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Gifted Adults

WHERE DO all the gifted children go after they finish school? What happens to giftedness in adulthood? There is no magic age when giftedness disappears. Gifted children grow into gifted adults with the same unique attributes and life issues.

The gifted adult experience

However, gifted adults are rarely aware of their giftedness. Some misinterpret their complex and deep way of thinking as "craziness’. Some mistake their emotional intensity for emotional immaturity or see it as a character flaw. Because they have never been given information to explain what is "normal for gifted" they frequently experience frustration in the world, alienation, anger, self-blame and emptiness.

They feel the pain of being different and not feeling valued by others, or indeed by themselves. Without an adequate explanation of their gifted difference, they develop a façade with which they cover their authentic gifted self; a face that they show to the world in order to fit in and so avoid disapproval or sanction.

Like gifted children, gifted adults have a complex intellect and a burning desire for information. They have high levels of energy, intensity and sensitivity, set exceptionally high standards for themselves and others and are extremely hard on themselves. They are very independent and perceptive, like to be in control, are frequently driven, full of self doubt and often feel they must be self-sufficient.

Many gifted adults are in the helping professions because they feel the need to make a difference in the world. Others find self-employment the best option because of their expanded moral awareness and integrity. Still others focus on being the best parents they can possibly be.


Gifted people have characteristics that transcend the boundaries of age, nationality, gender and occupation. Here are some of these characteristics.

  • Are you a perfectionist?
  • Do you have strong moral convictions?
  • Do you have a passion for justice?
  • Are you highly sensitive?
  • Do you have passionate, intense feelings?
  • Do you have a great sense of humor?
  • Are you intuitive, perceptive or insightful?
  • Are you fascinated by words or an avid reader?
  • Do you often feel out-of-sync with others?
  • Are you very curious or a good problem solver?
  • Do you have a vivid imagination?
  • Do you often question rules or authority?
  • Do you thrive on challenge?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by many interests and abilities?
  • Do you love ideas and ardent discussion?
  • Do you need periods of contemplation?
  • Do you search for meaning in your life?

If you identify with these characteristics, we invite you to discover more about giftedness and yourself.

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