9 things smart women avoid doing in public

Despite what they tell you at school, being clever isn’t just about good grades or having a high IQ. You don’t have to be a genius to work that out.

However, there are some things in life where being “the smart one” gives you an advantage. 

That said – I’m not just talking about your future earning potential. 

No. What I mean by this is knowing how to carry yourself in public without falling victim to some serious social faux pas.

And if you too, want to look a little wiser the next time you’re out and about, here are nine things smart women avoid doing in public. 

Who knows. Maybe you’re not just a pretty face after all.

1) Invading others’ personal space

If you’ve ever used public transportation, I guarantee you have at least one story where your personal space has been violated. 

Okay, fess up. You probably have more than one.

But while it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see a woman (smart or not) “manspreading”, these space invaders can cross boundaries in countless ways. 

And not just with their sweaty pits.

Loud phone calls, impromptu DJ sets, and, wait for it, icky PDAs. These are just some of the horrors you’ve witnessed on the train, bus, or metro. Maybe even at the park, your workplace, or the sidewalk.

Quite frankly. It’s not just annoying, it’s downright disrespectful!

Smart women, on the other hand, don’t treat public spaces like their personal stage. They understand that not everyone will share their taste in music or want to see their intense (x-rated) cuddle session. 

They’ll even use headphones – and turn the volume down too.

Most of all, they avoid loud, dramatic phone conversations. You know what I’m talking about – the ones that make everyone within earshot feel like they’ve stumbled into a telenovela.  

Speaking of not broadcasting their personal life…

2) Oversharing EVERYTHING with everyone

There’s no greater pain than being stuck behind that one lady. You know the type. She can’t help but share her life story with the unsuspecting folks in the checkout line – AKA, you! 

And I mean every single nitty-gritty detail. Whether you want to hear it or not.

All you wanted was to buy your bottle of premix mojito and flamin’ hot Cheetos in peace. Not listen to how this lady’s husband left her for the mailman over a decade ago.

Well, unlike this example – intelligent ladies like to keep their personal lives private. They use their smarts to intuit when something is a little TMI. 

Not only that – but they understand that public spaces aren’t therapy sessions.

They won’t bore you at the office with their dog’s dietary needs or tell you every intimate detail about their latest medical ailment.

Instead, they share what’s appropriate given the situation and save the juicy details for their closest confidantes in private.

3) Monopolizing the conversation 

In the same vein, they never make it all about “them”. By this, I mean they avoid turning every discussion into a one-woman show.

They ask questions, show interest, and make everyone in the conversation feel valued. First and foremost, they’re excellent listeners.

So apart from the obvious, why’s this important?

Well, research shows that active listening makes people “feel heard”. As a result, this improves relationships and stops the speaker from feeling lonely or rejected.

Of course, “feeling heard” and “being heard” are two very different concepts. Something smart women also understand.

With this in mind, they employ different listening strategies to help them process, engage, and retain attention.

For example – cognitive, metacognitive, and socio-affective listening.

Not only that – but they acknowledge the golden rules of conversation. In addition to being a good listener, there are some things you should never do. 

Such as:

  • Adding unnecessary details
  • Contradicting others
  • Exaggerating
  • Going off-topic
  • Asking several questions at once 
  • Monopolizing the conversation
  • Misquote others
  • Telling lies
  • Interrupting others
  • Making yourself the hero
  • Choosing nonmutual subjects

That brings us to our next point.

4) Talking over or interrupting others

strong woman wont say sorry for 9 things smart women avoid doing in public

Have you ever been in the middle of an anecdote, only for someone to interrupt you right before the punchline? 

Now – not only have you lost your train of thought, but your momentum is all out of whack. And by the time you get your ebb and flow back, the conversation has taken a completely different turn.

Urgh. It’s frustrating, right? Not to mention rude.

Of course, there’s bound to be some “overlap” during a heated debate or engaging conversation. But there’s a subtle difference between “overlapping” and “interrupting”.

After all is said and done, talking over someone only serves to make the speaker feel undervalued and the interruptee look self-centered and impulsive.

Well, one thing smart women appreciate is that everyone’s entitled to contribute to the discussion equally – and at their own pace. 

Additionally, they listen carefully and take the time to digest what’s being said to contribute in a meaningful way. 

So there’s no need to rush, interrupt, or talk over someone. Everyone will get a turn to share their perspectives and thoughts – this includes them. 

After all, patience is a virtue. And this balanced mindset shows that they have a good level of self-awareness and respect for others. 

5) Speaking without thinking first 

Look, we’ve all had one of those days where our words turn into a jumbled hot mess. 

Maybe you were tired, stressed, or under pressure. But whatever you’re trying to say, that “word salad” of yours left everyone baffled and scratching their heads. 

That’s all innocent enough. No harm done, there. 

But for some, it’s more than that. They’re judgemental – jumping to assumptions before knowing the facts. And this often lands them in hot water. 

Simply put – they didn’t think it through. Instead, they repeatedly put their foot in their mouth – again and again! What’s more, half the time they don’t even realize it.

So what about smart women?

Well, first and foremost, they take a moment to gather their thoughts before they open their mouths. They understand that some situations call for clarity, forethought, and a gentle approach – maybe even silence, if it’s required.

Above all else, they don’t fall into the stereotype trap. 

By this, I mean they don’t let race, social status, intelligence, or gender influence their opinions. Instead, smart women listen, and I mean really listen regardless of someone’s background. 

And rather than play the blame game or point fingers and ask questions later, they seek out the truth by hearing everyone out.

Likewise – when it comes to their time to speak, they choose their words carefully so as not to offend or cause confusion among their peers. 

6) Engaging in baseless gossip

Gossip is like a never-ending game of telephone. Inevitably, by the time it gets to you, that “thing” being discussed is chock full of discrepancies and misinformation.

And you better believe, someone is going to get hurt. Especially if you’re caught doing it in public. 

Smart women understand this. That’s why they avoid gossip at all costs. 

Or at the very least, they’re discreet about it.

Listen – it’s natural for us to want to discuss other people. Even experts agree that it’s an important part of how we network, socialize, and build connections

But within reason. 

When that exchange of social information becomes malicious. Those harmless rumors cut differently. 

Ultimately, engaging in negative talk isn’t productive. Not to mention, it can harm their reputation. In response, smart women focus on positivity, kindness, and uplifting interactions.

7) Making an unnecessary scene

Even smart women get a little hot under the collar every so often. And whether you believe that women from Venus or Mars – they’re human too, after all. 

But when it comes to making a scene, they don’t give way to spite, anger, or jealousy.

No. Instead, they let rational thought and logic take center stage. And they don’t allow emotions to cloud their judgment. 

Moreover, they understand that there’s no point crying over spilled milk. It’s counterproductive and it certainly won’t solve their problems.

At the end of the day, what’s done is done – so why make a mountain out of a molehill? 

Sometimes being smart is doing nothing at all.

8) Taking on more than they can handle

simple ways to be a more feminine woman 1 9 things smart women avoid doing in public

Let’s face it – we’re all guilty of taking on too much here and there. Honestly, I’m starting to think multitasking is a myth!

I know, I know. It can be difficult to say “no”.  

But even if you’re an organizational whizz or a master at switching between assignments. Everyone has their limits.

When it comes to smart women – they prioritize and delegate. 


Well, they realize that attempting to walk, talk, and balance a latte in one hand while solving the mysteries of the universe is a recipe for disaster. No one needs to see that!

As it turns out, it’s not just innocent bystanders at risk.

Smart women acknowledge that they’re only setting themselves up for failure. Something that can damage their mental health and cause unnecessary stress in the long run.

Instead, they tackle one goal at a time and break tasks up into smaller, more manageable ones. As a result, they avoid walking around like a frantic multitasking whirlwind. 

Ultimately, they accept that women (and men) can’t do it all or be everywhere at once – despite what social media and the songs lead you to believe. And that’s okay.

9) Brag about how smart they are

Last, but certainly not least, they don’t show off in public. 

And while they might be gifted, skilled, or have an above-average IQ. They’ll never rub it in your face, or make others feel inferior. 

They have no need to excessively brag or bully others. That would be a sign of insecurity.

Rather, smart women understand that intelligence isn’t one size fits all. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses – even them. 

So why bring ego into it?

Truly smart women understand that you never stop learning. It’s an ongoing process – you just have to be open to it. 

That’s what makes them so, well, smart.

Picture of Leila El-Dean

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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