Intrapersonal intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?

When talking about the concept of intelligence, it is very easy to think of what is needed to solve math problems, fix a device, or plan a strategy to follow in specific cases.

However, we can also consider that there is a type of mental skill that is more private in nature, difficult to contract out in a very striking way. What was called intrapersonal intelligence is a good example.

What is intrapersonal intelligence?

Intrapersonal intelligence is one of the types of intelligence proposed in the theory of multiple intelligences of Howard gardner. The set of cognitive abilities it expresses is a bit hazy and hard to distinguish from other forms of intelligence, but counted and debated, it can be said that intrapersonal intelligence refers to the degree to which we know the internal aspects of our own way of thinking, feeling and acting..

In other words, it represents our capacity to know ourselves and to intervene on our own psyche, in the broad sense.

How can we know each other?

According to the theory of multiple intelligences, recognize the repertoire of feelings that define our own way of being (and the type of stimuli that can induce each of them), properly discriminate between different moods and take advantage of this knowledge to regulate our behavior towards certain objectives. In this way, intrapersonal intelligence this is what allows us to know the internal aspects of our mind and use this information to our advantage.

For example, being particularly sensitive to certain issues can make it easier to manage conflict situations, which can be essential to avoid losing control in these cases and at the same time working on techniques for controlling anxiety levels. .

differentiation of concepts

Intrapersonal intelligence can be easily confused with the emotional intelligence, a theoretical construction in which several psychologists have worked and which was not born out of the theory of multiple intelligences. It is true that both types of intelligence emphasize self-knowledge and the regulation of emotions, but emotional intelligence is a broader concept. Thus, the difference between intrapersonal intelligence and emotional intelligence lies mainly in the fact that intrapersonal intelligence only reports certain processes that could be compared to what is measured when studying the latter.

On the other hand, intrapersonal intelligence can also be confused with interpersonal intelligence, which is also framed in the theory proposed by Gardner. Interpersonal intelligence is related to our ability to communicate with others and work in a team optimally, while the intrapersonal is private. In other words, the former allows us to know others and interact with them in a useful and successful way, while the latter allows us to do the same with ourselves.

The two, however, could have many connections between what is meant by emotional intelligence.

How to improve intrapersonal intelligence?

That much, it is important to remember that all forms of intelligence can be trained and improved over time as if they were muscle.. However, it must be said that intrapersonal intelligence is insufficiently studied and that it is difficult to propose exact and scientifically validated methods to improve it.

However, beyond the light that future scientific research may shed on this topic, I would recommend the following to see advancements in the field of intrapersonal intelligence:

1. Try mindfulness

the mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in increasing one’s own self-regulatory abilities, so it may be a good idea to start practicing it on a sustained basis. You can also try traditional forms of meditation.

I leave you with two links so that, if you wish, you can delve into these two interesting disciplines:

  • “Science-backed Benefits of Meditation”

2. Ask yourself often how you feel

Stopping to think about the feelings you usually have will help you recognize them when they appear and detect their patterns, regularities, etc. This way, you will know what situations trigger these moods and you will realize how you usually act when you feel this way.

Mentally labeling these emotions with names or words in general is a good place to start.

3. Think about how you can target this knowledge

Know a lot about our way of thinking and the feeling is of little use if we do not take advantage of this information to improve our quality of life. Intrapersonal intelligence is also, in part, the ability to predict certain things about our own behavior. Therefore, you can create action plans to intervene in your ways of feeling, thinking and acting.

An example would be hiding a bar of chocolate because we know that when we go into times of anxiety we tend to resort to food for relief.

4. Evaluate your progress

In order to progress in self-knowledge, it’s good to look back to see what works and what doesn’t. Criticizing our own progress is also essential if we are not to be overly optimistic about what we are doing.

These steps can help you work better with yourself, but you have the final say, of course. Each person is a world, and the existence of intrapersonal intelligence is a reminder of this. No manual or self-help book can give you all the parts you need to fully understand how it works. This task is yours.

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