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.


(from my book Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth) ProberGuide_CoverCROP_72dpi_4web

297 thoughts on “THE QUIZ

  1. I cried while reading this. Thank you, thank you, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to all 22 of the examples. What a relief to discover I am not simply fighting with my heart & my head all the time, nor am I odd or difficult. I am truly blessed, and have a lovely new goal of embracing, sharing and managing my newfound superpower, previously referred to as a ‘curse’. I feel as though, at 55 years of age, I have a brand new life ahead of me! Thank you! I can’t wait to read Rainforest Mind!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This really hit home for me. I’ve spent all my life feeling different or weird…glad to know I’m not alone

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “• 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?”

    I was thinking — autistic because you infodump on your favorite topics? 🙂

    Thanks again for responding to my panicked contact the other day. I think it’s going to be okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I should add Aspergers to the list for that reason for sure. Thanks, Meg. And I’m glad you’re going to be OK!


      • For the past 3 years I’ve been feeling totally like I have Asperger’s. Now that I’ve found out what giftedness is, I’m not so sure anymore, so many things are in common. What are some main differences to tell the 2 apart??

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are clear differences. One would be your ability to understand social cues, to know when someone else is upset or angry or tired, etc. Aspies usually miss social cues. Another is that you understand metaphors and symbolic language. AS is usually very literal. Similarities can be sensitivities to sounds, textures, smells, etc. And diving deeply into interests. With AS, there is usually too much sharing of passions and lack of awareness when the listener isn’t interested. I’m not an expert in the area of autism spectrum issues but you can do some research at for more details. Many people are confused by this!


  5. Oh boy, there I am. In just about every quiz question. What hit me between the eyes was “itchy clothes”. As a child I refused to wear wool. The texture drove me out of my mind! I am both relieved and terrified by this revelation for myself. I suffer from analysis paralysis — so many ideas and overwhelmed by which path to pursue. I am a great starter, a finisher — not so much. I get easily distracted (Husband jokingly nicknamed me Dory, the fish from Finding Nemo)… Added pressure of being 53 (married and parent to 3 teens). One of the most painful things ever said about me came from my father-in-law who shared with my husband that he thought I was “floundering”. Gut punch! So, there’s that. I will start with your book and reading the blog. Thank you for your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have you ever considered the overlap with ADHD? I see the comment about “saying you’re so ADHD” (which is hurtful to people who have ADHD) but there has been a very obvious overlap with myself and many of my friends with ADHD who also process the world this way. I’m noticing a very large overlap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are definitely people who are RFMs and also ADHD. They are what are called twice exceptional or 2e. And there are gifted traits that can look like ADHD but are not. Multiple interests and nonlinear learners who are easily bored and don’t finish one thing before starting another can be misdiagnosed. Kids who are advanced in school and distracted because they are not being challenged can look ADHD. I’m sorry if there was a hurtful comment that I missed. I don’t write much about ADHD or other exceptionalities because I don’t have a lot of experience with them. But I have had a few clients who struggle with ADHD for sure. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok, so I answered and pondered deeply on all of those examples… now what? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s so me!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi there

    I’ve listened to you speak on your work on a couple of podcasts and it’s fascinating! In one you mention this quiz so I’ve read through it a few times. For years I’ve been thinking about my own abilities so I thought I’d try it. It’s really interesting to me because I can’t answer a single one! I keep wondering about the answers. My brain sorta short circuits and I can’t think of definitive answers…..🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Words to my feelings! And accurately so. I have often doubted i am autistic for the above mentioned reasons, although technically i’m told i’m ‘fine’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There can be overlap with some gifted traits and Aspergers which can be confusing for folks. But there are also very clear differences. And if someone is twice-exceptional, they can be on the autism spectrum (Aspergers) and intellectually gifted.


  11. I’m glad I found this website. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable calling myself gifted, but relate to this list a lot. I actually stumbled upon the site after (in one day) I saw a couple of people I knew labeling themselves as gifted. So, I entered something weird about giftedness into Google to see what would happen and found this site. Can’t wait to read your books!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. holy frick,
    I really thought I have some weird mental illness that is a combination of ADHD, OCD, and bipolar depression(i know that sounds dumb)

    thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is all me but honestly the descriptor of ‘gifted’ is not at all me. I feel more useless than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Two comment-y questions.
    1) Could you reformat this page so the reader can apply a check mark to a tick box by each item? I was a bit miffed when I got to the end and it said “If you answered “yes” to at least 12 of the above questions” and I felt compelled to go back and count, necessitating doing the quiz a 2nd time and pondering some questions even more.

    2) I think I meet 2/3+ of the designators, but I also wonder “doesn’t EVERYONE?” I can’t imagine a person who in their heart-of-hearts doesn’t think at least half of these apply, particularly since the ones which aren’t “me” must be many other people. So, I feel like I’ve encountered a webmarketer selling wondermops at 2a.m. and suddenly I’m agreeing with everything and reaching for my credit card…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I probably won’t reformat the quiz. And, no, not everyone has these traits. Really! Although your response is something I’ve heard from others. And if I start selling wondermops, I’ll let you know! 🙂


Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

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