Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive


Do you have a rainforest mind?

Take the following totally, completely and utterly unscientific quiz to find out.

image6• Like the rain forest, are you intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, idealistic, and influential?

• Are you misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mysterious?

• Like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws?

• Do people tell you to lighten up when you are just trying to enlighten them?

• Are you overwhelmed by breathtaking sunsets, itchy clothes, strong perfumes, clashing colors, bad architecture, buzzing that no one else hears, angry strangers, needy friends, or global hunger?

• Do you see ecru, beige, and sand where others see only white?

• Do you spend hours looking for the exact word, precise flavor, smoothest texture, right note, perfect gift, finest color, most meaningful discussion, fairest solution, or deepest connection?

• Have you ever called yourself ADHD because you are easily distracted by new ideas or intricate cobwebs, or OCD because you alphabetize your home library or color-code your sweaters, or bipolar because you go from ecstasy to despair in 10 minutes?

• Are you passionate about learning, reading, and research, yet perplexed, perturbed, and perspiring about schooling?

• Do your intuition and empathy tell you what family members, neighbors, and stray dogs think, feel, or need even before they know what they think, feel, or need?

• Do you find decision-making about your future career and deciding what color to paint the bedroom equally daunting due to the deluge of possibilities assaulting your frontal lobes?

• Are your favorite spiritual conversations the ones you have with trees, rocks, and babbling brooks?

• Does your worth depend on your achievements, so that if you make a mistake or do not perform up to your standards, you feel like an utter failure as a human being now and forever more?

• Do you crave intellectual stimulation and are you desperate to find even one person who is fascinated by fractals or thrilled by theology?

• Are you embarrassed to tell your family and friends that you find it easier to fall in love with ideas than with people?

• Have you ruminated about the purpose of life and your contribution to the betterment of humanity since you were young?

• Do you get blank, confused stares from people when you think you have just said something really funny?

• Are people awestruck at what you can accomplish in a day, but if they knew the real you, they would see that you are actually a lazy, procrastinating, slacking impostor?

• Are you afraid of: failure/success, losing/winning, criticism/praise, mediocrity/excellence, stagnation/change, not fitting in/fitting in, low expectations/high expectations, boredom/intellectual challenge, not being normal/being normal?

• Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway in L.A. during rush hour?

• Do you love skipping down new sensual paths and exploring imaginary worlds to discover beautiful connections between fascinating objects, words, ideas, or images?

• Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time?

• Are you uncomfortable with the label “gifted,” and sure that if you were to use the word as a descriptor of people with some sort of advanced intelligence—which you would not because it is so offensive—that it certainly would not apply to you.

If you answered “yes” to at least 12 of the above questions, you likely have a rainforest mind. If you ruminated about the answers to many of these questions and often thought “it depends,” you, too, fit the profile.IMG_0345


(from my book Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth)


133 thoughts on “THE QUIZ

  1. I thought I was alone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At almost 60, I am still trying to find out how to function in this world.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Literally, tears in my eyes as I read this. Here I was always thinking something was wrong with me.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I alphabetize my spices, my music. I arrange my clothes by sleeve length. Now I now why. Rainforest mind. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • =) I used to, I try to, but I live with chaos around me, so my vain attempts to hold on to being organised & orderly are gone. I sometimes wish that I had known before how much being part of a large family would affect me, but, overall, I think I am surviving and sometimes, even thriving. I love my children, but I do look like I’ve been put through a ringer sometimes. I look so different to when it was just me, meandering in my rainforest ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • The chaos of a large family can be hard on the sensitive rainforest mind. Remember that taking breaks and doing self-care is important and will benefit your family, too.


        • Thank you Paula =) It is true, I feel swamped at times, but they challenge me, and sometimes in a good way too. ❤ But, I definitely feel the burn out factor and am ready for bed at night! x

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I was sitting here just before this thinking I MUST HAVE. A mental illness because I cannot find connection with anyone in my job, I am often left alone or ignored or told to calm down… but when they do talk to me it’s 20 steps ago for me!! Is this for real???

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paula, I honestly thought I was just weird and alone. Thank you so much for this. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s pretty moving to discover a new perspective on oneself that helps to reframe our self-understanding, therefore operating a relieving shift from “weirdo” to somewhere closer from “just delightfully different”. Thank you for this sweet epiphany 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m 21. Finished my third year of college. I’ve been to 4 different colleges. I’ve changed my major 6 times. I have a 3.9 gpa but feel like I’m cheating somehow. I have enough credits to be a senior but not enough in any specific field to graduate within the next two years. This is exhausting. It’s impossible to chose and every time I choose I change my mind in a year.

    I just want to say thank you for this. I was identified as gifted as a child but never heard the term multipotentiality until tonight and I’m thrilled that I’m not alone. Don’t know if I’ll ever pick a major before I run out of loans, but at least I’m not the only one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so happy you found us, Mikayla. So happy! If you type multipotentiality or multipotentialite into the search engine, you’ll see the other posts on the topic. But keep reading. There might be other posts that fit for you, too. You’re not the only one!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel like you know me. I just finished my first year of college and I get very stressed about trying to figure out “what to become”. Reading through your blog is helping me a lot. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh. My. Goodness! I just read about myself while taking this quiz. All my life I have felt these things, alone, feeling as if I were going crazy. Thank you! Even before reading your book & blog, I have found answers I’ve been searching for. And, as a coincidence, I love your hair! I, too, have hair-with-a-mind-of-its-own that I am learning to love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Paula, today, a friend referred me to the work of Dabrowski and now, because of my intense curiosity, I have discovered this sensational place Most of my life (I’m 71) I’ve felt un-understood by most people, so a few years ago I just thought “fuck it, I don’t care anymore, I’m 50 and if people can’t handle me they can go jump” I think it was the jokes reference that confirmed it: Noone thinks my jokes are funny, and my colleagues think I’m a conspiracy theorist because I talk about Fukushima. I teach singing and was a professional singer for many years and Opera kept me occupied and sane as music still does.The music in my head never stops and when a tune drives me crazy, I just change it ! I’ve only recently started to understand that my love problems have always been due to mismanagement of personality differences and realising I’m an Artisan and what I’m not good at in relationships is helping tremendously. I think lots of people will love your site. Thanks Paula.Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Is it possible for an adult to score get an average score on IQ test, 106, and still identify as a gifted adult? Or am I just deluding myself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • An IQ test is just one measure. There can be many reasons you didn’t test gifted. Some people just don’t test well. Some overthink tests or don’t have a cultural background that matches the test designers. Or are sick when taking the test. Or…. So, if you fit many of the traits I describe here, I’d suspect that you’re on the spectrum!


  14. I think another challenge is assuming that everyone thinks this way or feels this way – not realizing that we are unique. We often surround ourselves with similar people and our children/parents are often the same so it feels familiar but dont realize that outside of that circle it’s different.

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  15. I felt like shouting “YES” at ALL of these and by the end found myself actually nodding my head and thinking “100%!?!” I haven’t seen it put into words in this way and I’ve seen a fair amount in my gifted learning journey so far. I’m definitely curious to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Loved your totally unscientific quiz! You had me at “ Are people awestruck at what you can accomplish in a day, but if they knew the real you, they would see that you are actually a lazy, procrastinating, slacking impostor?” 😂 I was so happy, as I kept saying “yes” after reading each question, feeling finally, someone gets me! Thank you. I appreciate your sharing! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am beyond thankful to have found you – one who seems to understand and appreciate the real me. At 64, I have searched high and low for one with your wisdom. Being “not enough” yet, simultaneously, “too much”, I am grateful to have discovered your keen perspective of my nature and to find others like me. You seem to grasp my desires for intellectual stimulation and the reasons my successes have always felt incomplete and lackluster.
    Your blog “I’m Not Gifted, I’m Just Weird” touched my soul and spirit. It helped me realize my intuition and empathic feelings are much stronger and deeper than I ever knew. This realization motivates me to fully embrace these qualities. Can this knowledge, coupled with your writings, help me understand how people can be so cold, heartless, and unfeeling? Help me fashion a harder exterior with which to mount a better defense to life’s intensities? I do not know, yet realize I have found an incredible beginning – right here in your presence. I remain thrilled to have found your amazing writings – so elated that I rushed to create and name my new account in your honor.
    I am a RFM and am grateful to finally be known. Many blessings to you, Paula Prober, for your heartfelt love and understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve known for a while, but this seems to be the most accurate description of what I deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Yes. Yes. Yes…. Yes to all of it. How do you know me so well?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, I have a Rainforst Mind and so do many of my diagnosed clients. Highly intelligent, higly passionate, highly distracted… people can understand that. Sort of, though. But all of these traits mentioned in the quiz? Thank you Paula, for putting all these traits, emotions, sensitivities, talents and so on in words and sentences!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. i thought i was an alcoholic everything but smart lol .. every single one of these questions i have spent countless hours days years understanding my purpose everyday i get more clear on this as well ,, i feel somewhat whole and have a beliefe that the only reason im not dead is im not finished leaving u with my gift not sure what that is ….

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have an IQ of 126 that’s certainly not gifted but I do relate myself with the rest of the points mentioned. Do I Really have a rainforest mind?

    Liked by 1 person

    • IQ is only one way to determine giftedness and it isn’t always reliable for many reasons. Generally, people use 130 as the start of the gifted range. On another day, your score may have been 130+. If you relate to many of the questions on the quiz, I’d say you can assume that you have a rainforest mind! See if, as you read the posts, if you see yourself in my words!


  23. I’ve only just realized that for the past 16 years of my life, I have been different and everyone has been putting me in a box, to the point where I started hating being around it. I don’t feel alone anymore. People understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I just want to say thank you, I’ve feel like I’m a weirdo, someone who doesn’t fit, someone who can’t put his sh** together, now I can try to see other perspective and maybe I’m not a weirdo as I thought, sorry bad english, not my first language

    Liked by 1 person

  25. My mind finally has a name!!!I can’t believe it.For years I thought I was crazy driving myself crazy about being possibly crazy but it turns out I just have a RAINFOREST MIND.Thank heavens.So reliefed that I am not crazy, my mind is beautiful like a rainforest and not insane or delusional, and I’m not alone.This is pure bliss.Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 20 “yes” of them, I don’t know what to feel, I mean, I thought I was just dumb or a weirdo since I was a kid…

    Liked by 2 people

  27. And so I’m having rainforest mind. While being in my 20s, always felt disconnected. Couldn’t clarify what is a reason to such a approach, until I have started blogging and got my eyes on this article. Magnificent, feel so good just now.

    Alex, we’re better than any adjective – humans tend to simplify unknown, be proud of who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Love reading all of the posts! It has me thinking I’d love to be able to exchange with people on this stuff, or participate in a study, or anything else that allows me to be as intense as I am without being thought of as crazy! 🙂 As a child, my whole family used to tell me I needed to calm down. But I have this boundless energy and enthusiasm (and frustration, and hunger to learn, and, and, and). Anyway, thank you for opening all of this up for all of us. And I LOVE that you respond to just about everyone. Is there perhaps a feeling of concern for everyone, that you don’t want anyone to feel left out? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Raz. I enjoy responding to comments and creating a bit of a community. I’ve thought of starting a Facebook group but don’t have the energy to monitor what can get pretty overwhelming. This is much more manageable. There are Facebook groups out there that you might explore to see if you want to engage. Most are for parents of gifted kids. There’s one for adults through the site The site has good articles on giftedness and classes but they do charge for the FB group. A new FB group has started called Rainforest Minds. Not run by me but by a gifted therapist who asked to use the name. It’s just starting so there isn’t much engagement on it yet. Thanks for your comment Raz and for being here!


      • Thank you for the suggestions! But to be honest, I’m not sure I want to join a FB group. I don’t want to put myself out there (in public) as identifying as gifted. I’d rather have geeky exchanges in private. Mostly, I don’t want to be seen as an intellectual snob. That’s partly why I’m not following you on Twitter. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Wow, this quiz is like walking into a fortune teller’s creepy (just a side note I stopped after 10 words and spent 15 minutes looking in a dictionary to find the word Gwendilous, wrongly spelled, meaning like creepy, eerie, dark, horrifying, etc. If anyone knows the spelling please share it’s driving me nuts) shop and having them describe your entire life. First off, I completely sympathize with this website, I am a classic gifted kid (diagnosed and educated in a special program) and I have been like this for my entire life. Just a general description: I am/was (not really sure anymore) extremely intelligent (not to be cocky), I was reading a children’s encyclopedia from to back when I was 8 years old and I carried it around with me siting facts, people would tell my parents I was so smart, I would ace all my subjects, but I hated school, it was soooo boring because I learned so easily and everyone else just didn’t, I overthought, and will continue to overthink, everything, as you can tell by my earlier brackets predicting your mental analysis of my personality. I love science, math and reading beyond most everything else, but I no longer have the time for it. I was speaking full paragraphs by age 2 and a half and my mom would lie and say I was 4 because she didn’t want people to be jealous, has this kinda karmic belief that others wish bad luck upon you because of jealousy; I love speaking and am doing it most of the day, I am currently in high school and I run the debate team, compete and win awards, verbal instruction and auditory learning come naturally to me. When I was in grade 3 I was told I was extremely gifted after completing the standardized Canadian test, I proceeded to attend a gifted school until I completed elementary school, grade 8 in Canada (on the off chance it’s different in the states, middle school and all). After elementary school I enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at a Catholic High School, even though I’m not catholic. Up to this point it has mainly been a rather general description of my life, but before you get the impression that I’m a happy overachiever you should know that the last 5ish years of my life have been “not so great,” I also have no idea why I feel compelled to share my story, but I already over analyzed the scope and risk of this website so whatever. I have always felt very lonely, not on the social, but the intellectual level, I have always had a lot of friends, and everyone in my grade knows me, but honestly to me it feels like empty interaction. I frequently, by which I mean multiple times a day, feel like I’m the smartest person on Earth and literally no one understands me, even my own family, who I fight with pretty often. Whenever I analyze a situation to death I feel confident and calm, yet people are just incapable of seeing the same range of possibilities, scenarios and outcomes that I do; also consider the idea that they don’t feel a need to be ready for every situation humanly/physical possible. For example, the reason I am basically in love with on the spot speaking, debating, or DECA if you know it, is because I just feel safe when I believe that I can respond to any possible scenario quickly. I am incredibly social, but contrary to what people would assume, I get incredibly anxious about meeting new people, I still do it, probably far better then others, but that is because I have a lot of experience and once I pin my mind into he logic that I have to do it, I just do. My parents were fairly certain I had ADHD when I was young, but my mom, being a teacher, taught me how to sit still and concentrate in class, an ability which I still retain to a high capacity today; unfortunately this ability is limited to the classroom. I used to participate in a lot of sports all day long, soccer, basketball, tennis, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, and I would spend hours training every day, so I was like the intelligent jock (dream come true, not really as I will get to later), giving me a near perfect impression. Unfortunately, my downhill cycle started in grade 7, I had been in a class with the same people (“gifted people”(I’m doubting that now though)) which fragmented into various groups, unluckily none of them were intellectuals or jocks (how satirical, you’d think with both under my belt I would fit in). All the boys played video games and they talked about it all day, finally after 3 years in the same class I caved, on the last day of winter break in my grade 7 year I downloaded League of Legends, a massive, extremely complicated online game. As you could probably guess by now, supplemented by the personality I have explained already, I was extremely impulsive and spent 8-10 hours a day playing the game, which unfortunately was only further supplemented by my having almost 0 exposure to technology as a kid and my tendency to spend all day thinking about the one thing that interests me. I would stay up late at night playing, my parents were clueless for the first year because I was the goody-two-shoes smart overachiever, and I lied about studying. As a result of playing all day until my eyes hurt, I developed a bad case of procrastination, which meant doing assignments every night at like 9pm (haha, also satirical how I thought that was procrastination, wait till you see where I’m at now). By grade 8 I was unable to do work on time, making excusing constantly, an art I have now mastered, and dropping below my straight A+ record to B+. Due to my lower marks I was unable to get into the International Baccalaureate (I.B) program at the best school in the province (not wholly by rating, but the program itself was better than any other in the country), the school my sister went to and graduated already, being gifted herself (but 8 years older than me, so all the understanding goes out the window). That was my first enormous failure, which at the time I thought was the end of the world, so I made myself swear to G-d that I’ll quit the game when I got to high school (3 months from then, how “not” like a procrastinator ) (my second choice, also I.B, but not as good) which as you can guess didn’t work out well. Common tendency: get attached to an ideal of life, or a dream and when it doesn’t work out I break down/have broken down mentally, also the dreams are incredibly detailed and rather impossible (ironic because I pride myself in being a realist when it comes to politics). When I got to high school my procrastination became far worse to the point where I would be writing essays *on my phone*in the car*on my way to school in the morning***, I became 100% dependent on the stress high of having a due date to complete assignments. Last year, in grade 10 I completely broke into pieces when I was up at 5am to start studying for my math exam that day, for the first time since procrastinating in grade 7, I just gave up, the stress high was not enough to make me do it. At that point the year ended, also my parents got very mad, completely unaware of my mental struggles and assuming I was just an ordinary lazy kid. The same events repeated grade 11 first semester this year, in November I missed 3 weeks of school, I could not get out of bed, I had absolutely no appetite whatsoever, at that point my parent fought very hard with me, being more on the traditional side mental health is not their forte. Also, to this point I had still maintained a 90 average, because I am smart, but I hated/hate myself because I know I could do so much better if I could actually work. At fer missing three weeks, and making up excuses to all my fiends, because what do ya know, I’m very self conscious and dependent on the social perception I have built in my school environment, I fell very far behind and I literally could not do work. That was when I began suspecting other causes for my problems: anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc., my marks began to tank, I was extremely low, and to be honest still am, my parents eventually came around to the idea of me seeing a psychiatrist, after lot of arguing and fighting, I have an assessment scheduled in two days. Also, if you have not already guessed I get an incredible amount of academic pressure, which began from my parents (i.e 100% all the time), “oh you got 33/34 on your test? what went wrong.” Just to clarify though, I don’t at all blame my parents, I am who I am, not gonna change, but it is also false to believe that they had no impact on who I am and what state I’m in right now. Another characteristic, I plan everything form and hate doing anything on a whim, partially because I am a total perfectionist, but when I was younger people would make fun of me for having a terrible short term memory (don’t worry bullying isn’t my struggle, I far to confident and egocentric for that), so now my mind is messed up and I keep a mental to do list that I go over probably 150-200 times a day, which “totally” helps me better manage my stress”. I am very bent on becoming a successful (not normal, but exceptional) doctor, lawyer, scientist, etc. I cannot decide (very indecisive), I have also ironed out basically every specific you could think of for the future, but I’m not gonna reveal that on the basis that it’s a little too personal. I am trying to get my life together in time for grade 12 so I can get an average of 95+ and get into Mcmaster Health Science, but right now I’m still having trouble with: getting distracted, concentration, mood, appetite (I weigh like 125lbs at 16), stress and many more incredible flaws.

    Main points to take away:
    – Having an exceptional mind is not always benefit, believe me regardless of whether or not you embrace it, you will feel alone, misunderstood and purposeless (especially because you likely spent hours at night contemplating the philosophical intricacies of life) frequently
    – Academic pressure is extremely influential in shaping children, so future parents out there please know that even when you stop the pressure it might be too late (depending on how hard you pushed) because your child already burned it into their basic understanding of reality (and only therapists can fathom how difficult it is to change those fundamentals)

    Anyway, thanks for reading this super long comment, if you even read this far and
    Goodbye 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Also, had to add this or I would think about it all night, if you know of anything that can help I would greatly appreciate it! Another note to add (If I haven’t yet given you a full picture) is that I have quit video games for good now, but I am constantly bored as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good idea to quit the video games. Think about what else you might find stimulating. Do you like science fiction? Good literature? Might you look into meditation apps? What did you enjoy doing before the video games? Can you volunteer for a good cause? Learn to play an instrument? Go on Duolingo and learn a language? See if your parents have some ideas. Read my blog/book! 🙂


  31. You have shared valuable quiz for determining the rainforest minds of people.
    I appreciate your work. It is really impressive. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience with us.
    College Major Quiz

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Waaaat. Am I really not the only person in the world whose best friend used to be a tree?? And some of those things I was starting to think had to certainly be indicative of some kind of mental illness… I mean, they’re supposed to be symptomatic for other people, right?…. so it’s just bizarre that the same symptom can mean illness or disability in one person and simply indicate “giftedness” in another.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Today is my first day here—and I said yes to nearly every question above—and maybe to the others. About 12 years ago I met a gentleman who, after observing me for just a little while, called me an “empath”. That perplexed me at first but now I know he was right, and now I know I also have a Rainforest Mind. It’s a lonely existence but you know, I am me. Thank you, Paula, for existing and better yet, for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Yea that’s me…I’ve been wondering why nobody my age around me (14-16) has any existential outlook on the world whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I’ve seen and tried many of these “tests” before but none of them convinced me because it was always either something that anyone could test and also score “gifted” or it was just too subjective and prone to confirmation bias as well as differing standards of what qualifies as the trait mentioned (eg. intense, complex, etc.)
    I figured it’d be better to just list the reasons why I believe I’m not gifted and put it somewhere than just do it in my head all the time and this seems like a reasonable place to start.

    Well first point talks about a rain forest, which doesn’t feel right to me since it seems too suffocating, boring, wet and noisy. (I’m not a nature person)
    Intense? I can’t judge that very well because I don’t see how I’ll be able to know what’s intense and what isn’t (I did try talking to others but I still have no idea). I don’t know what multilayered means, or colourful, (sorry for BE, but I’m afraid it’ll ruin the consistency of the rest of my comment since I don’t pay attention to which spelling is which) I wouldn’t describe myself as creative because my ideas are always already thought of by others before me and I can’t seem to think of anything novel, I’m not sure if overwhelming refers to myself or towards others, I don’t know what highly sensitive means in the same way I don’t know what intense means, same goes for complex, and I’m not an idealist (yet) unless you weren’t referring to philosophy, in that case yes, and I don’t know how influential fits into the rest…

    I would say I am misunderstood at times but then again everyone, even those who aren’t gifted, would say they’re misunderstood, and I haven’t exactly been misdiagnosed or diagnosed of anything other than MDD when I was 15 which doesn’t seem very related to me. I have no idea how I could identify myself as mysterious. If this is referring to not being able to read my own thoughts then maybe but I think most people can’t either.

    I think I’ve met many people who have done similarly. When I was seeing a psychologist for MDD, I was informed that my concerns were “like reinventing the wheel” when I talked about what I now realise is called Nihilism (closest match at least). I saw a psychiatrist a couple of years after and he told me my concerns were “pseudo-profound” and that I was “dogmatic” and should “grow up”. He was a well-respected psychiatrist too so my parents were sitting in the room nodding their heads like bobblehead dolls. Perhaps this isn’t what it means by “chainsaws”, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

    People don’t tell me to lighten up when I try to teach them things often or point out an error in their reasoning, I usually get a more hostile response than that. I frequently have others inform me that I believe I’m the smartest person in the world (which is news to me) as well.

    I don’t get overwhelmed by sunsets, in fact I find that sunsets are really nothing special, clothes don’t feel itchy but I’ve always hated tags and collars really test my sanity (normal shirt collars, not the formal dress kinds but just any kinds of collars). I’d tug at my shirt when I was a kid so much that all my shirts had loose, damaged collars. I also always avoid the perfume section of department stores because those things drive me nauseous and also make it a note to remove any air fresheners in the car that my parents intentionally forget I hate. I don’t thing I have much of a thing for colours, or bad architecture, I don’t hear buzzing that others don’t hear (is this talking about fluorescent lights?), don’t know about angry strangers, needy friends or global hunger. (Global hunger and other similar stuff is something I see a lot when people talk about their sensitive child, but I’ve never really even once considered these even when I was younger as I was more focused on existential stuff but I seriously hate the death sentence)

    I don’t even know what ecru is and didn’t know sand was a colour.

    I don’t spend hours doing these things except for maybe the exact word part and even that it’s more like 15 minutes at maximum. I’m not sure how I’d be able to spend hours looking for the exact word, I don’t think English is that diverse but I don’t know what I don’t know so there’s that.

    I didn’t think I was ADHD or OCD, mostly because I have the DSM-5 and I read it for fun (got my father to buy it when I was 15) so I know that I can’t just diagnose myself like that and also that ADHD and OCD is more than what common usage implies.

    I fully agree with this point on schooling.

    I don’t think I’m quick enough to do that and the unfalsifiable nature of this kind of “prediction” is tough for me to have any certainty in.

    I’ve never had to paint my bedroom and my future career basically turned non-existent around the time I started dropping in and out of school at 15 (that’s a lot of things at 15)

    No idea what this statement about spiritual conversations means.

    I pride myself partially on intrinsic motivation yet my answer to this is yes.

    So far I’ve been taking everything in an absolute, concrete fashion, I assume fractals and theology are just examples but just in case they’re not, then no. But I do long to find someone who is as interested in logic, philosophy and psychology as I am, though I’ve found that most people who are seem to be quite nasty so either I’m looking for nonexistent people or I’ve already found them but am refusing to believe I have.

    No, I find the opposite to be true and also I have no idea what “love” is. Perhaps I’m overthinking it.

    Yes, but not really for the second part. You could say I’ve been rather selfish in my thoughts, and that consideration for others is pretty low on my list.

    Yes, also for some reason explaining my jokes always ended up as a quasi-essay even though it seemed so simple before I tried explaining it.

    I don’t accomplish anything so this has never happened to me. Always scored bottom of the class ever since I was 10 as well.

    Whether I am normal or not has been one of the most confusing and intriguing obsessions I’ve had in my life for years. To the point I’m doing something like this (which I never do and will probably do coin flip at the end to decide if I should delete everything or post this.)

    I assume this is a metaphor for classroom pace, which I have little experience with. Perhaps something to do with homeschooling? I’m not sure.

    No, I don’t explore imaginary worlds more than I struggle to free myself from them, but it didn’t take too long (luckily) for me to realise that the exit door doesn’t exist within the worlds themselves so the explorations have been more or less nonexistent though at times I do “explore” these worlds. I actually believe the worlds are generated as they are being explored but I have no idea.

    It feels like my brain is doing a forward roll.

    The label has no meaning to me other than a perhaps a sense of relief. I’ve come to terms (given up) with others having the wrong idea of what giftedness is. (if it was up to me I’d relabel it as “curse” but that’s assuming I’m gifted at all, which I highly doubt) Perhaps the wanting of this label is solely for the “right” to call it a curse because I’ve been through it or at least some version of it.

    I know this has been very long. I don’t understand the scoring. I tried it without writing it down earlier and I got a 9 (+/- 1) . As I said I’ll flip a coin and decide if I’ll post this or delete everything as I’ve already done twice so far.

    If I happen to seem like I’m acting smart or subtly trying to push someone into saying that I’m gifted, I’d like to say that I’m not but also that I can’t really do anything about it. I don’t think being gifted is a good thing, I’m at the age where being gifted gives me zero benefits and my main focus now is just really trying to make a conclusion somewhere. I can insist that I’m not gifted, it’ll be easier as it’s politically correct and others won’t fight me for it but things won’t make sense unless I either meet someone who is actually gifted and realise how much I “fall short” or some other thing.

    I grew up in a family with parents who believed in the “everyone is gifted” idea so my mother didn’t really take it seriously when one of my teachers recommended me to take a gifted screening test when I was 9. Not sure if that matters but I’ll just put it up here. Also I did take a professional IQ test, and got 118 on the Wechsler scale, which translates to 12th percentile which is a far cry from being gifted which is 2nd or 1st percentile based on what I’ve read. This is perhaps one of the main sources of confusion. Perhaps my request here would instead be to convince me that I’m not gifted (this is not a taunt, I’m serious. I don’t think being gifted is a good thing and I don’t aspire to be gifted, I just want to be less confused).

    If this goes up it means the coin landed on heads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hm… new quiz question: Consider that if you write a very long response arguing all of the many reasons why you’re not gifted, that you just might have proved that you’re g-g-gifted…


    • You seem utterly rational. And self-querulous. I agree with Paula Prober in that few but gifted people would have put forth such a line-by-line argument.

      I think that some of the trouble you had seeing yourself in the quiz was that it was written more as a free-spirit style set of descriptors and was somewhat metaphorical. I don’t think that particular style meshes well with how you think (which I am basing on your own rhetorical style).

      Anyway…you are bright. You exerted some time and effort on this response. Good on you.

      Hope you read this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  36. (I was commenting to “I’ll check back one day perhaps”…in case that was unclear…but it probably wasn’t.)

    Liked by 1 person

  37. And now…my reaction to the quiz.

    Before I started the quiz, I scrolled down to see how long it was, saw the twelve or more bit, then went back to the top.

    As I read, I counted in binary on one hand as I ticked off the items that applied to me. (Did you know that you can count to 31 on one hand in binary? 1023 if you use both hands…assuming you have all ten fingers.)

    I digress.

    I wouldn’t have bothered with the quiz if I didn’t already think I would be in the rainforest-mind camp.

    My thumb and ring finger were sticking up at the end: 18.

    Honestly, places like this are great for fulfilling the psychological need for a sense of belonging. And that can be hard to find for people like us.

    I often feel alone when I’m at work. It can be hard to feel a sense of connection to others. I have tried to exhibit more rhetorical sensitivity when it comes to my sense of humour, but I really can’t handle not sharing sometimes, and often have to explain the joke to my audience.

    I prefer long words to short ones, generally.

    I always fill my dishwasher in the same sort of arrangement. I use this confounding (to others) method of folding my t-shirts.

    It’s not easy being quirky or creative or very intelligent or interested in how things work and how people do things and what’s going on in the world.

    Thank you for creating this space.

    Also, I concur on the hair. Your hair is super fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I think my child is gifted which is making me think maybe that’s always been my “problem” too. I have taken a liking to calling myself “eccentric” because it sounds better than neurotic or nervous or particularly hard to please. Question is what do I do with this for my son? He is only 6 but I’ve suspected this for years. Public school gifted program starts in 3rd grade, outside of that even in private schools they seem to not know what in the world giftedness really is. Questions like “do you really want to pursue that?” Do I have a choice? I think his brain works how it works, isn’t it detrimental to ignore it? I feel i was “missed” in my 13 years of catholic schooling. We are looking into a stem school but I’m not sure that’s the answer or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I am a rainforest mind, too. My whole life has been a series of bewildering interactions and misunderstandings because I wrongly assumed that everyone thinks and feels the way I do: The intensity with which I see color, the pangs of empathy for the homeless person on the side of the road, the drive to explore and create, the constant rationalizations and theorizing of life’s purpose, the painful boredom with the mundane that threatens to crush my soul, the absolute need for perfection and precision, the imaginative daydreams of whole worlds and alternate realities, the crazy schemes and plots to just give my mind something to do…I often forget that those with whom I interact on a day to day basis (bar my husband, who is also a rainforest mind) do not experience life this way. It’s a wonderful thing to be known and understood on this blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    I found you here after googling “why do I feel so stupid”. I know I’m brilliant (I’m working on believing this) and I know I’m not stupid but I can’t quite reconcile my academic results with my desired recognition of being a rainforest mind. Trivial and arbitrary but nonetheless consuming. I’m drawn to your articles, thank you for helping me see myself in a kinder, more gentle light.

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  41. I am still not convinced, so here a more detailed description of my answers:

    1: Intense in what way? [I’m not a native english speaker so I’ll have problems with this kind of language use] I’ll go with a dictionary here (extreme feelings or strong opinions) and this would most of the time be No, because I always doubt them and I don’t like finalizing them, but you could say I think intensely. Sometimes I get very excited which then rarely leads to me being extremely hyperactive (I have ADHD-PI so that might be the reason). I see this will very likely turn out in me getting bored with writing this because it’s too boring, so I’ll start to answer faster and only go deepr when I feel the need to do so. Multilayered, I gravitate towards Yes because I have many different kinds of people that I am friends with (although I’m not even sure if they are close enough to be considered friends [wow, this makes me feel empty, didn’t think about this yet. Not a topic I generally think a lot about. very rare actually]). What I mean by this is that I could talk about videogames, sciences (not in-depth, I’m still a teen), I only have problems talking about things that actually happen/happened recently (celebrities, the most recent shooting, news and such). Colorful, No, I know what you mean and no. Creative, most probably Yes. Overwhelming, when excited, so I would answer with Yes. Highly sensitive, more like the opposite, I feel kind of dull (got bullied and went introverted robot, changed back, but I’m still dull). Complex, I think the way I’ve been answering this (considering so many different things) would suggest that this is true. idealistic, in a “why can’t just all the people be nice” way, or in a “how can I make them think more and feel less useless emotions (I’m talking about feelings like anger, which makes things worse most of the time. I’ve sometimes thought about doing the exact opposite [in a convincing, not sarcastic way] to bring them out of concept)” way? First one a clear No, a significant amout of people will always be like that somewhere in someway and if you go by stereotype, most of the Idealists won’t even have a solution. But the second one is definitely me. influential? I’m not; I don’t have the ability to command people (I got bullied. This is kind of weird btw, I even have problems telling sellers what I want to buy, I prefer to not talk at all which gets problematic whenever you want to buy food) and if I don’t see a purpose in my assigned task, I’ll also have problems with a hierarchy. One of the first things you’ll notice when I get into a leadership role is that I establish a certain open discussion. This happens when I’m in a group and no one takes a lead.
    So Noish, Yes, No, Yes, Yesish, Not at all, Yes, Both (you define), No

    So the answer to the 1st question is: ambiguous because 5/5 (you decide about the idealistic one)… wow, help I need to get to the point faster…

    2: Kind of misunderstood, I started to keep the most misunderstandable things to myself, but I would answer this with a yes because the underlying idea of the question still fits. Misdiagnosed… ? (I don’t like these questions) literally: Idk, I have ADHD. But answering the intention of the question… some classmates call me crazy (in a non-serious way, they are rarely serious :/). Mysterious not at all. Thinking deeply would be more fitting.
    [change the misdiagnosed part to something along the lines of “Do you feel misdiagnosed” because then the difference between you thinking you have a certain sickness and others saying no, or something different, would be more evident. It’s this “You don’t know me” “you’re biased and can’t judge yourself” fight
    So the answer would be, again ambiguous.

    3: Interpreting this is going to be funny. (I want to keep this simple, but by the time I look at certain details of the rain forest, I could spit out many different interpretations) I got bullied/cast out multiple times (in Kindergarten, 2 grades in elementary school and about 3 in further education [dont want to go into explaining a whole schoolsystem, so I’ll stop myself again… tangents and weak language [stuttering, certainty, not coming to a point, always pointing out when I see a loophole in what I’m saying… these things, most people get annoyed by this and lose attention] are my biggest enemy in communication). So yeah, you could say that I met many chainsaws. But if I were a rainforest, I met a Virus or Parasite that reduced my size and kept it that way, until I got immune and regrew; basically getting free and learning, being happy that I experienced it.
    When they stopped bullying me, I was more eager to integrate in and happy when I did so. After some time I forgot it and I never even thought about revenge.

    So uh… again almost Yes

    I’m going to scrap any structure and just write the most important things from now on

    Every point about sensing colors and designs or basically anything that impacts me and my environment is very much an easy no. Sure I’ll get some arguments for them, but that’s just because I can do that with everything, and it’s probably something I’ll never stop/can’t stop.
    I’m going to ignore things that are more aesthetic (even though I do recognize beauty in awesome pictures etc). I probably wouldn’t even consider painting my bedroom wall. I couldn’t care less. I am extremely unaware of when things get real, and whenever something happens that I’ve only known from movies, the Internet or sayings it feels odd. Like something that was always a distant idea or thought suddenly gets real. Death, getting pickpocketted (thought I lost my smartphone, half and hour later I found it in my bag), a broken bone (it almost grew back wrong because I didn’t think it was broken), my actions having an impact, that moment when you realise you have something due tomorrow even though you had more than 3 weeks time to do it.
    It’s as if I’m not really impacting my surroundings.

    I like learning things and understanding things (because then you know every solution. Knowing that a prime number can only be devided by 1 and itself is better than having to memorize every prime number. You can just figure it out on the fly)
    However I see the problems in the way schools educate (at least here). Whenever I ask something to go deeper in theory or try to understand why something is (in maths-> why and what is sine and cosine) the teacher says something along the lines of “not important for the test” “just do it like that and it works” “too complicated”. It’s more about doing than understanding, which is just horrible.

    One thing that I feel is important to point out:

    Do you crave intellectual stimulation and are you desperate to find even one person who is fascinated by fractals or thrilled by theology?

    This is the most accurate. The only thing I have to nit-pick about are the examples you have and the strong emotional tone. I’m not that much into theology, but if you’re at a point where we can discuss something deeply It’s not much of a problem. And I don’t notice it all the time as a cra- despa- now that I think about it might be that, but I won’t get too emotional thinking about it, it’s more like a surpressing the desire to try and spark a deep conversation, something others seem to be annoyed by. So I’m often surpressing the desire to talk about something and then start to repeadetly say how much I’m holding back and how much I wanna talk about something about every 5/20 minutes. I feel strong sympathy to people who share this, or one aspect of this.

    And even though I might get a little nervous when things get real, I have a very “there is always a way”-like attitude. I’m very optimistic, because I know the other side, but I realised it’s dumb to go there. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother put it nicely:”Whenever I feel sad I stop feeling sad and feel awesome instead”. Always fight when something drags you there and fight it by slipping through it’s grips. There is a differenc between unreasonable sadness and reasonable sadness. The reasonable one is there to balance you emotionally, to really think about why you feel sad and how etc. The unreasonable one is caught up in a negative way of looking at things, things you can’t even change and things that you need to accept.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s OK if you’re not convinced but I have to tell you that I was smiling reading this because all of your questioning and explaining and analyzing sounded very much like what a person with a rainforest mind would do with this information. So there’s that. If you read more of my posts, you may relate to some and not to others. That’s fine. Either way, I hope you find some helpful information! Thanks for sharing.


  42. I just realised that I mistook every point as one question… xD

    I think that the way the questions are written don’t really want a specific answer, they are more about hitting the spots that someone with a rainforest mind (see, I actually feel weird using that word, no offense) has and is confused about because others don’t have them. Aka Conveying the intentions behind the questions, rather than actually wanting an answer. Otherwise you wouldn’t ask for the specific color tones beige, ecru and white. You would ask about seeing shades others don’t see. But this doesn’t matter, because the reader can relate to the problem explained.
    I’m not sure if it’s intentional (I think it is), but this vagueness leaves much room for questioning or doubting your own answers. Which would then be another way to tell, because they can still be on, even if they don’t have this strong feeling of finally being understood. I guess this stems from the readers preference of a more feeling or thinking approach, or the first impression they get. Looking at the different responses I saw 5 kinds of responses. The first would be a very enthusiastic and about finally being understood, no extra information given. The second type is about their past and that this helped them understand themselves. The third type is a bit different. It’s a joke about “I wasn’t the only one who…”. The fourth is a short statement about this being correct, backed up by a short statement as a reason. And then you have posts that are like mine.

    I know this sounds cheesy, but I while writing this massive post I realized that I’m very likely what you are describing one this website. However, I have a pattern of doubting things, and it doesn’t go away until I understand everything about the topic (especially with self-descriptive things, ruling bias out is hard. Do you know MBTI? ). Or I get bored and do something else and doubt that. And often, when I accept one thing as true the doubt shifts to something else in that specific topic. What I’m saying is that now I’m basically doubting your concept, even if I fit in. This way, I could still be wrong about being gifted, while fitting into your concept. (fascinating how creative I get about proving that something is wrong…)

    I think it would be awesome to make others experience how I think. It would make communication much easier because I have this typical “can’t translate thoughts into language” problem. Do you know what I could do against that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the questions aren’t all to be taken literally. And some are there to make a point but also be funny. You’re welcome to continue to doubt! I’m not sure how to help you with the “can’t translate thoughts into language.” Didn’t you say that English isn’t your first language? So, that could be part of your challenge here. If you have the problem with your native language, too, it might be at least partly because you think faster than you can talk or you think on a few tracks at a time and then can only speak on one track at a time. That can be an issue for a rainforest mind…


      • The problem is more about explaining how I think compared to others. It’s very specific. Imagine having little logical patterns that together shape how I understand things. It’s as if I build rules everytime I learn something new, or I understand something new because they work on those rules. To put it simply, things fall ro the ground, I notice the pattern and make a new rule. When I see that a feather or paper falls down, I flesh my “things fall down” rule so that it falls differently based on certain properties of the object. And now I have to explain something, based on this web-like logic

        Let’s say I need a container for my water, to drink it, and I need it badly. But there are no cups. I would just take something that gets the job done (maybe a huge bucket and a straw). But suddenly I have to explain how I got that solution, and I can’t just start to talk about how a bucket and a cup are the same, but I need something straw-like (doesn’t have to be a straw as long it has the fitting properties) to drink because of the circumference of the bucket and how it gets wider the bigger a circle gets, which results in more water spilling over if you try to change the angle which would mean you’d spill it all over yourself. You then also have water dynamics and volume playing into this whole scenario. You’d also have problems controling the bucket since it has more weight.
        These aren’t very conscious, but that’s the best way I can explain it.

        And they get confused a cup is a bucket, confusing me with their “huh” sounds, confused faces, laughter because I’m so weird/dumb/crazy. And after that I can’t even explain everything. I’m also on a time limit, because fucking no attention span and the lesson has to progress too…

        [btw I looked up some traits for gifted people, and I don’t think they apply to me]

        Liked by 1 person

  43. Hi
    A bit disappointed not to find my previous comment, since I was so excited to write to you.
    I am gifted and so are my siblings but I found out when I was 35 “by accident” and by myself reading a book on it. I’m now 43.
    My son who is 17 is also like me but does not want to hear about it, and cannot motivate himself into high school, he is constantly thinking of 100 things at the time so he is perceived as the non concentrated kid of his class who has his head in the clouds.
    Very happy to read your blog which is the nicest I have found about the topic, what I love about it is it’s very positive. it makes me feel good about being how I am. because the rest of the time I have to struggle to be able to live with myself, dealing with my intense emotional system which takes a lot of energy out of me.
    Thank you for this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I mean, I thought I knew, but I didn’t really know that I knew, you know? Outwardly, it would seem I had embraced academic and intellectual success (math Ph.D., even tenure), but I also knew that I was “too much, yet not enough”. I always — ALWAYS — had to carefully monitor the firehose running through my head and heart, so that an acceptable trickle was all others would see. I had to temper the emotional commitment that went with the intellectual questions, I had to suppress the occasional burst of spirit or tears that accompanied a walk in the forest. And I thought I was fooling them (I had felt I was not *really* that bright, after all, just a wannabe). And I thought this too much was a sign of the problem and proof that I was not real. Well, I was not real, or at least, being real. Reading your words, knowing this is allowed, has meaning, is ok (more than ok), has been HUGE. The question is, what now? I have always felt I was too much, and now, guess what, I am! What I mean is, all this really is me. The 3000 books, the six musical instruments, the poems, the plays, the theorems, and all the hopes for study and questions I have (that I had felt I was not “entitled” to work on). Yeah, it is too much, and it suddenly is all me — not a sign of some disability, but the substance of my being. How do I really learn to be that in this world? A lot of others are not cool with me being that way (starting with my own family), and they will be a bit shocked (and not happy) to find out that while I may have been “too much”, I’ve actually been holding back! I’m a helluva lot more. There are not enough hours in the day (though the minutes have gotten larger, which is nice). I need a manual for living — now — as I am. In any case, thank you so very, very much. It is astounding how important this news is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What now, you ask? Indeed. I would say self-understanding and greater self-acceptance can lead to you living a more authentic and purposeful life. Which will benefit everyone around you. And maybe even the rest of us. Thank you for sharing your specifics. It will help readers to make more sense of themselves.


  45. I am a cardiovascular surgeon but have the feeling that I chose the wrong job after an education of 6 years in med school and 6 years for surgery. now the job seems boring to me and I want to study physiology which is very different part of medicine. but ı have a family so it is late for me to risk anything. sometimes I want to read physics because it was left unfinished in high school. I also feel depressed when I remember that I dont understand any computer language so I bought a book on it. I am also pregnant for my second child and I always have the feeling that I will never have enough time to learn everything that I wonder and find the purpose of my life. I also run away or sabotage myself when I found out that I am successful on something. I also dont understand people…how they can be that stupid and that bigheaded at the same time…because I am not while I am getting everything much more quicker than them…and this is the only place I can speak like this…because noone will quiz me if I am that gifted to talk like this…I lost my light because in this world you exist as much as you dare…and I am always afraid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for writing this, yaprak. I’m so glad that you’re reading my blog so that you can find yourself here and understand some of the reasons you’re struggling. Keep reading. Maybe my book will help, too. It sounds like you may be on the high end of giftedness and you’re dealing with multipotentiality among other things. People often don’t understand why someone so accomplished, say, in medicine, might also be fearful or bored or self-sabotaging. It’s hard to find places to talk about it. Welcome to my blog!


  46. This matches me very well. I have never found a perfect mate as they’ve both seemed flat: one was smart but unemotional, and the other is loving but not intellectually at my level. Sometimes I feel like I’m the last of my species.

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  47. Thank you for this site and creating community and connection. What are your thoughts on how the RFM is related to childhood trauma and attachment? Ive self diagnosed with all of the above mentioned diagnoses + adding attachment trauma. I m wondering if some People escape the reality by “going up in their head” and Living life by being connected to ideas etc because there was no Real connection as a child. Im trying to stay in my body and Calm my mind but it seems nearly impossible when this is my style and i have Lots and Lots of thoughts and ideas constantly. Ive always Been concerned with injustice etc etc i wonder if its connected to trauma or understanding too much of the World too soon. Best regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think that trauma creates giftedness. I think a person is born that way; some say it’s the way the brain is wired. That said, trauma can be a reason someone is more perceptive or sensitive, because they had to be to survive the family or, like you said, they escaped into thinking. Some escape into reading. It could be that traumatized people in general are more aware of injustice but not necessarily. Some of them become abusers. What I’ve noticed is that RFMs tend to care a lot about fairness and justice. You see it in the children at an early age. Thanks for the questions, K. Good to have you here.


  48. Interesting. I don’t exactly identify with many of the questions, but an outright “no” doesn’t cut it either. So…. I guess I qualify?

    Question for you, what’s the overlap between RFM & 2E? They seem to be kind of similar in many ways and I can identify with both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, if you had a lot of “it depends” answers, that might mean you have the RFM traits. If you’re 2e, that could also contribute to your being unsure. RFMs can also be 2e but they don’t have to be. Thanks for being here, Toren.


      • Believe it or not, I actually live in the rainforest. Not the tropics, but the forest right outside my house is forest where rainfall exceeds evaporation, so it’s technically a rainforest. Only, instead of mahogany and ebony, the trees are spruce, pine, fir, birch, and maple, and there’s not nearly as much animal life. Not quite are rich as the tropics, but not bad nonetheless.

        Liked by 1 person

  49. I am lost. I am practically screaming from the inside out. I have no idea how to handle everything. I feel like I am going crazy haha yet I read this list and bam…it fits. How on earth do I do this? Everything was essentially muted for years and then I met someone and BAM! Everything is flying with full force and I have NO clue how to handle it all. People think I’m crazy at times and now I finally understand why. I cannot afford to buy resources so I am reaching out. I am panicking over here. What do I do? How can I handle this?? How can I talk to my friend about all of this? I can talk to him about anything and everything because its as if we are connected yet when I try to express how I feel, he already knows. I am seriously freaking out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was diagnosed with anxiety 20 years ago, given medication and then went on with my life thinking thats exactly what was wrong with me. Then, another doctor tells me I have ADD and not anxiety so now I am on a different medication and all these do is mute everything but it is all still there. I thought I was crazy for years and then all of the sudden I meet someone (neighbor of all people) and he starts talking about things that he thinks will make me believe he is crazy but I understand ALL of it. Now all of my emotions, feelings, thoughts, visions, dreams, nightmares, everything is going FULL FORCE. I am seriously lost and kinda panicking over here….. Sorry, I just wanted to add some more details as I left the last comment short and didn’t really explain much lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • If this information is new, Brittany, try and take a few deep breaths and use your skills to calm yourself a bit. Maybe take a walk or drink some calming tea? Talk to a friend? Then let yourself read some more posts. If you’re just learning about having a rainforest mind, it might take some time to let it sink in and to understand what it means.


  50. Love this!! Had me laughing along as I agreed…

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Hi Paula
    I just want to thank you very much for such an informative website and article. I have been on an intense path of self exploration, and very recently came across your website. Your fun questionnaire and other articles resonate with me really well, and it seems to explains a ‘gap’ in my understanding as to why i’ve always felt I was different from others (apart from cultural and hardship reasons), and some of the backlash that came with that.

    I initially embraced the idea of a rainforest mind/giftedness, however the next day doubts started to creep in (perhaps partially an ‘imposter syndrome’), and now I am evaluating my entire life up to this moment (e.g experiences & remarks from others) which is keeping me up at night. Despite being told in the past (e.g psychologists) that I am for e.g ‘very intelligent’ , have ‘a very analytical mind’, ‘(very) mature for her age’ ‘ she’s not like us’ etc – I am struggling to accept this label. I can however undoubtedly see how those close to me, including family, my very gifted ex-boyfriend and a new close friend of mine – are gifted.

    I had a very abusive late-childhood (luckily am resilient) and was plagued with ‘control related’ neuroses like unhealthy perfectionism, OCD and an E.D. These resulted in oscillating marks (procrastination & excessive striving) in high school which reinforced my low-self esteem. I was also bullied quite a bit, and my ‘good looks’ caused a lot of attention & commentary, making me believe that was all I had if at all. Evidently the ‘under-achievement’ is fueling my doubts. I’ve been trying to think a lot about my primary school years, and can recall that I had a strong sense of right/wrong since an early age, and could read at a 5th grade level in the 2nd grade. I can also very much relate to Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities (on Intelligence and Emotion most of all).

    However I have a nagging and pressing question/concern even though I have not done a real IQ test. I have read that the ‘gifted’ category starts at an IQ of 130. I doubt I would be in this category. I would like to ask your thoughts on IQ, and how much emphasis I should place IQ in deciding ow much importance should I place IQ on this path of self discovery?

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you read more comments on this blog, Nichole. I think you’ll see that you’re not alone in questioning whether you’re gifted or not. IQ tests can be useful but they’re only one measure. There can be many reasons why a gifted person might not score well, including overthinking the questions, test anxiety, pressure to perform, low self-esteem, not feeling well the day of the test, cultural/language differences, and so on. I think as you read more here, you’ll get more clarity. You might also see if my book is helpful. Thanks for writing!


  52. Thank you very much for your response Paula!
    – Nichole

    Liked by 1 person

  53. P.s
    I have bought your book and am reading it intensely…

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

  54. I teared up with both happiness and frustration. I feel as though this applies to me, and, at the same time, doesn’t. It frightens me to say that it does because as a human, there are blind spots in my own perception; and, therefore, I am prone to over and underestimating myself and my abilities or experiences (also, our brain partially makes up and rewrites our memories to suit our own self-perception, – so, I might be very, very wrong. And I don’t want to fundament myself on a false belief).

    Anyhow, I was looking for information about two topics: a) gifted children, because my cousin is, indeed, very intelligent; which, I wasn’t when I was a child (I never payed attention in class. I doodled, walked about and daydreamed, instead (I was diagnosed with ADHD), – of course, I never failed and I was never held back, but I wasn’t a bright child. I was very inquisitive and skeptic, yes, but not academically driven. Actually, in pre-school and I was usually sent to detention because I never finished my assignments. Instead I helped others finish theirs. I am just lucky that I’m a fast learner and that I have a good memory, otherwise…) I was pretty dumb, but mother says I did well in an IQ test, although, she never told me what I got – so, I fear the worst), and b) how to deal with having too many interests. Because I’m transitioning from Economics (because it doesn’t keep me up at night wondering, dreaming, it doesn’t fill me up with happiness) to a Mathematics major. (Although, I have a Linguistics degree already and I’ve played and grappled with at least some other disciplines i. e. Illustration, Psychology, Business… etc). So, naturally, I found your wonderful website because I felt broken. What am I most passionate about when I am passionate about everything? I’m 23 and I feel like I’m wasting my life…

    Let’s see… I don’t, per se, see myself as being particularly different from others (sure, I do not socialize much because I am quite content in my own little World, – and I become consumed with certain subjects. Right now, I’m obsessed with Chinese literature and history as well as Discrete Mathematics), – but others see it. I’ve been told I’m special, most have said that I’m highly intelligent, that I’m different. The unspoken implicature is: ”you’re weird”. Whenever my dad finds me weeping and unmotivated he asks if it’s because I am different, – but I don’t see it, sorry. Am I different? I don’t fit in, clearly, but I don’t feel different. I feel like a disconfigured machine, going at my own pace (be it faster or slower than others), but I still function, I still am a machine like the rest.

    Sorry for any non-sequitur proposition, – I am emotional and, well, English is not my mother tongue.

    Thank you for this, the blog, the article, – everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keep reading, René. I think you’ll find yourself in these posts. You’ll see that gifted folks aren’t necessarily successful in school. Also look for “multipotentiality” as it describes your many interests and changes in areas of study. You surely sound to me like you have a rainforest mind. Welcome!


  55. I am comforted. Much of this is thoughts I could never put into words.

    Liked by 1 person

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