Tag: "giftedness"

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Leonardo DiCaprio: a "crazy kid"- and maybe overexcitabilities

Leonardo DiCaprio: a “crazy kid”- and maybe overexcitabilities

Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), portraying a teenager with mental health challenges. Not knowing his work before, I thought, How was this autistic kid able to work as an actor? One of the ways he created such a powerful and – many people say – authentic, performance was using his […]

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, […]

Alia Sabur on not letting anything stop you

Alia Sabur on not letting anything stop you

Alia Sabur, at age of 18, was recognized as the youngest college professor in history, breaking a 300-year-old record. She was hired as a professor in the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University, in Korea. As profiled in a Today Show bio, “She made the jump to college at age 10. And by […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

You're intense, complex, and driven because you're gifted

You’re intense, complex, and driven because you’re gifted

Author Mary-Elaine Jacobsen writes about the experience of being exceptional: “To feel like an outsider, to constantly pressure yourself to hold back your gifts in order to fit in or avoid disapproval, to erroneously believe that you are overly sensitive, compulsively perfectionistic, and blindly driven, to live without knowing the basic truths about the core […]

Being Smarter Than Others

Being Smarter Than Others

One of the many inspiring quotes by Steve Jobs is this: “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” But Jobs also recognized he was […]

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, […]

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 […]

What makes gifted relationships so tough? Solutions for the Problems of Giftedness

What makes gifted relationships so tough? Solutions for the Problems of Giftedness

By Cat Robson I could write a few novels with the material from my romantic and work relationships. Lots of drama and disappointment, and loads of self-recrimination. How does giftedness figure into the patterns of our connections with others? In this excerpt from his article, Solutions for the Problems of Giftedness, Richard O’Connor, Ph.D., gives […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

 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? […]

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, […]

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 […]

Not like the others?

Not like the others?

One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong, Can you tell which thing is not like the others By the time I finish my song? From Sesame Street song One Of These Things (is Not Like The Others) “Not only did my identity seem tangible, it also […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Can we be too perfectionistic?

Can we be too perfectionistic?

By Cat Robson Painter Elizabeth Murray comments, “When I’m in the studio working, I reach a point at which I know I could stop – that the painting is fine as it is – but I feel that there’s something else I want, something more, and I keep pushing, bringing the painting to another place. […]

Raising gifted kids: helping kids cope with intensity and giftedness

Raising gifted kids: helping kids cope with intensity and giftedness

Like many gifted children, my childhood was peppered with incidents of parents and other adults telling me to be calm, or even more devastating, to be ‘normal.’ If adults are uncomfortable with their own emotions they may be especially uncomfortable around the intensities of gifted children. What effect does this have on gifted kids? Recognizing […]

Beyond the Chaos

Beyond the Chaos

By Edith Johnston PhD LPC I have lots of ideas.  I am intelligent and inquisitive with lots of interests.  Yet, I am insecure and everything seems incongruent as I move through life. Does this sound like something you experience?  Being a multi-talented individual, or said another way, a smart person, can lead to this kind […]

Steve Jobs: Intensities and Obsessions

Steve Jobs: Intensities and Obsessions

Excitabilites or unusual intensities in five areas: psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational and emotional, are personality traits and behaviors that many consider to be qualities of high ability people, traits which can be difficult or challenging, but may also contribute to developing outstanding talents. “I liked him. He was kind of skinny and wiry and full […]

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 […]

Sylvia Rimm on Perfectionism in the Gifted

Sylvia Rimm on Perfectionism in the Gifted

“I was at dance school doing about 35 hours practice a week until I was 14. Then ballet started to grate – the whole idea of trying to attain perfection started to ruin the experience.” Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) What’s so bad about perfection? Isn’t it what we all strive for? In her interview, […]