13 traits of people who are not only smart, but also wise

Have you ever wondered what sets wise people apart from the rest? 

Sure, intelligence is valuable. But wisdom goes beyond knowing facts or acing tests. 

It has to do with how you navigate the complexities of life, make good decisions, and leave a positive mark on the world. 

Being smart isn’t where it ends.

Wise people share traits that push them beyond that.

And if you want to be wise too, you’ll probably be glad to know that these traits aren’t stowed away in secret caves on mountaintops. 

So, you wanna know what they are?

Well, wise people have so much knowledge and wisdom because…

1) They’re curious. 

You know those people who seem to be born with a “why” permanently stuck in their vocabulary? 

Yep, they’re the wise ones

These people are curious and always itching to find out more, explore, and dig deeper

They’re the kind who can’t resist peeking through the keyhole when standing in front of a locked door. 

Curiosity often leads to new knowledge and experiences, which makes it a big part of being wise. 

People who are never content with the status quo keep learning. This is also why…

2) They’re observant. 

Ever had a friend who notices every tiny detail? 

Like the way a leaf rustles in the wind or the twinkle in someone’s eye when they’re happy?

That’s the observant type

And they often end up being the ones with a wealth of wisdom. 

Observing makes you smarter than smart. When you know more about everything, you understand things on a deeper level. 

Which also helps you make wiser decisions.

Paying attention is the secret. 

Want to know another wise-person secret?

3) They’re always eager to learn.

This might seem kinda obvious since they’re so curious and observant. But an eagerness to learn goes beyond that.

Wise people have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. It’s like an intellectual buffet that they can’t resist.

They literally sign up for random online courses or dive headfirst into new hobbies. 

They’re the people who seem to have unlimited time for learning.

For them, being lifelong learners isn’t just a buzzword


It’s a way of life. 

And while they’re wise beyond their years…

4) They know what they don’t know. 

Ever met someone who can admit when they know zilch about a topic? That person who’ll say they don’t have a clue but would love to learn?

That’s wisdom

You see, being wise isn’t just about knowing more than everyone else. It’s also about acknowledging where you lack. 

Wise people aren’t trying to fake it till they make it. They’re more into admitting when they need to start from scratch. 

This self-awareness keeps them from stumbling into the trap of overconfidence and helps them seek out knowledge. 

But let’s face it: learning so much can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

That’s probably why…

5) They know their limits. 

Are you the first to say, “Hold on, I’m out of my depth here”? 

Do you know when to stop, when to rest, and when to go?

Limit-knowers are some of the wisest people out there.

While exploring and trying new things is great, sometimes admitting that you’re in unfamiliar territory is best. 

Wise people know they can’t be experts in everything. They’re not afraid to tap out.

It’s probably also what saves them from so many unnecessary blunders and keeps them focused on what they excel at. 

6) They have self-control. 

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Self-control isn’t just about resisting that extra slice of cake. It’s about staying calm when the world’s gone bonkers and making decisions without being hijacked by emotions

And you know what?

Wise people tend to have it in abundance. 

Their emotional restraint helps them think clearly, even when life’s throwing curveballs. 

You know that friend who always acts exactly as they’re supposed to in an emergency?

Or the one who never succumbs to peer pressure?

They’re the wise ones. 

It’s a superpower, really.

7) They have discipline. 

I’ll admit, discipline doesn’t sound like the life of the party. But it’s a key ingredient if you’re making a wisdom cocktail. 

Discipline is the backbone of getting stuff done.

Wise people don’t look through their phones when they have housework to do…

They don’t drink soda when they know it’s the one thing that keeps them from losing weight…

They don’t procrastinate when they know they have goals to smash…

A wise person listens to their inner drill sergeant. And they focus when the rest of us are tempted to binge-watch that new season. 

8) They learn from their mistakes.

Mistakes? Yeah, wise people make these too. The only difference between them and pretty much everyone else is that they embrace it. 

You know that friend who smirks and says, “Well, I won’t be doing that again” after a colossal blunder? 

I’m talking about them. 

They’re the ones who gather wisdom nuggets with every stumble. The ones who don’t see missteps as dead ends. The ones who use detours to find new ideas and perspectives. 

It’s like they have this mental recycle bin where they toss their errors, but instead of deleting them, they examine each one. 

Learning from mistakes isn’t about avoiding them. It’s about knowing what will prevent you from making the same one twice. 

Wise people get this. Which is probably why…

9) They always ask questions and check facts. 

They’ll cross-examine their faults and everything else, to be honest. 

You know that friend who always asks if something is actually true? The one who pulls up Google whenever they hear or see something unfamiliar?

They’re the fact-checkers and question-askers who are constantly on a wisdom quest. 

They’re the Sherlock Holmes of conversations, always digging for evidence. 

And you know what? 

Doing this amplifies their wisdom! It helps them separate fact from fiction in a world bursting with fake. 

Simply put,…

10) They’re insightful.

Or yearn to be, anyway. 

That’s why they spend their time gaining more knowledge and getting the facts straight. 

Wise people are the type who always seem to have unlocked the universe’s secrets. 

It’s like they have a backstage pass that no one else knew about. 

They see connections and patterns where everything else feels random to most people. 

Wise people create puzzles, solve them, and destroy them. 

And they do this all by learning more, asking more, and listening more. 

They also have a knack for spotting the deeper meaning in everyday things. One conversation with them will have your mind blown!

11) They think critically.

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Okay, picture this for a moment:

You’re discussing your favorite series with a friend. Suddenly, they dissect the plot, character motivations, and hidden metaphors like a film critic on a caffeine binge. 

You’ll probably be super amazed!

And that, right there, is a critical thinker. 

They’re often the brains behind wise perspectives. 

They see beyond the surface. 

They don’t just swallow information. They chew it up, spit it out, and carefully reassemble the pieces. 

Wise people are like mental gymnasts. They flip through ideas with grace and agility. 

And critical thinking is their secret

That, and the fact that…

12) They are open-minded.

Open-mindedness is a person’s passport to the world of wisdom. It allows them to soak up knowledge from all corners of the universe. 

Wise people are the ones who say, “I may not agree with you, but I’m eager to learn.”

They welcome diverse viewpoints and try to always stay neutral. 

They explore new ideas and are never content with a single perspective.

They tear down walls of judgment and embrace the unknown. 

Wise people know that keeping an open mind helps them achieve enlightenment. 

And despite scaling mountains of success because of it…

13) They’re humble. 

Do you know what happens when you’re arrogant? When you fly high and see yourself as better than everyone else? You fall. 

That’s why wise people stay grounded and approachable. 

They keep the antidote to arrogance close because they know that wisdom doesn’t come with a superiority complex. 

Wise people are quick to give credit where it’s due. They’re also the first to admit their own faults. 

Ego can be sneaky. We all know that.

That’s why wise people wear humility as a shield

They know that wisdom opens doors only if you’re willing to learn from anyone, anywhere. 

And in a time where information is at our fingertips, this isn’t hard to do. 

You just need to desire an understanding of the world. 

It’s not just about being smart. It’s about actively seeking wisdom. 

So, if you want to be wiser, keep these traits in mind. You might find that by nurturing them, you’ll achieve unimaginable heights. 

Picture of Natasha Combrink

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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