Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

My Overexcitable Hair


Photo on 12-9-14 at 12.37 PM

My hair

Admit it. You exude effervescence, exuberance and ebullience. Maybe it’s in the way you talk. Or the way you write. Maybe it’s in how you gush over photos from the Mars Rover. Or how you swoon over Sherlock.

In my last post, I briefly explained “overexcitabilities.”  (OEs) The expression comes from psychologist K. Dabrowski‘s research on giftedness. He says that gifted folks have lots of them. Like when your imagination takes you into mysterious universes where you create new worlds with complex languages. Or when you must obsessively research NASA’s potential study of manned blimps in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Or when your sensitivity to the sound of people chewing makes you want to cry.

If you don’t feel so effervescent, exuberant and ebullient right now it may be because you were raised by chainsaw parents or had painful schooling experiences. Or perhaps it’s because you read the newspaper. I understand. But I’ll bet you anything that before you were slowed down, quieted down and dumbed down, overexcitable was your middle name.

Now, I know I’ve told you in another post that I’m BG. (barely gifted) Even so, I do have some overexcitability.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

It’s in my hair.

My hair is effervescent, exuberant and ebullient. Overexcitable. And let me tell you, I’ve tried to control it, contain it and dumb it down. To no avail.

But I’m done with that.

No more hiding.  No more shrinking. No more hair-obliteration.

Let my curls be seen. Let them express themselves. In all of their giftedness.

Are you with me?


To my bloggEEs: How are you hiding and self-obliterating? How can you allow more of your rainforest hair mind to shine? This may seem to be in contradiction to my last post when I talked about a type of loving containment. It’s not. What I’m writing here is about finding your true Self and living your authentic hair life. What are your thoughts, feelings and questions?



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 rain forest to describe this population. Like the rain forest, 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 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.

26 thoughts on “My Overexcitable Hair

  1. “Or when your sensitivity to the sound of people chewing makes you want to cry.” <—- Oh yes to this. My hair has some OEs going on today, too, as do my children. Happy New Year, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! This is so on the $ for me. I’ve always had several “overexcitable” traits. My fashion sense, my thoughts, my interests. I finally gave in to the fact that I have wild WILD hair! In the past I would typically straighten it. Occasionally I would wear it curly but I put so much product in it and touched up certain cowlicks with a straightener. Around a year ago I started “letting go” and put a little colonizer in my hair but just let it air dry and be wild!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yea… And the sound of chewing, or cutting food, or the level at which my boyfriend talks. SO many things are ear piercing! Does light sensitivity fall under this at all too?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh how I remember feeling things so intently as a child, the beauty of the sunset could make me cry and lose track of time. I got so absorbed in it that I missed getting back in the car on Route 66 traveling with my family across country. Luckily I was only six and they missed me a few miles up before I even knew they were gone. But things like this happend all the time. No one seemed to understand the intensity of my feelings including myself. Beauty make me happy, especially sunsets. Funny thing is I don’t feel that way anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if you felt like you had to minimize your sensitivities when you were younger (no one understood) so that you don’t feel them now. I think you could revive them again if you wanted. They probably aren’t too far away…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Further, during mixed contacts, the stigmatized individual is likely to feel that he is “on,” having to be self-conscious and calculating about the impression he is making, to a degree and in areas of conduct which he assumes others are not.”

    Goffman, Erving (2009-11-19). Stigma:Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity” (p. 10). Simon & Schuster, Inc. Kindle Edition.

    I just started reading through Goffman’s classic work on stigma because I have been thinking about stigma and giftedness (and stigma and race and stigma and gender and stigma and religion, etc). Stigma takes all the fun out of overexcitabilities. It’s like having gifted hair in Mississippi.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha–“sound of people chewing”–
    reminds me of the time. . .watching a play . . .woman in front of me opening a package of mints . . the sound . . .the smell . . .but no that belongs in the HSP forum.
    Thanks for reminding me of my natural effervescence
    which is easily flattened in
    the pnw winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ha ha! Love it! My boyfriend definitely has overexcitable hair!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the analogy with hair & your picture brings out the individuality of the gifted mind of much! Thank you for sharing it. I can resonate with it. I have always said my hair has a mind of its own. Even after a haircut, it still looks different everyday. Most of my life i have yearned for manageable, straight hair! How telling it seems now…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love it. Great post and great hair! Kamala

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Our son has overexcitabilites wanting to ‘prove beyond doubt’ why things are so in terms of life and existence. I have to say that I have struggled at times to support him as those overexitiibilties at times have lead to anxieties when the research didn’t match the concept particularly around thoughts of faith and a higher being. Others(well meaning) view is to squash and bring back to the reality of a certain ‘normal’ where he doesn’t fit so well. Any advice or direction would be really helpful as we attempt to navigate our way with him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chrissy, There are some great resources at (You don’t have to be a homeschooler.) Look for their blog hops. Lots of very knowledgable parents writing on a topic. (Then you can follow the blogs of the ones who speak to you.) Also and All great websites for parents of gifted kids.


  12. Thanks Paula, I will check them out

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: How Can Sensitive Souls Change the World? | Your Rainforest Mind

  14. Pingback: Your Precocious Kid Was So Adorable. Now, At 15? Not So Adorable. | Your Rainforest Mind

  15. Pingback: Don’t Give Up On Yourself And Your Rainforest Mind | Your Rainforest Mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.