11 personality traits that show you’re a smart woman

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Don’t be fooled, intelligence isn’t something you’re simply born with.

It’s also something you cultivate.

A smart woman is able to learn, remember and put what she knows to good use.

She uses her intelligence to solve problems and quickly adapt to new situations.

Here are the personality signs that show you’re a smart woman…

1) You’re wise enough to let sh*t go

Let me ask you something:

Who is smarter…

The person who knows they are right and argues until they are blue in the face?

Or the person who prefers to let it drop?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to stand your ground at times.

The world needs people who will stand up to injustice and try to right wrongs.

But often, that’s not what is happening when we find ourselves stubbornly arguing over things that don’t really matter.

As spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle once asked:

“Is it better to be right or happy?”

A smart woman knows that it can be in everybody’s best interest to let sh*t go.

That doesn’t just mean pointless conflict.

It could just as easily be the deadbeat boyfriend or manipulative friend.

She chooses to release resentment and bitterness, so that it doesn’t weigh her down.

In short:

A smart woman knows when to allow things to come and go from her life.

2) You care about other people

Smart people have empathy and compassion.

But why the link between intelligence and caring?

Well these are signs of emotional intelligence.

It means you can recognize the feelings of others, and give a damn about them.

You are thoughtful and considerate in order to build stronger relationships. This helps people to trust and respect you.  

At the end of the day, emotional intelligence is part of cognitive intelligence. So the two go hand in hand.

Smart women want to make the world a better place. They realize that kindness is one of the best ways to do this.

Research shows that kindness has unexpected positive consequences.

For starters, it boosts the mood of not just the recipient of kindness, but also the giver of it too.

Whatsmore, when we dish out kind acts we tend to grossly undervalue the big impact that they have.

3) You keep an open mind

 The quickest way to make your world small is to close off your mind.

When we make preconceived judgements about the people and things around us, we’re doing just that.

Smart women know that there are many lessons to be learned in things that are different.

That’s why they tend not to take anything at face value. They’ll make their own minds up.

Rather than being quick to make assumptions, you prefer to refrain from making any.

You’re open-minded if you like to seek out alternative viewpoints.

You try to approach things fairly, rather than bring your own biases.

Scientists found that the more open minded you are, the higher you score on tests and exams.

Further proof that open-mindedness is linked to intelligence!

4) You’re curious about people, and life in general

“Replace judgment with curiosity.” – Lynn Nottage

That’s exactly what smart women do.

Research shows that intelligent people are curious.

They ask questions, they search out new ideas, and they seek new sensations.

The author of one study, Dr Sophie von Stumm, says a  “hungry mind” is a predictor of success:

“Curiosity is basically a hunger for exploration. If you’re intellectually curious, you’ll go home, you’ll read the books. If you’re perceptually curious, you might go traveling to foreign countries and try different foods.”

Those who go on to make great discoveries are the most curious amongst us.

For example, Albert Einstein once famously said:

“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.”

Perhaps it is simple curiosity that turns people into lifelong learners.

5) You’re a lifelong learner

It doesn’t really matter what the topic is, you just love to learn.

In fact, chances are that anything has the potential to fascinate you, at least for a while.

Life is full of things to discover and understand. You never think you can get to the finish line.

There will always be something worth learning.

This probably means that you love to read, immerse yourself in a new hobby, or figure out something challenging.

You love to give things a go — regardless of how good you are.

You feel multi-passionate.

You’re more focused on the doing, than any particular end result.

You firmly believe that knowledge is power.

These are just some of the signs you’re a lifelong learner and a smart woman.

6) You’ve got plenty of common sense

There are all kinds of different smart in the world.

Being “book smart” is only one.

You’ve probably heard it said that being street smart is just as important in life.

And it’s true.

Common sense is our ability to make sound judgement based on the situation and facts at hand.

It’s a practical decision-making skill.

We don’t all need to be a total genius to be smart.

In fact, research has even suggested that people with very high IQ’s can be deficient in common sense.

And let’s face it:

Common sense is a pretty useful skill for any 21st century woman navigating the world.

7) You’re a problem solver not a problem maker

Life throws curveballs.

We all know this.

Sure, they can knock you for six. But you prefer to look for solutions rather than stay fixated on the problem.

Smart women are really good at thinking outside the box. They choose to put their energy into creative solutions.

Being a problem solver shows that you have plenty of other smart traits too, such as logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, and determination.

As pointed out in The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence:

“If all cognitive activity can be considered problem-solving, and if intelligence reflects the efficiency and effectiveness of all cognitive activity, then it follows that problem-solving ability is not just an aspect of intelligence – it is the essence of intelligence.”

8) You are humble enough to know you don’t know it all

Arrogant people are much dumber than those who show humility.

That’s because humble people aren’t delusional about their limitations.

In fact, one study showed that the less intelligent you are, the more you overestimate your cognitive abilities. Being overly self-assured is essentially a type of cognitive bias.

Being humble is not to be confused with a lack of confidence.

Smart people know their gifts, but they know their flaws too.

They’re not naive enough to think that they know it all.

I think back to my younger years and I was so certain about what I believed and thought.

In many ways I acted like I knew it all.

The older I become, the more I realize I know nothing.

To me, that feels like progress!

9) You’re adaptable and able to change

Relinquishing control can be a real challenge.

That’s why going with the flow doesn’t necessarily make you flaky. In fact, it can be a sign of intelligence.

It’s not that you don’t have direction or drive. It’s more that you are able to change course in life when needed.

 Hey, maybe you’re not just good at dealing with change, perhaps you even thrive on it?

For a long time, the very definition of intelligence has been thought of as the ability to adapt.

If you can rise to the challenge and tackle life no matter what is going on around you — you’re a smart woman.

After all, your ability to grow rests on your ability to change.

10) You love your alone time

If you’ve always enjoyed your “me time” then it could be a sign you’re a smart woman.

That’s because research has found a link between loners and intellect.

Rather than it being strange to close yourself away, you could simply have evolved to be more self-reliant.

One of the authors of the study, Satoshi Kanazawa explains why:

“In general, more intelligent individuals are more likely to have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that our ancestors did not have. It is extremely natural for species like humans to seek and desire friendships and, as a result, more intelligent individuals are likely to seek them less.”

In essence:

Smart women use solitude to reset and recharge to combat the stresses of socializing and modern busy lives.

11) You’re able to show restraint

 Let’s not forget:

Being smart isn’t just about what you do, it’s just as much about what you don’t do.

That’s why composure and restraint are the signs of a smart woman.

Being able to exhibit a good amount of self-control is a real sign of maturity.

In practical terms it probably means:

  • You think before you speak
  • You are able to contain your emotions
  • You behave with dignity and self-respect
  • You know when to hold back rather than reveal too much information

Rather than be quick to fly off the handle, women with restraint are able to step back and work through their own emotions.

That means they aren’t blindly controlled by their impulses.

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.

10 signs you have a strong personality that commands respect

10 signs that show you’re a cultured person