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10 personality traits that separate the women from the girls

While I do not find either the term ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ objectionable on any count whatsoever, I am not blind to the way these terms have been misused and abused by the patriarchal society we live in. No matter how much a woman achieves, she is still judged on her looks, clothes or her personal life. Of course, attitudes are changing and women empowerment and gender equality have come to occupy center stage with a bang. However, it is still a long way before the perceptions about the ‘wow girl’ you are eyeing across from the bar counter who suddenly becomes a ‘bloody woman’  when she refuses your overtures or happens to question your flimsy assumptions or erroneous logic undergo a change (reverso, as it were). As such, it is important that we strip off the ‘patriarchal’ veneer that masks what these labels of a ‘girl’ and ‘woman’ actually imply and understand them for what they are.

Woman– A knowing, self-respecting, independent, and in-control female who has reached the place by treading the irregular and tortuous roads of being a feisty teen, with ‘girly’ habits.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with ‘girly’ habits per se, and I am not implying that a woman won’t ever have ‘girlish’ tendencies, but more often than not it takes a LONG time to get to being an adult who is not only mature but has a deeper understanding of the world and perceives and interacts with it at a more than a superficial level. It has nothing to do with age. A person might not grow up, ever and a teenager might surprise you with her perceptive and penetrative grasp of life! The same dynamic holds when you swap genders and talk of the men vs. boys scenario.

So, we thought we’d actually delineate the characteristic traits that differentiate the ‘women’ from the ‘girls’:

1. Disagreements

woman introspecting

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The foremost attribute that differentiates the girls from women is explained by the reaction vs. response theory. When a girl is displeased, angry, upset or hurt, she reacts by throwing a tantrum, meting out the silent treatment and/or being passively aggressive as a form of punishment. Women respond to such situations in a mature manner. They choose to communicate and bring the areas of ‘disagreement’ to the table for an adult discussion.

2. Expectations

woman contemplating (2)

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A girl deems herself entitled and owed, and thereby ‘expects’ to receive more than she has the capacity to appreciate. It would not be too far from the mark to suggest that she still lives in a fairy-tale land and expects to have the princess-treatment extended towards her. On the other hand, a woman holds herself to certain standards and does not project any ‘expectations’ onto others. She knows what she’s worth and does not lend any discounts on that.

3. Sexuality

woman comfortable in her sexuality

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A girl deploys her looks and sexuality as a primary tool of validation and uses them to get what she desires. A woman, on the other hand, places a premium on her intelligence, her integrity, her values, and never loses sight of her moral compass whilst etching out her contributions towards self-growth and to humanity. A woman is aware and comfortable in her sexuality and doesn’t find the need to use it as a validation tool.

4. Financial independence

confident woman (2)

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A girl isn’t in the habit of whipping out her wallet to pay the tab whereas a woman has no qualms asking for the cheque and paying for the meal/drinks herself. She is financially independent and seeks out much more important qualities in a man like his treatment of her and the amount of respect he shows rather than an unnecessary interest in the wads of green that stuff his wallet.

5. Sense of style

confident woman (2)

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A girl shall blindly ape trends – in fashion, fitness or otherwise. A woman shall develop her own signature style that complements her lifestyle perfectly. Therefore, whilst you’d find a bunch of girls flocking to lay their hands on the latest pair of dungarees, women shall be confidently strolling about in comfortable jeans and a tee. Similarly, girls might make a big fuss about fad diets but women know their healthy meals and eat in moderation. Women refuse to deprive their body of essential foods while girls bear the angry pangs of hunger whilst chewing on salad.

6. Sense of reality

confident woman (2)

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A girl waits for her knight in shining armor and awaits her own fairy-tale romance to weave itself magically out of thin air. A woman knows that real relationships thrive on mutual trust, respect for each other, commitment, and a lot of hard work. They devote themselves to building, nurturing and nourishing their relationships and know that no magic wand shall be able to sustain it save for the efforts of the two people who build it.

7. Self-awareness

confident woman (2)

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A girl is yet to attain a heightened sense of self-awareness. A woman has introspected enough to develop her own vision for life, delineate her own course, and chart out who she wants to be. She has found her own voice and shall voice her own opinions, regardless of consequence.

8. Happiness

woman smiling

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Tying in closely with point 7 is the fact that girls tend to seek happiness from factors external to themselves. They value extrinsic factors and tend to derive their happiness from those factors. A woman understands that true happiness stems from self-love and self-assuredness and that she is responsible for her own happiness. She values the intrinsic essence of such complete, wholesome bliss, and never allows anyone to jeopardize that.

9. Comfort zone

woman on vacation

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Girls refrain from stepping out of their comfort zones whilst women are not afraid to experiment and expand their horizons. Whether it be topics for conversation or places to visit, adventure or a professional task, girls are too chicken to try and experiment lest they fail or worse, appear foolish or incompetent. Women take the leap and give their best. Whether they succeed or fail, they have an invaluable experience/lesson to add to their experiential repertoire.

10. Individuality

woman with her arms raised

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A girl conforms as she is willing to please. A woman refuses to conform, if her mind does not believe in the laid-out tenets for conformity. As such, a girl is yet to learn to rebel while a woman values her individuality and thought-process over rules and regulations. She is unafraid to live life on her own terms and therefore, does! J

Having written all of the above personality traits that separate women from girls, I am compelled to add an integral part of the post as a sort of parting thought. Please remember that it isn’t strident feminism if I insist that a female who exhibits all of the above tendencies be called a ‘woman,’ or even that girls who’ve outgrown their teen years be deemed ‘women’ (regardless of whether or not they exhibit the above traits). My rationale behind the same is very simple – if the term ‘girl’ is being continually equated with the diminutive social value it has in terms of being associated with a female prone to giggling, flirting, twirling her hair or even gossiping, there is no reason why we should encourage the inherently insulting label. Of course, it does not mean that my sixteen-year-old sister is a woman yet, but what I intend to point out is this – despite its colloquial usage as an affectionate social term, it continues to carry the reverberations of the aforementioned misleading euphemism. Not only does the apparent ‘endearing’ label masquerade around as an affectionate term, it also counters any disagreement with patriarchal society’s use of this apparently ‘harmless’ term with a dismissive cover-all rebuttal (‘don’t be a humorless feminist’) that might well be called hackneyed.

So, kindly understand that a woman who is the CEO of a multi-million dollar company might do well to have a ‘girls’ night out’ where she might shop and then sit and put the world to right with her besties over tequila shots. That shall not make her any less of a woman. Similarly, a girl who hasn’t quite wrapped herself around to ‘communicating’ well in lieu of the ‘silent treatment’ should not be demeaned for being so. We are all individuals, unique in our own right, and our trajectories to ‘maturity’ are self-fueled. One cannot impose the ‘traits’ that shall make a ‘girl’ a ‘woman’ and there isn’t a need to, either. It is a road to self-awareness and self-actualization that one needs to cover by oneself!

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Article Name
10 personality traits that separate women from girls
A 'girl' is not the same as a 'woman,' although they might seem similar. Here are 10 personality traits that separate women from girls.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."