10 characteristics of intelligent and savvy women

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Being smart is one thing, but being savvy takes it a step further.

Because let’s face it, you can be technically intelligent, but still not very clued up.

In many ways being savvy means that you’re street-smart too.

You’re practical in your knowledge and that helps you to make better decisions.

But what does it take to be both intelligent and savvy?

This article will take a closer look at the characteristics of intelligent and savvy women who have their heads screwed on.

1) They’re confident but never arrogant in their abilities

Confidence is important, and it goes a long way.

Studies have found that high self-esteem can help us in pretty much all areas of life.

This inner confidence has been linked to greater success at school and work, in creating better relationships, in improving our mental and physical health, and in reducing anti-social behaviors.

So smart and savvy women know that boosting their self-esteem can be a game-changer.

But they’re also socially aware enough to recognize arrogance can quickly be your undoing.

For starters, it’s a pretty ugly trait.

But also, taking an egotistical approach to your intellect and abilities tends to shut you down from the potential to discover something you don’t know.

And clever women want to continue learning as they travel through life.

2) They have a thirst for knowledge

You stay on top of your game by always learning.

That certainly doesn’t have to be in formal ways. Neither does it need to be particularly demanding.

It’s more about having a curious attitude.

It’s showing openness and willingness to broaden your mind.

That can be as simple as asking lots of questions and trying to learn from the expertise of those around you.

Because savvy women are always on the lookout for opportunities.

And keeping an open mind to the world around them is how they do this.

3) They stay open and on the lookout for opportunities

There are two types of people in this world:

Those with closed energy, and those with open energy.

I say two types of people, but perhaps it’s more accurate to call these energetic states.

Because realistically we’re capable of both at different times, depending on the circumstances.

But generally, intelligent and savvy women prefer to keep open energy — particularly when it comes to work and business.

This makes them more accessible.

Rather than closing themselves off to the world around them, they prefer to stay tapped in.

In doing so they find it easier to seek out opportunities, but opportunities also have a habit of seeking out them too.

The more we put ourselves out there, the more chance we have for success, and savvy women know this.

Of course, this takes a lot of guts. It can feel scary to take a risk. That’s why a growth mindset is key.

4) They take a growth mindset approach to failure and setbacks

Rather than allow themselves to get derailed, savvy women see setbacks as a natural part of the process.

When you accept that things take time and failures are an inevitable part of life, it’s easier to remain resilient.

A growth mindset takes the view that what you don’t yet know, you can learn. What you get wrong the first time, you can improve with practice.

It’s this savvy approach to defeat that allows intelligent women to dust themselves off and get back up again.

Instead of internalizing and catastrophizing her screw-ups, she puts them in perspective.

Because at the end of the day, intelligence means little without perseverance. A shrewd girl knows this.

5) They’re sharp-witted

Good look trying to get something past a savvy woman. She’s pretty quick to notice the details and understand things.

When she has something to say, she usually hits the nail on the head the first time.

That’s because she’s sharp and it shows.

As I said in the intro to this article, some people may be technically clever, but they don’t seem very bright.

A good example is former US president George Bush.

Despite his IQ reportedly putting him amongst the top 10% of the population when it comes to intelligence, plenty of people have noted: “that as a thinker and decision-maker, he is not all there.”

But how come?

Well, ultimately being both smart and savvy requires a more robust display of cognitive ability than simply having a high IQ.

It’s this sharp-witted quality that shows others that you’re firing on all cylinders.

It gives you an air of competency that allows others to trust in you and feel confident that you’ll deliver.

6) They show good judgment

Of course, a savvy woman’s sharp nature is one of the things that help her to make good decisions.

She can take in all the information she has and quickly come to logical and well-thought-out conclusions.

She’s not naive in her thinking, she’s realistic.

She considers the consequences, which also helps her to think before she speaks and acts..

According to Harvard Business Review, good judgment is comprised of a combination of learning, trust, experience, detachment, options, and delivery.

Learning allows you to turn knowledge into understanding. Trust lets you draw on the skills and experiences of others.

Detachment helps you become conscious of and challenge your own biases. Options allow you to weigh up all the possible solutions and choices.

And delivery recognizes it’s not just down to the choice you make, it also matters how you will then go on to execute your decisions.

7) They can cut through all the BS to get to the heart of the matter

Rather than beat around the bush, smart and savvy women prefer to cut to the chase.

That doesn’t mean they do away with social niceties or forget their manners.

They recognize tact and communicating constructively is important. But they often prefer the direct approach.

They aren’t afraid to assert themselves. And they will command the respect they deserve.

They can read the room and they can read people.

They have good instincts for figuring others out, and they put this to good use.

Be careful when you’re trying to pull the wool over a savvy woman’s eyes because the chances are she’ll see straight through your bullshit.

And she’s for sure going to call you out on it.

8) They give out kick-ass advice and wisdom

A savvy woman is grounded in the real world.

So yes, she has the intellect to analyze, hypothesize and theorize.

But she has also lived and learned.

And that’s taught her that theory and practice combined tend to make the best advice.

She doesn’t dish out platitudes, she prefers practical advice and support.

Sure, motivation is important.

But rather than inspiring quotes, she’d rather offer home truths that will help you to empower yourself.

9) She confronts her fear but she’s not reckless

I’m naturally pretty skeptical of anyone who claims to be fearless or even advocates for it.

For starters, I’m not sure ditching fear is entirely possible. But even if it were, who says it’s such a good idea?

Because fear is useful. It’s a bit like pain.

In theory, it sounds like a nice idea if we could simply magic it away. In reality, it would be pretty problematic.

Because just like pain, fear warns us of threats. It’s partly innate and is designed to keep us alive.

So I’m going to go as far as saying:

Anyone who claims to have completely “defeated their fear” are either delusional or downright reckless.

Having said that, there is merit in showing the courage to confront our fear.

What we can do is question its legitimacy. Sometimes it’s valid, and other times it’s for sure an overreaction.

A savvy woman learns to call her fear out and see it for what it is.

She can then move past it and act despite her fear, rather than being controlled or held back by it.

But that doesn’t mean she is ever going to rush in and blindly ignore feelings of fear, that would be reckless.

10) She doesn’t take things personally

The savviest people in life have grown thick skin.

Of course, that’s not always easy.

Words can hurt, and the actions of others undoubtably impact us.

But savvy women won’t let others hold them back. They can seem determined and strong-willed in their go-getter attitude and approach.

Part of this is down to the natural protection created by learning to not take things quite so personally.

In short: a savvy woman has built up her emotional resilience.

Rather than become easily offended and derailed, she chooses to view what others say and do as a reflection of them — and something that has nothing to do with her.

As the saying goes:

“What other people think of you really isn’t any of your business”.

In aiming to not take things personally she can focus her energy on staying in her own lane and not getting side-tracked by other people.

She’d rather give others the benefit of the doubt, but not just as a kindness to them. But because it’s ultimately a kindness to herself too.

Because when we get frustrated and annoyed at other people, we’re the ones who have to carry around those toxic emotions, not them.

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Louise Jackson

My passion in life is communication in all its many forms. I enjoy nothing more than deep chats about life, love and the Universe. With a masters degree in Journalism, I’m a former BBC news reporter and newsreader. But around 8 years ago I swapped the studio for a life on the open road. Lisbon, Portugal is currently where I call home. My personal development articles have featured in Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Thrive Global and more.

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