What is being gifted? What gets in the way?

“By high school, I’d more or less given up on the tedious process of making friends, since libraries were always nearby, and books were much better companions anyway.”

Laurie R. KingNovelist Laurie R. King (link to her site – she is author of The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, and other books.)

Photo from Facebook/Laurie R. King.

Being an avid reader, and not so concerned with developing ordinary friendships, perhaps acknowledging having an “outsider” status – these are a few of the qualities shared by many gifted and talented people.

A position paper by the National Association for Gifted Children defines gifted individuals more in terms of potential and talent, as “those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains.”

The paper also gives a brief summary of common “Barriers to attainment” :

“Some gifted individuals with exceptional aptitude may not demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement due to environmental circumstances such as limited opportunities to learn as a result of poverty, discrimination, or cultural barriers; due to physical or learning disabilities; or due to motivational or emotional problems.”

From Redefining Giftedness for a New Century: Shifting the Paradigm

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But this emphasis on achievement, or even potential to achieve, does not indicate enough about the inner qualities that are often part of a gifted identity – such as being an avid reader.

As adult educator and therapist Mary Rocamora says, “Giftedness these days in the research community is being understood more as an inner experience or process than external products like symphonies and films and dance companies and things of that order.

“And the research community is far more interested now in studying the nature of that inner process, and expanding the scope of it to go beyond just high intelligence, which we know is a component of giftedness, to include other qualities like sensitivity, perfectionism; a quality called entelechy, which is associated with being a visionary, having a personal vision, and being able to actualize that vision from within – rather than needing other people externally to realize it.”

From On Giftedness, an interview with Mary Rocamora by Mark Fielder.

For much more, see :

Mental health posts

Self-tests: giftedness / high ability

High Ability – gifted/talented articles

Sites: High Ability |  Highly Sensitive


Social Emotional Health Program for Creative, Gifted, Highly Sensitive People

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