Very intellectual not really…
Very intellectual not really…
Ah, but it’s in a classic Business Insider Template Bullshit, so it works for them.
While they threw a dart on the wall and landed on 19 then proceeded to introduce each cherry picked Reddit comment with a stock photo and an encapsulating 3 word introductory sentence while managing to put it on a 20 click ad driven slideshow summed up in a sensation headline, we’ll throw it up on Tumblr highlighting what really needs to be highlighted—Problems unique to intellectually gifted individuals.
Wait, let’s just give quick credit to this header photo; Coloured Boy Playing Chess. It was not one of those outrageous ridiculous stereotypical stock photos of a baby Einstein with unnecessarily thick prescription glasses to emphasize genius, but of a boy playing chess. Let’s not subject this innocent little boy who has the future of the world in front of him by scaring the shit out of him as to why it’s horrible to be who he is. [(REUTERS/Gil Montano) (chess-player-young-kid.jpg)]
If you’re born gifted, life is handed to you on a silver platter, right?
Not according to several Reddit users who answered the question, “[For those] labeled as gifted children, do you think the label harmed you, or helped you?”
Most said that the “free passes” and special treatment given in school and beyond are not worth the price of having above-average IQ. In fact, any complacency they enjoyed during their early years ended up hurting them later in life.
“I often feel like a huge failure and I can’t look at my transcript without crying,” writes one user. “I still consider myself extremely intelligent and capable but I can’t push myself to do the work required to make straight As. Overall it’s forced me to set an unreasonably high standard for myself.”
We’ve pulled together some of the most interesting comments from the thread about why it’s horrible to grow up gifted.
From an early age, you believe it’s you vs. the world.
“You’re suddenly looking around at the world and realizing that you’re supposed to have some crazy work ethic at everything because YOU’RE gifted and THEY aren’t. More is expected of YOU than THEM because of the big giant brain that YOU were given that THEY weren’t. See a pattern there? There’s this exclusivity complex there where it’s an ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality.”
You develop a superiority complex.
“When you’ve been told all your life that you’re the smartest person in the room, you don’t take orders from others very well, especially those who you don’t find very bright (which, sadly, is most people).”
And that makes you arrogant.
“Harmed me. Made me an arrogant self-righteous prick, because I was taught for years that my classmates and I were smarter than all the rest of the school. I’m still trying to undo all that.”
Inflated expectations also lead to a deep feeling of inadequacy.
“Being labeled as gifted caused my parents to have inflated expectations of me which I will never meet. I am quite happy with an undergraduate degree and career in business. My parents think I should be curing cancer while working on my 4th PhD.”
You put too much pressure on yourself.
“School has always been the biggest trigger for my anxiety because I’m afraid of not doing well enough, and I never cut myself any slack. I also have other mental illness issues, and my preoccupation with marks expanded into believing my parents won’t love me if I don’t get the grades I think I should. The pressure comes entirely from within. They have always said as long as I try they will be proud, but I stress myself out anyway.”
You become way too competitive.
“Even my best friends in school were also my fiercest competitors. You had to put school completely aside if you wanted to hang out, because you’d end up hating each other otherwise.”
Your parents constantly raise the bar.
“My brother and sister were praised for mediocrity, getting extra allowance or other such gifts when they got Bs and Cs. If I brought back anything but top grades I didn’t get such treatment. I always thought it was stupid and unfair.”
In fact, everyone expects you to be perfect.
“I’ve had a genius-level IQ my whole life, and it’s caused my parents (mother in particular) to believe that I should be able to go whole semesters without ever getting a single exam question wrong. Every time I try to explain that that isn’t how intelligence works, I get told ‘that’s just an excuse, you’re smart.’ Genius does not equal perfection.”
You’re always trying to get everyone’s approval.
“I think the worst is the constant need for other people’s approval, and basing my entire self-worth on what others think. It’s led to tons of anxiety, because I can never fail at anything, or let other people down. It’s led to a bunch of self-destructive behaviors, where I’ll do things that I hate or that harm myself, just to please other people and gain their approval.”
You become terrified of failure.
“The ease at which I excelled when I was younger made it hard when I DID struggle, as I was terrified of disappointing everyone. I still suffer from severe anxiety because, frankly, I never learned to fail. And I think that’s an important lesson for people to learn.”
Other people hate you for being smart.
“I was always an overachiever, despite being told I was extra smarties, until I got to high school and I suddenly started caring what everyone else thought. In elementary school I got perfect grades. In high school, I stopped trying so damn hard, because everyone hated the kid with the perfect grades. I remember taking a bio test once, I think that was the swing point, where the closest grade to mine was a 78%, and I got a 96%, and everyone hated me.”
And jealousy leads to bullying.
“Precocious + bullied, that was probably the formula that made people think I needed the label, really. Adults, rather than dealing with said bullies, just reassured me I was special and that they’d be ‘bagging your groceries’ etc. Ironically I only stopped waiting tables and working in supermarkets about two years ago.”
It’s hard to stay positive.
“I found the hardest part of the expectations was staying positive. Top of the line grades were expected. If you got the best grades, you were doing what you were supposed to do. If you got less than stellar grades, you obviously just weren’t applying yourself. It’s hard to be positive when the only reactions are neutral and negative.”
You constantly feel like you are alone.
“The idea that I was smarter than everybody meant that I only trusted myself, listened to no one and would only except advice when it made sense to me. I mostly used my gifted brain to do as little work as possible and I developed bad habits. I believed that I did not need to do well in school … because I could make up for it later.”
You don’t develop a work ethic.
“It would of been nice if they had separated us somehow so school was actually challenging, but once everyone in my life was telling me that I was brilliant rather than just my parents, I never did any work or paid attention in classes. … If I had some work ethic in school I think my life would have turned out loads differently. But as it was, because they knew I was so bright, I never had to do anything.”
And you realize you can’t always fake your work ethic.
“I excelled in grade school without having to put in any effort. I would show up to finals, asking which exam we were taking that day, and get top scores. I never learned how to do homework or maintain any sort of work ethic, but I became very skilled at coasting through courses and bullshitting on essay questions (writing what I speculated the teacher wanted to hear, and not something with actual substance). Once I hit university I couldn’t get away with not doing any work anymore, so I hit a wall that I’m still trying to overcome.”
You develop a false sense of security.
“I was always put in ‘gifted’ programs up until grade six. While I learned a lot in those sessions that I would not have had the privilege to otherwise learn, I feel now it lulled me into a false sense of security of my perceived capabilities, and began to coast in school. It eventually caught up to me, and I still kick myself over letting myself get complacent.”
Weakness become uncomfortably apparent.
“It put a lot of expectations on myself and made the things I was (and still am) weak at a huge deal. For example, I can’t spell or punctuate correctly even now.”
Ultimately, you set unreasonably high standards for yourself.
“I often feel like a huge failure and I can’t look at my transcript without crying. I still consider myself extremely intelligent and capable but I can’t push myself to do the work required to make straight A’s. Overall it’s forced me to set an unreasonably high standard for myself. I have considered myself in a three-year slump (I’m a junior in high school now), but I’m starting to accept that I’m just a B student.”
Yes, those were a solid 19 points highlighting the curses of being labelled Gifted, with a short introductory headline to introduce each comment.
19 seemingly random comments cherry picked and taken out of context off a currently popular Reddit thread, out of the possible 7000+ and counting, flipped into a nice little Business Insider slideshow, with 150,000+ hits (real hits?) and counting. Good job Business Insider Slideshow, for highlighting a problem and providing a solution to those problems— Oh wait, all you did was further compound the stigma that Giftedness should only be discussed in deprecating or depressing terms, by highlighting the terrible 19.
Still yes, a solid 19 points. While the topic question is heavily weighted on the consequence of being labelled Gifted in school, and not necessarily being an Intellectually gifted individual who shares characteristics with other intellectually gifted individuals, these are only 19 issues facing gifted individuals, labelled gifted or otherwise.
Because Giftedness is a Double Edged Sword, just know that there are definitely 19 Reasons It’s Amazing To Grow Up Gifted. I don’t know if it’s socially acceptable to talk about those reasons, but you’re definitely allowed to live out 20 Reasons It’s Amazing To Grow Up Gifted.
Fuck yeah! Tumblr is now made up of 100 million blogs.
Congratulations Tumblr! We’re glad to be in on the fun. Suck it, Blogspot Wordpress and GeoCities!
Signed, ~ FUCK YEAH INTELLECTUAL GIFTEDNESS
Yup, looks familiar
No, sorry “A Gifted Man” on ABC, you were not the face of Giftedness. But you did make for a good avatar that we used to use, for our branding/vandalism purposes.
In K-12 classrooms everywhere are children at risk for being misunderstood, medically mislabeled, and educationally misplaced. Not limited to one gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic group, they could be the children of your neighbors, your friends, your siblings, and even yourself.
These at-risk children are gifted children.
Contrary to common stereotypes, giftedness is not synonymous with high academic achievement. The gifted student archetype, while expected to be a mature classroom leader, does not fit all gifted students. Some are the class clowns, the lonely awkward child in the back row, the troublemaker. Special needs classrooms are where a number of gifted children end up — their giftedness left unsupported.
Wasting much of their day in unsuitable classrooms, gifted kids may behave in unacceptable ways. Despite giftedness being akin to a special need, funding for it is scarce and the needs of gifted minority and poor are repeatedly and shamefully overlooked. Visual-spatial learners whose learning methods conflict with typical classrooms are also misunderstood. While classrooms need to be academically challenging, for many that also requires sensitivity to cultural, racial and linguistic diversity. Learning strengths, too. Such solutions are not always generally available.
Dr. William H. Smith, former dean of the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences, stated, “Giftedness can be confused with some psychiatric disorders, obscure other disorders, and it often needs to be included in treatment planning.”
But many gifted children are never identified. Gifted identification is mandated in only 32 states, and funded in fewer. Most teachers receive only minimal instruction on the identification and management of gifted children. The term gifted tends to evoke elitism, and serious attention is rarely paid to gifted children who are other than high achieving.
A prevalent belief persists that one cannot both be gifted yet struggling in school. Many parents also discount giftedness when their children’s abilities are uneven or counteracted by other difficulties. Yet some gifted children who have unrecognized learning disorders may initially excel in school, until they hit a limit where their compensatory skills unravel.
The 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Mental Health reported that nearly 37 percent of children and adolescents either met the DSM criteria for a mental health diagnosis or showed some impairment in functioning. ADHD is seen in nearly 1 in 10 children. Autism spectrum disorders are seen in 1 in 50 children.
Highly gifted children are a particular diagnostic challenge. They seem to be wired differently and have developmental trajectories that differ from the norm. Many gifted kids experience the world with heightened and vivid intensities and sensitivities that may be a big plus (allowing them to become creative artists, scientists, inventors, and humanitarians) but also can be a big minus (subjecting them to sometimes overwhelming emotions and worrisome and unacceptable behaviors).
When pediatric diagnoses are carelessly applied, gifted children are frequently mislabeled with ADHD, autistic, depressive, or bipolar disorders.
Dr. Jack Wiggins, former president of the American Psychological Association, stated, “This is a widespread and serious problem — the wasting of lives from the misdiagnosis of gifted children and adults and the inappropriate treatment that often follows.”
Yet sometimes being gifted effectively hides learning and mental health conditions. Giftedness may over-compensate for weaknesses, masking the weakness and sometimes the giftedness. Despite the seriousness of misdiagnosis, physicians are exposed to an alarmingly few articles in the pediatric medical literature about the complexities of giftedness, while many parents also hesitate in discussing giftedness with their doctors, some with the belief that giftedness plays no role in medical health.
Dr. James T. Webb, clinical psychologist, author, and founder of SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted), stated, “Unfortunately, extremely few psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, or other health care professionals receive any training about characteristics of gifted children and adults, particularly behaviors of bright, creative persons that can sometimes resemble or conceal disorders.”
So, while some gifted kids are erroneously labeled and medicated for mental health disorders they do not have, others are unrecognized for learning or mental disorders they do have.
Normal giftedness can be easily confused with a diagnosable mental disorder. Gifted kids may talk a lot, have high levels of energy, and be impulsive or inattentive or distractible in some settings — similar to symptoms of ADHD. It’s not unusual for gifted kids to struggle socially, have meltdowns over minor issues, or have unusual all-consuming interests — all pointing to an inappropriate diagnosis of autism.
What results is that the gifted frequently feel alone and alien in a world that doesn’t fully understand them.
Dr. Daniel B. Peters and Dr. Edward R. Amend, both clinical psychologists, in a chapter ofHandbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents (2011), wrote, “Although there is no doubt that medication has its place in the management of behavioral and psychological disorders … the practice is not appropriate when medication is incorrectly used to suppress the misunderstood behaviors of gifted children.”
Giftedness too is not always seen as a socially positive and valued trait. Many gifted kids are bullied, others underachieve to hide their abilities, and some experience anxiety and depression with increased risk for self-harm. As many as 20 percent may drop out of school. The social and emotional needs of many gifted children are ignored. Many seek homeschool and early college as more suitable alternatives, though some bypass higher education altogether, having become disillusioned with their earlier experiences, or unable to cope if untreated for unrecognized learning or mental health issues.
There is an urgent need for physician training in giftedness and dual diagnoses. They see kids for very brief visits and many are too influenced by drug marketing (as are parents and teachers). Over-diagnosis and over-treatment are commonplace.
The typical 15-minute exam is not sufficient to accurately distinguish disorders. A gifted child presenting with distractibility or inattentiveness may or may not have ADHD. A seemingly bright child who just gets by in school may be severely struggling with an unrecognized learning disorder hidden by gifted over-compensation. Gifted children may also hide depression and suicidal thoughts.
It is crucial to properly distinguish pathology while accurately addressing concerns. Sometimes the best remedy is simply proper educational placement. Thus, when medical diagnoses are made too quickly, the required conversation abruptly ceases and opportunities to make a positive difference are lost.
The book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (2005) offers helpful advice in distinguishing if a gifted child also has other issues needing further evaluation:
• Does the developmental history indicate early milestones or precocious development?
• Are the behavior patterns typical ones for gifted children and adults?
• Are the problem behaviors found only in certain situations or contexts, rather than across most situations?
• Are the problematic behaviors reduced when the person is with other gifted persons or in intellectually supportive settings?
• Can the problematic behaviors be most easily explained as stemming from a gifted/creative person being in an inappropriate situation?
• Are the behaviors ones that really cause an impairment in personal or social functioning, or are they quirks or idiosyncrasies that cause little impairment or discomfort?
Finally, the concept of normal must not be defined by a narrow and arbitrary set of criteria. Not everyone processes information and sensory inputs in the same way, nor does everyone develop along the same expected timeline to the same endpoint. Variability does not automatically indicate a disorder.
Dr. Allen Frances, psychiatrist, author, and chair of the DSM-IV, states: “One of the disasters of the diagnostic inflation is that expectable and desirable individual difference is so often mislabeled as mental disorder. Caution is particularly necessary in diagnosing kids. They are so developmentally labile and have such a short track record that diagnostic mistakes are frequently made and once made are extremely difficult to undo.”
Together let’s proceed with extreme caution. Our children depend upon it.
 Webb, James T., et. al. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Great Potential Press. 2005.
 Grobman, J. “Underachievement in Exceptionally Gifted Adolescents and Young Adults: A Psychiatrist’s View.” Journal of Secondary Gifted Education. 2006 17(4) 199-210.
 J Renzulli, S. Park. “Gifted Dropouts: The Who and the Why.” Gifted Child Quarterly. Fall 2000 44: 261-271.
Posted on March 16, 2007 by Editor in Chief, Pick The Brain
Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, has spent her career studying the mental phenomena that lead to success. The Effort Effect provides an overview of her findings.
Why do some people reach their potential, while others with equal or greater talent fail?
The answer, according to Dweck, is attitude. In fact, Dweck has observed that believing in fixed intelligence can undermine a person’s ability to succeed.
Many people who believe in fixed intelligence also think you shouldn’t need hard work to do well. This belief isn’t entirely irrational, she says. A student who finishes a problem set in 10 minutes is indeed better at math than someone who takes four hours to solve the problems. And a soccer player who scores effortlessly probably is more talented than someone who’s always practicing. “The fallacy comes when people generalize it to the belief that effort on any task, even very hard ones, implies low ability,” Dweck says.
This fallacy leads people to view set backs as personal failures rather than opportunities for growth.
Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat.
As a person labeled ‘gifted’ as an adolescent, this article lead me to reflect on my own intellectual development.
Has being ‘gifted’ undermined my achievement? Possibly.
When you’re ‘gifted’ expectations change. Intelligence becomes your identity. Everyone knows you’re supposed to do well in school. When you don’t surpass other students with ease you feel like a failure.
Having your identity tarnished is very threatening.
If you do live up to expectations, you start to believe you really are gifted, and that your natural gifts will carry you to immense personal success. This leads to an inflated ego and underdeveloped work ethic.
Did this hurt me? It’s possible, but I wouldn’t want to use it as an excuse for personal shortcomings.
Still, I’m optimistic. At least I’ve realized that being ‘gifted’ doesn’t get you anywhere in the real world. That’s something they should teach in schools.
“Giftedness is not what you do, or how hard you work. It is who you are.”
And we’re uncutting it because it’s OK to talk about it with us!
man i’m reading the wikipedia page on intellectual giftedness and like
everything makes so much sense
i was officially (diagnosed? given the status? idk how you want to word it) as gifted when i was in second grade because my mom thought something was up when her 8 year old was smarter than her
and i’m just going to run through this article and bust out snippets that made me making animalistic noises over how “me” they were
Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and emotional functions are often developed differently (or to differing extents) at different stages of development - this probably explains what i mean when i say i’ve felt like i’ve mentally ben 35 since i was 9 apparently if you ask my mom she could have adult conversations with me about life events since i was three years old and it creeped her out
Generally, gifted individuals learn more quickly, deeply, and broadly than their peers. Gifted children may learn to read early and operate at the same level as normal children who are significantly older. i was reading picture books by a year and a half, harry potter in first grade and stephen king in third.
The gifted tend to demonstrate high reasoning ability, creativity, curiosity, a large vocabulary, and an excellent memory. They can often master concepts with few repetitions. explains why i can’t teach anyone something because i don’t understand how normal learning works. i can learn something quickly and when someone doesn’t understand something right away, i will seriously break down and cry because it frustrates me that i have no idea how to not learn something.
They may also be physically and emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic, and may frequently question authority. yes, yes (the first time i got a B i went home and cried and despite my mom assuring me she was a straight C student and look how she turned out, it just made me cry even more), and i’m pretty sure this is why i love politics because while i don’t have authority issues, i’m perfectly content analyzing authority and morality and deciding when someone in authority is “wrong” and i don’t have to listen to them.
Some have trouble relating to or communicating with their peers because of disparities in vocabulary size (especially in the early years), personality, interests, and motivation. As children, they may prefer the company of older children or adults. my only close friends growing up were the other kids in the gifted program because i just couldn’t talk to “normal” kids. vocabulary played some part but i mean, i remember our sleepovers were so…deep for kids our age. like i remember having an emotional breakdown in my friend’s backyard late one night looking at the stars because i couldn’t figure out the concept of being and the meaning of life. we were 11. and that last part is my life in a nutshell. when i was 7, my closest friend was 16. i’m (let’s just go ahead and say 20 because my birthday is sunday) now and the average age of my friends probably sits around 30-35.
Giftedness is frequently not evenly distributed throughout all intellectual spheres; an individual may excel in solving logic problems and yet be a poor speller; another gifted individual may be able to read and write at a far above average level and yet have trouble with mathematics. yes. my sphere is definitely more verbal-based. we took IQ tests when we were first admitted to the program (i had to take it twice: once in north carolina and once when i moved back to pennsylvania) and my IQ was 142. but if you know me, you do not trust me with anything math related. my verbal IQ is 172 and my nonverbal is like 130-something. i don’t remember that number because i was too shocked like…172 how the fuck that’s a very high number.
Many gifted individuals experience various types of heightened awareness and may seem overly sensitive. These sensitivities may be to physical senses such as sight, sound, smell, movement and touch. For example, they may be extremely uncomfortable when they have a wrinkle in their sock, or unable to concentrate because of the sound of a clock ticking on the other side of the room. Sensitivities of the gifted are often to mental and emotional over-awareness. For example, picking up on the feelings of someone close to them, having extreme sensitivity to their own internal emotions, and taking in external information at a significantly higher rate than those around them. These various kinds of sensitivities often mean that the more gifted an individual is, the more input and awareness they experience, leading to the contradiction of them needing more time to process than others who are not gifted.
Hypersensitivity to external or internal stimuli can resemble a proneness to “sensory overload”, which can cause such persons to avoid highly stimulating, chaotic or crowded environments…Some are able to tune out such unwanted stimulation as they focus on their chosen task or on their own thoughts. In many cases, awareness may fluctuate between conditions of hyperstimulation and of withdrawal. (An individual’s tendencies to feel overwhelmed is also affected by their extraversion and introversion.) i was really fucking relieved to read this part because for the longest time, since my middle brother is autistic, i was paranoid that i fell somewhere on the spectrum too because i get sensory overload all the time. hell, even in one of my gifted classes, one of our FPS problems was on sensory overload and my teacher looked right at me and said “i bet you experience this a lot” and i was creeped out like how the fuck did you know that. i fall victim to culture shock a lot when i travel. vegas was the ultimate “this is too much i have to go lay down for a bit before i hyperventilate and cry because everything is happening”. and i was always that person who cannot write in public because the slightest noise kills me. i remember during PSSAs one year the girl across from me was chewing gum loudly and i had to ask to move because i just wanted to put my head down and cry; i couldn’t think.
Unhealthy perfectionism stems from equating one’s worth as a human being to one’s achievements, and the simultaneous belief that any work less than perfect is unacceptable and will lead to criticism. Because perfection in the majority of human activities is neither desirable, nor possible, this cognitive distortion creates self-doubt, performance anxiety and ultimately procrastination. aka the story of my life. it was even worse because, like i said, most of my friends were in the same boat as me and i would constantly compare my scores to them and if i did worse, i would just think i was worthless and nothing. which leads to…
Underachievement: There is often a stark gap between the abilities of the gifted individual and his or her actual accomplishments. Many gifted students will perform extremely well on standardized or reasoning tests, only to fail a class exam. This disparity can result from various factors, such as loss of interest in classes that are too easy or negative social consequences of being perceived as smart.Underachievement can also result from emotional or psychological factors, including depression, anxiety, perfectionism, or self-sabotage. yep. i slack off way too much because i get bored so easily. and i kicked every standardized test’s ass. i mean, my SAT score was only 1890 but i got into both colleges i applied to and just didn’t care anymore. (and sometimes i angst about what my life could have been like if i actually went to NYU but i don’t know man i’m not even in grown-up college anymore so all of the problems i have at Pitt would have probably been worse if i was far away but i also would have been happier because NYC is home to me so idk?)
A number of people have noted a higher incidence of existential depression, which is depression due to seemingly highly abstract concerns such as the finality of death, the ultimate unimportance of individual people, and the meaning (or lack thereof) of life. Gifted individuals are also more likely to feel existential anxiety. all. the. time.
so to sum it all up, any time someone told me that it must be nice to be “smart”, i was completely serious when i said it was way more complicated than they thought. it really is.
Mic Check 2 3
Just testing a new Tumblr layout, don’t mind us.
Children studying rocks at an experimental elementary school for gifted children at Hunter College. New York, 1948.
By Nina Leen