‘The Other Kind of Smart’: A GoodTherapy.org Review

The understanding of intelligence has been a pursuit adopted by many fields in the arts and sciences throughout time, with great effort and diligence poured into investigating what being smart really means, and how this attribute might best be measured. A great number of theories and methods have been developed over the years, some of which have been used in society to establish who is smart, or how smart they are, while others wait dormant in the laboratory or classroom to be more deeply explored. The desire to be smart is strong among the modern population, as such an attribute is widely associated with being happier, more productive, and, perhaps most attractively, better paid. In the face of such preoccupation with being or becoming smart, a book recently written by Harvey Deustchendorf, The Other Kind of Smart, suggests that the traditional conception of intelligence may leave out an important component of modern life: emotional intelligence.

The book explores the ways in which emotional intelligence has gained understanding in recent years as ideas about intelligence itself become more fragmented. A popular theory about the state of being smart suggests that there is not one but several ways in which people may be intelligent. This can extend to kinetic intelligence, social intelligence, analytical intelligence, and several other types. Emotional intelligence, while it may not have too much of a helping hand to lend in the presence of complex mathematical problems, may nevertheless be an attractive type of intelligence for its ability to propel people toward personal prosperity.

The book aims to bring knowledge about the importance of being emotionally intelligent to a wider audience, using ideas and examples that stretch from personal life to the working environment. Those who retain a high level of emotional intelligence, suggests the text, are in a much greater position to realize successful, happy relationships and to experience greater achievements and recognition in the workplace. The book may go a long way toward helping professionals and clients alike understand their intelligence in a whole new light.

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Rick


    September 3rd, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to control his emotions(to an extent) and to evaluate them before acting upon them. For example, you may feel like bashing someone up in a road-rage case, but doing so with any evaluation may and will get you into trouble.

    A person who is emotionally intelligent will first think of the consequences and only then act upon his emotions. This is a very good skill for anybody to have as having a higher emotional intelligence means that the person take better decisions in various situations.

  • Michael


    September 3rd, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    Emotions are an energy… an energy that make us act in a particular manner, to do a particular thing in a given situation. If we learn to control emotions effectively, we can achieve a lot. Some people suffer just because they are ’emotional fools’. If each one of us puts in a little effort in controlling our emotions, then there will be no ’emotional fools’ around and so will be the suffering and pain.

  • themuse


    September 3rd, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Controlling our emotions…you think that would be a good thing Michael? I get the feeling you mean to be unemotional rather than possessing some kind of restraint. Keeping all your emotions suppressed isn’t healthy. Emotions are not easily controlled either. They are an involuntary gut reaction.

    Being emotionally intelligent is a fine thing and we can all learn how to pause and consider our emotional reaction before taking action, but to be unemotional and control them would be a hollow way to live. Better a fool than a robot.

  • Steven


    September 5th, 2009 at 8:40 AM

    Think it is great that we are finally recognizing that everyone has his or her own strengths. While some may be book smart others may just be more people smart. What a great thing it would be to find someone with that perfect mix!

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