Our thanks to Myra Kitson, Virtual Assistant of Elyse Killoran, for
sending us this article to post on Metagifted.Org.
SIGNS OF GIFTEDNESS IN ADULTHOOD
by Elyse Killoran
The vast majority of adults who were labeled *gifted* in childhood
are unaware that their advanced development would continue to have an
impact throughout their lives. Contrary to popular belief, giftedness
is not characterized by high intelligence alone. Rather, gifted
individuals experience early & exceptional psychological, spiritual,
and intellectual development. As a result, gifted adults exhibit
common personality traits and face similar challenges on the road to
Gifted adults demonstrate:
- Qualitative differences in information processing -- characterized
by: unique perception and awareness; a sense of humor and creativity
outside the norm; questioning, searching for truth, intuitiveness;
insightfulness; comfort with both divergent thinking (breaking things
into components) and synergistic thinking (putting things together to
form something new and different); relentless curiosity and heightened
creative drive; more process-oriented than product-oriented; hold
divergent values compared to mainstream culture.
- High sensitivity -- characterized by: sensitivity to others often
combined with a sense of personal alienation and loneliness; acute awareness
of complexities and consequences; heightened responsivity to expectations of
- Intensity -- characterized by: high excitability; high
energy level; emotional reactivity; high arousal of central nervous
- Multipotentiality -- characterized by: having capabilities in many
areas and domains of talent; can move fluidly from one pursuit or interest
to the next; have the ability to juggle many things at once.
- Idealism -- characterized by: striving for moral
integrity; interest in social reform & service; extraordinarily high
standards; low tolerance for mediocrity and frustration.
- Perfectionism -- characterized by: self-criticism; labeling
themselves as "scattered"; having a lowered sense of entitlement to
make mistakes; identifying easily with failure; thinking they are more
likely to blame than others; difficulty taking credit for achievement
and abilities ("imposter" phenomena).
- Internal locus of control -- characterized by feelings of:
being out of step and on a separate path; being "Other"; not fitting
in; striving for Inner Authenticity may experience deep conflicts
between needs for self-actualization and maintaining traditional
- Strong entelechy (from Greek for "having a goal") --
characterized by: the need for self-determination, for
self-actualization; leadership qualities; achievement-oriented;
interested in non-traditional careers and professions.
- Intense moral commitment -- characterized by: seeing injustice and
doing something about it; willingness to stand up for one's beliefs; outrage
at moral breaches that the rest of the world seems to take for
- Global view -- characterized by respect for all human beings; a
greater capacity for empathy; concern for others--especially children;
sensitivity and warmth.
As a gifted individual, it is important that you recognize your
precious creativity and acknowledge that the full expression of your gifts
would be a tremendous contribution to the society at large. It is essential
that you develop a plan to channel and focus your abundance of physical,
sensual, intellectual and emotional energy.
The above listing has been derived from the work of Douglas Eby, Mary
Rocamora, Kathleen Noble and studies conducted by Linda Kreger Silverman of
the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development.
© 1998 Elyse Killoran - President of Women's U. the first virtual
educational community by for and about women. Ms. Killoran is a
Professional Coach who specializes in work with high achieving
women. For more information or to schedule a free telephone
consultation, contact Elyse.
Elyse leads regular teleclasses (classes accessible by telephone) and
offers group coaching for gifted women.
© 1998-2020 Wendy Chapman