When researching happiness in HSP I was thrilled to discover that gifted people also feel emotions intensely, are creative ‘thinkers’ and ‘doer’s’ and can act ‘awkward’ in social interactions. I am so fascinated that I want to learn more about the similarities. I discovered that some of the traits of (highly) gifted people set them apart from others in society, just like with (high) sensitive people. These traits are not obviously connected to the characteristics which are generally used to define giftedness, namely intelligence, IQ, or creativity.
It was a feast of recognition to compare typical trains of (high( sensitive people to those considered characteristic for (highly) gifted souls.
I summarized* them in 5 clusters for you:
- Original, unusual ideas, creativity, connects seemingly unrelated ideas
- Vivid and rich imagination
- Learns new things rapidly
- Complex and deep thoughts, (abstract thinker)
- Highly sensitive
- Very perceptive, good sense of observation
- Passionate, intense feelings
- Sensitive to small changes in environment
- Aware of things that others are not, perceive world differently
- Tolerance for ambiguity & complexity
- Can see many sides, considers problems from a number of viewpoints
- Childlike sense of wonder
- Perfectionistic, sets high standards for self and others
- Seeker of ultimate truths, looks for patterns, meaning in life
- Outrage at injustice or moral breaches, good sense of justice
- Wide range of interests, overwhelmed by many interests and abilities
- Strong moral convictions, integrity, honesty
- Cannot stop thinking, work themselves to exhaustion
- Need periods of contemplation, solitude
5. Social relations
- Question rules or authority, asks embarrassing questions, non-conforming
- Feels different, out of step with others, sense of alienation and loneliness
- Very compassionate
- Empathy: feel along with others, help them understand themselves
On top of this, (highly) gifted people and HSP share a great portion of idealism. They experience a kind of inequality between what they are and what they could or would like to be. And this inequality can easily become the fuel for an inner drive toward perfection.
I am really fascinated by all these overlaps. It confirms for me that HSP’s are not so different from other people at all. Or put another way: as an HSP you probably share a lot of wonderful capacities with gifted contemporaries. You may even run into the same challenges in society, as you can read more about in the next blog on June 7th.
Until then – why not casually throw some of the similarities into your next discussion about HSP and let me know how your discussion partner reacts? And please do share your experience in the ’Comments’ field below!
- Were you aware of the similarities between (highly) gifted and (High) sensitive souls?
- Does the recognition of the similarities change the way you feel about yourself?
- Do you think HSP and gifted people (partly) share the same challenges in their life’s?
- Want to know if you might be (high) sensitive or (highly) gifted yourself? Test yourself (online test HSP; online test (highly) gifted)
‘Are (high) sensitive persons also (highly) gifted?’ Find out on the HSP congress in The Netherlands, 13 October! Here’s how you save 10% on your registration. I will launch my book, a practical guide and travel report on HSP on this congress!
Do you like this article? Be sure to read: ’10 alarming challenges of society for both (high) sensitive and (highly) gifted persons.’ Online June 7th.
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References 1, 2, 3
*(© The Gifted Resource Center and Lesley Sword, Ph.D.)