How have your heard of the term “street smart”? Similar to being book smart, being street smart is another kind of intelligence. Being street smart means that you learn from experience instead of from books; you learn and improve from the situations that you are put into.
Street smart people generally learn from their life experiences, especially from those that put them in awkward or difficult situations, particularly when put in an urban setting.
Do you think you are street smart? See if these characteristics commonly associated with street smart individuals relate to you.
- You don’t leave without a plan. Whether going to the office or going back home, you usually have a plan for which route to take to shorten your travel time.
- You have a strong awareness of your surroundings. You always have your ears and eyes open for any potential danger lurking nearby. When you are walking out of a store at night, you make sure to put away your phone so it doesn’t attract potential robbers.
- You know how to blend in. Especially if it’s your first time in a new place, you can still be easy going and you don’t shy away form asking the locals for directions.
- You know how to diffuse or get out of an awkward or difficult situation. You know just when to drop a joke to diffuse a potentially heated discussion. You know when to put your foot down and when not to confront people directly. You also know when to get out the door when a meeting or party is not going too well.
- You listen to your gut. How you feel about a situation is usually the deciding factor on whether you should go ahead with your plan or change it.
There are many other behaviours that street smart people exhibit in everyday life. Street smart people are generally able to assess a situation and make safe decisions to reduce any risk of trouble for them and their companions. They are generally considered to have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as they are able to quickly read the situation and react accordingly.
Unlike book smarts where you rely on your stock knowledge from books and the classroom; street smart people are able to make decisions on the go and make adjustments as the situation unfolds.
Although we are differentiating between book smart and street smart, this does not mean that one type of intelligence is superior to the other. In fact, one can complement the other. There are many book smart people who are great friends with street smart people. There are also many people who are both book smart and street smart.
Do you have friends who you consider as street smart? How did they manage to get out of challenging situations?