Like every other intelligence, some people are born with it, and some develop it over time. However, there’s always enough time to learn/build anything new.
Lack of self-awareness is a growing problem in today’s world. People barely correlate their thoughts or behavior in a world filled with megabytes of information and fast-paced connectivity. As a result, there is little time for self-reflection.
Philosophers and thinkers who are well-paced at articulating their thoughts and behaviors often leave people in awe and make them wonder about the intelligence and perception of the philosophers and thinkers. The ability to analyze one’s feelings and thoughts is called intrapersonal intelligence. In short, it’s the awareness of self.
What is intrapersonal intelligence?
An individual with intrapersonal intelligence has an effective model of himself or herself-that, including one’s desires, fears, and capacities-and can use that model to regulate their lives effectively. In simple terms, intrapersonal intelligence refers to the ability to appreciate one’s feelings.
Knowing oneself, figuring out what one wants and doesn’t want, and accepting one’s strengths and weaknesses are all part of building intrapersonal intelligence. A person’s intrapersonal intelligence can be cultivated over time with enough practice. Your intrapersonal intelligence determines your motivation, your learning style, your strengths, and your growth opportunities.
Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal Intelligence: Differences
Which is superior, intrapersonal or interpersonal? You can summarize your interpersonal skills by saying that they enable you to communicate and work with others. In contrast, your intrapersonal skills will allow you to become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. They are both soft skills vital for your personal growth, the ability to set and achieve your goals, and your success in your professional life and personal life.
Is interpersonal intelligence superior to intrapersonal intelligence? No! Both are equally important in their way. To achieve overall growth in their personal life, it is essential to have equal interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Interpersonal skills like listening, kindness, and leadership are necessary to work well with others, and intrapersonal skills like self-awareness, visualization, and compassion are helpful for self-development. Combining both sets of skills can help a person thrive both in their personal and professional life.
Intrapersonal Intelligence Examples
So, how does intrapersonal intelligence look in real life?
People with intrapersonal intelligence are good at self-reflection and introspection. It helps an individual to evaluate all their life decisions without tossing around aimlessly. Intrapersonal intelligence isn’t just confined to a person’s artistic ability but also manifests in their work life. Some real-life skills of having intrapersonal intelligence look something like this in an individual:
- Great strategy developers.
- Good at managing their emotions.
- Aware of their feelings.
- Great thinkers, philosophers, leaders.
- Have a knack for writing, creating art.
- Have a clear path of vision for success.
- They don’t take feedback in a negative sense.
- Embrace their feelings without any hesitation.
- Pros in planning, critical analysis, and solution seekers.
- They don’t let imposter syndrome weigh them down.
- They can enjoy their alone time without depending on others.
- They have a high level of imagination, creativity, intuition, and self-direction.
- The ability to reason and a good sense of situational analysis because of their intuitive knowledge.
How to develop intrapersonal intelligence for success?
Often, people think that the success of any great philosopher/thinker is because of their innate ability to process/articulate their thoughts; However, it might be valid to some extent, it is not always true. Many people tend to develop this skill over their lifetime or via personal experience. There are many ways through which one can build intrapersonal intelligence.
One can start doing it by implementing it in their personal life and then applying it to their professional life. Understanding colleagues’ needs are the most significant sign of a leader. Intrapersonal intelligence and interpersonal intelligence are correlated with each other. In any profession, communication among employees is the key to keeping the team together. One great way to develop communication is by having interpersonal intelligence. However, one cannot communicate if one cannot correlate. To correlate with others, you need intrapersonal intelligence to be more considerate and compassionate towards others. So, remember that developing intrapersonal intelligence isn’t just confined to your wellbeing.
Activities for intrapersonal intelligence
Developing intrapersonal intelligence not only starts with introspection, but one can acquire it via some activities. As part of activities implementation, the application of intrapersonal intelligence is essential. Some activities that can be followed by individuals regardless of age group:
- Getting involved in activities.
- Keeping records of the activities in digital/manual form.
- Setting goals for everyday tasks.
- Meditate every day.
- Try to reprocess your conversations and actions.
- Listening to other people’s stories.
- Trying to get a viewpoint by listening to the other side of the argument.
- Writing a journal or diary every day.
- Reflecting on your shortcomings and weaknesses.
- Physical activities that make us think or create.
- Solving puzzles to solve.
How to improve intrapersonal intelligence?
As intrapersonal intelligence starts with the awareness of self and improving oneself, to develop intrapersonal intelligence, one should:
- Focus on processing your thoughts:
Focusing on your thoughts shouldn’t lead you into a path of overthinking. People with high intrapersonal intelligence don’t spend daydreaming or sit with their thoughts. Instead, they articulate and process them. To process your thoughts and express them for a meaningful change. You can take professional help too. Consult a therapist or psychiatrist.
- Write it out:
Writing is the single most effective practice to focus on your thoughts and process them accordingly. Turn this into a habit every day. Writing even for half an hour or a single page can have a tremendous impact on your thought process. So, in the age of fast typing, make it a routine to write a page every day.
- Be self-aware:
Be self-aware of the surrounding things. It is not necessary to pay heed to every conversation/detail. However, one needs to be self-aware enough to know what they are doing and why they are doing it in this age of connectivity. It is vital to be aware of our surroundings without getting sucked into the abyss.
- Practice empathy:
A great way to understand other people’s feelings is to be empathetic towards them. Be compassionate and kind enough when approaching someone. Understanding a person’s emotions and thought process is the highest form of intrapersonal intelligence. One can make use of empathy and compassion to understand others better. It helps you both in your personal and professional life.
Famous people with intrapersonal intelligence
Some of the greatest philosophers and speakers in history are the ones with the highest intrapersonal intelligence. You might have read their work or listened to their words, but did you know that it is because of the intrapersonal intelligence that makes them one of a kind?
Let’s have a look few people who have exceptional intelligence:
- Socrates – The founder of Western philosophy.
- Plato – The founder of Western political philosophy.
- Einstein – One of the greatest physicists of all time
- Helen Keller – A great American author, disability rights advocate, political activist, and lecturer. Annie Frank – A Jewish girl whose words touched millions worldwide.
- Sigmund Freud – Neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis.
The list goes on.
What do these famous people have in common? Their intrapersonal intelligence mirrored in their work has touched millions of lives through the ages. Some of the most common habits/practices seen among these people are their constant habit of writing, spending time with themselves, and expressing their thoughts/opinions to the world. They benefited by improving their intrapersonal intelligence and significantly impacted humanity with their words and inventions.
Developing intrapersonal intelligence not only helps you in your personal life but also helps in your professional life. One need not be on the lookout for some great insights into every little detail around them. The least one can do is be receptive to their surroundings. Taking these baby steps in your personal life and reflecting them in your professional life not only enhances your professional career but also makes you a great team player with your ability to introspect everything via intrapersonal intelligence.
At United We Care, we offer you a wide range of solutions. In addition, you can approach a psychologist or life coach for support. Start your self-care journey now!