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Emotional Intensity & Sensitivity

GIFTEDNESS has an emotional as well as intellectual component. Intellectual complexity goes hand in hand with emotional depth. So gifted people not only think differently from other people they also feel differently. Emotional intensity in gifted people is not a matter of feeling more than other people, it is a different way of experiencing the world: vivid, absorbing, penetrating, encompassing, complex, commanding... ...

...a way of being quiveringly alive.

Emotional Intensity

Emotional intensity is positively correlated with intelligence and so the higher the intellectual level, the more emotionally intense a gifted person will be.

Emotional intensity is expressed by the gifted through a wide range of feelings, attachments. compassion, heightened sense of responsibility and scrupulous self-examination.

While these are normal for gifted people and appear very early in gifted children, they are often mistaken for emotional immaturity rather than as evidence of a rich inner life.


The characteristics of gifted emotional intensity include…

  • Extremes of emotion
  • Complex emotions
  • Intense passionate feelings
  • Fears and anxieties
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Concerns with death
  • Depressive moods
  • Identification with others' feelings
  • Heightened awareness of injustice and hypocrisy
  • High level of emotional energy
  • Heightened sensitivity to the environment; eg light, noise, movement
  • A sense of identification with people, animals, nature, and the universe
  • High levels of empathy
  • Keen self-awareness
  • Vulnerablity to social rejection

Remember, these are normal for gifted.


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