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Emotional Aspects of Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults
Giftedness and creativity are accompanied by daily challenges that can be daunting at times.
Understanding & Appreciating
One of the basic characteristics of the gifted is their intensity and an expanded field of their subjective experience.
As a psychotherapist and coach who's specialized in working with gifted people of all ages for more than a decade, I've learned that if the gifted person can understand, value, and appreciate the way their mind, emotions, imagination, and resources work then they will have a greater appreciation for who they are, what they do, and how they do it.
As a result, gifted people of all ages will live better, happier, more fulfilled lives.
"Many gifted individuals are born with a sense or understanding of how things (ideas, morality, justice) should be. They see more possibilities, imagine greater outcomes, and have loftier ideals than others. They can see from an early age what perfection looks like."
"The intensity, in particular, must be understood as a qualitatively distinct characteristic. It is not a matter of degree, but of a different quality of experiencing: vivid, absorbing, penetrating, encompassing, complex, commanding--a way of being quiveringly alive."
"When the exceptionally gifted confront disappointment, they most often respond with profoundly internalized grief. When they confront injustice, they are incensed. When they are depressed, it seems, and often is, life threatening. When they are happy, it is with a deeper experience of joy. This depth of response to all emotional experience is exaggerated because of their intense awareness brought to nearly any situation."
B. Kline & E. Meckstroth
"Giftedness is a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences."
"To the uniformed, giftedness may seem sort of a special privilege, but to the gifted individual, often it feels like a distinct disadvantage."
Linda Kreger Silverman
"Isolation is the refuge of genius, not its goal."
"The responses of others to the gifted child set him up for increased anxiety and sensitivity. Being excluded from the group creates anxiety, and increased anxiety can lead to psychomotor agitation, emotional lability, and/or withdrawal. Many of these behavioral responses correspond with overexcitabilities observed in gifted students. The constant vigilance required to carefully navigate around the envy triggers of others can contribute to increased sensitivity."
"Working on the assumption that giftedness is a function of one’s nature and not necessarily one’s achievements, from among the many definitions available, I came to define a gifted person as one who has a finely tuned and biologically advanced perception system and a mind that works considerably faster than 95% of the population."
Marylou Kelly Streznewski
"The picture of the more emotional person, as it is emerging from this research ... reveals that a high level of emotional responsiveness may be associated with advanced cognitive organization. All of the cognitive skills that were found to be related to the ability to respond with more emotions are marks of a highly organized awareness - an awareness that might be governed by a well-structured system of values, thoughts, and beliefs, but not by momentary excitements."
"There have also been numerous discussions (on the lists) in the past about the experience of many GT list members, mostly women, who were never told that they themselves were gifted, and never realized it until they had gifted children of their own. However, watching their kids struggle with many of the same problems of giftedness - isolation, rejection, boredom, perfectionism, teacher hostility, conflicts between social and academic success, and so on - opened their eyes about their own giftedness because it was all so familiar from their own childhoods."
The average IQ difference between people who choose to marry each other is 12 points. Basically, they get each other's jokes. That old magic feeling of someone thinking we're amusing! The genetic mingling of the parents' genes gives them children who will usually be within 15 points higher or lower to their parental average. Same with siblings--only 15 points between them on average. Most people know that there is a bell curve shape for most human qualities, and IQ is no exception. There are more average people than there are very low or very high IQ people.
Highly gifted children are frequently placed at risk in the early years of school through misidentification, inappropriate grade-placement and a seriously inadequate curriculum. Additional factors are their own early awareness, that they differ from their age-peers, and their consequent attempts to conceal their ability for peer acceptance.
Teachers who have had no training or inservice in gifted education, and who are reluctant to use standardized tests of ability and achievement, may rely only on gifted behaviors to identify extremely high abilities in young children. This may compound the problem by ignoring early indicators of demotivation and underachievement.
The very early development of speech, movement and reading in many highly gifted young children serves as a powerful predictor of unusually high intellectual ability.
Parents of the highly gifted become aware of their children's developmental differences at an early age; yet parent nomination is under-utilized by primary and elementary schools, and information provided by parents regarding early literacy and numeracy in their children is often disregarded or actively disbelieved.
Being able to see possibilities and alternatives also can imply that bright individuals not only may see idealistic images of what they might be, but simultaneously berate themselves because they can see how they are falling short of such an ideal. The intensity, combined with the idealism, magnifies the amount of self-evaluation, often leading to excessive and inappropriate self-criticism. This pattern often is the foundation for depression arising from anger and disappointment at oneself because of high self-expectancies.
James T. Webb
Working with 'multi-gifted' adults requires
specialized knowledge, training and skills.
Gifted and creative adults need therapists, coaches, counselors and mentors who understand what giftedness is, what gifted people need, the challenges they face and the solutions that work to help them realize their potential and live fulfilling lives,
Lynne Azpeitia, MFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
3025 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Encouraging, supporting and guiding gifted adults to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
For more than a decade I've been working with gifted and creative adults, teens and children as a psychotherapist, counselor, coach, speaker, trainer, educator, consultant, and mentor specializing in the challenges, psychology and development of gifted, talented and creative adults.
Coaching, Counseling, Psychotherapy & Consultation Specially Designed for Gifted People
Gifted adults need specialized help, guidance, and support in order to identify and leverage their talents and to become more self-generative and productive in the areas that are most important to them—and to utilize their talents and to develop their potential.
Coaching, Counseling & Consulting Available by Phone & Skype
Should we tell them they're gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?
Gifted kids almost always know they are different, but they don't necessarily know they are "gifted" or smarter. Many gifted kids who aren't told why they are different are convinced that they are weird or even stupid because they can't make themselves understood. Since many gifted kids are also (mis)identified as Behaviorally Disabled, Learning Disabled, ADD, etc., they have a focus for that feeling of differentness, and never realize the main reason.
What are you going to tell your daughter when she comes to you in tears, saying that the other kids are all mean to her because they won't talk to her? It's not that unusual for a gifted 3 to 6 year old to have a good working vocabulary that is 5, 10, or 20 times larger than the vocabulary of a "normal" child the same age. They won't talk to her because they can't, they literally don't know 80-95% of the words. Without discussing her exceptional abilities, how are you going to explain that to her? It isn't a question of feeling different - gifted kids know that they're different - it's a question of how they feel about being different.....More
Entitled to Be Exceptional
Being exceptional — unusually skillful, smart, creative or otherwise more capable than the norm — may include a judgment both by others and ourselves as being an “outsider.” Gifted and talented people can experience a self-defeating aversion to expressing talents that might separate them from other people. Girls and women may be especially sensitive about fitting in, and deny their capabilities, find it hard to recognize and embrace their abilities, and.....More
What Gifted Potential Looks and Sounds Like
Bertie Kingore, Ph.D
Some people like to say that all children are gifted. Actually, all children are a gift but only some children exhibit gifted potential when learning. Gifted potential means a child learns at a faster pace (with minimum repetition) and a higher level (with more complex and in-depth ideas). Children with gifted potential are not more valued; they just learn differently and need nurturing to experience continuous learning...More
Some Can Sail Over High School
Teenage college grads remain rare — Mary Baldwin graduates a dozen or so wunderkinder a year — but interest in early college or college experiences is growing. The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, a public residential school that emphasizes college-level work, reported its highest number of applicants ever this year. And the California legislature will vote this month on a bill that would allow any gifted student, at any age, to take the state's high school proficiency exam and be considered a graduate.
Kids who bypass all or part of high school ruffle feathers. "Because high school is such a big part of American culture, people are offended when I .....More
Envy and Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy?
I have been to several conferences and read many books on giftedness, but one subject that is little discussed is the social/emotional effects on gifted children of being envied. It’s as if we are hoping that by not talking about it, it will go away, and we will not run the risk of being accused of bragging.....More