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"There is no great sense of accomplishment for an attribute that seems
to have been with one all one's life, even if that attribute contributes to
unusual and high levels of achievement in a culturally recognized field.
"Oh, sure, I'm good at math. What could you expect from somebody who
calculates that fast." We're likely to value something we've had to work at
or study hard to acquire far more highly than something that comes naturally
-- something that's just "me."" Stephanie Tolan, "Self-Knowledge,
Self-Esteem and the Gifted Adult"
May 20, 2014
and Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy? A Taboo Topic?
by Catherine Asaro, on
Microscopes are Prudent
A 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... even if the parents of gifted kids say nothing about their
children’s abilities, they are still often perceived as committing some
social transgression. The list of these transgressions corresponds very
closely to the negative stereotypes of gifted people: Bragging, Showing off,
Feeling superior, Cheating, Mistreating their children by pushing them
Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential
Examine old and new research on the nature of intelligence and other gifts
and explore ways gifted people hide their talents; includes interviews with
a highly diverse collection of 100 gifted adults. An excellent book for
every gifted adult, or adult with gifted children... Also available from
Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Intelligence: My Experience as a Too Gifted Adult... by Carolyn K.
- In the book, Guiding the Gifted Child, by Webb, Meckstroth, and Stephanie
Tolan, the authors suggest that there is such a thing as optimum
intelligence. More than one person disagrees strongly: "I
disagree with the assumption that society rejects extremely gifted
individuals." A personal response...
Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the
Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It
by Valerie Young
- It’s only because they like me. I was in the right place at the right
time. I just work harder than the others. I don’t deserve this... Sound
Talent Development collected by Douglas Eby
- Exploring talent and giftedness ~ information
& inspiration to enhance creative expression
- Advanced Development Journal
Gifted Development Center
- An annual journal on Adult Giftedness. Read Perfectionism:
The Crucible of Giftedness (1999)
the Sleeping Giant: Giftedness in Adult Psychotherapy by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen
- The process of gifted-self discovery, attendant affective and behavioral
responses of client and therapist, and suggestions for assisting the gifted
adult's post-therapy stability and growth
Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships by Ashley Stanford
- Not all gifted adults are Aspergers, or are married to someone with
Aspergers, but just in case you are...Written by the wife of a man with
Asperger Syndrome (AS), provides the answers to many of the questions asked
by the increasing number of people in that situation. Explains how behaviors
that may have appeared odd - or even downright irritating - are the
manifestation of AS, and shows how understanding can lead to change, or to
greater tolerance. Provides strategies for living successfully with
characteristics that cannot be changed, pointing out that AS brings also
enormous strengths to a relationship, and emphasizing the value of
children become enlightened adults by Ian J Deary, David Batty and
Catharine R Gale
In a large study, researchers found a strong association between higher
general intelligence at age 10 and more liberal and nontraditional attitudes
at age 30... (abstract only)
you hear the flowers sing? Issues for gifted adults by Deirdre V. Lovecky
Unless gifted adults learn to value themselves and find support, identity
conflicts and depression may result. Emphasis on self-growth through knowing
and accepting self leads to the discovery of sources of personal power...
Advice for Geniuses by Marty Nemko
Not so. Being highly intelligent comes with surprising workplace burdens, as
I've learned during 20 years as a career coach specializing in
intellectually gifted adults. Here are suggestions I've made that clients
have found most helpful...
for Highly Sensitive People
- For Creative, Intuitive, Sensitive and Spiritual Persons... so many
characteristics of the gifted adult...
Through Awareness: A transformational tool for coping with being highly gifted
by Andy Mahoney
- Coping for a highly gifted person requires knowing oneself and
becoming more aware of what is truly involved with being highly gifted. Coping
is also a process that should allow one to contend better with his giftedness
throughout life. Yet coping poses many challenges and is not free of emotional
strife or tension... Coping through the stages of Awareness,
Acknowledgement, Appreciation and Acceptance
Gifted Adults – A Case Study by Paula Prober
- Gifted children are often identified by their insatiable curiosity,
advanced mental ability, intensity, and thought-provoking questions. But
what happens when these children become adults? What are they like and do
they have any particular mental health needs? A case study of one particular
gifted adult explains the typical issues these clients bring into counseling...
the Gifted Ex-Child by Stephanie Tolan
- The experience of the gifted adult is the experience of an unusual
consciousness, an extraordinary mind whose perceptions and judgments may be
different enough to require an extraordinary courage. Large numbers of gifted
adults, aware not only of their mental capacities but of the degree to which
those capacities set them apart, understand this...
the Gift of Being Uncommon: Extra Intelligent, Intense, and Effective by
- Quite often uncommon competence, creativity and drive remain hidden or
partially used by its owners. Do they perceive the gift of being uncommon as
a millstone instead of an enjoyment? Introduces and illustrates three
practices for Extra Intelligent People (XIPs) to become more effective in
their work and private life, for their own sake and for the sake of their
environment... Read excerpt
Superhuman or Extra Intelligent?
to Be Exceptional by Douglas Eby
- Although gifted men may also experience a self-defeating aversion to
expressing feelings or aspects of themselves that might separate them from
others, gifted women, according to a number of sources, are more acutely
sensitive to fitting in with social expectations, and may engage in a denial
of their capabilities, experience difficulty in embracing their talents and
have a compromised sense of entitlement to be exceptional.
many, being gifted brings lifelong struggle interview with Paul Torrance
in U. S. News
- Almost all highly gifted youngsters do experience problems
of adjustment that are accompanied by emotional upset. The majority learn
how to handle them one way or the other, but for many, being gifted brings
lifelong struggle with their giftedness and with the high expectations that
people have of them...
adult giftedness: Acknowledging and addressing affective needs of gifted
adults by Sharon Lind
- Frequently parents and teachers express concerns
about fostering growth in gifted children while dealing with the often painful
process of coming to terms with their own giftedness and potential. It is
difficult to go through your own developmental phases while at the same time
teaching, guiding, and/or parenting gifted children...
- Where do all the gifted children go after they finish school?
Gifted adults can misinterpret their complex and deep way of thinking as
craziness. They can mistake their emotional intensity for emotional
immaturity or see it as a character flaw. Because they have never been given
information to explain what is "normal for gifted" they frequently
experience frustration in the world...
Adults in Work by Noks Nauta and Frans Corten
- It is increasingly
being realized that gifted individuals have the capacity to help solve
complex problems1. Many are functioning at a high level. But just like a
number of gifted schoolchildren, some gifted employees do not function
adequately and are unhappy as a result2. Some become ill and even
permanently occupationally disabled. What are the characteristics of the
problems of the gifted at work. And what can occupational health physicians
and insurance doctors do with this information?
Adults – Why You Should Stop Thinking by Elisa of gifteduniverse, now
recovered from the Internet Archive
The mind of a gifted adult runs continually, dissecting, turning things
upside down and inside out. We run at this speed constantly, questioning,
considering, analyzing. Even thinking….about thinking. But sometimes we
think too much. Sometimes we need to take the time to shut our brain off...
Self-test by Rocamora School
- "Even if you have doubts about the
extent of your giftedness, you will really bring your talents to life if you
will embrace your drive to become, serve, create, achieve, and contribute.
Self-recognition is not to fuel egotism or elitism, but to align with a more
powerful, creative part of you that will let your heart, your knowledge,
your talent loose on the world."
Women / Gifted Adults
- A links page for gifted women (men are welcome, too!). It has come about as
a result of my own personal journey, so look for it to be updated...
- A mailing list for adults who share an interest in exploring issues
related to being a gifted adult, discovering giftedness as an adult, or
growing up gifted...
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are
a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is
nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel
insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We
were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is
not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light
shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." -- Marianne Williamson
(often attributed to Nelson Mandela, who quoted her in his inaugural speech)
Old Gifted by Annemarie Roeper
- It seems that there is a dearth of
information when it comes to the gifted adult and giftedness in old age has
not, as yet, caught our attention as a worthwhile subject of investigation.
Gifted elders have to keep their minds trained carefully, and keep on using
it, and in fact I think that preservation of the mind has an additional
task... (requires Adobe)
Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by
Elaine N. Aron
- Are you easily overwhelmed by stimuli? Affected by other
people's moods? Easily startled? Do you need to withdraw during busy times to
a private, quiet place? This book helps HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) to
understand themselves and their sensitive trait and its impact on personal
history, career, relationships, and inner life...
Am Who I Am Because of My Disabilities”: Perspectives of a Resilient
Post-Secondary Student by Jason Ford
I’d like to start by saying that I have a diagnosed permanent learning
disability, as well as ADHD and enough OCD to make my life that much more
interesting. To me, this sounds more like a confession then a story, but
life is what it is and I’m who I am because of my ‘disabilities’. Before I
get into the story, I’d like to share some of my background to help give
perspective on my life up till now...
- I realize now that I am highly gifted! by Howard L.
- A letter to the webmaster of Hoagies' Page explains the experiences of
many highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted adults... learning about
their giftedness as adults!
for Gifted Adults
- From Books, Career Issues and Counseling, to Twice Special, Underachievement
and Visual-Spatial, the most comprehensive site for gifted adults...
Conflict as a Path to Higher Development: Mid-life Crisis Reexamined by
Elizabeth Maxwell & Linda Kreger Silverman
- A sometimes forgotten meaning
of crisis is "a turning point." Rather than hardship thrust upon us,
mid-life crisis may be an invitation to higher development and an indication
that growth, issuing from deep within, is struggling to occur. ...reexamine
such crises from the vantage point of a theory of emotional development... (requires Adobe)
All About Identity by Andy Mahoney
- Each time I meet a person insightful enough to recognize his giftedness
but afraid to identify himself as gifted for fear his peers will label him
conceited, I am saddened...
- Parents of the extraordinarily gifted
by Linda Silverman and Kathi Kearney
- Describes the impact of the
extraordinarily gifted child on family life and the specific issues these
on Counseling Gifted Adults by Annemarie Roeper
- Even though I have worked with gifted people for many years, I continue to
be surprised by the most unexpected expressions of intensity, passions,
gentleness, empathy, and creativity as well as frustration, disappointment,
and a certain puzzlement at the strangeness of the world...
Women: Perspectives on Female Talent Development by edited by Karen
Arnold, Kathleen Noble, and Rena Subotnik
- Even though
I have worked with gifted people for many years, I continue to be surprised
by the most unexpected expressions of intensity, passions, gentleness,
empathy, and creativity as well as frustration, disappointment, and a
certain puzzlement at the strangeness of the world. Read the
prologue (requires Adobe)
Self-Esteem and the Gifted Adult by Stephanie S. Tolan
- Many gifted
adults seem to know very little about their minds and how they differ from
more "ordinary" minds. The result of this lack of self-knowledge is often low,
sometimes cripplingly low self esteem. Most have never been formally
identified as gifted, and even those who have may disbelieve the
identification or have difficulty incorporating it into their sense of
& Emotional Issues: What Gifted Adults Say About Their Childhoods by
Deborah L. Ruf
- I was aware of being the smartest person in the class in first grade, but
even then I suspected that I was not really bright but that the others were
very slow. [By the 4th grade she was so widely read that] I did not realize
then why I felt left out and thought it was due to some personality flaw. I
often thought that I was really stupid because I couldn't understand why
teachers taught things that I thought were obvious.
thine own self be true, A new model of female talent development by
Kathleen D. Noble, Rena F. Subotnik, and Karen D. Arnold
- An innovative
model of female talent development based upon the life experiences of gifted
women from a wide variety of backgrounds and talent domains, synthesized
from original studies contributed by more than 20 scholars, psychologists,
and educators. Issues addressed by this model are the personal,
professional, and cultural challenges common in gifted females as well as
strategies for coping with them, spheres of influence and achievement to
which gifted women aspire, and ways to help gifted women and girls identify
and actualize their talents and gifts...
Smart for good? by Michael Duff
- Some of the most brilliant people I
know secretly believe they're stupid. They're always rushing from place to
place, agonizing over tests, scrambling to find rare books, poised over their
computer screens waiting for grades to be posted...
Are Child Geniuses Like As Adults? Some Seek Out Normal Life by
- Child prodigies fascinate us. But what happens to a prodigy when
he or she is no longer a child? Visit Michael Kearney and Greg Smith
for a few answers...
My Daughter’s 5th Grade Teacher Taught Me About Being a Gifted Adult by
Elisa of gifteduniverse.com
- A teacher who changes who we are and how we look at life. This year, my
daughter was fortunate enough to have such a teacher. This man had a
profound impact on my daughter. And, by association, he also affected how I
understand myself giftedness as a gifted adult...
got to find what you love,' Jobs says Commencement address by
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered
on June 12, 2005
- You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can
only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will
somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut,
destiny, life, karma, whatever....