In my conversations with gifted adults, often their focus is on what they have not yet mastered, not on what their giftedness has brought them. They recognize that they have an intelligence most around them do not possess, or a knowledge base others do not have, or a view of the world that others do not share.
That they cannot easily have a dialogue with others concerning their world view, breeds a sense of loneliness, and frustration and futility. The lack of a relationship they see ‘ordinary people’ taking for granted almost angers them. For the first time, they bump up against something that they, of themselves, cannot master. The sense of powerlessness is unnatural.
Their sense of the relationship challenge is not unlike couples with infertility issues seeing “‘everyone else is pregnant”.
“If it’s up to me, I can make it happen.” is usually the mantra of the gifted adult. But in the matter of relationships, one person, no matter how gifted, cannot make it happen.
The solitude and aloneness breeds sense of isolation, alienation, and loneliness. A low grade depression creeps into their lives, leaving them often in a state of edginess in their social relationships, or on the verge of tears in their solitude. It is this uncomfortable emotional dilemma that often drives them to seek therapy.
A part of my job as a therapist is to help them understand who they truly are; all of the advantages, and the disadvantages they have. I also want to give them some understanding of the statistically minority of which they are a part that makes communication and relationships challenging for them.
Three books, published in the past decade, more than others I have been able to locate give some of the best findings of research into the characteristics of giftedness of adults and children. In the next post, I will cover the key concepts of these three books.
What is this Giftedness about?” Parents and gifted adults often ask. “Is it just that we now have better ways of measuring and identifying it?”
My response is most generally along the following: Giftedness is a part of an evolutionary trend that we will soon more clearly identify, and that will someday demand a different way of educating our children to not just memorize facts, but to use their minds in a truly creative, imaginative way to make their lives and the world a better place.