I remember that several years ago some information on multiple intelligences caught my attention. I found the author of the theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner, and read his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. I was thrilled to learn that modern definition of intelligence goes beyond the standard verbal and logical “smarts” and includes spatial and interpersonal IQ, kinesthetic and musical intelligence. Remembering that I am not always able to apply logics correctly, I was relieved to know that my weak mathematical-logical intelligence can be balanced with my strong linguistic-verbal intelligence and interpersonal IQ.
In order to be confident in all the given intelligences, one should have an opportunity to develop them all throughout his/her life. Although I had an opportunity to develop almost all of the above mentioned intelligences in one way or another, I cannot say that they are equally good because an issue of talent or innate abilities also serves a certain purpose. Looking through the list of intelligences I can see that more or less I have all of them developed in some way but as I do not have talent in them, they are weak. When I was a child, I attended dancing classes. I guess it contributed to quite a fair command of my body. Even though I will not be able to learn dancing very quickly at master class, I have a good coordination and body memory for movements. Thus, I believe that my body-kinesthetic IQ is rather satisfactory. Additionally, I was said that I had good ear for music. It means that I can replicate a rhythmic pattern and carry a tune correctly. However, I can never remember a song after one listening; I usually need to listen to it a few times. I guess my musical-sound intelligence is satisfactory, too. These two intelligences are the weakest ones in my arsenal.
I think that my spatial IQ is much better than my body-kinesthetic IQ and musical-sound intelligence. I have a fair land navigating and when I come to a new place, I usually can easily find the way back home. As I am interested in interior design and like to look through design magazines, I have a habit of arranging furniture in new spaces. Therefore, I am good with seeing and moving images in my head. Obviously my skills are not enough to become an architect because I do not have special education and do not develop these skills, but I guess my spatial IQ is rather high on an amateur level.
Even though my mathematic-logical intelligence is worse than my linguistic abilities, I think this type of intelligence is rather developed. In school, along with the linguistic-verbal intelligence, this type of “smarts” gets a lot of attention and thus has all the chances to be developed in its best way. I am able to make a logical argument and my score is fine in the IQ test. Therefore, I guess I have this type of intelligence developed well enough to calculate my change at a shop and make a logical argument for a college paper.
However, my strongest intelligences are linguistic-verbal and interpersonal IQ. My verbal inclinations even surpass my visual preferences. Usually people react at an image firstly, and only then they read captions. While I am also drawn to pictures, I often read first the caption, and only then I look closer at the details of the image. I have always loved to read, and I read a lot. Even though I do not write poetry, I like writing essays and keep a diary. Also, I like learning foreign languages. I have a fair knowledge of several dialects of my native country, and, after the study beginning in the US, I had to improve my knowledge of English and picked occasional phrases in Spanish. Words are my element and I have always done well in all word games such as crosswords, quizzes, hangman, and scrabble.
Another strong point of mine is my interpersonal IQ. I consider myself being smart about other people. It means that I can feel other people, their moods, intentions and hidden meanings of their words and actions. I guess it is because I have a good intuition and am observant. I can see when a person feels under the weather, even if he or she hides it. I can feel if someone feigns having good attitude towards me or tries to flatter me. It helps me to avoid being made a fool when someone says he or she is your best friend and then eventually stabs you in your back. Also, it helps working in a team. I am able to empathize and read my team members. In this way, it is easier to come to an agreement with me and other people.
Thus, my body-kinesthetic and musical-sound intelligences are the weakest so far, while the linguistic-verbal intelligence and the Interpersonal IQ are the strongest.
Inasmuch as language, together with mathematics, is emphasized in Western education, my sense of self is positively affected. It increases my self-esteem to have a good IQ as it is composed of both linguistic-verbal and mathematical logical skills. While I realize that it is not all there is to it, I feel proud to be able to string words in an articulate way to form meaningful sentences and be able to express my opinion clearly through words. However, when I hear other people struggling with words not being able to form their thoughts into a cohesive way and when I begin feeling sorry for them, I remind myself that perhaps they have other skills developed which I do not have. Owing to the theory of multiple intelligences, I am aware that people can be bad at calculating their change in a shop or telling a captivating story about their trip, but they are perhaps able to navigate their way in the open sea having only stars as an orienting point – doing something that I will never ever be able to do.
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Whereas verbal intelligence helps me convey my ideas and thoughts and be understood, my interpersonal IQ is crucial when communicating with other people. In college, I learn how to interact with other students more efficiently through team work. Due to my high emotional IQ, I constantly keep a track of my own emotions. I know what triggers certain emotions in me. Therefore, if I remember being asked to do something that is against my ethical principles, I get reticent, and it is difficult for me to talk to these people. I get irritated when I come across something so difficult I have troubles to do it. Thus, I can trace these emotions on the faces and in the behavior of other people and encourage them to talk about them. Even if a problem is not solved at once, the possibility to fix it removes the stressful factor and the atmosphere gets better.
I has had to work in a team on a project once. All participants were given a task, and the end result depended on how well each participant performed in his or her task. If anyone failed to perform, the whole team would show a poor performance. I noticed that one girl did not participate in a discussion; she did not look at others, her lips were pressed tights, and she was staring at one spot. I guess that she did not like her assignment, was not comfortable with making it, or was not able to do it. After the class I began talking to her to check whether I was right. My perception was correct: she indeed had doubts about her assignment but did not know how to say that she was afraid to fail and let everyone down. I suggested her to discuss her issue at the next team meeting. Meanwhile, I explained as clearly as I could what she needed to read and where she could look for answers to her questions. Eventually, she was able to make her part of the task through teamwork. I believe I helped her by getting involved and drawing her into the conversation about her assignment. Otherwise, she could get even more frustrated, or the team would find out the problem too late.
It is rather refreshing to know that there are more kinds of intelligence than just traditional linguistic and mathematical ones. While people develop almost all types of intelligence on different stages of their lives, one or two are prevailing. It is important for a person to know what he or she is able to do the best and develop it to a higher level of mastery. A good command of some skills contributes to a high self-esteem and affects people in a positive way.