famous people and use them in situations that call for them. Be sure to let your friends know who said that (but not too soon), so they will ponder the thought and think more deeply by knowing the person who said it. This can make history and even current events more provoking.
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    Use "big" words like educated people should, but not unnecessarily. Using a thesaurus to look up synonyms for "great" and then spitting them out once or twice when you remember them doesn't help you. But consistently using the more specialized words periodically, whether in one conversation or just generally speaking, shows that you know what you're talking about.
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    Relate situations or people's personalities to historic events/people. Start a description, like "See that's why Tolkien went to Oxford, he first became a philologist" and then halfway through your sentence say, "..never mind, that's not important. You just reminded me of it". Then laugh and say "Just kidding!"
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    Be careful about showing feelings of inferiority which means someone that is "starving for attention" or is "begging for compliments". Some people may say: "You have a complex!" But, you can "get rid of" an inferiority complex and sail on being as smart as ever. Not everyone can be above average, but you can try!


  • It is better to be quiet and thought a simple fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Use silence to your advantage; people will wonder what you're thinking.
  • Be graceful. No one likes a know-it-all who brags or acts like "I'm better and smarter than you!" Acting or being smarter does not make you better than the rest of the crowd so be humble about it.
  • Don't be afraid to admit mistakes when you may be wrong. If someone calls you out on it, and they are irrefutably right, concede, and quickly change the subject. Or use humor to defuse the situation, admitting that you have yet to finish studying that bit of knowledge.
  • Actually learn. Take interest in the process of finding out about the world, and share (with humility - no one knows it all) what you find interesting. Ask people about their own mental journeys with interest. Be willing to be taught. Be passionate about ideas.
  • Intelligence is like an expensive watch: You don't take it out to read the time to everyone, you take it out if asked. It's also fine if the information is really useful or helpful.
  • If people remark that something you said was nerdy or "why do you know that?," have a sense of humor about it, and say "I'm just having some fun trying to use knowledge!" and laugh it off... Don't get frustrated as that will be showing you are short-tempered and can't control your anger, thus making you look immature. Immature people are usually not displayed as smart.
  • When someone questions you it is often very polite to question them in return. This can help you start intriguing conversations and make friends you'll never forget. It may be either funny or annoying so be careful how you do it.
  • If challenged by someone who does know what they are talking about, rather agree that they have an interesting perspective and that you appreciate the information. Agree or disagree.
  • Say a few words in French if you know enough not to be pretentious. Speak with sophisticated words, speak on deep subjects, but most importantly, have fun being out there with no regret.
  • If you are caught being wrong, convince the person you were right all along or cleverly change the subject.
  • Don't be a showboat; people can get really annoyed with people like that.


  • Keep in mind that you may not actually gain real friendships by acting smart, but mere acquaintances who admire the fa├žade you are displaying. Real friendship involve openness, trust, vulnerability, and truths.
  • Don't make up facts - and if you do it by accident, try to cover it up by saying something like, "I read it forever ago in a magazine," "I saw it on the History Channel," "Oh, then I guess he/she/the author/TV presenter was mistaken," (Don't say who he/she is.) or something else equally as vague.
  • Don't brag about things you have that others, and if you do at least share them. People can brag in certain ways about themselves without being offensive--so listen and learn to read them from this. If it's just for show, it may indicate a "lack of confidence."
  • Don't use slang or act immaturely. Immaturity may be shown by ignoring important things or letting little things upset you, so keep a positive and accepting (not ignoring) attitude.
  • The smartest people are the ones that don't try to act smart! If you try too hard and often to act smart, you will come off as ignorant and unreal. Don't think about acting smart, just try adding what you know to conversations.
  • Be careful if you use the "big words" trick or else you risk sounding stupid if you use the word incorrectly. Make sure you know exactly what the word means and how to use it; e.g, don't give an intransitive verb a direct object: Wrong--"He succumbed the disease." Correct--"He succumbed to the disease." (Using "to" makes it an indirect object which is right.) Don't mix up a word with another similar sounding word either.
  • Watch out for people who might catch you in your act. Keep learning and you will actually be smart rather than acting.

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Categories: Intellectual Types