[callout]Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.[/callout]

Although I often write about the intelligences one at a time as if they show up separately for us as we need them, it’s rare they ever work alone. If you’ve read the last eight posts about what makes each of these smarts good, perhaps you’ve had that thought. Good for you!

For instance, the word-smart part of your brain may always be active because thinking without words is uncommon. For example, when you think with visuals and your eyes, using the picture-smart part of your brain, you’re most likely also thinking with words. You either talk to yourself and/or others about what you’re seeing. Is this true for you?

As I wrote about back on April 22nd,  the combination of self smart and people smart can be especially interesting. Two weeks ago, I wrote that “People-smart people think with other people. Their ideas are affirmed, fine-tuned, and strengthened through discussion.” One week ago, I wrote that “Self-smart people think alone with reflection, deeply inside of themselves.” So, what happens if both of these are strengths?

You may be confused and you may confuse and even frustrate others. 🙂

  • One day, you need people to think with and want the energy. The next, you’re better off alone with your thoughts and you crave quiet and peace.
  • One day, you welcome other people who want to bounce ideas off of you. The next, you react negatively, explaining that you were right in the middle of your own important thoughts.
  • One day, you’re an effective team member as you add much to a group discussion at work, school, or church. The next, you attend a meeting, but are quiet not contributing much at all.

You also may delight yourself and others. ☺

  • One day, you listen intently to others and contribute clarifying wisdom. And, because you think deeply about your thoughts, you’re able to ask a question that drives others to an important conclusion.
  • One day, because you’re self smart, you look over an agenda in advance so you arrive at a meeting with some thoughts ready to share. As people begin discussing options, you know when it’s best to share yours because you use your people-smart skills to observe for the best timing.
  • One day, you’re able to handle having nothing to share at a meeting while others advance the cause well. You enjoy affirming them knowing that you were wise to not talk when you had nothing new to add to the discussion.

Do you see the advantages of having strengths in both people and self smart? Although it can be internally confusing and hard for others until they get to know you, it’s a wonderful combination. Your self-smart abilities help you know what you know. The people-smart strengths help you share it.

If this is you, tell others. Let them know how you think best and what helps you. This will empower them to prepare you best and work with you best whether this is in relationships at home or at work. This can decrease any frustration they may have. And, you’ll feel better, too, because you’ll be comfortable and successful. It’s a win-win!

What about your children? Might this be their combination? I can almost guarantee, based on conversations I’ve had with some, that they’re often confused and troubled by their own behavior. They don’t understand why they want to hang with their siblings one day and not the next. They are interactive and into all their friends one day at school and not the next. That whole day, they just feel like they want to escape. Talk with them about this and increase their self-confidence. You can do it!