The Best Couples are Equally Smart: 27 Types of Intelligence

Best Friends

Best Friends

What  happens when a couple experiences irritation because of intelligence mis-match? In Marriage Counseling, I feel responsible to ensure that a couple can respect each other as equals. So, even when our talents and intelligences don’t completely match, if we understand how our differences benefit the marriage, we can treasure our spouse or mate for bringing other abilities to our relationship and our life. My opinion is that this is the best foundation of being best friends in our intimate relationships.

When I’m asked about how many intelligences there are, this is my best information. I did research and found several systems of intelligences. The most widely-known comes from Dr. Howard Gardner’s seven intelligences. But there are broader definitions. I like to be comprehensive so that we don’t have blind spots in our understanding.

Multiple Intelligences

  1. PRACTICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in concrete examples and solve daily problems directly without necessarily being able to explain how; the tendency to survive or succeed through taking straightforward, responsive, concrete action. (Also called marketing, strategic or political intelligence — since it focuses on “the art of the possible” — or just common sense or simple effectiveness.)
  2. VERBAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think and communicate effectively and creatively with words; and to recognize, use and appreciate linguistic patterns.
  3. LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in terms of (and to appreciate) abstract parts, symbols and sequential relationships, conceptual regularities or numerical patterns, and to reach conclusions or construct things in an orderly way. (Also called rational, analytic or mathematical intelligence.)
  4. ASSOCIATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in non-sequential associations — similarities, differences, resonances, meanings, relationships, etc. — and to create (and appreciate) totally new patterns and meanings out of old ones.
  5. SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to visualize, appreciate and think in terms of pictures and images; to graphically imagine possibilities; and to observe, understand, transform and orient oneself in visual reality. (Also called pictorial or imaginative intelligence.)
  6. INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know directly, to perceive and appreciate whole or hidden patterns beyond (or faster than) logic.
  7. MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE is the capacity to perceive, appreciate, resonate with, produce and productively use rhythms, melodies, and other sounds.
  8. AESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to produce, express, communicate and appreciate in a compelling way inner, spiritual, natural and cultural realities and meanings. (This can include aspects of verbal, musical and spatial intelligences.)
  9. BODY INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate, and utilize one’s own body — movement, manual dexterity, tactile sensitivity, physical responsiveness and constraints; to create and think in terms of physiological patterns; to maintain physical health; and to relate to or meet the needs of others’ bodies. (Also called kinesthetic or somatic intelligence.)
  10. INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, understand, think about, relate to and utilize other people’s subjective states, and to estimate their likely behavior. This includes, especially, empathy.
  11. SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to work with others and find identity and meaning in social engagement; to perceive, think, and deal in terms of multi-person patterns, group dynamics and needs, and human communities; it includes a tendency towards cooperation and service. (Also called team intelligence.)
  12. AFFECTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to be affected by, connected to or resonant with people, ideas, experiences, aesthetics, or any other aspect of life; to experience one’s liking or disliking of these things; and to use one’s affinities in decision-making and life.
  13. MOOD INTELLIGENCE is the ability to fully experience any mood as it happens (without having to judge it or do anything about it), to learn from it, and to move out of it at will — especially to generate resilience.
  14. MOTIVATIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know and to work with what moves you; to sense, think and initiate in terms of needs, wants, will, courage, responsibility and action — one’s own and others. (This can include that aspect of mood intelligence that can marshal emotions in the service of a goal.)
  15. INTRA-PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, access and deal with one’s own subjective (or inner) world. (This can include aspects of affectional, mood, motivational and body intelligences.)
  16. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to experience, think and deal with emotional patterns in oneself and others. (This can include aspects of interpersonal, intra-personal, affectional, mood and motivational intelligences.)
  17. BASIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to move toward what is healthy and desirable and away from what is unhealthy or undesirable. (This can use affectional and practical intelligences, or be almost automatic and instinctual.)
  18. BEHAVIORAL PATTERN INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s own behavioral patterns, including compulsions, inhibitions and habits.
  19. PARAMETER INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create and sustain order and predictability — to recognize, establish, sustain, and change rhythms, routines/rituals, boundaries, guiding principles/values/beliefs, etc., in one’s own life.
  20. HABIT INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s habits (which naturally embraces many aspects of behavioral and parameter intelligence).
  21. ORGANIZING INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create order in one’s own life and in other lives/groups/systems. (This can include aspects of parameter, team/social, and logical intelligences)
  22. SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate and think with spiritual and moral realities and patterns — to operate from an awareness of ultimate common ground (consciousness, spirit, nature, or some other sacred dimension). (This is usually dependent on intra-personal intelligence.) (Also called moral or transcendental intelligence.)
  23. NARRATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, know, think, feel, explain one’s experience and influence reality through the use of stories and narrative forms (characters, history, myth, dreams, scenarios, etc.).
  24. ECO-INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, appreciate, think and feel with, and utilize natural patterns and one’s place in nature, and to empathize with and sustain healthy relationships with animals, plants and natural systems.
  25. Existential Intelligence – Deep Question Clever: Life is your mystery – you have to solve it. “Why?” is your favorite question, and the bigger the question, the better. Learning needs to be deep and wide for you.
  26. Spiritual Intelligence – God Clever: You know there is more than mind. You let intuition guide your life. Synchronicity and soul are known to you. You don’t need proof, faith is enough for you. Learning is revealed.
  27. Moral Intelligence – is the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right. There are seven main points that build someone’s moral intelligence, such as empathy, conscience, self-control, respect for others, kindness, tolerance, and fairness.

Another way of looking at our talents:

Streams of Development

  1. Emotional
  2. Kinesthetic
  3. Morality
  4. Creativity
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Gender
  7. Sexuality
  8. Empathy
  9. Relational
  10. Cognitive
  11. Spiritual
  12. Contemplative
  13. Politics

Here are my best sources:

  • Howard Gardner (Frames of Mind , 1983),
  • Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence, 1995),
  • Jennifer James (Thinking in the Future Tense, 1996),
  • Thomas Armstrong (Seven Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences, 1993),
  • Elaine De Beauport (The Three Faces of Mind: Developing Your Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Intelligences, 1996)
  • Peter Koestenbaum (The Heart of Business, 1987).

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