The Difference Between Intelligence And Intuition

Let me tell you about a huge, huge mistake that people make when they’re learning to type others. Because too many get caught up in people’s intelligence, social competence, and empathy. Are you going to be a judge for people’s skills or are you going to type based on people’s identity or behavior? I have found that there are an abundance of highly intelligent men and women who are frequently mistyped as rational types regardless of their actual preferences. Similarly, many famous people of great empathy are often mistyped as feeling types, regardless of what their actual interests are. Intelligence and intuition are not completely related.

Too often, we assume type refers to skill, but then we forget that there are plenty of people who share our personality type that lack the skills and abilities we possess. Skill – intelligence – empathy – is an entirely different dimension outside the traditional personality types. Personality has more to do with health, motivation, and what captures our attention the most. Here’s how you can tell the difference. Social competence, empathy, intelligence, and practical know-how can be developed. But this does not change your type or your personal interests and motivations. Intelligence is a skill. Intuition is a preference. So let’s talk about this.

Rationalism (NT)

The rational type enjoys focusing their mental resources within a set field or employing objective standards to control and direct their thoughts. The keyword here is enjoys – prefers – likes – is refreshed by. If the person finds the above tiresome, stressful, annoying, tedious, then they’re not rational types. Type explains your interests. It explains why you’re stressed – because you’re engaging in the wrong activities. And it shows you how you can be happier. Intelligence and intuition is a coincidental relationship, in the sense that intuitives benefit more from developing their intelligence, while sensors benefit more from developing know-how. But a sensor can be highly intelligent if they desire to be. And an intuitive isn’t necessarily that intelligent, if they haven’t practised this ability.

The preference (To achieve great success)

  • The less obvious something is, the more interesting.
  • The less you know about a subject, the more interesting
  • And generally, the more complex a challenge, the more motivating
  • Things that take some time to understand are more enjoyable
  • Usually, the more depth to a conversation, the more stimulating it is

The ability (Intelligence)

  • Things that appear obvious to other people are simple to you.
  • You can easily tackle something even when you know very little about it.
  • Things that others find complex or difficult appear simple to you.
  • Things that others take a long time to understand, you understand quickly.
  • Conversations that others find deep, you can find shallow

But intelligence is not the only key to being a successfull NT. You may also benefit from developing your empathy and your practical know-how.

Idealism (NF)

The idealistic type, in difference with the rational type, dislikes focusing their imagination. They prefer free flow thinking, mind wandering, daydreaming, and open-ended discussions. They freely enjoy and pursue hobbies that serve no practical purpose, simply for recreative purposes. An NF with low empathy will take a longer time to grasp these hobbies, and will find things more complex than the highly empathic NF, but they’ll still share a similar interest. A low empathy NF can compensate by showing high social competence, intelligence, or practical expertise, though the last one is most rare.

The preference (To have a rich and meaningful life)

  • Generally, the more free or unformal a situation, the more enjoyable
  • The more you’re allowed to be yourself, the more motivated you are
  • Ideally, the more free or open a conversation, the more interesting
  • The more personal a conversation topic, the more stimulating
  • The more depth to the experience, the more refreshing

An intuitive feeler is someone who enjoys and is motivated by activities that engage intuition and feeling processes.

The ability (Empathy)

  • Situations that appear liberated to others appear predictable to you
  • You’re more aware of people who try to control or limit people’s self-expression
  • Conversations that others appear free or open, you notice have boundaries
  • Stories that other people believe are personal, you notice are fake
  • Experiences that other people believe to be meaningful, you find dull

Empathy is in part influenced by intelligence (and logical / deductive skills) which influence their ability to read other people and to understand social motives. But it also affects social skills and creativity.

Empathy and intelligence and type

Communitarianism (SF)

A communitarian (SF) type can have low or high social competence, but regardless, they will still enjoy social situations. They’ll want to build a community, they’ll want to belong, they’ll want to fit in, and they’ll try to master the cues. Maybe they’ll have other skills – for example practical expertise, or empathy, to compensate. But that won’t change their preference.

The preference (To be a part of the community)

  • The more socially stimulating a situation, the more enjoyable
  • The more everyone fits in with the group, the more pleasant it is to be there
  • And the more in place your life feels, the more rewarded you feel
  • Generally, the more you feel that you make sense and matter, the more refreshed you feel
  • The more entertained and connected you feel, the more stimulated you feel

The ability (Social competence)

  • You have an easier time noticing if someone is rude or respectless
  • It’s easy for you to understand social norms and ethics
  • You’re more aware of if someone is acting strange
  • You find it easy to spot if someone is dressing in an improper way
  • You find it easy to know how to make people feel at home

In order, SFs tend to show the highest social awareness of all types, but they can also display high expertise within a set field or high empathy if need be.

Traditionalists (ST)

Lastly, the STs ideally want to have high practical expertise within a field. Typhically, they will want to master a skill or a craft. They’ll want to be the very best, like no-one ever was… But mastery takes time, and some are less expertful than others. More competent STs may say “That’s no ST – they lack the professionalism! They struggle with simple things, but hey, they may have many other gifts, and give them a few years, and you’ll be a fossil, and the student will surpass the master.

The preference (To be worthy of respect and admiration)

  • The more knowledge you have about a subject, the more you enjoy engaging in it
  • And usually, the more you can contribute to society, the more rewarded you feel
  • And the more you understand a topic, the more stimulating it is
  • The better you get at an activity, the more you like to engage in it
  • The more you understand about a subject, the more refreshing it is to see it confirmed

The skill (Competence)

  • A subject or craft that others find difficult, you’re a professional at
  • Things others find difficult to do, seem simple to you
  • Topics that others don’t understand, you’re an expert at
  • You’re better at your craft than most other people
  • You have a higher standard of professionalism than less competent people

Let’s talk more about intelligence and intuition, and let’s discuss how skills are different from type. If you want, with practice, you can become better at anything you do. But if you don’t have the motivation or energy to pursue it, you won’t succeed. So what do you want to be good at? Tap into your passions and start making your passion your main skill.

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Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn't limit or mistype you.

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