Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

What Do Rainforest-Minded (Gifted) Humans Want?


Here it is. In a nutshell.

(photo by Ed Robertson, Unsplash)

“I’m drowning in a sea of well meaning phrases like ‘I’m in awe of the scope of your thinking’ … oh do fuck off with your awe, I don’t want it or need it. I’m bored, and sick to death of making myself accessible to other people. I want someone to see me, to understand me, and to leap with me through a wonderland of ideas. You know the conversations where we talk about everything, leaping effortlessly from poetry to feminism, through politics, fact and fiction, and the evolution of language and anthropology, ecology and neuropsychology and aliens. You know those late night conversations when it’s moonlight and crickets and magic and the guards are down and things just flow and words feel electric and it seems inconceivable that 26 letters can catapult you from ecstasy to despair but the combinations seem infinite and that in and of itself is a glorious magic.” (a blog/book reader)

What else is there to say?


To my bloggEEs: This may be the shortest blog post that ever lived. But it is so well said, don’t you think? Of course, I have written about how to find other humans who leap effortlessly and who catapult you. This post. And this one. On friendships. And this one about your/my quest for partnership. I know there is more that you want. World peace, the end of the climate crisis, no more hate, for example. But some glorious magic would be a good start. (Thank you to the reader quoted above.) In the comments, tell us what you want. And thank you, as always.

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.

42 thoughts on “What Do Rainforest-Minded (Gifted) Humans Want?

  1. Not much else to say! Except maybe tovbe able to then sit in silence together and feel the universe.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I saw a meme that read:
    “When you’re not sure how to use your multidimensional gifts yet so you improvise.”

    Below is a photo of a sign:
    Nude Psychic Readings and Tax Advice

    Liked by 4 people

  3. There is nothing more exhilarating than to fly effortlessly through conversation with someone who is just as capable and is symbiotic to your every twist and turn. And there is absolutely no sense of competition, no status changing effort. Just pure bliss of discovery.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Being met. Being seen. That sense of unity with another human. Yes, bliss.

      Liked by 3 people

      • This is what I crave most at this point in my life….connections with those who can fly effortlessly with me, on that same vibe, kindred-spirit….we GET each other. The Rainforest Minded ones are not your everyday encounters. Now at 72, I’m much less patient with others who I have to “slow down for” in thought, language and creativity. Those people drag me down, but those people are the majority of the population and have no concept of the magnificent Rainforest Mind..or literally ever visited one! I’ve visited many Rainforests around the world on so many life-changing adventures; they are Sacred Space to me. Even with my doctors lately, I feel like I’m always about 10 steps ahead of the conversation with them…yet they are the ones with the medical degree. Ya know it’s stressful for a race horse who is ready to run to have to walk along side a pony….Sigh.

        Liked by 5 people

  4. Rainforest-minded (Gifted) humans want others to understand that our brains are wired differently and that sometimes a simple question/task is complex for us.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Who read my mind and heart?! Even reading these words and the resounding coherence I felt was a little like a deep conversation under a stary sky. Thank you for putting into words the deep longing within me.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The isolation is real. But even the topic of it is isolating in itself, hah! How layered.
    This has been a tough topic to approach in therapy since I don’t see someone versed in Rainforest Minded-ness for EMDR. Even approaching the subject of this specific type of loneliness is usually alienating and I don’t want to be perceived as narcissistic when it is just my reality… therapy is enough of a challenge even with a correct diagnosis.
    Connections with other real-life people that feel like being met halfway or even at all (rather than having to pack it all up and traverse my own boundaries and offerings for the sake of meeting others on their own simpler terms) feel more mythical the more I grow and fulfill my own path. I tend to outgrow connections I’ve had as others find their ‘sweet spot’ and grow comfy in one place as I ramble on. Or there are those friends who end up saying they “look up to me” or something embarrassing and it gets pretty awkward, but just for me. And I see my way out. People without identities looking for someone “eccentric” to imitate, etc. It gets real weird real fast sometimes.
    So I decided to make school my friend again as I get close to my 40s, haha. It’s at least a space to talk nerdy about my passions without making myself or others uncomfy.
    But now I’m finding school has been pretty isolating too. Here we go again…
    I know there are others out there though, so I continue the hunt and try to enjoy that process at least.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Keep up the hunt, Rochelle. They are out there. You only need one or two to experience connection. I know we often hope that school later in life will be a fit so it can be disappointing. But you might be able to find someone there who will be nerdy with you. Yes, enjoy the process! Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think I’ve got a pretty good start here 😉
        Thank you for the awesome content and discussion as always~
        I usually read happily from the sidelines but this topic brought out the terrier in me all too quickly to rein in!

        I used to have those I could be nerdy with and believe they are still out there! I also believe it is a habit of the RFM to constantly evolve and so relationship types would naturally need to evolve just as quickly, whew! Another tough topic for another day, but parallels are possible.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was just talking with a friend of mine today about how I appreciate she is always working on herself like I am. Not necessarily therapy but introspection, growing, evolving. So, yes, it matters, Rochelle. And, no, please don’t rein it in!

          Liked by 1 person

          • You are so right. Being growth-minded is a key component in balanced relationships(but especially where fertile rainforests are involved)! And something I recently wrote in on the non-negotiables of my personal relationships.
            So for now I have maybe 2 friends to speak of hahaha <(:-}
            Thanks for the reminder on letting up on the reins- I should tattoo that on my contact lenses!

            Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle, I’ve started to shed the “look up to me” or “look to me for inspiration” people (before that was a round of people who thought I needed improving, but therapy has mostly cured that). And I have noticed people who were interested in me because they found me interesting, which sounds like a good thing, but it was like being a creature in a cage. They don’t want to co-create an interesting experience, just collect me. I’ve even run into mental health professionals who are like this! It’s nice when you find people you can exist with and not have to be amazing. (Of course, you are amazing! But it gets exhausting to have to always embody amazingness.) It’s so good to be able to just be.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It can be hard to let go of people who you realize are not good friends when you don’t yet have replacements. But it makes room for the new ones to come in!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh yes! I can relate to this. You feel like you’ll never be sure if someone likes you, or enjoys you merely as their entertainment – or if they even know the difference!. I also had therapists like this. At least I feel like they may learn something by being intrigued, even if they don’t help you!

        Liked by 3 people

      • Pecheoiseau, I love this comment. You must be quite amazing yourself!
        “Co-create” is such an apt phrase for this situation and also sort of a good standard of measurement in relationships.
        I realized I’d started getting a distaste for those who rely on me to carry the conversation and sort of energy of the exchange to the point of physically manifested social anxiety, which therapy has helped me to (mostly) get over. I’m glad you’ve seen some success in therapy as well, awesome! And also awesome you realized you don’t need improving. Hell no, you don’t. That’s obvious even from one paragraph.
        I also feel like I’ve been part of many people’s collections in an odd way and this sort of resulting embarrassment for having so enthusiastically shared with those who had other motives the whole time unbeknownst to me. I’m relieved yet sorry you understand so well.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. One of my favorite memories is sitting at night in a cemetery next to firefly-laden trees with my brother and cousins takin about the nature of the universe. It was still and peaceful and there was a magical feeling.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I love this so much!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This quote/meme thingy that I came across yesterday:

    “Don’t feel bad if people remember you only when they need you. Feel privileged that you are like a candle that comes to their mind when there is darkness”

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a nice quote. Very sweet for self-soothing in the moment but also a very good way to get involved in one-sided relationships, taken advantage of, and dehumanized. People are takers before they are givers. Been there, no thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Interesting quote/meme thingy. Some will appreciate the reframe. Others, not so much. Right? It can be a heavy burden to always be lighting up other people’s darknesses. I’m guessing that’s why you called this a quote/meme thingy! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it is quite a burden to be only contacted “when they need something” and then having heavy therapeutic conversations without getting paid.. lol. I’d like some lightness or laughter too now & then but I’m not that kind of girl for some reason… I probably did that myself in our friendship histories but still… ?
        Luckily my partner and I share lots of (weird) humor together

        The meme had a picture of two hands holding a heart with it

        Liked by 2 people

  10. This speaks from my heart, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m lucky that I have a brother and a daughter that can do this with me.. and a best friend. Super blessed. Unfortunately my partner gets tired when I “talk too much”

    Liked by 4 people

  12. too busy juggling the weight of the immediate local world around me to get to dive deep into the pools inside often enough to feel wet much less hydrated… why does the ‘rest of the world’ have to be so hard to keep up, slow down for, make things click and you have to keep all the gears turning on that so you hardly ever get to slip into ‘limitless’ gear mode and go where your own brain wants to go – because it isn’t profitable, it isn’t what everyone else needs, it is just considered ‘random play at things that are not practical’….

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I love this, Paula. Thank you yet again for being that spot of comfort in familiarity. The pandemic and everything that has happened since has been very difficult for me, both existentially as well as personally. I have lost a lot as a direct result of these events (including my best friend, and my other close friends are still around and in contact but it’s changed and they are so distant now) and it’s a very lonely world for me these days. I have tried to find some new social connections but something has really changed on a fundamental human level and it seems very much harder. I wish you had a facebook group or something, I would join it. I thought about making one but ah… how does one articulate what sort of target audience one is seeking, in a few words. I mean like I tried to think of how I could word such a social environ but ultimately came up with nothing I felt would be adequate (am oft misunderstood, they say potaytoe others say potahto I say tasty tuber et al.). Using ‘gifted’ isn’t the universally accepted word as a lot of ‘gifted’ groups aren’t necessarily based on my definition of the meaning of the word, and ‘rainforest mind’ is yours, I wouldn’t use it because it’s yours.

    I also love the inclusion of the f word in the quote, that actually made me feel better, Ha

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, Elle. I thought I had responded to this but it looks like I haven’t. I have not started a FB group because I see how hard they are to monitor. It’s quite a full time job! There are FB groups out now for gifted and sensitive folks. You know about intergifted? There are also some others. I’m not sure of the quality. If you wanted to start something, I bet you could come up with a name and then a description that might attract the people you want. I’m guessing eventually someone will use rainforest mind and I do want the expression to become popular. I feel a little mixed about someone starting a group with that name just because people may associate it with me and I wouldn’t have control over the quality! (control issues) There is a therapist in the US who uses the name for a therapy group she is doing. When people have asked me in the past, I suggest that if they use the name that they write somewhere that is visible that says I am not part of it. So that could also be a possibility for you?? Let me know if you decide to start something.


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