According to Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner, each of us possesses eight different intelligences, including (the terms of mine): Word Smart, Number/Logic, Music Smart, Body Smart, Picture Smart, People Smart, Nature Smart, and Self Smart.  Some of these intelligences are highly developed in us and others less developed.  Each of us has our own unique profile of how the intelligences play themselves out in our lives.

When we come together in an intimate relationship (e.g. marriage, living together, relative etc.), these intelligences come together too.  Sometimes there’s a harmony between them.  For example, a Number/Logic Smart husband and a People Smart wife.  The husband does the taxes and the wife organizes the social events for the family.  Everybody’s happy.  However, intelligences can also clash between couples.  For example, a Picture Smart person and a Body Smart roommate.  The Picture Smart individual wants to have a visually neat and ordered home while the Body Smart person wants to work out in the living room and have a messy workspace in the spare room.  Unless there’s good communication of needs, this could turn into a potential conflict.

Understanding one’s own profile of the eight intelligences, and comparing them with your significant other, could go a long way toward nipping problems in the bud and coming together to create an interpersonally ”whole” relationship which is more than the sum of its parts. You might want to take the multiple intelligences checklist I created and then have your significant other do the same.  Then talk about how your similarities and differences could play out in your daily interactions.  Viva la difference!  And that includes the multiple intelligences!

For more information about Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, get my practical guides to multiple intelligences for:

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Cover of book 7 Kinds of SmartBook cover of Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th edition by Thomas ArmstrongCover of book In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences

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I’m the author of 20 books including my latest, a novel called Childless, which you can order from Amazon.

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