Intelligence, as a concept, is largely based on pattern recognition and the ability to learn quickly by deduction and example. This is, indeed, the entire basis of IQ tests. Then is it not so that a truly intelligent person should be socially and emotionally, as well as academically, adept? Social systems follow definite, if usually nonverbalized, roles (mores) and emotional expression follows consistent, if subtle, patterns. For example, it is almost always possible to deduce whether one’s friend is angry with one, and even that the reason is one’s recent assassination of her ex-girlfriend (for whatever it may be worth, I’m sorry; I don’t choose my commissions). This is a trivial example, though–such obvious cues are easy to register. More nuanced are the ways people say, or do not say, what they are thinking; the ways they say what others want to hear or deliberately deliver bad news; and the ways and ways they inflect their speech with voice and body. It takes clever pattern recognition and deduction to pick up on and interpret all these cues–likely moreso than, say, understanding mathematical problems that have been drilled into one’s head.
This is, essentially, the most intuitive form of intelligence because humans have evolved and trained one another to understand social cues without conscious thought. A person who is emotionally intelligent understands their own emotions as well as the emotions of others, and can use this to motivate themself (forgive the awkward construction on behalf of my indecision as to which gender-neutral singular pronoun to use) or others, the latter of which quality is oftentimes called charisma. Why, then, does it seem that there are so many more charismatic people than academically intelligent people? Or does it? At first I thought that our society might have higher standards for academic intelligence, but I realized that this, like all standards, is relative. The more emotionally intelligent we become as a whole, the more charismatic one must be to stand out–and this is as it should be. Yet the perfect intellect excels both in conscious and in unconscious pattern recognition.
Hackneyed as the sentiment has become in recent times, I think that emotional intelligence is by far the more important of the two. Not every job requires a lot of conscious thought or pattern recognition, but all require unconscious intelligence in the form of human interaction. Our society is at its root (aha, I made a pun!) social, and we all must participate to be of any use to the human race. And if you have no desire to be of use to the human race, Best Beloved, we shall simply have to agree to disagree on this subject.