Intelligence is the ability to solve problems, wisdom involves solving these problems in the most effective and sensitive way possible. A wise person is not necessarily a person who accumulates the most knowledge but who knows how to use it in the most positive and effective way. Albert Einstein put it perfectly: “an intelligent person is the one who solves a problem, a wise person avoids it”.
Wisdom is deeply linked to the ability to develop deep intuition and correct judgment about the human essence. A wise person is not guided by rules but by a deeper belief. In this regard, Aristophanes said that "even if all laws were abolished, the sage would continue to behave in the same way", because he is guided by his principles.
What are the characteristics of wise people?
1. They don't blame others for their mistakes
One of the main characteristics of wise people is that they take responsibility for their decisions and mistakes, they don't try to blame others. The mature and wise person is aware that mistakes are learning opportunities and knows that looking for scapegoats makes no sense. This perspective allows him to continue growing, instead of getting stuck looking for outside culprits.
2. They recognize their ignorance
Wise people tend to be humble, do not boast of their wisdom and, above all, they are aware of their ignorance. They are not afraid to acknowledge their incompetence or lack of knowledge in certain areas because they have sufficient self-confidence. It is precisely this humility that allows them to be wiser, because if we do not recognize what we do not know, we cannot learn, as happens to those who suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, who are unable to recognize their ignorance.
3. They are curious
Faced with the unknown, the uncertain or the different, wise people do not withdraw into themselves and do not hide behind stereotypes, but react with curiosity and an open mind. These people are characterized by a flexible mindset and seem willing to explore, this allows them to open up to new ideas and ways of doing that, ultimately, help them to develop a more global, mature and wise worldview. They take from different sources and this is one of the keys to their wisdom.
4. They do not allow themselves to be dominated by emotions
Psychologists at the University of Michigan have discovered a link between violent reactions and anger with a low IQ. Everything seems to indicate that emotions such as anger and rage hinder intellectual development. Wise people know this and value their sanity, so they don't allow others or circumstances to dictate their emotional responses. These people develop an internal locus of control, so they are able to keep their emotions in check under various circumstances.
5. They don't believe they are better than others
Prejudice is an unmistakable sign of a lack of maturity and wisdom. In fact, many try to hide their insecurities by trying to "crush" others, which is what is known as the "Compensation Effect". It is no coincidence that a study conducted at Brock University found that people prone to homophobia and racism have a lower IQ. On the contrary, one of the characteristics of wise people is that they do not believe they are superior to others. These people understand that we are all unique, and that speaking in terms of best or worst does not make sense.