Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient — New Book by Pamela Price

27 Comments

photo courtesy of GHF Press

photo courtesy of GHF Press

Were you ever bullied as a youngster? By other kids? By teachers? By family members? Have your children been bullied?

Rainforest-minded folks may experience bullying for any of the following reasons:

Extra-sensitivity: intense emotional expressiveness (including crying easily), unusual empathy, speaking out against injustice, greater awareness and intuitions,  heightened experiences with sensations such as tastes, sounds, sights, touch.

Intellectual intensity: enormous enthusiasm for learning, fast talking and thinking, tendency to argue for mental exercise, appearing like a know-it-all, correcting teacher’s mistakes, scoring well on tests, answering “too many ” questions in a classroom, being “too smart,” obsessions with obscure or unpopular or complicated topics.

Asynchronous development or 2e-ness: quite advanced in some areas while being average or below in other areas, intellectual precocity along with learning challenges such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory processing issues (SPD); social skill deficits, especially when communicating with same-aged peers.

Divergent thinking and creative unusualnesses: difficulty with authority, “too many” ideas and solutions to problems, impatience with friends or colleagues who are slower paced or more linear thinkers, frequent daydreaming.

If this describes you or your child, help is on the way!

photo courtesy of Pamela Price

photo courtesy of Pamela Price

A new book by writer and gifted advocate (and, full disclosure, my friend) Pamela Price adeptly presents what parents need to know to understand bullying behaviors and to effectively address them. Using poignant personal examples, careful research, and stories from parents of gifted kids, Price explains why gifted children are bullied, the impact it can have on the child and the family, what parents can do about it and how families can produce more resilient children.

Like many books published by GHF Press (fuller disclosure, this is the publisher of my book, coming this spring), Gifted, Bullied, Resilient is for busy parents who don’t have time to waste. It’s written with efficiency and quality in mind. You can find it here.

_______________________________

To my blogEEs: Tell us about your experiences with bullying; either yours or that of your children. And if you pick up Pamela’s book, let us know what you think.

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Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist 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.

27 thoughts on “Gifted, Bullied, Resilient — New Book by Pamela Price

  1. Yes everybody everywhere. Good thing that the extreme giftedness provided some buffering or wouldn’t be here…well believe it was a good thing usually. But I am attempting to enjoy a brnad life…where everything might be worth it,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Paula
    Interesting article . I was bullied as a child just a little but as an adult quit a bit. Infact I’ve currently just quit my job for this reason. I am in counselling now & my Therapist highly recommended I get tested for a learning disability. She thinks I may have ADD/ADHD, HSP. The chances of being Gifted are highly unlikely in my opinion as I wasn’t very Academic in school. At some point in August I will be seeking out a psychiatrist who will test for learning disabilities that I may have. I’m an terrified although I know it is necessary for my personal growth . It’s been a work in progress .
    Love your articles
    Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Franca, remember that people who are gifted don’t necessarily do well in school. If they have learning disabilities or if they already know the material (and don’t do homework) or it they don’t test well, they might not get good grades, for example. If you’re relating to my articles, there’s a good chance that you’re gifted!

      Like

      • Thank you Paula for your insight . I do relate to your posts but not so much with regard to Academic side of things.
        I am currently going on this figuring things out career & part of that process is going to be getting tested .

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohhhh yes.

    I was the kid who always raised my hand in class, finished every assignment first and then was bored, wanted to talk about more complicated things than my peers, was not tuned in to current fashions…”hurt” people just by being myself and trying to do the right thing. It was very damaging.

    It’s been very healing as an adult, as I’ve developed and learned to share through teaching and performing, to find that there are people who want and benefit from and treasure my abilities and skills.

    I ascribe some of this to our educational system, which assumes that all children of the same age should be learning the same thing, thus creating winners and losers in every classroom–those kids who were bewildered and frustrated that they couldn’t do the academic work I could do so easily were in an unfair position too.

    And…bullying is never okay. I hope this book addresses demanding safety from schools, not just creating more resilience in gifted kids!!

    So glad someone is writing about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was one of those kids. But all the key points of my personality have become the very things that enrich my life now as an adult.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know if this counts as bullying but growing up I used to get a lot of insults like “what the hell have you been smoking?” thrown at me — and this was from “friends”. Strangers in this socially conservative area were often downright dangerous to “be yourself” around.

    By the time I was a teenager I think my father began to see me as more of a misbehaving threat to his authority than as a bright but lost kid trying to figure out the world he felt alienated from, so he wasn’t much help.

    Neither were any of the therapists I eventually sought out for better insight. To many of them, where there is a problem fitting in or getting by, surely there must be a disorder lurking that WILL be found.

    The end result of having your mind, your emotions and your behavior questioned over and over by friends, family and professionals seems similar to what deliberate “gaslighting” does to its victims: you question your own sanity. This is probably because as someone who is a conscientious, determined problem solver — and so is open to any possibilities, even painful ones — naturally you wonder, “Surely so many people cannot be wrong about me? Perhaps it IS I who am in the wrong about me”.

    Of course this may not always be a CONSCIOUS conclusion, but rather one that is submitted to merely because you’re on the wrong side of the numbers. As a firm believer in fairness and democracy, the majority wins, right?

    Or does it? 😉

    Like

  6. I don’t know if this counts as bullying but growing up I used to get a lot of insults like “what the hell have you been smoking?” thrown at me — and this was from “friends”. Strangers in this socially conservative area were often downright dangerous to “be yourself” around.

    By the time I was a teenager I think my father began to see me and my intelligence more as a threat to his authority than as a sign of a bright but lost kid trying to figure out the world he felt alienated from, so he wasn’t much help.

    Neither were any of the therapists I eventually sought out for better insight. To many of them, where there is a problem fitting in or getting by, surely there must be a disorder lurking.

    The end result of having your mind, your emotions and your behavior questioned over and over by friends, family and professionals seems similar to what deliberate “gaslighting” does to its victims: you question your own sanity. As someone who is a conscientious, determined problem solver — and so is open to any possibilities, even painful ones — naturally you wonder, “Surely so many people cannot be wrong about me? Perhaps it IS I who am in the wrong about me”.

    Of course this may not always be a CONSCIOUS conclusion, but rather one that is submitted to merely because you’re on the wrong side of the numbers. As a firm believer in fairness and democracy, the majority wins, right?

    Or does it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mark, as always, for sharing your experiences. Certainly sounds like a type of bullying. Yes, and it’s hard not to start to believe it when it comes from so many directions. Don’t believe it!

      Like

      • Thank you! There are a couple things I didn’t mention. As heartofpolaris wrote below, though I am very sensitive, when I was young I was as capable of giving as well as I received, including if things came to violence….and perhaps even more so considering I was also athletically gifted and far more intense once things did come to blows. Once a fight was over however, I was usually left shaking and pretty freaked out by the experience. (Does the ability to fight back make one less likely to think they are not a victim of bullying? Hmm)

        Also, I suspect that many sensitive people might share the feeling of being traumatized by bullying, even if they are not the intended target. For example, to this day I am haunted by the memory of a schoolmate bullying a couple of classmates, two girls who were outsiders — and likely each others’ only friends — because each of them were handicapped. I did not participate in the bullying, but I did nothing to stop it. My heart ached for those two girls, and I felt so guilty for not having the courage to do what I knew was right, simply because I did not want the bullying turned on myself.

        I was only ten years old or so, but hey…if you’re gifted you already have a pretty good idea of what is right and what is wrong…..

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think one needs to be a bit careful with these stereotypes. “Sensitivity” is thought of, wrongly, as a feminine quality (it is a human quality). Thus, showing sensitivity leads to the bullying of the sensitive male by the machos in town.

    I have known sensitive males who are extremely tough and who any bully would think twice before messing up with. I have also known non-sensitive males who got bit up daily. The stereotype of the empathetic, sensitive male who gets beat up by the bullies in school is simply a one-dimensional personality template that works well for unsophisticated movies (along with other stereotype characters such as the all-out villain and the prostitute with a heart of gold).

    Also, I am not sure of how constructive the cultural trend of blaming the educational system for societal problems of all kinds. Educational system are NOT failing the gifted. They NEVER have. They evolved along the nation state to produce a conformist citizenry. The educate, which is also a great side effect. They cannot be blamed for something they were never meant to do in the first place: helping people with unusual talents reach their full potential.

    I hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

    HeartOfPolaris

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was frequently bullied, not just for my inability to relate to my peers, but because I wasn’t like them in multiple ways. Additionally, my obsessive nature (getting way into one thing and going further with it than was socially acceptable) was an easy target for the bullies to utilize. To add to that issue, I don’t understand girls. I still don’t really, I’ve spent my life trying to figure out how to relate to my own gender. I can fake it now, a lot of the time, but there is still a lot I don’t know or understand. I can fake being neurotypical too, but it’s exhausting.

    I learned by high school that if I just put myself down first then the bullies had no ammunition left. They couldn’t make fun of me if I was already self-deprecating with my friends. It took me a long time to find those friends too. I also started to believe the things I said about myself. It’s been a long road to having anything that resembles self-confidence and faith in my own ideas.

    I’ve shared so much of this with my rainforest children and I hope it has helped. This year has been the hardest for them being at a large school where an emphasis on accepting others and improving academics is a tough cultural sell. They haven’t told me they are being bullied, but I know my 4th grader (going into 5th now) doesn’t relate to her “peers” even her friends. She knows she is different in a way that she can’t change and some of her friends tease her for it from time to time.

    I can’t say I’ve been outwardly bullied as an adult, but I know I have lost opportunities and friendships because of my inability to act in an expected manner and contain my ideas, my interests, and my enthusiasm. Not all of those have been bad in the long run because I am now in a good place for the most part – I believe in the value of what I do. Even so, I still struggle to find when I can be myself and when I have to stay on a short leash hiding my true nature, my true interests, and my true ability from even those I consider friends. Working in youth robotics is both a blessing and a curse as I am able to find others who I also think and feel as I do, but still make other adults uncomfortable with my exuberance for science, tech, and a variety of associated topics.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds like an excellent book and resource!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: “Gifted, Bullied, Resilient”: Blog Reviews, Thus Far | Red, White & Grew™ with Pamela Price

  11. Pingback: Your Kids Are Gifted. Should You Tell Them? | Your Rainforest Mind

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

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