Signs That You’re Street Smart

By Nick Hadji 8 months ago

1. You've never been scammed online

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People with street smarts usually know when something fishy is going on. The easiest example of this is online scams - have you been tempted to reply to that email saying your package is delayed? Or that you've won $500,000 in a raffle you distinctly remember not signing up for? Then you're probably not street-smart.Original content sourced from

2. You drink responsibly

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Getting messy drunk with your friends on nights out might be fun, but it's not something that someone with street smarts would do. Instead, drink responsibly. You'll keep better track of what's happening around you and perhaps be able to get yourself out of a sticky situation or two more easily.

3. You have a self-assured walk


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This one might sound weird but stay with us. When you walk in the street, do people tend to move out of your way? Do you walk faster than your companions, and you're always waiting for them to catch up? People with street smarts usually walk with confidence, and this could be you.

4. You know how to blend in somewhere new

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People with street smarts know never to be the odd one out. It's much easier to get around and stay out of trouble if you don't draw attention to yourself. This is even more important if you're somewhere new, like a new country or city. If you know exactly how to blend in like a local, then you're probably street-smart.

5. You don't get easily intimidated

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Are you the strongest person out of all your friends? Do you rise to the occasion when someone else is being harassed and fight for others? If you tend not to get intimidated by uncomfortable people or situations, then you're probably street-smart - these people usually don't cower.

6. You're aware of all five senses

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Being truly street-smart is about more than just keeping your eyes and ears open to things. Actually, you should be aware of all five of your senses all the time. Do you often notice how an environment smells? Do you recognise changes in your environment easily, based on your sight, smell, or hearing? Then you could be street-smart.

7. You judge people correctly

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We've all experienced that awkwardness when you meet a new acquaintance who your friend loves but you're not quite sure about yet. You don't know what it is, but you can tell they're not a good guy? Well, if your intuition pays off more often than not, that's a sign that you're street-smart.

8. You often rely on your gut instinct

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Similarly to judging people correctly, relying on your gut instinct is also a sign of street smarts. Do you often know instinctually not to try a new restaurant, then find out that it gave people food poisoning? Or know not to stroll into a bad situation at night? All of that is a sign of street-smarts.

9. You're not afraid to tell it to people like it is

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People who are street-smart generally have a gut instinct as to when people are being mean. They can read reactions well and know when something is off. As a result, they are also more likely to tell people things as they are, rather than sugarcoating or telling little white lies.

10. You have a great memory

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Memory is a huge part of being street-smart. It's the skill that lets you know not to travel down a certain street (you read a news article that said attacks have happened there) or not to get into a certain car (you recognise it from a social media post warning women about dangers). Memory is important - if you have a good one, you're probably street-smart.

11. You're quite creative

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Creativity is an under-appreciated element of being street-smart. We don't necessarily mean your ability to write a song or paint a picture, either. Creativity is more about developing unique solutions to problems or applying out-of-the-box thinking to get yourself out of a challenging situation.

12. You don't show signs of weakness easily

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If you're street-smart, you probably have your wits about you. This means that you know how to control your emotions and prevent yourself from showing fear. All of this means you'll keep a straight head in a tricky situation, increasing your chances of survival. Even in a less-than-life-or-death scenario, not showing weakness can be useful - like knowing how to deal with an irate coworker.

13. You like getting out there and experiencing things

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Being street-smart is often compared to being book-smart. The biggest difference between the two? Someone who is book-smart gets all their knowledge from pages, while a street-smart person has experienced life as it really is. If you love putting yourself in unknown situations and speaking to people you don't know, you're more likely to be street-smart.

14. You can always tell what's going to happen


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No, we don't mean this in a psychic sense (although you may have that, too). Street-smart people have a good ability to read a situation and know how it's going to play out. While this ability might not always be right, 9 times out of 10, you'll predict who's going to throw a punch or where the danger might be, so you can get yourself out more easily.

15. You don't take unnecessary risks

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Taking unnecessary risks doesn't mean that you're never a risk-taker. In fact, street-smart people are more likely to enjoy experiences that may be scary or nerve-wracking to others. What it means is you know when to take a risk and when to leave it, and never run into a situation without your wits about you.

16. You know when to remain calm

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There are times to get angry and stand up to someone, and times to stay quiet, calm, and avoid attention. Street-smart people can tread the fine line between these situations, knowing when to adapt an offensive tactic and when to use that instinctive flight response that tells you to stay calm and get out of there.

17. You can stay focused

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Focus is an under-appreciated street-smart skill. You might think you're focused, but can you really say that you'll know how your brain will react to a tense or pressurised scenario? If you can still keep your cool and gather your thoughts even when under threat, you're probably street-smart.

18. You tend to see the whole picture

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Being street-smart means you're uniquely able to see situations as parts of a whole. This means noticing things and connecting them to things that have previously happened, recognising people from other places, and seeing how the consequences of actions might play out.

19. But you also know to pay attention to details


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It's all well and good keeping your eyes and ears open to all of what's going on - but that's useless if you're not also able to recognize the things that matter. People who are street-smart have a unique ability to stay focused in situations while also seeing the entire picture - details and all. Your skills with all five senses will come in handy with this.

20. You're rarely glued to your phone

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Yes, TikTok can be addictive - we're all guilty of spending hours scrolling. But people who are street-smart know that, outside in the real world, you can't stay glued to your phone and sacrifice your observations of the world around you. So, they tend to stay off social media and keep their awareness of what's around them.

21. You don't overshare on social media

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If you've grown up in the digital age, then you're probably a little bit prone to oversharing on social media. It's in our DNA! But there's a real danger to this. Street-smart people know that giving out details like hotels, addresses, and other sensitive locations can be dangerous, and tend to overshare only to a point - and only with people they trust.

22. You always have a plan

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Tend to blag it most of the time? Live your life spontaneously? You may not be that street-smart. Instead, start to loosely plan situations, keeping track of what could go right and what could go wrong. You'll be more prepared for change, and be better able to adapt once you have an idea of what to do.

23. You know how to get out of tricky situations

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It's easy to start freaking out in a challenging situation, but this will make survival far less likely. People with street smarts can use all of their instinctual knowledge (their senses, gut instinct, and ability to stay calm) to easily find their way out of tricky situations, making them prepared for anything that could happen.

24. You make calculated decisions

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Knee-jerk reactions might be fun sometimes (ever thrown a dart at a map to figure out where to go on holiday?), but most of the time, logic should win out. If you're the kind of person who makes pros and cons lists and tries to look at decisions from many perspectives, then you could be street-smart.

25. You know how to not look lost - even when you are

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This is a very particular skill, and one most of us haven't succeeded in. If you're in a new city, the easiest way to single yourself out as weak is to show you're lost. Instead, develop an ability to remember directions without looking at your phone, and try to blend in with the locals - you'll be less likely to find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

26. You keep an ear out for anything abnormal

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Of all the senses, hearing is perhaps second only to sight. Being able to identify things before they happen is a vital part of being street-smart, and your hearing will help with this, especially in the dark. If you're deaf, consider the ways you can use your sight to better keep your entire environment in awareness.

27. You relate to others easily

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You might not consider empathy a key ability in street smarts, but it is. An ability to instinctively relate to others, understand their problems, and see what they're going through will enable you not just to adjust your own actions, but also to predict what people are going to do next.

28. You like being creative

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To put it bluntly, book-smart people tend to be academic, while street-smart people are creative. If you're drawn to the art world, like listening to or making music or love creative writing, then there's a chance that you are street-smart. All of these actions require empathy and the ability to put yourself in others' shoes.

29. You work smarter, not harder

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Sometimes, hard work is good. If you have a deadline to achieve, then you need to work hard, no doubt about it. But sometimes, the solution comes from working smarter, not harder. This applies to challenging, life-threatening scenarios and to day-to-day environments.

30. You know how to live without instructions

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Street-smart people don't need instructions. They have their gut, their senses, and their memory! They know exactly what to do at all times because they've evaluated this situation in their mind already and have seen the possible ways out. If you like to live by relying more on your senses than instructions, then you're probably street-smart.

31. You Have Your Own Financial Stability

Image Source / WikipediaTo understand your own finances is an essential street smart attribute, because knowing how to handle and take care of your own money will keep yourself looked after and never in a vulnerable situation, especially when you're travelling in new countries and need a steady access to cash. Depending on other people for money will not get you far.

32. You Don't Rely On Other People For Your Own Happiness

Image Source / Vitamin BuddyBeing independent is an important skill, too, if you want to make it in the world, and this also applies to your own good vibes. If you're only ever depending on other people to make you happy, and don't know how to find happiness on your own, it can put you in a vulnerable position.

33. You Know What To Do In An Emergency Situation

Image Source / WikipediaThis one applies to an emergency situation no matter where you are. It's easier when you're at home in your own country, but do you know who to call or what to do in an emergency situation in a country that speaks a different language and has a different system?

34. You Carry Around A First Aid Kit In New Places

Image Source / Amazon UKA lot of people take this one for granted, because it's so easy to have access to first aid items when you're at home, or know where your nearest supermarket is. But what about first aid when you're travelling the world? What would you do if you suffered a wound out on a hike in a new country?

35. You Could Go Solo Traveling, No Problem

Image Source / Blond WayfarerPeople who are street smart are very often successful solo travellers, because they feel comfortable being on their own in new places. You could easily plan routes, go to places by yourself and know how to stay safe in new places as a lone traveller.

36. You Know The Right Times To Use Shortcuts

Image Source / Wikimedia CommonsShortcuts are very handy, such as knowing a quick pass through the field will get you home quicker, or that particular side street cuts out a lot of hustle and bustle. But knowing when to use these shortcuts is key to personal safety and street-smarts. You know only to take them during daylight hours!

37. You Can Walk Like You Know Where You're Going

Image Source / Bloomberg.comOne mistake a lot of tourists make when they don't have a lot of confident street knowledge is looking like a lost tourist. They might stand in the middle of a street frowning at a map, or looking confused. If you're always able to walk with purpose and look like you know exactly where you're going, you're definitely street smart!

38. You Lock Your Car Once You Get Inside

Image Source / WIREDA lot of people put themselves in a vulnerable situation by getting into their vehicle and not locking the door. Anyone watching you or targeting you can easily run over and pull open the door after you've got inside. Locking the doors immediately after getting in is a very sensible move.

39. You Don't Have Road Rage

Image Source / Psychology TodayKeeping your cool in a difficult driving situation is important for keeping yourself and other drivers safe. You don't want to risk getting distracted by how annoyed you are, or start driving erratically because something has bugged you!

40. And You Can Recognise A Potentially Unsafe Driver

Image Source / WikipediaPaying attention on the road is key for a safe driver and streetwise person. Not only do you need to be paying attention, but trusting your gut when you recognise other vehicles acting strangely or driving dangerously will help you to know to keep your distance or keep an eye on them.

41. You Know How To Mind Your Own Business

Image Source / iBelieveSticking your nose into other people's business, especially members of the public, could put you in some risky situations or lead to altercations. If you know how to mind your own business, and when to speak or stay quiet, this can help you stay safe and look after yourself.

42. You Always Have Your Car Or House Keys Ready

Image Source / Security.orgStopping at your car door or front door to rummage in your bag for ten minutes for your keys can put you in a vulnerable situation if someone is watching you waiting to pounce. A lot of people target people looking for keys, too, then they can force their way through front doors or into cars. So you're wise enough to know to have your keys ready before you get to the door!

43. You Don't Listen To Music In Unknown Areas

Image Source / NeuvanaHaving your earphones in and playing loud music in new areas - especially alone - is not a very wise thing to do. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, so if you're someone who knows not to listen to music when moving about in areas you need to be aware of, this is a big green tick in the box of 'street smart'!

44. You Walk Away From An ATM As Quickly As Possible

Image Source / WikipediaSome people don't check the area around an ATM before going to draw out a big wad of cash, and then stand there counting out their money in full view before putting in their wallet. If you're a little smarter, you know to just grab the money, pocket it and walk away. Chances are, the bank hasn't made a mistake, but if you do need to count it, you can do so once you're away from the view of the ATM!

45. You Know How To Get Out Of A Date That's Not Going Well

Image Source / DatingAdviceSome people can find themselves in difficult - or even risky - situations if they're on a date that has turned sour. The person might have been a catfish, or maybe it's really not going well. A non-street smart person may not know how to stay safe or confident in these situations, but you know how to remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation whilst remaining safe.

46. You Always Take Time To Learn The Safe And Unsafe Areas

Image Source / Yorkshire LiveThis counts for your home location and when you visit a new place. You know how important it is to know where to go, and which places to avoid, especially when it comes to advice given from locals. This is key street smart behaviour, as it's naïve and dangerous to wander in unknown spots!

47. You Always Carry Spare Change With You

Image Source / WikipediaThese days, we take technology and our phones for granted. Phones are essential for emergency situations, but what if you find yourself stranded, in the middle of nowhere, without your phone, or with no signal or battery? If you're smart, you'll know spare change will let you use a pay phone.

48. You Don't Keep Your Valuables All In One Place

Image Source / Pack HackerWhat would happen if a pickpocket got your handbag, or if you lost your bag, only to have every single one of your valuables in that one place: your phone, your wallet, your passport or anything else? If you think more logically about it, it makes more sense to keep valuables in different pockets, different bags or always with a back up.

49. You're Not Easily Distracted

Image Source / The Globe and MailIf you're easily distracted in a public place, and especially as a sight-seer, this makes you very vulnerable. Paying attention to the people and location around you is key to looking after yourself. If you're easily distracted, chances are you're not very street smart!

50. You Always Route-Plan

Image Source / Dispatch TrackIt's always a good idea to plan a route when going somewhere new - and to have a back up route planned if something should go wrong, like road closures. If you're driving around in a new country, failing to plan a route can leave you at risk or lost.