Handling the Ups and Downs

It seems I want to start so many posts with “One of the biggest challenges with giftedness is…”.  Even though giftedness has its highlights, there are also many not-so-easy things that show up as well.

So my “biggest challenges” post today is about the emotional roller coaster we spend so much time on.  I know I’ve mentioned this idea recently in an earlier post, but it’s worthy of a few more words here.

Being extra sensitive* about a lot of things means that you’re in a constant state of up and down.  Sometimes one word from someone, or a certain look from someone else, or even a thought in your own head can send you on a super-high tangent or on the way to a crash and burn.  And I think a lot of it has to do with the huge amount of stuff going on in our brains and the major radar system built into our bodies.

If I can explain it in concrete terms, it’s kind of like experiencing life as a radio on full volume with the sound adjustment button broken.  There’s just so much stimulus from everywhere you have to really focus on filtering a lot of it out.

So if this is one of the biggest challenges, what then is the biggest solution?

Finding other people who are gifted, too, who understand where you’re coming from and who can identify with what you’re saying.  When you’re feeling overwhelmed or down about something, your gifted friend is more likely to share your ‘pain’ and help walk you out of it than someone else who would probably just tell you stop over-reacting and get on with your life.  One is empowering and helpful and the other isn’t.

Now that doesn’t mean that people who aren’t gifted aren’t great as friends and can’t help you if you need them.  They absolutely can.  When the times are toughest, just make sure you find someone who has already experienced something similar already if you can.  As closely as possible to the way you experienced it.  That will give you an easier time explaining what you’re going through.

Any thoughts?

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*A term that is used often in relation to gifted people is ‘overexcitability’.  Personally I don’t prefer this term at all since, for me at least, it has a negative connotation to it.  So in my expressions of this idea I’ll say ‘extra sensitive’ or ‘highly sensitive’ instead.  If nothing else, it makes me feel better. 🙂

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  • Marfusha

    I’m glad to know I’m not going crazy analysing every single little thing I think about, but this hasn’t been happening always. I’ve been told I was gifted 4 years ago, but this has only started happening now… Why?

    • Gifted

      Marfusha, welcome!

      As you grow and change throughout your life you’ll find that different parts of your giftedness appear stronger at different times. Just as you are likely not exactly the same person you were 4 years ago, your thinking isn’t the same either. And you may have just developed a greater awareness of it more recently.

      If you wouldn’t mind sharing, when you start analysing everything you think about, what kinds of words are running through your mind at that time?

      • Marfusha

        It’s when something seemingly insignificant happens: Someone gives me an odd look or tells me something, if I read a piece of info, or if I just happen to think about or notice something…
        Then my brain starts its crazy frenzy for information on it, and if it can’t get to it, I think about it all the time, I explore all the different scenarios, I think of all the possible combinations, I try to find the hidden meaning, then I use logic to try to figure it out…
        And it refuses to leave my mind until I find an answer that satisfies me.
        Often I get skeptical when I first find a possible answer to it.

        Thank you for answering.
        That kept me up too.

        • Gifted

          You are definitely in search of answers, and wanting a sense of closure or satisfaction with what you find out. This can refer to something as simple as a gifted person’s continual quest for knowledge, or it can be as complicated as your search for the ultimate answers in life.

          Two questions come to mind as I’m reading your comment:
          1. Have you ever tried journaling, just to be able to empty the thoughts from your mind so they don’t have to run around in there? I find that if I have a lot on my mind, if I write everything down I’m subconsciously telling myself that it’s OK to take the ideas from my current thoughts because they’re already recorded somewhere.
          2. Have you seen the post called Tuning to Another Sense? This is actually something that tends to be extremely underused in gifted people because it’s one of those things that we quickly learn to turn off. Since it defies logic the rest of the world can’t understand it and we can’t explain it. But it definitely makes a difference. It’ll help you get more of a sense about whether or not an answer that you find is the right one or not.