Intelligence Level

Super late post today. My morning was something else.

The other day I was listening to some morning radio show on the way to work and they were talking about how, I guess, society measures intelligence levels. Usually you’re either street smarts, or have a highly developed common sense level, or you’re just book smart. There’s also the in between which is an average of sorts but there’s many variations of average depending on which way you lean on this intelligence scale.

A person who has street smarts is generally termed as someone who is quick on their feet. They are able to make smart decisions on the fly without little to no research and little to not thought because things just make sense. I like to equate them to people who could lead you into and out of a forest without a map because they are able to just gauge light patterns and moss growth and natural things like that. They never get lost.

A person who is book smart is generally someone who pretty much keeps their nose in a book and get all their information from books without looking at the practical world much. They are full of facts and knowledge that maybe useful or may just be useless and when it comes to making a decision, they need lots of time to think about it; weigh pros and cons, do research, get a survey of other people’s opinions before ultimately deciding the best course of action. As for navigating in the natural world? You can forget it. You’ll be lost.

Then there are those in the middle. Those who lean more towards the book smart but still have a decent amount of common sense and those who have tons of common sense but know just enough from a book that it comes in handy in certain instances. I like to think I’m a mixture of the two. I’m sure we all do. I do a lot of reading but I also have a lot of practical knowledge of the world around me. I want to do things as quickly and painlessly as possible and I have no trouble making snap decisions when necessary because they just make sense. My husband leans more towards the common sense part of the scale than I do. First off, he’s a human atlas. He can navigate through a paper bag in the dark buried in the ocean. It’s surreal. He’s also really good at making snap decisions which is good sometimes and bad other times.

I can say, from working a lot of retail and meeting a ton of different types of people, there are a lot of people who definitely need more common sense. You can read every book in the world but it won’t prepare you for real life scenarios where you have to base your judgement and decisions on instinct. Instinct is the root of it all. It’s the key to our personalities and whether or not we lean one way or the other on this imaginary intelligence scale.

So then really would that make us all average(ly) intelligent?


Where do you think you weigh on this scale? Are you more book smart or street smart? Let me know in the comments below!


18 thoughts on “Intelligence Level

  1. Hmm, I hope I’m a little of both! 😁 Truly though, I think I weigh more on the book smart side. There are just some things I’m not super great at when it comes to making fast decisions and even with people. It’s very thought-provoking though! I wonder of there’s a quiz or something online that you can take to test yourself? Will have to do some searching.

    Have a great day, friend! πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, yes, I personally think you’re a little of both but I can definitely see the book smart side. There’s is nothing wrong with not being great at everything especially if you’re honest with yourself. I do wonder if there’s a quiz! I’ll do some searching as well. I’m glad this post provoked thinking for you today.

      Have an awesome day yourself! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nel, I am not totally street smart but I am learning to be. I get fooled easily as I trust too easily. Navigation is difficult on a normal day with all technology but show me the road to go once, I pretty much remember it well. But I am neither book smart, I do not know any facts about anything. But some facts I have retained via osmosis. I am intelligent in some areas and not so much in others. We all have our forte.
    Instinct – yp I am pretty much instinctive with err on the cautious side.
    Actually I feel most people know nothing about human brain about what it can do.
    When I was studying medicine we were told what we know about the brain was a tip of the iceberg. So knowing a particular thing street or book smarts may not be the only thing.
    Oh dear, I have gone on a different tangent haven’t I?? Sorry as usual your posts cause me to ramble on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shalini, ramble on! I love your rambles cause you have such great comments that make me think even more. I see what you mean about retaining information via osmosis. I can definitely relate to that. I’ve heard that we barely use half of our total brain capacity so I concur with you on the brain development being the tip of the iceberg. Thank you for reading this post and sharing your thoughts with me! πŸ™‚ ❀


      1. Thanks Nel. That’s what I meant, that some of these smarts can come via other people via listening seeing observing so I don’t know in which category these smarts fall into
        I also have no idea how brain retains these things. I am still in the exploring mode. Lately I have fallen into new things, trying to capture or discover my creative side. I will put up a post on that. So I again do not know which ‘smarts’ I am.
        If you really think deeply, aren’t street smarts are people who have great instincts too??
        I suppose before we were born into civilized world, the instincts helped the species to survive and develop.
        Going off post, my family is most worried because they don’t think I am street smart as I trust the wrong people. So I started developing instincts or listening to my inner voice. This may sound off to some, but meditation helps. I do it for a few minutes, I have to increase that time. So can street smarts be developed. I don’t believe in this world, there are many book smarts left, they won’t survive in this dog eat dog world (I hate this phrase never seen a dog eating a dog, dogs are too cute and sensible for that)
        Now I feel I am like the old cassette players where press the play button and I ramble on. Girl search for the ‘stop’ button so that I shut up.
        There was a great study done, somewhere which says environmental and nurturing factors also cause different parts of the brain to develop. It may be true, I have seen children knowing how to steal to survive, would you call this street smart. I believe if such children who have not developed their brain pathways fully, if you give them the books, then they would probably use their street smarts for good stuff.
        OK now I have gone totally off point. I am pressing the ‘stop’ button myself since you don’t seem to be doing it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smarts definitely come from a bunch of different avenues. I think what makes you either street smart or book smart is in how you apply it to whatever situation you’re dealing with at the time. Creative intelligence definitely falls between both the book smart and street smart meter if you ask me. It’s another notch so to speak. Yes, I agree with you. People who have good street smarts are usually very instinctual and go with their gut a lot. I can see how your family would be worried especially if they’re used to having you around but it could be partially because they’ll miss having you around and are just not ready to let you go off into the world on your own. I like to think there are still a lot of book smart people in the world but they’re just being surpressed right now because logical thinkers these days are frowned upon in this crazy world.
          You are so cute with the stop button. You are asking the wrong one to tell you to stop cause I talk just as much as you do, hahaha!
          Oh yes, I could definitely agree with that study. Seems plausible enough to me and makes sense since we’re always learning and growing based off our experiences or what we read in stories.


  3. Some days I don’t think any of those ‘smarts’ apply and I sit and stare like a buffoon with drool coming out of my mouth barely smart enough to breathe that invisible stuff that goes in the air things inside me… then suddenly I’m answering a simple question with an overboard scientific answer and I’m like, whoa how’d I get so smart? Then I realize wait, that’s not me that’s the character in a book or on tv and I’m like, oh right I’m average πŸ˜‰ Average is good. I’m cool with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! You know I have some of those days too but I can see how you could get them confused with the characters you write because you have so many different personalities in your head. Average is definitely awesome! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome discussion! My husband is always telling me that I need to get more common sense, lol. I definitely have more book smarts than anything although I have more common sense than I used to. When I was in my 20s, I was naive and incredibly stupid about the real world. Anyone could have taken advantage of me and often did. I was so sheltered growing up that it’s a wonder that I survived going through college, LOL! It must have been instinct that kept me going! My husband is definitely street smart, so we balance each other out πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh wow! I’m glad you learned and stopped letting people use you. That’s terrible. Yes, I feel like I grew up a little sheltered as well after meeting my husband. They just seem so much more worldly but it’s also nice for us because we learn more from them and in turn teach them things they probably normally didn’t think about. Yes! Spouses balance each other out, indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, me too! I grew up going to a private Christian school and an only child, so that didn’t help since I was really secluded from “real” world things. So getting out into the real world at 18 was a bit of a shock, I have to admit! I thought everyone who was nice to me really did want to be my friend and because that’s just how I am, I was like “oh okay!!”. It was a hard lesson, but very necessary one to learn. My husband was the oldest of 6 kids, and he had to take care of the youngest a lot plus he did 6 yrs in the military with 3 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, so he definitely had more street smarts than I did and had to know when to think on his feet. It is good that we’ve found spouses who balance us out! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow! Your husband is super worldly and you weren’t kidding when you said you were sheltered. I’m so glad you learned and I hope none of your experiences hurt you too much which doesn’t seem like it cause you’re such a beautiful soul ❀


  5. hehe well I hope I’m book smart, because I’m not very practical (I suck at directions so bad, I can get lost walking five minutes from my flat πŸ˜‰ very jealous of your husband’s human atlas skills πŸ˜‰ ) But I have also worked in a lot of customer service jobs and I feel like if I didn’t have any common sense I wouldn’t have survived πŸ˜‰ I mean, it’s all very well and good being a theoretical sort of person, but the real world kinda requires some basic practical skills. And definitely instinct. I do think that there’s different types of intelligence and where people are good at one thing, they’re not necessarily good at others, so it all balances out πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, hope?? You definitely are book smart. I’m jealous of his atlas skills too. It’s surreal how good he is. That’s very true. It takes a special skill set as well as the capacity to endure to work in customer service jobs. Yes, agreed; different types of intelligence. It doesn’t seem to be balancing out with this generation currently with the whole tide pod eaters but then you just fall on instinct then and survival of the fittest, hahahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe well thanks! (that’s a relief cos I’m really not a practical person lol) Oh that’s amazing! haha true! hehhehehe oh gosh the tide pod thing- that’s like Darwinism in action- even with people shouting at them DON’T EAT TIDE PODS they still manage it.

        Liked by 1 person

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