Intelligence Meaning – What Everyone Should Know

Intelligence MeaningToday I decided to write another special post about intelligence meaning, because I believe it is very important for our personal development to know what intelligence really means.

Most of the people are confused and they often feel discouraged or inferior, because they think they don’t meet “the standards of intelligence”.

After you read this post, you will obtain a new perspective, a realistic one.

So make yourself comfortable and enjoy the reading!

The Best Definition For “Intelligence”

The definition of intelligence is very controversial and so many people have tried, over the years, to offer the best one. However, the concept is still unclear and as you go with the reading you will understand why.

For now, let’s focus on a simple definition. I did so many searches to find the one that is the closest to reality, of course, from my perspective, and I ended up with two definitions.

1. From “Mainstream Science on Intelligence” (1994) – an opinion editorial statement in The Wall Street Journal signed by 52 researches:

Intelligence Meaning“Intelligence is a very general mental capability, that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is nor merely book learning, a narrow academic skill or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings – catching on, making sense of things or figuring out what to do.” – source: Wikipedia

2. From “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” (1995) – a report published by The Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association:

“Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of “intelligence” are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions and none commands universal assent.” – source: Wikipedia

I found these two definitions the ones that suit better. I also think they somehow complement each other.

Now let’s get closer to the types of intelligence.

There Are Two Main Kinds Of Intelligence

Kinds Of IntelligenceThe two main kinds of intelligence are the RATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (IQ) and the EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ). I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard about these two.

It is often said that people have more one than the other, depending on their experiences, their education, their interests and even on their inborn “skills”.

It is also believed that women tend to be more emotional intelligent than men, who are more rational intelligent, but, seen that intelligence depends on so many factors, this can’t be a general rule.

On the other side, I believe intelligence is exactly the perfect balance between rational intelligence and emotional intelligence.

We don’t understand each other only because we use the same language. There is another type of connection that creates between two people when they communicate through words. It is called empathy.

And maybe the main reason of why people are confused about intelligence is the fact that almost any type of education we receive (in school, at university etc) is based on rational intelligence. We are too busy to solve problems and accumulate information, so we forget to really understand things and to extend our interests on ourselves, on our emotions and on what others feel. The emotional intelligence is very underrated even if it is actually more important than the first one.

Before any conclusions, let’s have a closer look on their meaning.

Rational Intelligence (IQ)

Rational IntelligenceRational intelligence represents the ability to solve problems using logical arguments, proofs and information. It can be measured by standardized tests – IQ tests.

Rational intelligence depends on insight, which is the ability to detect, establish, forecast and modulate relationships between things and phenomena. It shows as the ability to recognize the relationship between cause and effect and to solve problems.

According to statistical research, emotional competence is twice as important as technical or intellectual abilities. One who has a high IQ, but a low EQ will not succeed.

The next paragraph will make you understand why.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control and express your emotions, to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.

Emotional Intelligence contains four elements:

  • Emotional Intelligencebetter understanding of your own emotions
  • effective management of your own emotions and a significant increase in quality of life
  • better understanding of those around you and a high level of cohabitation
  • creating better relationships at all levels with others and increasing productivity and personal image

Components of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self-awareness – determining strengths and limitations; awareness of emotions and their effects on behavior, as well as their impact on others; behavior analysis from an introspective perspective;
  • Emotion management – obtaining skills to effectively deal with stress and frustration; to be flexible and want to adapt to change
  • Own image and self-motivation – developing a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the ability to meet demands; motivation by internal factors such as the need to achieve and the need for personal development

Social abilities:

  • active listening
  • input in relation to what others feel (to empathize with others)
  • preventing a negative influence of emotional factors on listening ability
  • the ability to easily express your point of view and interests without anxiety and without denying others
  • the ability to manage conflicts

The benefits of Emotional Intelligence:

  • increased performance
  • improved motivation
  • increased innovation
  • trust
  • efficient leadership and management
  • excellent teamwork

As you can see, the emotional intelligence is the base of personal and professional success. We often believe that having lots of information and arguments makes us intelligent, but actually this isn’t enough.

Real intelligence consists in the ability to really understand, assimilate and feel that information. It is the competence to take advantage of fails, to be positive, to really understand the others and help them, to create, to be motivated and self-aware.

Real intelligence means to find balance in every aspect of our lives, from what we eat to how we relate to others and how we want to succeed.

I like to say that, in a general form, rational intelligence stands for “what we want to do” and emotional intelligence stands for “how we want to do it” and together, they make a great and invincible team.

Intelligence is life itself and I want to end this post with a great video of Leo. I recommend you to watch until the end. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have anything to add or ask about intelligence, feel free to leave a comment below. Blessings!



  1. I love how you slam the notion that ‘having lots of information and arguments makes us intelligent’, because I know a few people who think that this, coupled with speaking louder than everyone else, means that they are somehow more intelligent than everyone else. Also, while everyone seems to be obsessed with everyone’s IQ and would rate their intelligence on this alone, I like how you actually believe that it’s really a combination of both IQ and EQ. They compliment each other and are necessary to each other. Great post, thank you!

    • Hello, Jyl!

      Well, everything is about balance, in every field, situation etc. Same works for IQ and EQ. We need them both, not only to be considered intelligent, but for ourselves. I believe that our main responsibility is to became a better person everyday, for us and for the ones around us. 

      We should try to stop feeding our egos by proving and argumenting everything. Life is more beautiful when you accept the opinions of others as new perspectives, rather than judging them. This is true intelligence.

      Thank you so much for your comment, Jyl! Blessings!

  2. Great post on the meaning of intelligence, specifically the differences and importance of the two pillars of intelligence. 

    I pay great mind to EQ (Emotional Intelligence) in that I work as a sales trainer. One of the most difficult aspects of my job is to 1) transfer rational knowledge to my trainees in a way that is effective (or sticks) and 2) instill in them that in order for them to transfer that learned knowledge into an impactful and successful sales interaction, they need to focus on most elements of EQ. Specifically, being an active listener to their customers, increased self awareness (or how they will affect an outcome on a situation), and how to work with others. 

    You were right in your post by claiming that EQ is vastly underrated in terms of success or intelligence. You can learn every rational bit of information in a book or guide, but if you do not know how to use it, employ it, or share it with peers, you will be left with nothing but information.

    • Hello, Trent!

      That’s perfectly right! Today we can find any kind of info anywhere and anytime, so having info is not a result of struggle anymore. We should focus on our souls and on our abilities of really understanding what’s going on around us. Our human nature needs real relationships and real understanding.

      Thank you for your great comment! Blessings!

  3. Well, this actually very dynamic in many ways I have always taken intelligence in one you have very learned to intelligent let me ask the question should we say an intelligent as a wise person.? You actually have something to think about regarding our intelligence, if for example a woman is emotionally intelligent and still she has very high  IQ   how you categorize that lady.?

    • Hey, Charles!

      Well, yes. A real intelligent person is also a wise person. Actually the word “intelligence” should mean wisdom, IQ, EQ, understanding and balance, all of them together. People are confused and believe intelligence means having info, being able to prove and argue. But this means nothing, if there is no real understanding and no real connection between people.

      Why we should catagorize everything? A woman that is emotionally intelligent and has a very high IQ, could be catagorized as an intelligent woman, but this doesn’t mean that an emotionally intelligent woman that has a low IQ is stupid. The emotional intelligence is actually the one that gives us real answers and the one that brings personal and professional success. A very high IQ alone doesn’t mean anything. 

      Thank you for your comment, Charles! I hope my answer will be useful to you. Blessings!

  4. An educative post about intelligence .both rational  intelligence and the emotional intelligence is a two important intelligence to have as a human being to balance your day to day activities.but emotional intelligence seems to be more important because it give human the ability to do more. Thanks for the eyes opener on intelligence 

    • Hey there!

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my post and yes, you’re right! Emotional intelligence is the most important. It brings real success, real happiness and real love in our lives.

      Blessings and thanks for your comment!

  5. Does it mean that nobody can be emotionally intelligent and at the same time rationally intelligent at the same capacity without one inhibiting the other. I think these two types of intelligence works hand in hand and they are not on two parallel lines. A man can be emotionally intelligent and has the capacity to handle interpersonal relationships very well and at the same time he is rationally intelligent.

    • Hey there!

      Well, my post is exactly about this: balance between emotional intelligence and rational intelligence. If you take a closer look, you will see I never said that one exclude the other. I also recommend you to watch the video. You will find quality info there.

      Thanks for your comment, Kenechi! Blessings!

  6. I always thought that intelligence is all about rational. I didn’t know that it also represents emotional strength too. I was considered to be dumb or unintelligent by teachers and friends during my childhood due to my poor performance in subjects like science and mathematics. 

    I used to feel depressed and unwanted. But I did well in my career despite having a good academic sore. I think I am intelligent too.

    • Hey, Sanjay!

      Well that’s one of the biggest problems of our society. They force kids to accumulate all the same info and they want them all to “succeed” by using that info, which is impossible. 

      More than that, the kid who will have “bad results” will be considered unapt or even stupid. This is so wrong and I hate it, even if I had good results at school. Having good results at school means nothing, if you are not able to really understand yourself, the others and life. 

      What’s the point of “being always right” if you can’t really understand what happiness is, what love is, how it feels when you make someone happy, how it feels when you take a deep breath and you are curious to see what life has to offer next, when you fail but you know it is not permanent, when you are able to stay positive no matter what, when you are risking, pushing yourself, when one single person with one single smile can change your mood and make you realize that life is the most perfect and beautiful thing that could ever exist? What’s the point of “knowing” if you can’t feel anything? If “being a machine” means intelligence, then I wish to stay the dumbest person in the world for my entire life! 

      And of course you are intelligent, Sanjay! The people who told you you’re not, have nothing to do with reality. Thank you so much for your comment! Blessings and success!

  7. Hello Anna, very interesting your article, I have never done such a deep analysis of intelligence, very good to know what you wrote in the article, I enjoyed reading your article.You helped me understand some things I did not think it would be necessary to know.

    Have a nice day!


  8. This is a very interesting topic about intelligence. I’ve already heard about the existence of EQ, but just recently realized that EQ is very important to balance IQ. Most of the successful people that I know (at least, around my workplace) don’t have good academics score. Some even dropouts of college. But they are a lot more successful compared to those with high academics score. 

    Do you think it is better to have high EQ rather than high IQ? Achieving balance is normally the best thing for intelligence, but sometimes I saw some people really struggle to attain good rational intelligence in their life (academics or problem solving in the work).

    Also, have you heard about Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)? I heard this is about intelligence of rationalizing morale, but maybe you have more knowledge about it.

  9. Hey there!

    Well, I consider that emotional intelligence is more important than rational intelligence, but actually the best thing someone can do in a lifetime is to find balance between both of them. Actually, balance is the key to a happy life.

    Spiritual intelligence is somehow emotional intelligence, because it represents the ability to know yourself, to accept yourself and to love yourself and the others. I like to keep it simple and I believe that terms tend to create confusion most of the time. We shouldn’t give that much importance to the terms, but we shoult try to really understand their meaning.

    If you try to do some searches, you will find out that emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence are actually the same. 

    Thank you so much for your comment! Blessings!

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