12 things highly intelligent women always do (but never talk about)

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What makes an intelligent person “intelligent”?

Or more specifically, what are the signs of an intelligent woman?

It can often be difficult to tell the difference between someone who is simply pretending to be intelligent, and someone who is truly, deeply intelligent.

With women, telling the difference requires seeing a few subtle signs, especially since it’s so easy to fake intelligence to most people out there.

Here are 12 clear signs of an intelligent woman:

1) They’re Imaginative

Intelligence isn’t simply measured by how great you are at remembering things or how well you can follow instructions.

Anyone can pretty much do that if they train their memory enough.

If someone’s really smart, they don’t have to use guidelines as crutches because they think on their own feet.

They can rely on their own skills and transform ordinary things into something truly extraordinary.

Smart women are imaginative and think outside the box.

They have an innate ability to look at a situation and approach it with curiosity.

Instead of accepting things at face value, they turn things around and ask themselves “what else?”

2) They’re Always Looking For Challenges

Smart women don’t settle and grow their roots in one place; they’re always looking for new avenues to excel.

It’s easy to believe that smart people were always born smart, and while that may be the case for some, it’s not true that intelligence is always inherent.

Contrary to what people want to believe, intelligence can be honed just like any other skill, but what truly separates the good from the great is grit and determination.

That’s the first step to achieving excellence.

Intelligent women are who they are because they don’t shy away from challenges.

They expose themselves to stimuli that will encourage them to tap into their problem-solving abilities.

They allow themselves to fail, learn from their mistakes, and find better strategies to move higher up.

3) They’re Avid Learners

Consuming material, whether it’s peer-reviewed journals, podcasts, or books, is critical for expanding your knowledge base.

People aren’t born knowing what they currently know, and intelligent women know precisely that.

They have the self-awareness to understand that what they know can’t be the ultimate form of expertise.

They seek out other people, learn from others, and trust in their colleagues’ experiences.

Instead of reveling in their self-importance, they use those opportunities to arm themselves with more information.

There’s a reason why a lot of career coaches and self-help gurus encourage people to read.

Just picking up this hobby is a great way to absorb new insight and information, whether you’re reading fiction or non-fiction.

If anything, it helps unblock some of that creativity which could very well inspire you to do something great.

If you’re an avid learner, then you’re probably also a wise person as well. Wise people are always learning from their mistakes. If you want to learn about the 12 traits of a wise person, check out the video below. 

4) They’re Inquisitive

Ever remember those kids in class who would ask endless questions to the teacher? It turns out they may be among the smartest in your class after all.

Inquisitiveness is often linked with a higher IQ because clear signs of curiosity and introspection are often seen as indicators of a person’s ability to process information.

When someone is asking questions, you know that information isn’t just going in one ear and going out the other; they’re actually thinking about it and understanding it on their own terms.

They’re not just sitting there and listening to what people have to say – they’re evaluating the information and, more importantly, engaging with it.

5) They’re Adaptable

There’s a difference between a person who’s book smart and someone who’s truly smart.

A person who’s book smart will often rely on exactly what they’ve been told to move forward with tasks.

In a work environment, these are often people who need SOPs and constantly ask questions to get the job done.

They might get it perfectly but only because they’re relying on routine to get them through the tasks.

Truly intelligent people can perform well under pressure.

When faced with uncertainty, they tap into their curiosity and creativity to get through unforeseen situations.

They don’t rely on a process that’s been done a thousand times.

They actually relish the opportunity to make their own decisions and let their skills do the talking.

6) They’re Pretty Efficient

An intelligent woman is an efficient woman.

They know that there’s only one currency that really matters at the end of the day: their time, so they always make the most of it.

They don’t let the temptations of procrastination stop them from getting things done.

They adore productivity, to the point that they might even plan out every hour of the day.

With high intelligence also comes the ability to multitask effectively, making them even more efficient than they already are.

They can juggle multiple tasks at once without losing a beat, making them ideal leaders in high-stress environments.

7) They Actively Seek Learning Opportunities

What makes intelligent women different from other people is that they know how little they know about things.

And what separates intelligent women from intelligent men?

They know that they always have to prove themselves to their male peers, even in areas outside of their expertise.

So intelligent women are always seeking out learning opportunities because they understand the value in every piece of knowledge they can absorb.

They put themselves in situations that are totally unfamiliar to them because those are the places where they will learn most.

8) They’re Great At Piercing Information Together

Some people think that intelligence is simply about knowing tons of things, memorizing more encyclopedias from back to front, and calling upon the necessary information whenever it’s needed.

But there’s a huge difference between memorizing something and being naturally intelligent, and that’s something intelligent women prove to themselves on a daily basis:

It’s not about memorizing information, it’s about knowing how to piece information together.

An intelligent woman is someone who never finds themselves helpless even when they’re totally out of their comfort zone.

They have enough experience and education to put things together, no matter where they are.

You can always tell when you meet an intelligent woman.

Their intelligence radiates regardless of the topic of discussion or the situation at hand.

9) They’re Pretty Observant

When it comes to intelligence, the ability to observe the world around you is one of the most telling signs of a high IQ.

But there’s a slight difference between intelligent men and intelligent women.

This boils down to gender roles and expectations.

Intelligent women tend to be slightly more observant than intelligent men, on average.


Because intelligent women have to hold back more, assessing situations and problems more thoroughly before stepping in to solve them.

On the other hand, intelligent men tend to jump into things immediately.

Women are used to taking the back seat in situations even if they have the capability to solve them, which is why they end up being the more observant sex.

10) They’re Open-Minded

Women tend to be more open-minded than men; men are simply more stubborn and single-minded, whereas women are more open to other possibilities.

So when it comes to intelligence, intelligent women also tend to be some of the most open-minded people you might ever meet.

An intelligent woman is a woman who doesn’t let her beliefs cloud her thoughts and decisions.

She’s always open to the unknown, to the possibility that she doesn’t know everything she should know about a subject.

11) They Enjoy Solitude

As a man dating an intelligent woman, you might not always find the experience so easy.


Because one major difference between an intelligent woman and a woman of more average intelligence is their tendency to require solitude and alone time.

Simply put, intelligent people tend to be introverted, and the more introverted a person is, the more they need alone time and solitude to recharge.

Other people drain them, even those closest to them, so they need the time and space to sit back and recharge at the end of a long day.

And this recharging isn’t always so predictable.

Sometimes you might need days or a week or two of alone time, just to start feeling like “you” again.

12) Their Self Control Is Admirable

An intelligent woman has an amazing level of self-control and discipline, and this might be the exact reason why she’s become the person she is today.

The mind’s ability to discipline itself and move away from instant gratification is one of the most telling signs of strong and active intelligence.

When you meet an intelligent woman, you are meeting someone who has trained herself to the highest levels of discipline.

She can train her mind and body to do anything she wants because she understands how to get herself in the proper focus to truly achieve her goals.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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