“Most gifted adults have never been identified as such, and therefore tend to live an existence of borrowed identity. Many mistake their different ways of experiencing the world as signs of immaturity or character flaws.”
Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D., OmegaPoint Resources
It can be a shock to discover one is gifted, but at the same time it offers liberation, excitement, and a certain relief. At last, now you know why it is you feel and do the things you do.
Linda Kreger Silverman Ph.D., of the Institute for Advanced Development, offers the following checklist to assist in identifying gifted children. If a child demonstrates more than three-fourths of these traits, it is likely that he or she is gifted.
Was this you?
- good problem solving/reasoning abilities
- rapid learning ability
- extensive vocabulary
- excellent memory
- long attention span (when interested)
- personal sensitivity
- compassion for others
- moral sensitivity
- unusual curiosity
- perseverant when interested
- high degree of energy
- preference for older companions
- wide range of interests
- great sense of humor
- early or avid reading ability
- concerned with justice, fairness
- at times, judgment seems mature for age
- keen powers of observation
- vivid imagination
- high degree of creativity
- tends to question authority
- shows ability with numbers
- good at jigsaw puzzles
Moving into the adult realm, the following list of criteria for gifted individuals is drawn from a variety of sources. Many are the same as for children:
- sophisticated, global thinking
- conceptual ability
- unusual sense of humor
- high sensitivity
- high intensity
- desire for moral integrity
- high energy
- strong drive for self-development
- excellent foresight
Skepticism is a frequent reaction from gifted individuals when they first encounter these lists. They have often become so protective of themselves and their high level of sensibilities that they would rather not make themselves vulnerable to the possibility of their own exceptional qualities.
After all, they ask, what good is it to be gifted in a world where the average can seem so painfully unaware? While the question for each may be the same, the answers are uniquely different and reflect each individual personality.
There is little value in trying to avoid the truth, for the fact is that if you are gifted, you are stuck with it. You may attempt to eat, drug, drink or otherwise act yourself into a numbed or oblivious state, but your underlying qualities remain the same.
It isn’t necessarily easy, but you can come to terms with your giftedness and the personal challenges it creates for you (see: “The Challenges of the Gifted“.) Then you can enjoy your good fortune and benefit from the curious advantages of your birth.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you would like to find out more about Dynamic Life Coaching or myself, please use the form below to schedule a free 50-minute ‘phone or Skype discussion.