Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

The Most Unnecessary Blog


Why would anyone write a blog for smart people? Gifted adults, no less. Isn’t that the most unnecessary blog you can imagine? Gifted people are busy in their labs curing cancer. Or they’re writing Pulitzer prize-winning novels. Or they’re designing the next even smarter phone. They don’t need a blog. Right?

Yes and no.

Of course, some gifted people are doing all sorts of complicated fabulous things. And they’re living fulfilling super-productive prize-winning lives.

Maybe they don’t need a blog.

But what about the ones who aren’t doing all sorts of complicated fabulous prize-winning things? What about the ones who don’t know that they’re smart but just think that they’re freaks? What about the ones who grew up in environments that didn’t allow them to flourish? What about the ones who are lonely, anxious and depressed? And what about the ones who have achieved greatness (whatever that is) but are still in despair? What about all of them?

They need a blog.


They need to know how to navigate in a world that doesn’t understand them.


photo by Gary Higbee

They need to know how to appreciate and manage their sensitivities, curiosities and emotions.

They need to know how to choose from the many possible paths available.

They need to know how to help their kids navigate in a world that doesn’t understand them.

They need to know that they can walk many different paths based on their particular needs– not based on what society says they should be doing.

They need to know that they’re not alone.

They need to know how to make a difference in the world without being overwhelmed with hopelessness.

They need to know that it’s safe to be who they were born to be. 


To my dearest blogEEs: Does this make sense to you? What else do you need to know? How can I help? For those of you who are parents, if you click on the links below, you’ll find some great articles on raising your gifted kids, whether you’re a homeschooler or not.

This post is part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop. Click on the link to read other posts on the topic of why understanding giftedness matters. 10590412_10204240729565749_4628241033220783722_n





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.

29 thoughts on “The Most Unnecessary Blog

  1. Hello Paula thank you for this 🙂 yes I struggle with hopelessness so much of the time and loneliness… And the pain of realizing all the those lies of my childhood WERE lies and I don’t owe everybody.. I never did my wonderful counsellor and I view it this way ( although I am sure you would be awesome to see as well) 🙂 that if we use a metaphor of a field, love me a good metaphor …and I have 3 acres and you have one it iS NOT your right to come and steal one of mine! And this what I struggle because SO many people did that…like it was my job to empty myself for them when they didn’t return the favour! Horrifying really. So I am working on changing that and Claiming my good..which was mine in the beginning and continues to be mine!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes definitely needed. So many resources for when one is young, then you become an adult and become forgotten. Its a struggle to find your purpose and to cope.
    Most other people def do not get you at all.
    Nothing like having a little one, remind you that you are gifted and special and so are they. and bringing all that back to you. Yes, I had actually forgotten about me. All those years in gifted programs and then I became and adult and it wasn’t till the little one arrived and her behavior brought all those memories back.

    Just becuase you may be smart doesn’t mean you know how to navigate your life, your feelings, your emotions, your overexcitbialities. The intense loneliness one can feel.

    I once went to a gifted workshop that said find like mined people for your kids and even for yourself. Well I was lucky enough to find that. she gets me, she gets the kids.
    But, then she moved away, it leaves a deep deep void. We do still get to see each other, not as often given the distance. But, just thinking about the distance between us leaves me crying.

    its hard to find those people.

    I have several degrees, still no chosen career path. I want to do so many things, but I just can’t do them all at once even though I want to.

    Its great to hear about yourself, as the posts often feel like a reflection of me. You know you aren’t alone, even when you feel you may be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Nat, you aren’t alone. Thanks for sharing.


    • Nat, you really hit the nail on the head when you said, “Just because you may be smart doesn’t mean you know how to navigate your life, your feelings, your emotions, your overexcitabilities. The intense loneliness one can feel.” Finding like-minded people is easier said than done, especially if you’re not in a big city.

      It’s taken a lot of years to be comfortable with who I am…and I can only say that’s true “most of the time”. Good luck. It’s quite a journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your blog makes me feel safe to be me, Paula! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “They need to know how to choose from the many possible paths available.” <—And they need to know it's entirely possible that they need to create their own path using their own metrics with little heed paid to convention about what gifted people "should" do. 😉

    As always, a great post, Paula. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I need to know how to navigate with money. I feel caught in a world that I am unable to get paid for my work or work for what will pay. It is threatening my existence, and my gifts and my work of years and all this rests on how my relationships function with everybody…I don’t know what to do….…..and your newsletter has been a nice voice with a sense that you know the difficulties.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you for your blog. I read it all the time, but have not commented before. I still struggle with what I want to be when I grow up and I’m nearing 50. I feel so much empathy for my kids who I know will follow similar paths and who already experience anxiety. Having everyone tell you that you could do anything growing up was paralyzingly to me and still is. I never seem to finish anything and oftentimes do not even try or start since I know this is my MO. I look forward to hearing more about how to get past these feelings and figure out a worthy path that I’ll actually follow to the end. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love what you say here: They need to know that it’s safe to be who they were born to be.

    I’m lucky I’m in a community that helps support my son’s giftedness. Thank you for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paula,

    Those two categories are NOT mutually exclusive. There are those who lead busy, productive lives and who enjoy the insights in a blog like yours. Please keep writing!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes. Thank you for saying that. I’m a little concerned that my attempt at humor may have alienated some folks. I didn’t want to create “mutually exclusive categories.” Thanks for the encouragement!


  9. As with several of your posts, you’ve struck a chord with me, but the feeling that is resonating is so nebulous I have trouble translating it into language.

    I wish I’d gone into counseling when I was in my 20’s or even 30’s, rather than waiting until my 50’s, but it seemed too expensive. And I didn’t know how to begin to find a counselor.

    I was brought up in a very traditional family where a woman’s place was to always be subservient to the men. Intelligence was the most prized characteristic of/in my family, but it was just expected. My father once told my (then new) husband, “Women aren’t really smart; teachers just love them because they have neat handwriting.” Not surprisingly, my intellectual abilities weren’t particularly prized at home. At the same time, they were alienating at school. I ended up with a catch 22 built into my entire life: I couldn’t expect to be happy as a career woman, but I needed to become “more” than a wife and mother. Being the eldest as well as the only daughter, I spent decades trying to make everybody else happy and proud of me. Of course, it didn’t work – I could never be enough for other people and I never thought about what I needed to do to take psychological care of myself and to make myself happy.

    I never thought that I would be able to earn a living for myself – why would anyone want to hire me? Even after graduating summa cum laude from college, nothing I wanted to do seemed like it would support me financially. Finally, about the time my kids went off to college, I got my teaching certificate and learned that, yes, I could do something that people would value.

    I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband (who always valued my giftedness) and two awesome kids, also gifted, who have become caring adults who are generally pretty happy with who they are and what they are doing with their lives.

    Possible topic suggestions for future blogs, based on areas I could have used help with when I was younger:
    1. when counseling might help and how to find a counselor who is aware of the challenges for those who are gifted,
    2. the particular challenges of being female and gifted, and
    3. avenues for finding stimulation and friends in a world that tends to primarily value money, sports and TV celebrities.

    Thanks for writing this blog – it definitely has struck a chord!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “They need to know that it’s safe to be who they were born to be.”

    Beautiful. Thank you for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “They need to know how to navigate in a world that doesn’t understand them.” This so resonates with me – for my sons and my husband! If I had to chose just one word that I relate strongly to giftedness it would be “misunderstanding”, and gifted individuals do need to learn how to navigate in a world that doesn’t understand! Thanks for helping us understand giftedness through your wonderful blog, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Life turns out to be about something completely different than what I was told. I’m one of those who was told I could do anything. But the road blocks to what I wanted to do were immense and they began at home (parents).
    I’ve had a couple of different things I’ve done, then health issues intervened.
    Talk about a learning lesson. When a person *can’t* work, their identity is pretty much erased in our culture.
    I’m grateful for my gifts. They have helped me find ways to live with purpose anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, giftedness matters and matters just as much for adults. This blog is a much needed gathering place. Thank you, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: On the Blog Hop – Giftedness: Why Does It Matter? | Sprite's Site

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