Featured Articles

  • Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

    Is uncommon intelligence or intensity a gift?

    Willem Kuipers is author of the book Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon: Extra Intelligent, Intense, and Effective. Read the Foreword by Linda Silverman (and see link to the author’s site) in the post The Gift of Being Uncommon. In a section of the book – Is it a Gift to be Uncommon? – he […]

  • Using Your Multipotentiality to Grow Your Confidence

    Using Your Multipotentiality to Grow Your Confidence

    By Emilie Wapnick The other day, someone mentioned that throughout their life, they’ve used their multipotentialite pursuits as a way of growing their confidence. In other words, by diving into new things and acquiring new skills, they’ve learned to believe in themselves more as a person. I’ve never thought about it that way, but it […]

  • The Gift of Being Uncommon

    The Gift of Being Uncommon

    From the Foreword by Linda Silverman to the book Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon: Extra Intelligent, Intense, and Effective by Willem Kuipers. I have just started reading the book, and as Dr. Silverman notes here, it has a number of stimulating perspectives: The vast majority of gifted adults are never identified. Even those who […]

  • Mindful Intensity

    Mindful Intensity

    Mia Wasikowska portrayed troubled, suicidal teen gymnast Sophie in the outstanding HBO psychotherapy drama series “In Treatment.” In an interview, Wasikowska (pronounced vash-i-kov-ska) commented, “As a teenager I was very anxious. I had a lot of energy and passion that I wanted to channel into creative things, and I always felt like I wasn’t achieving […]

  • Ashley Judd: "If I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself."

    Ashley Judd: “If I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself.”

    Ashley Judd commented in an interview about dealing with her challenging early life: “I try to remind myself that if I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself.” [Photo from facebook.com/AshleyJuddOfficial.] That perspective became especially poignant after the release of her memoir, in which she reveals being sexually abused. She writes, “I am happy to say that each […]

  • High sensitivity, gifted adults, disorder

    High sensitivity, gifted adults, disorder

    Being highly sensitive is a common experience for many, if not most, gifted people. It is related to intensity and excitabilities such as emotional, intellectual and imaginational – and especially sensory. Mary-Elaine Jacobsen comments in an article of hers about the high sensitivity aspect of giftedness. Here are a few excerpts: “It appears that highly […]


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  • Entitled to Be Exceptional

    Entitled to Be Exceptional

    Suppressing ourselves to fit in 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 […]

  • Being a perfectionist, being anxious

    Being a perfectionist, being anxious

    “Anxiety keeps me humble.” AIDS researcher Anthony Fauci, MD notes that pursuing excellence in your life and work is not without emotional challenges: “One of the by-products of being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve myself are sobering feelings of low-grade anxiety and a nagging sense of inadequacy… This anxiety keeps me humble.” Perfectionism […]

  • Exceptional abilities - Isaac Newton: obsessed and solitary

    Exceptional abilities – Isaac Newton: obsessed and solitary

    “He was an unusual sort, obsessive, but gripped by the power and the beauty of sheer computation. I think that was a driving force behind what he did. “Once Newton (1642-1727) was onto something, he was gripped by it and he worked at it and worked at it and worked at it until he could […]

  • On Being Gifted and Talented

    On Being Gifted and Talented

    By Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHCA What is giftedness? What is talent? There seem to be infinitely variable definitions for these two words. Let’s start with the idea of intelligence. Most research suggests that the higher an individual’s intelligence, the greater the degree of cognitive, emotional, and spiritual complexity there will be in that person’s encounter […]

  • Brainpower and The Smart Gap

    Brainpower and The Smart Gap

    It may be natural to feel frustrated at not being able to solve a math problem or some other challenge when we are growing up and still learning, but how do you feel about your abilities and your self, your identity, when you confront a deep gap between what you would like to accomplish, and […]

  • Beyond the Chaos or Void in my Life?

    Beyond the Chaos or Void in my Life?

    By Edith Johnston I have lots of ideas.  I am intelligent and inquisitive with lots of interests.  Yet, I am insecure and everything seems incongruent as I move through life. Does this sound like something you experience? Being a multi-talented individual, or said another way, a smart person, can lead to this kind of experience.  […]

  • Dr. Deborah L. Ruf on raising gifted kids for positive relationships

    Dr. Deborah L. Ruf on raising gifted kids for positive relationships

    .. Photo: Clarence So of Diamond Ranch High in Pomona cheers on classmates at a regional decathlon at USC. Another decathlon was held at UCLA. From article: In L.A. County, a battle of the brains, by Esmeralda Bermudez and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times February 8, 2009. “A day of decathlons, spelling bees and science […]

  • Intellectual Giftedness at War with Itself:  All I Want Is a Good Night’s Sleep…

    Intellectual Giftedness at War with Itself: All I Want Is a Good Night’s Sleep…

    By Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHCA One of the frequent sources of anxiety mentioned by clients in my specialty psychotherapy practice of working with intellectually gifted individuals is the fear of obliteration of consciousness at death. To them, Being and Nothingness is not just a thick book by Jean Paul Sartre. As a concept, it presents […]

  • J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood

    J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood

    “I was shy. I was a mixture of insecurities and very bossy.” J.K. Rowling added that she was “Very bossy to my sister but quite quiet with strangers. Very bookish. Terrible at school. “That whole thing about Harry being able to fly so well is probably total wish fulfillment.” Rowling also said she was, “never […]

  • 'I'm a Fraud': Gifted and talented but insecure

    ‘I’m a Fraud’: Gifted and talented but insecure

    Even people with exceptional talents can feel insecure and struggle with low or unhealthy self-esteem. Meryl Streep, for example, has said, “I have varying degrees of confidence and self-loathing…. “You can have a perfectly horrible day where you doubt your talent… Or that you’re boring and they’re going to find out that you don’t know […]

  • Growing up exceptional: 'Some thought I had rare insight, others thought I was crazy.'

    Growing up exceptional: ‘Some thought I had rare insight, others thought I was crazy.’

    Being exceptional may cause a variety of reactions; some of those responses are supportive, but others can discourage or discount one’s talents. “I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion. The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was […]

  • Suicide and Giftedness

    Suicide and Giftedness

    Caltech tragedy raises questions A news story about two Caltech students who died of suicide in the weeks before the recent commencement made me wonder again: Do more gifted people die from suicide? Are high ability people more vulnerable? The Caltech students who died were senior Jackson Ho-Leung Wang, a mechanical engineering student from Hong […]

  • Growing up exceptional: Am I still gifted?

    Growing up exceptional: Am I still gifted?

    Once gifted, always gifted? The SENG [Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted] newsletter of April 11, 2007 includes this Q&A: Q: If I was gifted as a child, am I still gifted now?… If I didn’t use my ‘giftedness’, is it gone? SENG staff: “Perhaps. Probably the more important consideration is whether you are still […]

  • The Genius Brain: Looking inside for intellect and creativity

    The Genius Brain: Looking inside for intellect and creativity

    In a CNN report (in 2006), Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked about “looking for creativity inside a human brain” by dissecting one. “The first thing you notice,” he said, “is nothing unusual. “Most scientists say that current brain imaging technology doesn’t tell you much more.” But others like Dr. Richard Haier of the University of California, […]

  • Dabrowski Excitabilities – Michael Jackson

    Dabrowski Excitabilities – Michael Jackson

    Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902 – 1980) worked with creative adults and adolescents, and developed a theory of personality and emotional development that is often applied toward understanding the psychology of gifted and talented individuals. One aspect of his Theory of Positive Disintegration is the concept of unusual intensity and reactivity, as Lesley […]

  • John Lennon: “...something wrong with me, I thought”

    John Lennon: “…something wrong with me, I thought”

    “There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn’t see. Playboy: How about “Strawberry Fields Forever?” … And the lyrics, for instance: “Living is easy—- ” John Lennon: [Singing] “With eyes closed. Misunderstanding all you see.” It still goes, doesn’t it? Aren’t I saying exactly the same […]