You’re Smarter than you Think: Forms of Intelligence w/ Emphasis on EI

Welcome! Today I want to discuss with you the different forms of intelligence. Human’s aren’t the typical cookie-cutter creatures some people like to think we are. I like to think of us as a balance beam that reaches an equilibrium for functioning. For every good quality, there is a bad quality and for every ability one can do, there is an ability that they cannot perform. We are one of the most complex animals on this planet (we lost first place to a Daphnia pulex, a near-microscopic crustacean…yup… a water flea) and we are a lot smarter than we give ourselves credit for. For decades we have judged human intelligence based on academic performance; however, researchers now prove that is not the only way to judge human intelligence. First we will discuss the forms of intelligence. Now every individuals possess IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient). EQ is a persons ability to recognize and manage their emotions, the emotions of others, and their environment. This is the person’s emotional intelligence which can be broken down further into interpersonal intelligence (relationships with others) and intrapersonal intelligence (relationship with oneself). A person’s IQ is their ability to reason, think logically, and use abstract thinking. IQ is closely tied to academic performance and is tested by using standardized intelligence test such as the IQ Test (try one here).

Comparison Chart

BASIS FOR COMPARISON IQ EQ
Meaning Intelligence Quotient or IQ is a number obtained from standardized intelligence test, which represents an individual’s ability of logical reasoning. EQ refers to an individual’s level of emotional intelligence, which is represented by scores obtained in a standardized test.
Measures General Intelligence Emotional Intelligence
Acquisition It is an inborn ability. It is learned and improved ability.
Ability Learn, understand and implement knowledge, logical reasoning and abstract thinking. Recognize, control and express one’s own emotion’s, perceive and assess other’s emotion’s.
Ensures Success in school. Success in life.
Recognizes People with high intellect, common sense, mental challenges, etc. Leaders, Captains, Managers and people with social challenges.

Now that you have a better understanding between the IQ and EQ, let’s break them down even more. There are many theorist who have come up with their own list of intelligence after years of research. None of them are wrong but they basically took the two generic groups of IQ and EQ and expanded them further.

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Howard Gardiner from the University of Harvard claims there are 9 forms of intelligence, which are:

  1. Interpersonal intelligence= the ability to understand the feelings and goals of others.
  2. Intrapersonal intelligence= the ability to understand your own feelings and goals.
  3. Verbal-Linguistic intelligence = the ability to effectively communicate and use words well.
  4. Logical-mathematical intelligence= the ability to think logically and work well with numbers.
  5. Visual- Spatial intelligence= the ability to create mental images to solve problems (creativity).
  6. Music- rhythmic intelligence= the ability to recognize and create musical pitches, tones and rhythms.
  7. Bodily kinesthetic intelligence= the ability to use the mind to coordinate the body’s movements
  8. Naturalist intelligence= the ability to recognize different plants and animals.
  9. Existential intelligence= the ability to derive personal meaning and purpose from physical and mental experiences, including the capacity to create and master a life purpose.

Now on the other hand, Robert Sternberg from the Psychology department of Yale University, claims that there are 3 parts to intelligence:

  1. Practical intelligence= the ability to understand and solve real life problems (aka street smarts)
  2. Analytical intelligence= the ability to analyze ideas, solve abstract problems and make decisions (aka book smarts)
  3. Creative intelligence= the ability to go beyond what is known to come up with new and interesting ideas (aka not living in a box).

Honestly, no matter how you slice it, they are both correct in their theories because they are basically describing the same ideas about what makes up human intelligence but describing it in different ways. I have highlighted in red font, sections in each theory that are directly linked to emotional intelligence.

So, if you’re not doing so well academically in school, please pick up a tool that will allow your true potential to shine such as a musical instrument, art medium, computer program, write a book, join a sports team, etc. You are smarter than you think, you just have to find what you are best in. The ability to do that (knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are) demonstrates a high emotional intelligence. Managing yourself will help you manage others and the environment around you.

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Emotional intelligence has 4 parts to it (according to two American psychologists from the 1990’s, Peter Salovey and John Mayer), which are:

  1. Understanding emotions: being able to recognize emotions, meaning and knowing how to pick out different feelings (i.e., knowing exactly what emotions you are feeling)
  2. Emotional perception: being aware of emotions (i.e., being able to pick up emotions of others just by noticing their body language)
  3. Managing emotions: being able to handle emotions in a positive manner (i.e., using emotions to promote mental/emotional growth).
  4. Emotional facilitation: use emotions to improve thinking.

Emotional intelligence will carry you a long way and if you disagree then please discuss it here. So below I will give you some tips and tricks on how to increase your overall emotional intelligence. These teachings were inspired by Linda Wasmer Andrews book, Emotional Intelligence.

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Tips and tricks on how to increase your Emotional Intelligence!

1. Be AWARE of the physiological changes in your body when you are becoming evoked or stimulated.

Notice the different changes such as a faster heart rate, tense muscles,etc. Using the following emotions, Joy, Fear, Sadness and Anger, can you match the correct emotion to the correct physiological change?

What emotion does 1 describe? ___

What emotion does 2 describe?___

What emotion does 3 describe?___

What emotion does 4 describe?___

If you can easily and correctly answer these then you have a good awareness of the physical changes the body involuntarily goes through when experiencing each emotion.

Correct answer:

When you are feeling confused about how you are feeling, try focusing on the physical and physiological changes of your body and that will help you dissect what you are feeling.

2. Know how to reduce your arousal levels when you are being evoked or over stimulated.

  • Count to 60, while breathing deep and slowly (I like to count backwards because it distracts me more than counting forward). Try to match your slow counting with your slow breathing.
  • Crack a joke. Humour is the best natural medicine and a great defense mechanism. Trust me, I know- I laugh when I’m nervous which can send the wrong message some times.
  • Give yourself a time-out. It’s okay to remove yourself from the environment, especially if you feel your behaviour may escalate. If you’re in a group setting then politely state that you need space and re-enter when you are ready. If you’re not in jail then you are not confined to one environment, take advantage of your freedom and give yourself space.
  • Convert your energy! Turn your negative emotions into passion and positive energy. For example, turning anxious feelings into physical energy by exercising, such as running before a stressful presentation (it works!). Turn your frustrations into passion. Give yourself a break to reconstruct the negative energies around you and turn it into constructive energy. The most successful pieces of art were made from negative energies such as loneliness, sadness, anger that consumed the artist and is released into creativity.

Remember, negative emotions are just as good as positive emotions because negative emotions help us recognize how we feel around certain people and environments. By recognizing these negative emotions, we can bring about change to better our lives.

3. Be self aware!

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

– Carl Jung

The Myers- Briggs Type Indicator is a test that is widely used today for career counselling and is based off the philosophy of Carl Jung. You can do a version of this test here.

My results: CAMPAIGNER (ENFP-T)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for – and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love – for your dreams – for the adventure of being alive.

-Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Take the online test now! It’s actually really interesting and allows for introspection!

Here’s what it told me about myself and I agree with it completely:

Strengths: curious, observant, energetic, enthusiastic, excellent communicator, know how to relax, very friendly, adaptable
Weaknesses: poor practical skills, difficult to focus, overthink things, stressed easily, highly emotion and independent to a fault

4. Make S.M.A.R.T GOALS!

If you want to succeed at your goals then you must make practical and attainable goals. Create goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented (do not chose a goal that you must wait 2 years to take action), realistic and give it a timeline. Stick to your goals and achieve them! You can do it if you are resilient.

5. Be optimistic whenever you can!

That doesn’t mean to ignore truths around you and be naive. It means to take negativity with a grain of salt by recognizing them (don’t deceive yourself) so that you modify the situation. For example, if I failed a test in school then I will take that negativity to work my butt off for the next upcoming tests and assignments. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, make a lemon pie – turn it into something sweet and nice.

6. Know how to deal with Assholes.. sorry, I mean bullies!

Bullies are individuals who harbour a lot of insecurities. Most bullies are actually victims of bullying and they pick on others who make them feel jealous or even more insecure. Bullies are the type of people who need to put others down to make themselves feel better. If you are encountering a bully then remain calm and unfrazzled- don’t feed into their attention seeking behaviours.

This is an awesome video of Brooks Gibbs successfully handling a bully situations. Kill ’em with kindness. If you want the main juicy part then skip to 4:23 of the video. I do recommend watching the whole video as he does explain the technicalities of what happened.

7. Learn how to diffuse your anger and solve disputes.

We’ve all have situations where we have lost our $h!ts towards someone. I definitely have and those kinds of situations leave me feeling regretful and embarrassed. Sometimes it ruins the relationship with that person as well, which makes me sad until I am able to reconcile. Here are some tips on how to avoid those feelings and how to defuse your anger before it hurts someone or yourself.

  • Use humour to ease tensions.
  • Post-pone. This is crucial because it is really hard to be rational when we are consumed with emotions, so it’s best to give yourself space and continue with the discussion after everyone is calm (especially yourself).
  • Expressing regret:express yourself. Say that you care and that you are sorry without taking blame. Show your emotions, you’re only human.
  • Request for help: ask that person to work with you to find a joint solution. You don’t have to solve everything yourself.
  • Take turns: give each person an equal opportunity to speak/do things. Model what that looks like so that when it’s your turn to speak, they give you the same level of respect.
  • Share- cooperating with others means to share resources and task duties. Don’t take on all of the responsibility but don’t give it all away to someone either because that’s not fair.
  • Problem solve: brainstorm as a team to come up with possible solutions.
  • Compromise: give up a part of what you want to get something worth more. Don’t give up everything, assert yourself but be humble and know what you can let go of to get what you need.
  • Seek mediation: when all else fails, ask a third party that is bias to help resolve the dispute.
  • Remember, it’s never too late to reconcile with someone but remember, your words will have to be backed up by actions.

By exercising these tips and incorporating them into your daily lives, it will allow you to increase your overall emotional intelligence and well-being. You will find motivation to pursue goals, gain more power over your life and improve your quality of life by recognizing what goes on both inside and out.

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