Are There Really Only Two Types?

As I have written before; there is type A and type B, there are cat people and their are dog people, there are men and there are woman BUT even though we like to place everything we see into a this or that type category (thus our flawed two party system) that does not mean this is the only, or even the best, way to go. It is so easy to write off a person who thinks completely different than you as an idiot. However it is so much more complex than that. The world is not simple no matter how much we long for it to be, we need WAY more than two types of people, two patterns of thought, to keep our complex social pyramid from collapsing.

I’m sure saying that there are nine types of intelligence is still over simplifying the matter but none the less I recently read an article explaining this theory and it did seem to explain many characters that we have met throughout history.

  1. Linguistic intelligence is primarily focused on language skills. This type of intelligence produces the best writers and poets and orators. So perhaps this is where to but most historical icons.
  2. Logical-mathematical intelligence is focused on the ability to think analytically and discern patterns. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at math, but that you learn it more easily. That kid who was the shining star of your Logic class when everyone else struggled to understand the basics most likely has this type of thought process.
  3. Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence allows you to use your body more skillfully than others. So those people that can just make their body move perfectly with any beat. This also makes for great athletes of any kind, surgeons, and craftspeople.
  4. Spacial intelligence is most commonly experienced through thinking in images and being able to recall images and memories more easily. This intelligence is common among artists.
  5. Interpersonal intelligence is experienced in people who experience empathy more so than others. This intelligence enables you to identify with the experience others have. People with this kind of intelligence make great social workers, politicians, and teachers.
  6. Musical intelligence is characterized by the ability to remember music, pick up instruments easily, and appreciate features of music that others don’t hear. I have always envied these people the most.
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence is like interpersonal, but it’s more inwardly focused. You’re able to connect with yourself and your own feelings about things. You hold yourself as the priority, not others. Maybe people would call this selfish but really it just means that a person knows their own needs.
  8. Naturalist intelligence is an intelligence relating to the natural world. You understand the environment and often are able to learn easily what each kind of plant and animal is. I met a guy like this in a nature class once, he never wore shoes.
  9. Existential intelligence is the intelligence of deep-thinkers and philosophers. It moves people to question everything down to existence itself.

All my life I’ve reflected on how my decisions would make others feel rather than on how they would make me feel. I don’t know why really, I wouldn’t call myself an exceptionally moral individual or anything like that, it’s more that I just can’t stand conflict. So I do everything in my power to avoid it. I go out of my way to try and make my gifts or plans the most convenient for everybody. I guess that’s a type A thing…it gives me some feeling of control if I can at least allow the people around me to be happy.

So what is it that makes some people one way and the next guy another? Is our personality (intelligence) more or less set from birth, or are we all constantly changing in an array of different directions? Why are some people so anxious for either universal happiness or individual gain, while still others are not anxious about anything at all. From here on out I suppose that you could take either the nature or nurture theory; according to the nature side of the debate all genetic or other natural influences are responsible for the characteristics pertaining to an individual, while according to the nurture side the main contributing factor to how a person develops is made by the influence of the people and events that interact with that person throughout their life (yourdictionary). So basically you are who you are OR you are what life makes you. In my opinion both extremes take away personal responsibility too much to be correct, we’re all influenced a bit by nurture and a bit by nature in certain degrees.

I tend to cling to the nurture theory for one main reason, people change. Change is most often evidently brought about by change, for example a move in location or a traumatic event. Of course I do recognize that people are born into different surroundings and that they go on to live very different lives regardless of circumstance but I also recognize that as children we learn how to behave. Two people with very similar genes can, after all, grow up to be very different people. So in the end as a wise philosopher once told me everything depends. All the same I think it’s interesting to know a few main differences and to be able to determine where you are on the scale. If for no other reason, just to better understand yourself.


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