Tag: "giftedness"

 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? […]

Are you too intense?

Are you too intense?

Mia Wasikowska portrayed an emotionally intense teen gymnast in the psychotherapy drama series “In Treatment.” She has commented, “As a teenager I was very anxious. I had a lot of energy and passion that I wanted to channel into creative things, and I always felt like I wasn’t achieving enough.” [From my post Mia Wasikowska […]

Our developed minds can be dismissive

Our developed minds can be dismissive

The image is food critic Anton Ego from the movie Ratatouille [video clip]. I was reminded of the stuffy and dour character while reading Laura Berman Fortgang’s The Little Book on Meaning, and her reference below to “high analytical ability.. often black-and-white thinkers.. Quick to decide what is good and what is bad..” I know […]

Developing Creativity: Excitabilities - Our Teeming Brains

Developing Creativity: Excitabilities – Our Teeming Brains

What are Excitabilities? One of the key concepts of Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski, MD, PhD (1902 – 1980) is that individuals with strong “overexcitabilities” are good candidates for higher level development. Stephanie Tolan, a writer and advocate for extremely bright children, notes the original Polish word for psychiatrist Dabrowski’s concept of overexcitabilities or […]

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 […]

Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

Unrecognized Giftedness and Identity

By Cat Robson 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nicole Kidman: high ability and complexity

Nicole Kidman: high ability and complexity

“You live with a lot of complicated emotions as an actor, and they whirl around you and create havoc at times… I’m willing to fly close to the flame.” Nicole Kidman “Creatively gifted children and adults are emotionally intense and have rich inner lives…It is natural for the gifted to feel deeply and to experience […]

Didn't you used to be gifted?

Didn’t you used to be gifted?

“The natural trajectory of giftedness in childhood is not a six-figure salary, perfect happiness, and a guaranteed place in Who’s Who.” Linda Silverman – in her book Counseling the Gifted and Talented. In her keynote address The Universal Experience of Being Out-of-Sync, Linda Silverman, Ph.D. argues that giftedness should not be defined as simply high […]

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 […]

Perfectionism and Brene Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection

Perfectionism and Brene Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection

Perfectionism can be an unhealthy way to try to satisfy distorted ego needs or defuse shame or low self-esteem, for example – but it is a simple name for what can be a complex set of drives and attitudes that can also fuel our pursuit of excellence and motivate social change. Hilary Swank: “The great […]

Gods and prodigies, freaks and geeks: building identity

Gods and prodigies, freaks and geeks: building identity

Wunderkind, genius, prodigy. Freak, geek, nerd. How we label exceptional people and ourselves affects our identity and what we think about the reality and value of our talents, and the possibilities of expressing them in the world. One of the most positive experiences for me in high school was my friendship with an artist (painter, […]

Creating is a way to channel our emotional intensity

Creating is a way to channel our emotional intensity

“Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity.” Psychologist Cheryl Arutt “Our impulse to be creative can be one of the most dynamic methods of meeting and redeeming one’s devils and demons.” Psychologist Stephen A. Diamond Acting is one form of creative expression that artists can use to channel their intensity and […]

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 […]

The inspiration of Einstein

The inspiration of Einstein

Only a rare person can illuminate and advance an entire domain of knowledge, as Albert Einstein did with physics, but he also embodied a number of traits and experiences that can inspire even us mere mortals to live more exceptional and creative lives. On a recent Tavis Smiley Show [transcript], Walter Isaacson spoke of the […]

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, […]

Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

Willem Kuipers is author of the book Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon: Extra Intelligent, Intense, and Effective. In a section of the book – Is it a Gift to be Uncommon? – he writes about how people who are Xi [eXtra Intelligent or Intense] may view their exceptional abilities. Here is an excerpt: Giftedness […]

Rooney Mara on the Extra Intelligent and Intense Lisbeth Salander

Rooney Mara on the Extra Intelligent and Intense Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander is one of the most intriguing and powerful characters in literature, and both Rooney Mara in the new movie of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Noomi Rapace in the 2009 Danish version, bring to life a richly complex and dynamic young woman. The “extra intelligent and intense” of my title is […]

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 […]

Mothers with a rage to achieve

Mothers with a rage to achieve

Therapist Belinda Seiger, PhD says she has “known many gifted women who seem to possess what I refer to as the ‘rage to achieve.’ “They are constantly driven to learn, to create and to be intellectually productive even while raising young children.” Author Amy Bloom (photo; she is Writer-in-Residence, Wesleyan University) has commented on the […]

Developing multiple talents is an adventure

Developing multiple talents is an adventure

There are many examples of creative people who are multitalented and able to engage in a wide range of creative expressions. But many face challenges that can get in the way. Tina Fey is a writer, comedian, screenwriter, actor, a previous host of the Golden Globes telecast, and producer. Tina Fey “attended Upper Darby High […]

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 […]

The gifted adult: a lot going on inside

The gifted adult: a lot going on inside

Growing up, many people with exceptional ability and multiple talents experience themselves as too different to fit in with ‘normal’ groups. As adults, some do become the high achievers that Malcolm Gladwell writes about in his book Outliers: The Story of Success [see the post Outliers and developing exceptional abilities.] But there are many internal […]

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 […]

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

What is being gifted? What gets in the way?

What is being gifted? What gets in the way?

“By high school, I’d more or less given up on the tedious process of making friends, since libraries were always nearby, and books were much better companions anyway.” Novelist Laurie R. King (link to her site – she is author of The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, and other books.) Photo from Facebook/Laurie R. King. Being […]

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 […]

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 […]