What it means to be gifted!


Recently a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of ‘being gifted’. I was curious about the subject and did some reading to understand more and found the subject really fascinating and thought it important to share with parents who need to understand how to deal with gifted children and also individuals to realise that they are gifted and it will shed light on behaviour patterns.


She shared a website about an organisation called SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted). It explains what in means to be gifted, how to bring up children who are gifted. The SENG brochure explains how to notice if your child is gifted and shares resources for parents on bringing them up. 

“All children are special and have their own areas of strength. However, some children have unusually advanced abilities that require special adjustments at home and school to help them grow and learn. As you watch your child grow and develop, you may notice skills or characteristics that are quite different from those of other children the same age. For example, your child may:

• Be very curious and observant

• Use adult-sounding words and reasoning

• Think of many unusual ideas

• Recognize complex patterns or relationships

• Come to surprising solutions to problems

• Show a strong memory

• Ask unusual questions

• Demonstrate advanced talent in a certain

area (such as mathematics, science,

writing, art, music, or drama)

• Learn letters or numbers early and read

before being formally taught


Children can show giftedness in a variety of ways, and often parents are the first to notice special abilities. If you are seeing a number of these behaviors in your children, it might be a signal that their development is somewhat advanced.”


Adults are also gifted and this article from https://architectureofmeaning.com/gifted-soul/gifted/qualities highlights the qualities of the gifted.


Qualities of the Gifted

With a beginning vocabulary for the unique way that you experience the world, your ability to take care of your needs will be enhanced. Please remember, what I am describing applies to you in the arena of your giftedness.

High moral standards.
As a gifted person, you have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and how others should be treated. It hurts you to see others mistreat each other, animals or the environment.

Passionate devotion to what interests you.
What absorbs you – absorbs you. You easily devote your energies to what moves you.

Independent, tend not to be a follower.
You may not do well in groups or have much patience for process or ineffectual leaders. You tend not to admire authority figures. You seem them for who they really are. You value people for their gifts, not their positions.

High degree of sensitivity to inner and outer stimulus.
Whether or not what you attune to is relevant, you can easily be overwhelmed by stimulus – visual, auditory, mental, emotional, physical or energetic.

Depression or boredom if you are not engaged.
Because much of what is in the world is simply noise for the gifted person, you may avoid stimulus. In fact, as a gifted person you require stimulus in the areas of your passions. Without the proper stimulus, your gifts can turn against you.

Feeling something is wrong with you because you are unlike others.
Living as a minority, it can take a great effort to stop comparing yourself to others. One tends to compare one’s level of energy, number of friends, activity level, personality with that of others.

Elaborate inner dialogues, thoughts or imaginings.
Whether it is what you think when you watch a movie, read a book, hear a lecture, or what you dream – you have a rich inner world. You have rich inner dialogues or imaginings.

Seeing the underpinnings of things.
You tend to think about, explore and see the place of origins. You look at the causal level of interactions in the field of your gifts – whether human interactions, agents of disease, warring countries or foundational aspects to color. You are aware of the place of essence, the place before things have form.

Seeing outcomes before they occur.
You tend to jump ahead. This can occur when you read, listen to someone talk or when you consider an issue. You often see what has not happened yet. Outcomes seems obvious to you because you are considering the variables in a way many are not.

Little interest in much of what interests others.
You don’t find yourself easily absorbed in what interests others – events, activities, news or reading matter. You want to go deeper than most.

A rapid learner in the fields of your gifts.
You tend to have natural abilities without formal training. You are a rapid learner in the area of your gifts and a creative thinker – seeing beyond the given.

A maverick.
Because you process in a different manner than most and tend to attend to many different directions of thought or experience at once, you may find it difficult to be part of organizations or situations that value consensus.

Many skills or interests.
Many (but not all) gifted people find themselves gifted in more than one area. This can make focusing energies and prioritizing very difficult.

Whether in the field of mathematics, interpersonal skills, music, the environment, art or healing, you see the underpinnings of the field itself. While others may work at the level of manifestation in that field -you are responding to a level before form.

You approach the world and problems differently than others. You may be concerned about things that do not concern others.

You see issues before others do, you see the ramifications of choices before the actions have even been implemented. You notice what others don’t. You make connections between ideas that seem unrelated to others. You may see the ramifications of actions of individuals or industries decades before others do.

You may be gifted in fields that do not even exist to most people. If you are a healer, an artist or a scientist, there may be no vocabulary for your thoughts, your experiences or the things you are working on.

Other Phrases that may describe you: too smart, feelings of despair, alienation from culture, authentic existence, meaningful life, critical inner voice, highly motivated, driven.



Another article which helps you to know if you or your child are gifted is by Linda Kreger Silverman Ph.D., of the Institute for Advanced Development

She says, 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
  • perfectionism
  • intensity
  • 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

And this is for adults

  • sophisticated, global thinking
  • conceptual ability
  • unusual sense of humor
  • truth-seeking
  • individualistic
  • experimental
  • curious
  • high sensitivity
  • high intensity
  • desire for moral integrity
  • idealistic
  • multi-capable
  • perfectionist
  • high energy
  • skeptical
  • strong drive for self-development
  • excellent foresight


This is the SENG website to know more and to order books and materials on the subject. http://www.sengifted.org

you never know, your child or you may be gifted and it requires a greater method of parenting to raise them accordingly.


The best article on the subject to identify gifted individuals and understand them is this one-

Click to access GiftedProblems.pdf

Other interesting articles to know more about the subject are:




Gifted Adults




These are great references on the subject that I found online:


Auel, J.M. (1984-2001), The Earth’s children series. Bantam Dell Publishing Group.

Columbus Group (1991, July). Unpublished transcript of the meeting of the Columbus Group. Columbus, OH.

Bell, L.A. (1990). The gifted woman as impostor. Advanced Development, 2, 55-64.

Clance, P. (1985). The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the fear that haunts your success. Atlanta: Peachtree.

Jacobsen, M-E. (1999). The gifted adult: A revolutionary guide for liberating everyday
. NY: Ballantine Books.

Kempen, A. van (Ed.) (2006). Reader hoogbegaafd-en-werk [gifted at work]. Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: Free Musketeers.

Kuipers, W. & Kempen, A. van (2007). Verleid jezelf tot excellentie: Gereedschap voor extra Intelligente mensen[Charm yourself into excellence: Tools for extra intelligent
people]. Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: Free Musketeers.

Mahoney, A.S. (1995, Spring). It’s all about identity. Counseling & Guidance Newsletter, 5(2), NAGC.

Mahoney, A.S. (1998). In search of the gifted identity: From abstract concept to workable counseling constructs. Roeper Review, 20(3), 222-226.

Morelock, M. (1992). Giftedness: the view from within. Understanding our Gifted, 4(3) 1, 11-15.

Piechowski, M.M. (2006) “Mellow out,” they say.” If I only could.” Intensities and sensitivities of the young and bright. Madison, WI: Yunasa Books.

Powell, P. & Haden, T. (1984). The intellectual and psychosocial nature of extreme giftedness. Roeper Review, 6(3) 131-133.

Renzulli, J. S. (1978).  What makes giftedness? Reexamining a definition. Phi Delta Kappan, 60, 180-184.

Renzulli, J. S. (1999). What is this thing called giftedness, and how do we develop it?
A twenty-five- year perspective. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 23(1), 3-54.

Rocamora, M. (2006). Giftedness self-test. Rocamora School, Inc. Retrieved  December 12, 2006, from http://www.rocamora.org/gift_selftest.html

Rowling, J.K. (1997-2007). Harry Potter series. London: Bloomsbury.

Streznewski, M.K. (1999). Gifted grownups: The mixed blessings of extraordinary potential. NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Tolan, S.S. (1994). Discovering the gifted ex-child. Roeper Review,17(2), 134-138.

Tolan, S.S. (1999). Self-knowledge, self-esteem and the gifted adult. Advanced Development, 8, 147-150.

Tolan, S.S. (2006). Imagination to intuition: The journey of a rationalist into realms of magic and spirit. Advanced Development, 10, 45-57.

Vries, H. de (1999). Te veel mens, te weinig dier: Leefadviezen voor intelligente mensen [Too much human, too little animal. Advice of life for intelligent people].
Amsterdam: Ambo.




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