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What is Intrapersonal Intelligence?

What is Intrapersonal Intelligence? What are its Enfolded Traits?

Intrapersonal intelligence involves deep knowledge of one's self, that enables goal setting and positive decision-making. While some are born with it, others can develop it by practicing certain activities. An overview of this type of intelligence has been provided here.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
It may have happened sometime, that you met an individual who was so sure of himself, so confident, so aware, that it left you completely awestruck. On the other hand, you may have found the same person appear dreamy, and considered them to be rude or obnoxious. These however, are just traits of intrapersonal intelligence, a type of intelligence as defined by the renowned psychologist Howard Gardner. Gardner proposed a theory of multiple intelligence, that stated that different individuals have different types of intelligence, where a person may be better at performing physical activities, while another may be greater with intellectually stimulating activities. Based on this theory, the types of careers a person should choose were also created.
Characteristics of Intrapersonal Intelligence
People who are believed to possess intrapersonal intelligence have certain characteristic traits by which they can be identified. While individuals with interpersonal intelligence are great with developing relationships with others, those with intrapersonal intelligence are better off with themselves. They are greatly aware of their own needs, requirements, and understand themselves more than anyone else does.
Some of the traits of such individuals have been enlisted here.
  • Self motivated individuals with a clear understanding of the reason behind it
  • Individuals who like to be alone rather than in large groups
  • Excellent awareness of personal capabilities and weaknesses marked by critical thinking and analysis
  • Ability to analyze ideas and disintegrate theories to understand their basis
  • Usually found thinking deeply, that makes them look dreamy and self-involved
  • Strong decision-making abilities that are not influenced by external sources
  • Like keeping a record of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions by journaling
  • High goal setting and achievement abilities, with an intense need for perfection
Sometimes, those with intrapersonal intelligence are also very intuitive people. Based on these characteristics, there are certain careers that they are suited for. These include psychology, philosophy, science, writing, theology, social work, and law. In essence, any career type that allows for self-reflection and the opportunity to work alone is suitable for such individuals.
How to Improve Intrapersonal Intelligence
Whether you apply the aforementioned traits on the career front or not, having a high amount of self-reflection that promotes personal development, in that it enables you to take the right decisions and be self-motivated is always helpful in a lot of ways. There are some activities that you can resort to, to improve your levels of intrapersonal intelligence.
  • Since one of the traits of such individuals is the desire to spend time alone, doing so yourself should be of great help. Spending time where you will reflect on yourself, your thoughts, and understand and analyze your emotions will be one of the best ways to develop this trait in you.
  • Goal setting is another trait that you can develop where you start off by setting smaller goals that are easily achievable. This will also enhance your self-motivation. Slowly set larger goals that you wish to achieve, and you will find that the process has become simpler now.
  • Understand the impact of events around you on you, and the impact of what people have said to you. Sometimes, such situations can cause great amounts of stress, so making an effort to analyze the situation and work on relieving the stress will help.
  • Engage in an activity that you think will help you allow for self-reflection and introspection. Yoga is one such great activity that will help you in this regard.
  • Record your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and dreams in a journal that you can reflect on later, and help understand yourself better.
  • Spend some time meditating to connect with your inner-self. Start with a short time, say 10 minutes, and slowly increase the time period spent meditating.
  • Ensure that you work to enhance your self-esteem by positive thinking, daily affirmations, and focusing on your achievements.
To learn about your levels of intrapersonal intelligence, there are several tests you can take online. These are different from intelligence quotient tests. It is a good idea to take these tests from websites that are bankable rather than random websites that ask ridiculous questions. Also, a lot of personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs personality test are capable of determining your levels of this type of intelligence, and give you a clear picture regarding where you stand.
No matter where you apply intrapersonal intelligence, possessing even some amount of it will help you achieve success in life, will enhance its overall quality, and will help you live your life to the fullest.
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