Crazy and Immature…or Complex and Gifted?

What is the norm, and what does it mean for us as gifted adults?

The norm is just that…the norm.   You know, normal.  It doesn’t take into account those who lie at the boundaries of life, who do things differently or think in a way that isn’t much like anyone else. The problem comes when those who are not part of the norm try to melt themselves into it.

Leslie Sword shares her perspective on some of the turmoil that gifted adults face during the discovery of who they really are and what they are all about:

“…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.”

And that face behind which is so easy to hide brings with it feelings of being an impostor, a fraud, a deceiver in some way, adding another handful of negative emotions to the gifted adult’s pot.

What do we do?  How do we get around these feelings?

What are your thoughts, and what have been your experiences on this?  Please share.

  • Jjljljdlld

    I’m offended by your blog. You are NOT gifted and your blog is not able the gifted adult. Disgusting for your to latch on to this very serious dilemma. Morally reprehensible.

    • giftedforlife

      Jjljljdlld, although I must disagree with your comment you are entitled to your opinion. To each his/her own.
      I hope you find your way.

      • John G.

        Worry not about the haters.  You’re doing some positive things, Sonia.  Continue with grace.

      • viv

        I am needing gifted people to explain somethings about metaphysics, reality and neurology to me : (

        Things the lazy me seemingly cant find… The only thing I am not lazy to do is to think.

    • Sonia Dabboussi

      Jjljljdlld, although I must disagree with your comment, you are entitled to your opinion. To each his/her own. I hope you find your way.

  • Nicombatas

    Non-G doubt…. they don’t believe in truth and they can’t handle the truth…. because they discard them in contempt…..

    • giftedforlife

       Each person believes in the truth as he/she sees it.  What is truth to one can just as easily be untruth to another. 

      • viv

        Kinda dangerous to use the word truth to put in words what you meant?

    • viv

      Like Agent Smith says…. “Apperances can be deceiving”

  • cedar51

    I have spent a good deal of my life, trying to fit. I mostly do but when by mistake I think I’m able to speak out, I find that I have to shoot my thoughts right back into the façade of where I had hoped never to be…

    Recently, I have thought it is time to deal to certain things and have taken the step to move away from people/objects that cause much more grief than I would wish. 

    I am going to look around this site because it looks like it might be a helpful key 

    • giftedforlife

      What makes you “find that you have to shoot your thoughts back into the façade of where [you] had hoped never to be”?  I’m guessing it has to do with rejection by or lack of understanding from others.  Finding the balance between being able to say everything in your mind and saying what others will appreciate isn’t always easy.

      Have you met other gifted people to talk to?  This usually helps a lot since there are at least some people you can share your thoughts with without worrying so much about editing them.  You can try the forum here on the site at or the Facebook group called “On the Edge: Gifted Adults Redefining Possible” at  Connecting with other gifted adults may be a step in the right direction as well.

      I hope you find what you’re looking for.

      • SA

        I am such a hermit I am not even on Facebook.

  • Yonaro Wever

    Thanks you for this site. I recently found out that I’m gifted. I find myself  emotionally struggling alot lately. What cedar51 mentioned, about putting up a façade to fit, is starting to take a toll on me.  The articles I read on this made me understand more what it is and means to be gifted. It also made me see why I feel the way I do. I will keep visiting this site and forum.

    • giftedforlife

        Discovering your giftedness for the first time, especially as a adult when you can explore all of what that means, can truly be a liberating experience.  Many people find that so much of their lives make sense when they learn this.

      I’m glad you’ve found us here, and I hope that you’ll come back often.  There’s a Facebook group you can join as well if you’d like.  It’s at  It’s called On the Edge: Gifted Adults Redefining Possible. (I mentioned it in a reply here further down the page.)  There is some really great conversation going on there that you might enjoy as well.

  • Niki

    We are fortunate that now in this Internet & modern era, more and more care & discoveries are being made by leading psychologists, social-theorists, etc etc.

    In fact, there are actually now MORE ‘connections’ to other *psychological-approved* terms such as: INFP Personality Type (from Myers-Briggs/MBTI Personality Inventory), HSP or Highly-Sensitive Person, and there are also its correlation with being an ADD/ADHD, even somewhat a correlation with ‘bipolar’ (many of them are actually in fact ‘Gifted’ as well! it’s just that “normal” society often don’t understand, or worse, ignore about it!), and not to mention to stretch it further, being an Indigo !

    Try to google up those terms above, and you will be surprised to find actually pretty HIGH correlations/’connections’ between all of them. It’s just given different names by different psychologists and social theorists~ 🙂

    And there are also forums, mailing lists, and discussion groups for each those ‘terms’ above. and yes, based on my own experiences, it *DOES* really help quite a lot to be able to participate in those forums etc.
    It makes you feel that now you are definitely NOT alone in this vast world! that there are definitely others like you! 🙂

    ~warm regards from fellow ‘Gifted’ from Indonesia~

  • gita kannon

    Bravo! Congratulations on your website. I am so grateful for another giftedness website. Everyone has something to give, a gift, but not everyone is gifted. It is unfortunate that we have qualifiers, terminology. People are different from each other, like flowers, where some of us are roses and some of us are orchids. Why can’t we just enjoy each others differences, beauty, even if we can’t understand them. Why make anyone into an enemy?
    All best, Gita

  • Tea

    Ahahah just yesterday my therapist did an evaluation on me and after an hour (our first ever)  concluded I was emotionally immature! It was the only thing she wrote!!!!
     She really nailed it . 

  • viv

    It is relative to the gifted…. I am doubtful they would not recognize the importance of feeling alive and other sensations, and creatively.

  • viv

    Existing more is important.

  • Duc Minh

    i’m glad i found this site, although i may never know whether i am truly gifted at something or not, i’m happy there’s a site for this specific matter.

  • Miriam Pia

    I appreciate this site. In my 40s I started doing some research, partly to appreciate all the educators who really helped me as a child, and those who have also helped my kid. Some stuff I knew – other stuff came as a surprise. It normally runs in families – so people can get some perspective just checking out their relatives. Getting it into perspective outside of an academic environment is rather important to me. I feel I expected some aspects of life to be easier and other times I tended to suffer from over-reacting in work environments where due to other limitations I was not able to shine the way I could in an academic environment, not due to being stupid or not smart about reality but due to how holistic it is and not having “smart kid peers” in every circumstance and not always knowing how to react to others.

  • RedSainte

    I am so glad to have found this article. For the longest time, I have wondered why am I like this…and I am already in my mid 40s. I guess I was trying to find the right “label”. Eversince I was a kid I have always been different. And throughout my life I have identified , categorized, classified myself as weird, emotionally challenged, socially impaired, flawed and even bipolar. Now I am still not sure if I am indeed gifted. But I crave so much to meet and pick the brains of people who areThen maybe I will finally get the answer and have a different perspective of life…ergo improve my relationships.