Part 2: The 9 Types of Intelligence

Welcome to Part 2 of my 3-part series on the 9 different types of intelligence.

In Part 1, we talked about how I think there is a need for us to appreciate all the different types of intelligence that we observe in people--and especially in ourselves.

I think that too often we get told that only one type of intelligence is valuable. Doing well on tests, scoring high on your SATs, or even having a high IQ--these are what our society values and how we are segmented into either “good” or “bad.”

I think all that is bullshit.

That’s why I started this series. I want to explore and celebrate all 9 of the different types of intelligence because they each have their place and they are all important.

I had such a huge and positive response to my first article about Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, and Musical Intelligence.

You can read the whole thing here.

In that previous article, we discovered how Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is geared for problem solving and logical reasoning. These types of people gravitate towards the math, science, and technology sectors.

The Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence describes people who have the ability to control their bodies and objects in precise and powerful ways. These people are typically athletes and excel at physical types of activities.

With Musical Intelligence we looked at geniuses like Prince, Bob Dylan, and Kanye West as examples of people who have this ability to create music, master instruments, and also have an added awareness of the sounds, rhythms, and audio patterns in our word.

I’ve been itching to post this article for you guys to check out because we’re going to cover 3 more super-fascinating types of intelligence.

In this article, we're looking at:

  • Verbal-Linguistic
  • Interpersonal
  • Naturalistic

So let’s get straight into it.

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence

To put this type of intelligence simply: it means being good with words, both written and spoken. We all have this type of intelligence to an extent. If you’re reading this then your literacy means you’ve developed this intelligence to an extent. When you compose an email, a letter, a blog, or even a text, you are exercising this type of intelligence to communicate your thoughts and feelings using words.

People that are extraordinarily gifted in this area are obviously writers, journalists, novelists, speech writers, or even politicians. 

But there are other ways that this type of intelligence can be expressed and utilized. People who love to read, solve crossword puzzles, play word games, and talk around the dinner table will also have a high degree of verbal-linguistic intelligence. They may also enjoy keeping a journal and writing letters to their friends and family members.

I can tell you from starting this blog that having the chance to challenge myself by increasing my verbal-linguistic intelligence has been incredible.

If you think you can’t write or if you think you’re bad with words, let me challenge you start keeping a journal.

First, it’s private so you don’t have to get past the hurdle of having thousands of people read what you write.

Second, I believe that we as humans are storytellers. We’re constantly telling ourselves stories in our heads and we all can instantly connect with a story through movies, conversations, or books. Being able to write down your own story is a valuable skill to have and is something that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Third, keeping a journal is also a form of personal discovery and healing. It’s incredibly therapeutic. You can write down all the shit that happens in your life and relieve some of the pressure and issues you might be facing in your personal development.

Interpersonal Intelligence

Having a high interpersonal intelligence means that you relate well to other people and that you can manage your relationships well.

Now, having a high degree of interpersonal intelligence does not mean that you are automatically an extrovert.

Similarly, being an extrovert does not mean that you have good interpersonal skills.

Think of a person that loves being the center of attention but no one actually wants to talk to them.

Extroversion simple means that you naturally enjoy spending time with people; it “charges” you up.

However, extroverts and introverts can both have high or low degrees of interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills also does not mean that you are just good at talking to people.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who just talks and talks about themselves? You probably didn’t leave that conversation with a positive view of that person.

Having high interpersonal skills means that:

  • You genuinely care about people
  • You listen intently to them
  • You pay attention to their facial expressions, their tone of voice, especially their body language to learn more about how they’re really feeling. 

This type of intelligence is highly valuable in almost every situation in life. From schools and business to relationships and conflict resolution, having a well-developed interpersonal intelligence will serve you very, very well. 

People that have high degrees of interpersonal intelligence are Barack Obama, David Letterman, and Joe Rogan. 

Naturalistic Intelligence

The last type of intelligence we’ll look at in this article is Naturalistic intelligence.

This is a very unique type of intelligence and one that not many people choose to develop or teach themselves.

Naturalistic intelligence is the ability to understand living things and to “read” nature.

At its core, naturalistic intelligence is the ability and the desire to find patterns in chaos and to organize and categorize information.

People with a high degree of naturalistic intelligence may be drawn to collecting rocks or geodes, hiking, exploring, bird watching, Boy Scouts, or other types of nature groups.

There are tons of different jobs for people with a high level of naturalistic intelligence. Botanists, veterinarians, geologists, anthropologists, nature photographers, and even golf course designers and landscape architects.

People like Bear Grylls, John Muir, Charles Darwin, and probably even poets and authors like Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman--all of these people exhibit a high degree of naturalistic intelligence that served them very well.

You also see this type of intelligence in outdoor sporting events like surfing, where people’s ability to interact with nature influences their success.

As you can see, there are an endless variety of ways to implement and apply your specific type of intelligence.

I don’t give a fuck about your SAT score, your GPA, your IQ, or how well you can take a test.

To me, those are meaningless measurements. They are artificial categorizations that anyone can be trained to master very quickly.

True intelligence, in my opinion, is the ability to recognize which types of intelligence you naturally have woven in your DNA and then to train and explore those for your own massive success and happiness.

That is true intelligence to me.

Being able to successfully take a test is literally worthless to me. Being able to explore yourself and improve yourself through self-discipline and self-learning to master your particular environment--that is what actual intelligence looks like to me.