Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

They Say You’re a Geek


P1050374They say, get realistic, your standards are excessive. You say, I need to raise the bar.

They say, slow down and calm down. You say, I pump my brakes but they still don’t keep up.

They say, you’re too sensitive. You say, doesn’t everyone cry at an orange-fuchsia-purple-mauve sunset?

They say, you’re obsessive-compulsive. You say, I need to do more research.

They say, you’re a know-it-all. You say I’m an impostor.

They say, you read too much. You say, so many books, so little time.

They say, you need to pick one career. You say, so many careers, so little time.

They say, they don’t follow your reasoning. You say, they just aren’t trying hard enough.

They say, you shouldn’t take things so seriously. You say, they need to get out of denial.

They say, you’re naive for being so optimistic and idealistic. You say, they need to dig more deeply.

They say you aren’t having any fun. You say, it’s complicated.

6150842447_b40355b4ddThey say you don’t finish anything. You say, I learned it. I don’t need to finish it.

They say you’re weird. You say, yes.

They say you’re a geek. You say, you betcha.


To my favorite bloggEEs: I just want to mention that I’ll be presenting at the SENG conference in San Jose, CA the weekend of July 18-20. If you can attend, please come say ‘hello.’ I may be blogging less these next 2 weeks as I prepare my talk and attend the event. But don’t worry. I’ll be thinking about you.

And one more thing. It just occurred to me that you may not be commenting because if you did, you’d be openly admitting that you may, in fact, relate to what I’m saying which, might, in fact, imply that you actually might have a rainforest mind which would then have to mean that you would be g-g-gifted. Ahem. Write a comment anyway. OK? Let me know how I can help you.

Photo #2: CC

Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and consulting with parents of gifted children. The label "gifted" is often controversial and confusing. I use the metaphor of the rainforest to describe this population. Like the rainforest, these individuals are quite complex, highly sensitive, intense, multi-layered, and misunderstood. They're also curious, idealistic, highly intelligent, creative, perfectionistic, and they love learning. I've been an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I've written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press and is available on Amazon or at your independent bookstore. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists, was released in June 2019.

27 thoughts on “They Say You’re a Geek

  1. They say, do you have to analyze everything? You say I need to figure out how this fits in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula! 🙂 how do you know me so well! I enjoy your posts so much and yes feel so many of those things… and the foot was previously tied on the brake pedal by people and still they couldnt keep up….just call me Good will Hunting 🙂 but I am seeing that I am a good person and I am releasing that everybody is better than me mentality because other people werent and made me feel bad about it! I am awesome…and everything is… And just for fun and for you 🙂 from our friends at the Dunning Kruger effect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dear paula, thank youo for this post……..! ..what i have to do… be seen as “normal”….by my sourrounding…?????? how does a normal life feel….????? heartgreet and successful conference.., marta

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every post in this blog feels like somebody is reading my mind! It is good to know you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, dear. This made me teary. You nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just spent time yesterday with my dearly loved older sister who is OCD and can’t understand RFM folks and thinks my son and I are destined for failure because we see differently… Thank you for “getting” us so I don’t feel so alone… I appreciate having someone on our side…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful commentary. I am currently doing a study of intensity in adults and would love to use this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. They say, Stop being so serious, we’re in this to have fun. I say, I AM having fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG this is how I feel about *music*!!! I have *so* much fun when we’re doing it really, really well. Please no campfire singalongs for me. But boy is that an unpopular stance generally….

      Liked by 1 person

  9. They say can’t you just make a decision. You say I need all the information.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. They say ‘you shouldn’t speak the truth, it makes us uncomfortable’. I say ‘if I don’t speak the truth, my life will have been a worthless charade’.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You have a way with words! Love all those statements and the ones in the comments. 🙂

    They say, let’s go out and have fun.
    I say, I love you and will go out and share your fun
    … but I think (though rarely dare to say) … my idea of fun is a few hours alone to think, write, design, read and play with ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dear paula,….what is the recipe not to feel so tremendous isolated and alone deep in myself?? Even if I share time with long-year-friends afterwords inside i feel so empty….as if I’m not able to put all my inner into words …and my daughter she acts like…….dependend 24 hours a day… can it be, that people are not abel to see what is invisivble….? now I know, why I felt so bored often, when I was younger….fun to other’s was…for example..going for long drinks…one after the ohter…, ….os somehting like this…, but going out to nature….ouotdoor.,….water, snow…this is okay….thank you paula…, su much tears in all this years…now…., we losse or second home…cause of this and cause of metabolism of my daughter….my life-power is near to zero… …heartgreet, marta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Marta. It sounds like you’re having such a hard time right now. Is it possible for you to get counseling or some other type of support? One way to help the loneliness is to find some sort of spiritual connection based on your particular beliefs about such things. Some people feel a deep connection in Nature to something larger than themselves and a loving spiritual energy. The ocean, a particular tree, the earth itself? You might see if books by Pema Chodron are helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I have experienced all of these sayings, repeatedly! I am in tears reading this!!!
    After listening to my family tell me for years that there is something “wrong” with me… I sought counseling but was never told that I was the one with the problem despite the fact that I insisted I MUST be! Now there is this glimmer of hope for answers, I am wonder is THIS what is “wrong” with me? Or could there still an elusive diagnosis or problem? If the G word would truly be the answer I may need some time to mourn what could have been if I only knew… however having an answer as to WHY I am different could be life altering! How does an adult go about determining definitive answer?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Black sheep I know how you feel…when I was reading your post…OMG kept running thru my head! I had the same experiences ….read my above post if you will. C A I know I felt like what could have been because average people often will make you responsible when it is not you. Regular counselling is often not a help either because it doesn’t address the issues you need help with .There is a new path! I am doing it…there are wonderful blogs like this one. and gifted websites and FB pages and everything…explore and see what feels right to you and with you 🙂 C A

      Liked by 1 person

    • It can be hard to be definitive. But if you relate to what I’m saying, that’s certainly a very good start. You might read more about giftedness at or you could read The Gifted Adult by Jacobsen. She actually has a test in there that you can take which could give you more evidence. And, yes, it makes sense that you might need to grieve over the years of not knowing. And that your life might be altered by this information.


    • Hi black sheep. I replied to your post but it didn’t show up underneath it. But please read all of my comments and you’ll find your response.


  14. I particularly like this one: “They say, you’re obsessive-compulsive. You say, I need to do more research.” I know about the longing for a possibly complete understanding! These responses embody a stance of both self-acceptance and openness. They take the initial attempt at criticism, and instead transform it into shared understanding. Assertive without undermining: as you say so well, it’s complicated.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love the ending of your blog, Paula, where you introduce some humor into this misunderstanding that seems to keep happening. I am going to incorporate that more, be more resilient about this rain forest mind of mine. If other folks don’t like it, well I guess they don’t have to. It’s mine, it’s my life, and I like it. I’m good with it.
    For too many years I defended myself to the point of being on the defense all the time. This stance ruined a lot of my time. Today I know that I can accept me the way that I am, and that my chances of finding others like me improve when I do.
    This attitude is working much better for me, and provides a few deep relationships that I cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, Gigi. About self-acceptance. It does seem to work that way. We are more accepting of ourselves and we find others who are more like us. Often, we don’t need lots of relationships (especially if we’re introverts); just, like you say, the few deep ones that we “cherish.” Thank you for your comments!


  16. Thank you, very much,

    Liked by 1 person

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