Intrapersonal Intelligence - A Letter to All My Introspective Geeks

How well do you know yourself? Today, we'll be talking about the topic of intrapersonal intelligence, and how it makes you see the world a little differently.

Intrapersonal Intelligence - A Letter to All My Introspective Geeks

I'm gonna let you in on a secret...

Sometimes, when there's a subject I feel so passionate about, I hold off from writing about it on this blog. 

It's quite a paradox. 

I'm excited about the topic, yet I hold off from putting pen to paper.

Maybe it's a tendency toward perfectionism, stemming from the fear that I won't be able to do the topic justice when I write about it. 

That's why it took me years to finally write a post defining personal development, despite the fact that it's the theme of this entire website :)

And until today, it was the same with the topic of intrapersonal intelligence

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What is Intrapersonal Intelligence?

What is Intrapersonal Intelligence?

I first discovered the topic of intrapersonal intelligence after taking the Master Your People Skills course on CreativeLive by Vanessa Van Edwards. 

In that course, Vanessa talks about Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences - a theory that divides human intelligence into various categories beyond the generalized concept of IQ, including: 

  • Visual-Spatial
  • Linguistic-Verbal
  • Logical-Mathematical 
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal 
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic 

As I watched the class, I tried to figure out which of these intelligences might be my primary intelligence. At first, Linguistic-Verbal caught my attention, because I am a writer and I do love words

However, my opinion quickly changed when Vanessa introduced the concept of Intrapersonal Intelligence. The concept instantly resonated with me - like love at first sight. 

I think most people today are familiar with the concept of interpersonal intelligence - the ability to interact confidently and successfully with others. 

But the concept of intrapersonal intelligence sadly doesn't often get as much of a spotlight. So what is it? 

Put simply, intrapersonal intelligence is knowing yourself, very very well. 

A person who is intrapersonally intelligent is incredibly in tune with their own thoughts, feelings, desires, and emotions. 

But it doesn't just stop there. 

People with intrapersonal intelligence possess an unquenchable thirst for self-exploration and self-reflection.

You could almost say that they love to interrogate themselves, asking questions about life and looking for deeper meanings. 

In other words, intrapersonal intelligence is self-awareness on steroids

But what value does this actually have in everyday life?

The Benefits of Intrapersonal Intelligence

The Benefits of Intrapersonal Intelligence


At first glance, intrapersonal intelligence might seem egotistical, since it places a heavy focus on the self

However, that's far from the truth. 

You see, self-awareness is not the same as self-absorption

Everyone in this world could benefit immensely from developing a greater degree of self-awareness. Why?

Well, to have a healthy view of the world, you need to have a healthy and accurate perspective of yourself. 

You have to go beyond the surface level and know who you really are.

In addition, being intrapersonally intelligent means that you are as aware of your weaknesses as you are of your strengths

You dig deep to find the essence of your being - including both good and bad - and you study the results, even if you don't like what you see

This balanced perspective allows you to work on your weaknesses and hone your strengths, so you can become a better person.

But that's not all...

Emotional Intelligence

I usually find that people with intrapersonal intelligence are usually exceptionally sensitive to other people's feelings. 

When you're intrapersonally intelligent, you know what it feels like to be hurt and to feel things deeply, so you extend lovingly consideration to others who are going through difficult times, or general, everyday angst. 

The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world. 

Goal Setting

People with intrapersonal intelligence often spend a lot of time thinking about what they want in life. 

As a result, they are often goal-driven go-getters.

After all, when you know what you want, it's much easier to get there. When you have clarity, commitment follows.

As they say, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

A Message to Intrapersonally Intelligent People

If you have identified intrapersonal intelligence as your primary intelligence, then I encourage you to embrace it as your superpower

Being confident in knowledge of yourself is a beautiful thing, and something that many people struggle with. 

However, if you're an intrapersonally intelligent person, it's good to remind yourself to always be open to new possibilities. 

As we grow older, we all change in various ways, so be willing to see yourself from different angles and discover new parts of yourself everyday. 

This is quite relatable right now, in these post-pandemic times where many feel that they have emerged from the pandemic as a completely different person. 

The truth is that, pandemic or not, you are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.

You have the right to grow. 

Sometimes you will discover things that harmonize with your current perception of yourself, and sometimes you will frankly be shocked at what you learn about yourself.

And that's completely okay. 

It's all part of the journey. 

Knowing yourself is life's eternal homework, and intrapersonal intelligence makes you a diligent student. 

So happy studying!


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