The stigma of thinking faster, feeling deeper

I found this to be a very interesting set of articles, much of which I find that I identify with. And then I wonder if I'm just being conceited (which is something they mention in the article, lol). If you have thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

Things from the articles that I identify with:
-learns new things rapidly
-grasps mathematical/scientific concepts readily, advanced comprehension, insightful
-avid reader
-runs mind on multiple tracks at the same time, fast thinker
-highly sensitive
-passionate, intense feelings
-aware of things that others are not, perceive world differently
-can see many sides, considers problems from a number of viewpoints
-perfectionistic, sets high standards for self and others
-very curious, desire to know
-outrage at injustice or moral breaches, good sense of justice
-strong moral convictions, integrity, honesty
-loves ideas and ardent discussion
-cannot stop thinking
-questions rules or authority, asks embarrassing questions, non-conforming
-feels different, out of step with others, sense of alienation and loneliness
-very compassionate
-empathy: feels along with others, helps them understand themselves
-My nervous system is easily aroused, and I am able to discern the slightest changes in my environment (aromas, shifts in light, etc.) or detect irritants (e.g. scratchy sweater label).
-I am deeply disturbed by inequity, exploitation, corruption, and needless human suffering.
-I can and do work myself to exhaustion.
-Some people think I'm too serious.
-I have always been interested in social reform.
-I value and will defend diversity.
-I have a strong need to "make a difference."
-I can and do ignore my own needs for the sake of others.

In the classroom, a gifted child's perceived inability to stay on task is likely to be related to boredom, curriculum, mismatched learning style, or other environmental factors. Gifted children may spend from one-fourth to one-half of their regular classroom time waiting for others to catch up (YES!!) -- even more if they are in a heterogeneously grouped class.

As a highly gifted 12 year old described it: “A real friend is a place you go when you need to take off the masks. You can say what you want to your friend because you know that your friend will really listen and even if he doesn’t like what you say, he will still like you. You can take off your camouflage with a real friend and still feel safe.” (This is why John is not only my husband, but my best friend.)

Characteristics: Highly curious. Many interests.
Possible problems: Starts many projects - perhaps does not finish them when the concepts have been drained and the work becomes tedious. May not work well in a group.

Characteristics: A high degree of Norm-referencing. That is the act of comparison of oneself to others. (Um, only all the time.)
Possible problems: May become arrogant or élitist if not giventhe opportunity to mix with intellectual peers. Over inflated self esteem. May be intolerant of others and call them stupid. Alternatively, may down-grade performance in order to fit in or simply hide abilities. (YES)

Characteristics: Generates original thought.
Possible problems: May be argumentative, oppositional to other's set ways of thinking. Resents conformity. (Gets in "trouble" at work for this, lol)

There is indirect evidence for atypical brain organization and innate talent in gifted children: Many gifted children and savants have enhanced right-hemisphere development, language-related difficulties, and autoimmune disorders. (Really?)

It is NORMAL for Gifted People to:
Have complex and deep thoughts. Feel intense emotions.
Ask lots of questions. Be highly sensitive.
Set high standards for themselves. Have strong moral convictions.
Feel different & out-of-sync. Be curious. Have a vivid imagination. Question rules or authority. Thrive on challenge.
Feel passion and compassion. Have a great deal of energy.
Have an unusual sense of humour. Feel outrage at injustice.
Look for meaning in life. Feel sad about the state of the world.
Feel a spiritual connection to life.
© The Gifted Resource Center and Lesley Sword, Ph.D

Hrm. Maybe I'm totally normal for a group I didn't know had been "normed." Interesting. So much of that, I can relate to SO much. The first time I remember being bored in school was 1st grade, when my teacher assigned me the task of helping my table-mate work on his reading. Fourth grade, when I got in trouble for reading under my desk while we were learning long division - I already knew how to do it. Fifth grade, when I got told to go sit back down and read the chapter again, because the teacher was not yet done reading it, so there was no way that I could be. The list goes on, those are the earliest concrete memories I have of it.

Work wants to use me as the standard for the timelines they're developing for the new type of project we're doing. I just did the first one. I already told my boss, and my previous boss already told my boss, that that's not a good idea. I feel so conceited having to bring that up, but I know I'm not a good standard.

Fun is. :)


siobhankha said...

I think this list is a highly accurate description of you. Extremely smart and extremely emotional. It's not conceited to identify with so many of these characteristics - they don't make you a better or worse person. You are who you are. Society defines the meanings of those characteristics, not you. If society attributes superiority to those characteristics, then it's your gain. You'd still be the way you are even if society's shared meaning was different. Does that make any sense? Is it obvious I am taking sociological analysis this semester? LOL!

Anonymous said...

So strange but yet so true, I see myself ...