In the 1980s, a brand-new theory on intelligence emerged. Developed by Howard Gardner, this theory suggested that there is more than just the one version of intelligence. Instead of the typical IQ test, based on logic and numbers, there are several ways in which a person could be intelligent. These new types of intelligence include linguistic, spatial, musical, inter and intrapersonal.
Psychologists had developed this new theory, known as the Multiple Intelligence Theory, based on the idea that being intelligent shouldn’t be limited to a person’s ability to do math or science alone. A person could be incredibly intelligent in all kinds of ways.
What Is Intrapersonal Intelligence?
A person with intrapersonal intelligence is skilled at looking inwards and understanding themselves. They tend to be more aware of their own feelings, their triggers, and solutions than others are.
If you are able to analyze your own behavior and thoughts and understand why it is that you feel certain ways, you could be intrapersonally intelligent. A person who has intrapersonal intelligence is usually easily self-motivated and doesn’t require inspiration from the external world to be productive.
If you enjoy being alone, you might have intrapersonal intelligence. Instead of fearing being alone with their thoughts, someone with this intelligence would thrive because they are comfortable with their own being. Being able to understand what has caused your feelings or impulse reactions is a highly intelligent skill to have.
Why Is Intrapersonal Intelligence Important?
This type of intelligence is essential to living at peace with yourself. If you’re constantly jumping through emotions, reacting with no idea why and feeling totally unaware of your true self, you’re probably not at peace. “Blissfully unaware” only applies if you’re so detached from yourself that you don’t feel much at all.
To be truly content, you’ll need to develop your intrapersonal intelligence.
Some of the most fundamental life skills are self-motivation and self-discipline. These things come naturally to people who are intrapersonally intelligent.
We all know the struggle that is forcing yourself to sit down and get some work done, but those with this type of intelligence find it much easier. They don’t rely on external forces, deadlines or pressure to get things done. They are able to connect with themselves enough to create motivation to get started and discipline to get finished.
Without intrapersonal intelligence, you’re likely to coast along hoping the work just goes away because you lack the drive to succeed for your own satisfaction.
Intrapersonal intelligence also includes having better self-esteem than most. Not over-confidence, but a stable self-belief and comfort within one’s self. When you know yourself as a friend would, you learn to appreciate your flaws and are better adapted to working on them.
Self-awareness and being self-assured will help you to navigate life’s difficulties much easier too. If you aren’t in touch with your inner thoughts, then you’re far more likely to fly off the handle at minor inconveniences and major disruptions alike. A person with intrapersonal intelligence is likely to reflect rather than react when life comes bumpy.
When people with this skill become angered or upset, they will have the ability to control their reactions and think rather than lash out. They will be better able to keep themselves calm during trying times because of an awareness of their own needs. If they need to leave, they will. If they need to communicate, they’ll do it with a cool head and be more successful in getting what they want.
Brilliant minds like Albert Einstein and Virginia Woolf are known to have been intrapersonally intelligent. By being mindful of their own thoughts and calm in the face of difficulties, they were able to achieve incredible goals.
How to Develop Intrapersonal Intelligence?
If you aren’t the type to have natural intrapersonal intelligence, you can still develop it yourself. It’s a skill that can be learned to help improve your life and mental wellbeing. There are all kinds of ways to practice getting in touch with your inner self.
The most often recommended way to practice your intrapersonal intelligence is to keep a journal. Writing allows you to talk to yourself in a way you might struggle to do in your own mind. When you have feelings, good or bad, try writing about them in your own private notebook.
You could even write as if you were having a conversation with a friend. Tell them about how you feel and consider all the possible causes, it’s highly likely that you’ll start to unfold your own mind.
After a while of practicing writing in a healthy voice, you might find that it becomes your own inner voice too. Ultimately, this is the most key part of intrapersonal intelligence to develop. It’ll allow you to access parts of your mind that you usually leave to your subconscious and stay more in control.
You can also try meditation or meditative activities such as yoga, walking or running. These things are all encouraged to help you clear your mind of the clutter and access your real feelings.
They allow you to develop intrapersonal intelligence by quieting the noise and letting you slow down. Slowing down your thoughts prevents you from reacting too quickly and promotes your connection with your true needs.
Through meditative activities, we can learn more about ourselves and let go of the nonsense we’ve been carrying. Consider these quiet times as an opportunity to chat with yourself. Like getting to know a new person, you would need a peaceful place to be in the present and share. When you let your mind be peaceful, your conscious voice can chat with your inner needs.
If you want to get to know yourself, remove influences from the outside world. Our phones, tv screens, computers, they all fill our minds. Instead of avoiding silence by staying constantly connected, try switching off. When you’re left in the quiet, you’ll find it much easier to reconnect to yourself and listen to your own thoughts.
Being intrapersonally intelligent allows a person to think clearer and more independently. It promotes inner wisdom and better management of your emotions. No more spontaneous tears or easily triggered anger. Disconnect from the world and the noise around you and you’ll find it easier to set goals and achieve them.