Tag: "giftedness"

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

High Ability, High Sensitivity, High Anxiety

“All forms of self-expression that tap into curiosities, talents or deeply held interests, when pursued to excellence, are deeply nourishing.” That quote by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD is from his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement. There are many deeply rewarding aspects of being gifted and talented, creative, with exceptional […]

Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious

Michele Kane, Ed.D., gave a presentation on Stress and Anxiety: Helping Gifted Kids Cope – which also has helpful perspectives for us adults. She points out that stress is universal and experienced by everyone, and that “Being bright, talented, creative, motivated, smart, ambitious, and even good looking can add to the stress in your life.” […]

The creative personality - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner

The creative personality – “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner

The excellent TV series “Mad Men” is a drama about the lives – both inner and outer – of executives, writers and secretaries in an advertising agency in the 1960s. It has garnered numerous Emmys and other awards. The show was profiled in a magazine article by Bruce Handy, who writes that “at its core […]

Developing multiple talents is an adventure - but not a sure thing

Developing multiple talents is an adventure – but not a sure thing

In this American Express commercial, Liz Lemon of the tv comedy series “30 Rock” (played by Tina Fey, who is also the creator and a writer of the show) is called on for a series of executive and creative decisions, as well as being a mom. As a multitalented, multitasking marvel, Lemon handles the demands […]

Gifted relationships: On Being "Too Much" to the Right of the Curve

Gifted relationships: On Being “Too Much” to the Right of the Curve

Posted by Cat Robson For most of my life, finding friends and work that honored my intensity and intelligence wasn’t an issue for me. I thought I was just weird and damaged and that my loneliness was deserved. “Calm down,” “You take things too seriously,” “You’re so intense.” Most people seem calm and unphased by […]

Adult Underachievement

Adult Underachievement

The ‘gifted’ label & the pressure to deliver – In his book “Your Own Worst Enemy..” psychologist Kenneth W. Christian, PhD delineates some of the most prominent patterns of thinking and behavior he has found that may lead to undermining and underachievement as adults. He notes, “Without explicit demands and support, being labeled ‘bright’ or […]

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

Elaine Aron: Is high sensitivity the same as giftedness?

In one of her newsletter articles, Elaine Aron addressed the differences between giftedness and sensitivity, in both children and adults. She wrote about being the invited speaker at a conference on developing gifted children, and comments: As I discussed my talk with the organizer, Linda Silverman, I realized that in her opinion high sensitivity was […]

Does Perfectionism Help You Be More Creative?

Does Perfectionism Help You Be More Creative?

Perfectionism can be experienced as an intense drive toward excellence – or as a pathological obsession that impedes spontaneous imagination and creative play. In her post Blogging My Way Through Perfectionism, Lisa Rivero comments about Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, author of The Gifted Adult: “Jacobsen differentiates between pathologically perfectionistic obsessions or compulsions, on the one hand, and […]

 Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

Challenging stereotypes of giftedness: What Makes You Gifted?

I used to think I couldn’t be gifted because I didn’t fit my image of gifted people: geniuses, successful, ambitious, confident, comfortable with themselves and basking in adulation. I figured because my personality often elicited criticism from others it meant I was hopelessly inadequate and flawed. Surely not gifted. But what really makes us gifted? […]

The Gifted Ex-Child

The Gifted Ex-Child

Qualities of giftedness show up early in life and continue as an adult – characteristics such as being perfectionistic; persevering with interests; being an avid reader; having a vivid imagination and persistent curiosity; being highly sensitive and other traits. [See Self-tests : giftedness / high ability.] [Also see page on site of Deborah Ruf, PhD: […]

Higher IQ but still with challenges

Higher IQ but still with challenges

Victoria Cowie, 11, scored 162 on the adult admission tests for Mensa, above the IQ scores thought to have been achieved by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Her father cites one example showing how uncommon she is: “When she was just three years old we were sitting in a cafe and she turned […]

Woman interrupted: misdiagnosis and medication of sensitivity and giftedness

Woman interrupted: misdiagnosis and medication of sensitivity and giftedness

By Cat Robson. What makes creative and highly sensitive people accept, and even welcome, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or other mental illness? Are psychiatrists equipped to recognize and support creativity, high sensitivity and giftedness? Who determines where creative intensity ends and mental illness begins? Do medications put our creativity and sensitivity at risk? Over […]

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

Nerds. Is it OK to have a beautiful mind?

A review by The Week magazine of the book “Nerds” notes the term was used by Dr. Seuss in one of his books in 1950. “Its actual definition has had shifting boundaries, says book author child psychologist David Anderegg. “Today it connotes ’some combination of school success, interest in precision, un-self-consciousness, closeness to adults, and […]

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Some saw me as a person with rare insight, others thought I was crazy.

Those kinds of mixed reactions [in the title] are not so unusual for exceptional, gifted and talented children and adults. “I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion. The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was persona […]

Daniel Tammet on Labels and Intelligence

Daniel Tammet on Labels and Intelligence

An author with autistic savant syndrome, Daniel Tammet thinks the astounding abilities he has, such as being able to recite 22,514 digits of pi from memory, are not due to some cerebral or genetic fluke, but based on an associative form of thinking and imagination. He thinks differences between savant and non-savant minds have been […]

Too Much Perfectionism

Too Much Perfectionism

“Were it not for perfectionism, we would be in short supply of all those myriad human activities we deem extraordinary, excellent, outstanding or great in quality.” Psychologist Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D. continues: “Once upon a time perfectionism was perceived not as neurosis, but rather as a sign of commitment, caring, and devotion to one’s work…” […]

Giftedness, sensitivity and psychiatric drugs: why do we take them and why do we quit?

Giftedness, sensitivity and psychiatric drugs: why do we take them and why do we quit?

By Cat Robson What are some of the considerations that lead sensitive and gifted adults to take psychiatric medications? What are some of the reasons people stop taking medications? What are the alternatives? My inner life, and sometimes my outer life, is painful/chaotic/confusing. The DSM symptoms list for certain mental illnesses seem to fit me […]

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on unrecognized giftedness and identity

Admit your gifts: Willem Kuipers on unrecognized giftedness and identity

Embracing our identity as gifted and talented is not easy for many of us to do. Why is this so tough? What beliefs about giftedness get in our way? What leads to unrecognized giftedness for so many people? In his article “How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own and Somebody Else’s,” excerpted below, […]

Surprised to be gifted: the inner world of unrecognized giftedness

Surprised to be gifted: the inner world of unrecognized giftedness

In her post “to my surprise…” on her site Temporary Reality, “neighbor” wrotes about the experience of growing up gifted that many of us can relate to. [The site is apparently offline or removed.] Here is an excerpt – published here by permission: When I was little I was labelled Gifted.  God, it sounds so […]

Michael Jackson and Dabrowski Excitabilities

Michael Jackson and Dabrowski Excitabilities

Psychomotor Overexcitability is a “surplus of energy, pressure for action, restlessness, impulsive actions, competitiveness, sleeplessness.” Stephanie Tolan notes the original Polish word can be translated more literally as “superstimulatabilities” and “involves not just psychological factors but central nervous system sensitivity.” Michael Jackson exemplified a number of these qualities as a singer and dancer. See video and more […]

The gifted adult personality - too much for others?

The gifted adult personality – too much for others?

In her post Giftedness in the workplace (on the Talent Psychology site), Dr. Mary E. Jacobsen writes about some of the social challenges of being exceptional and intense, and gifted adults not understanding their own minds and unique characteristics. “No matter how brilliant they may be, gifted adults who have received inaccurate or scant information […]

Multipotentiality: multiple talents, multiple challenges

Multipotentiality: multiple talents, multiple challenges

One of the myths of high ability, multitalented people is they can choose whatever personal and career paths they want, and realize their abilities without hindrance. It doesn’t always work out that way. In her Unwrapping the Gifted post “Multipotentiality,” K-12 gifted education specialist Tamara Fisher quotes Bryant (a pseudonym), a graduating senior who lists […]

Gifted adults are different from an early age

Gifted adults are different from an early age

One of the personal qualities that seems to be shared by most gifted children is being different and divergent – in terms of thinking, interests, values and behavior. Many gifted adults feel “wrong” or anxious about “not fitting in” even though being different can be a strength – a positive attribute. In the movie “Nancy […]

Margaret Lobenstine on Mozart types and the Renaissance Soul

Margaret Lobenstine on Mozart types and the Renaissance Soul

In her article Telling A Ben Franklin From A Mozart, A Swan From A Duck, Margaret Lobenstine describes how people of two distinct sorts develop their talents and interests.  She writes: “As the bell curve demonstrates, there’s a continuum between the Mozarts on one end, who have one lifelong passion, and the Franklins on the other, […]

Amber Tamblyn on her gifted character on TV series “House”

Amber Tamblyn on her gifted character on TV series “House”

Amber Tamblyn comments about her character Martha: “I think you’re going to see someone who has been so much in the world of academia and knowledge that she really never progressed or matured in a social sense.” In the TV series “House,” Amber Tamblyn portrays Martha M. Masters – a “genius third-year med student who, […]

Working With Your Intensity Through Creative Expression

Working With Your Intensity Through Creative Expression

Jodie Foster once commented about Russell Crowe, “He has that glacier intensity.” Intensity is one of the reasons we enjoy the performances of acclaimed actors, and it is a key personality quality of many gifted and talented, creative people. In her post Tips for Working With Emotional Intensity (she notes it is her contribution to […]

Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes

Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes

“The difficulty for me is that I’m interested in so many different things. I could never really imagine myself doing one thing” Emma Watson Arianna Huffington was described by her friend and author Sugar Rautbord [in a Vanity Fair article] as “probably one of the most intellectually seductive human beings on the face of the […]

Driven by giftedness to know more and express more

Driven by giftedness to know more and express more

Others have sometimes labeled my insatiable curiosity as obsession, and my energy and drive to create as mania. Being misunderstood, by ourselves and others, seems to come with the territory of giftedness. Linda Kreger Silverman of the Gifted Development Center explains: Giftedness creates a different organization of the Self. Impossible dreams are realized, unrealistic goals […]

Intensity of the imagination: Precious and Phoebe in Wonderland

Intensity of the imagination: Precious and Phoebe in Wonderland

The movies Precious, and Phoebe in Wonderland both have characters that make use of their imaginational intensity or overexcitability as part of their personality and a valuable way to deal with challenges in their lives. What is intensity / overexcitability? Stephanie Tolan, a writer and advocate for extremely bright children, notes the original Polish word […]

Gifted adults in the workplace: Nerds or heroes or misfits

Gifted adults in the workplace: Nerds or heroes or misfits

By Cat Robson I’ve always been embarrassed by my history on the job. So many failed idealistic attempts to change things. So many years working at jobs where I didn’t fit and wasn’t using my talents. If I’d understood a bit more about giftedness, I might have sought out more appropriate situations. The research of […]

Gifted, talented, misunderstood: 10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults

Gifted, talented, misunderstood: 10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults

In her article “10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults”, Jane Macondo sheds some light on why gifted people can be baffled…and baffling. She writes: Gifted adults are largely invisible. One of the reasons very few apply the term to themselves is due to the misconceptions about giftedness – in adulthood as well as childhood. Many adults […]

Developing multiple talents: what about savant abilities?

Developing multiple talents: what about savant abilities?

An autistic savant, Daniel Tammet can recite more than 22,000 digits of pi from memory. He believes such astounding abilities are based on an associative form of thinking and imagination, not due to some cerebral or genetic fluke. He thinks differences between savant and non-savant minds have been exaggerated, to the detriment of how most […]

Too Much to Contain - Intensity and Creativity

Too Much to Contain – Intensity and Creativity

Joss Whedon (writer, producer, director: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, The Avengers etc) received the 2009 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism from Harvard. In his acceptance speech, he talked about discovering existentialism as a teenager from seeing Steven Spielberg’s movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” “Literally, I just had an epiphany,” Whedon […]

To identify and serve the unknowing gifted

To identify and serve the unknowing gifted

By Sara Harrier Over the decades, education and resources for gifted youth have made significant contributions to the education and mental health fields.  Many thinkers have shed light on not just the intellectual differences of the gifted, but on the unique personality traits and social-emotional needs of this population. And it’s been hugely liberating and […]

Gifted students and competition: coping with fraud feelings and stress

Gifted students and competition: coping with fraud feelings and stress

By Cat Robson When I was a child, and even through graduate school, I thought people were going to find out I was a fraud. I thought other talented people were doing better, achieving more and having more fun doing it, and I still tend to compare myself unfavorably with others on a daily basis. In her […]

Allan Snyder on savant syndrome and creativity

Allan Snyder on savant syndrome and creativity

Darold Treffert, MD explains, “Savant Syndrome is a rare, but spectacular, condition in which persons with various developmental disabilities, including Autistic Disorder, have astonishing islands of ability or brilliance that stand in stark, markedly incongruous contrast to the over-all handicap.” From his article The Savant Syndrome: Islands of Genius. Daniel Tammet , as one example, […]

Close to madness or unstoppable? Do gifted children become gifted adults?

Close to madness or unstoppable? Do gifted children become gifted adults?

Gifted adults often struggle with the same challenges as gifted children. What factors help adults identified as gifted when young to continue to achieve? Educator Carol McGaughey comments about these issues: I think one area that needs to be addressed is what happens to these gifted individuals as they grow into adults. Is the folk […]

David Shenk on the clichés about "giftedness"

David Shenk on the clichés about “giftedness”

David Shenk is author of “The Genius in All of Us” and says “The public has been poorly served when it comes to understanding the relationship between biology and ability. The clichés we’ve been taught about genetic blueprints, IQ, and ‘giftedness’ all come out of crude, early-20th century guesswork. “The reality is so much more […]