What Is Giftedness?

The intensity approach to understanding the Gifted mind

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In 2001 a 22 year old mom and student was sitting through an obligatory University class, a bit bored…doodling away…

The class was about Giftedness and when the professor started describing the Gifted, this young mom, sat up straight, kept listening…: ‘they are intense’, ‘more conscious about life and themselves’, ‘can’t handle injustice’, ‘yes, they have a IQ above the 130 but that it is NOT what makes them gifted, it’s their way of perceiving the world from a higher level of consciousness’, ‘tend to bore easily, need to be challenged’….And realized that this amazing professor was talking about her! Yes, this young mom is me!

After class I ran to the front to talk to the professor: “Can I study this? Where do I sign up? Can I specialize? Do you need help with anything? Please say yes!” I ended up signing up for volunteer work at the Center for Gifted Research in the Netherlands, did all my qualifications and internships here and finally, finally knew what I wanted to be doing with my studies! I remember sitting in the bus, calling my father saying precisely this: “I know what I want, I know what I want!”.

Ok, so what IS giftedness? Well, I don’t want to get very technical in this description because there are more than 100 definitions out there! Stereotypes about giftedness have been very damaging for many children and adults so I steer away from them as much as I can. The most common and simple definiton being that you must have an IQ above the 130.

I prefer the definitions that include ‘BEING’ and which address intensity. I’ve worked with more than 700 families throughout my professional life and not one parent has said to me: “My child is sooo smart I don’t know what to do with him/her!”. They usually said: “My child is so intense that he/she is not doing well right now!” And that’s why they would look for help. The reality being for most gifted children and adults that they go through life feeling different, never realizing that they WERE different when they only make up 2% of the population (and the higher the IQ the less chance you have of meeting someone in your direct environment that IS like you!). It’s just a fact.

Throughout my own life, my intelligence was not the problem…there were books and books and more books to still my hunger for knowlegde. The higher consciousness into my own self and my awareness of my environment as a whole…THAT was something that most just didn’t get! This constant sense of ‘something’….of ‘more’. Always going through life my ‘own way’. As a child and as a teenager my peers never ‘got me’.

As I stated before, I will not go extensively into definitons but will just give you a few links when you want to want to know more:

And here is a video by Susan Daniels, professor and author of Living with Intensity:

And just do a search like this for many different Models of Giftedness and you will see there is a LOT to be said about defining Giftedness!

The experience of giftedness is very personal but I think many can agree that a higher level of awareness and intensity is a huge part of it and necessary in the understanding of the Gifted person. I recommend the book the Gifted Adult for many insights on giftedness. Here is one of my biggest mentors Brian Johnson talking about this book:

I also asked on Facebook my gifted friends to finish the sentence “Being gifted….” and these were the replies:

Ellie Isacs: “Being gifted means understanding power from a deep place and using it to lovingly alter the negative course of our society.”

Jaya Savannah: “Being gifted is having intellectual, sensory, or intuitive super powers in a world that doesn’t always understand them.”

Moisés David Diéguez Acta: “Being gifted is being anything but ordinary 😋”

Sandra Mantel: “Being gifted means you are called upon to help people find their path and bringing a little bit more light into the world. Being gifted is to have the gift to make yourself glow so you can touch others and help them to find their own glow. 💫”

Pauline Burke: “Being gifted means that we are a gift to ourselves and the world. We have a lot to share, a lot to learn, and a lot to give, each in our own unique ways.My gifted son is also a gift; to himself, to me and to the world. We can see things from new and creative perspectives, and we usually care so much about the really important aspects of what makes us living beings, and how we should respect and take care the world around us, which we also see as a gift, in all its diversity, intricacy and beauty. <3”

Angeline Pilzak: “Multifaceted… Anything but ordinary…a wonder and a challenge..”

Lori DiGuardi: “Being gifted is being an exquisite and unique blessing to the world – even when that world doesn’t understand the gift that’s been given.”

Samantha Halls: “Means I see the truth. In every person, in every situation I see the truth because everything is energy, and when you realise it is all just energy it is easy to get to the core really quickly.”

Walter Derungs: “Being gifted means having the potential to perform exceptionally well.”

Caroline Palmy: “Having a special super power ;-)”

Vanessa Wishstar: “Being gifted…gives me the freedom to BE! Me, being naturally me!”

Abigail Downham: ” ……. Is not necessarily a gift and can make for a tortured mind that never stops analysing.”

Allyson Carter: “Thinking of things in creative, solution-oriented ways. Not just identifying a problem, but constantly contemplating inventive new ways to solve those problems.”

Ruby Kooner: “Being gifted sparks creativity, provokes the imagination, inspires new ways of thinking and feeling, creates tomorrow’s leaders.”

Betta Peterson Orshansky: “Means you love learning for the sake of learning. Highly verbal with a well-developed sense of humor.”

Becca Campbell: “Being gifted is recognizing that you have a unique gift and you’re able to use it to solve problems, help people and the earth, and it can apply to multiple disciplines.”

After publishing this article more people chipped in!

Renee Wolodkiewicz Krohn: “Being gifted means to be an enlightened human. While they may struggle as outsiders to mainstream, they are needed. Their talents and skills lead others.”

Diana van Trijffel-Pak: “Being gifted for me it is seeing connections where others can’t, and being connected in a way that most others aren’t. To understand the laws of nature, and seeing the effects of our doing in every direction. My abilitiy to understand nature and see and hear what a lot of people around me don’t. To be touched by nature and animals in such a deep way that it almost hurts.”

As you can read, many people talk about giftedness as a exactly that, a gift. This does not mean that being gifted is not a challenge for many of us. I can tell you though that the more aware you become of how to channel your gifts and your intensities into becoming you, the more you WILL enjoy and thrive through it!

Reach out to me when you want to know more about giftedness! If you want me to add your own “Being gifted…” quote on this page, just comment here below! <3 And if you want to comment on anything you read here, go ahead and do so! Love to hear from you!

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