Gifted kids can be hard to identify. There is a lot of controversy around what giftedness looks like in children. It is even harder to identify giftedness in adults. I’ve worked with gifted adults in my therapy practice for 20+ years. I’ve noticed some common traits.
So. If you’d like to know if you or someone you know is gifted, listen for these types of statements:
“I started writing a blog post about an herb that has now become 80 pages with no end in sight. The writing is about–everything. It’s all connected!”
“…friends and family don’t know what to do with me because I’m always moving onto the next thing. I’ve been told I’m competitive or make people feel bad by my insatiable drive to learn and grow…”
“It’s hard growing up in a family when you experience the world in a radically different way, are criticized for your ‘failures’ that aren’t actually failures and bullied for being ‘too sensitive’ and ‘too serious’…”
“Oh, and the smells, scents, and sounds that other people are not bothered by–me, all the way. I get migraines from those things. I cannot filter them out the way other people seem to.”
“I cannot tell you how often I was scolded for overthinking, and told to ‘stop worrying’ during my various forays into therapy. Oh the self-flagellation!”
“…I have trouble picking one thing, so I currently have a job that allows me the mental space to pursue what I really want to be doing with my mental energies…I’m on career path #4 in less than 20 years and I do part-time paid projects when I have the energy.”
“I was told that my expectations were too high and that I should lower my standards. I shouldn’t be so idealistic. I should ignore human suffering and stop rescuing animals and plants. I’m told I’m over-reacting to the climate crisis.”
“Maybe what I consider small talk isn’t considered small talk by everyone. I don’t want to bore people with ideas they don’t want to engage in but it’s hard to numb myself so often…There is the occasional magic where you realize someone you’ve known for a long time has a really interesting or weird interest, hitherto unknown, which can make for a fascinating hour or so.”
“Am I crazy or is this a severe case of empathy? Intuition run wild? How do I know what I know?”
“I crave intellectual stimulation. When I can’t get it, I enjoy amusing myself with translating conversations into one of the several languages that I know. I also love having a song running in my head (from memory, not with headphones) while visualizing the fingering for violin/cello/piano as if I were playing one of the lines. I love replicating the actual fingering in my pocket, just gently tapping, and walking down the street and feeling like I am playing right then and there with the big wave of music flowing through me, while no one around knows.”
“Beauty. Beauty is just so darned overwhelming. I cry at beauty.”
“I never thought I was gifted because I never tested well. I would overthink the questions or come up with too many possibilities within the questions. I never saw the point of certain subjects in school because they were in isolation of the greater world…I’ve been told that I’m gifted but I’m still not sure.”
“I’ve been searching for years for a spiritual community. I find peace, compassion, and guidance in Nature.”
“My whole life, I literally thought something was wrong with me because I’m not like everyone else around me and it’s been a very lonely road.”
These are the types of statements I hear over and over from my gifted clients. They may be high achievers in an academic field. They may have a long list of accomplishments. They may be rich and famous. Or they may be none of these things.
But if you are writing an 80 page blog post on an herb, if you are on your 4th career path in 20 years, if beauty makes you cry, if you must fight injustice, if you out-think the test questions, if you are driven to learn and grow, if your intuition runs wild, and if you feel deeply connected to the universe and everything, well, then, odds are, it is highly likely, it is totally possible, that you, yes, you, are a gifted adult. That you have a rainforest mind.
(Note: And now that you are almost kind of absolutely sure that you are gifted, my books will tell you what to do next so that you can do what you are here on the planet to do. No pressure. Just sayin.’)
To my bloggEEs: What have you said that might be a clue that you, too, are gifted? Thank you to the bloggEEs who provided these (edited) examples.
Here is a short recent video of me interviewed by Tina Harlow if you are wondering what I sound like and look like and why you should buy my books! And here is a recent review of my first book from Kirkus Reviews. And, by the way, I’d love a review from YOU, too! (on Amazon) As always, thank you for being here. Big love to you.