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12 signs you’re a gifted person (with more potential than you realize)

What do you think of when you hear the words, “gifted person?”

If you’re like most people, you typically associate a gifted person with someone that has a genius IQ.

But IQ is a very limited definition of intelligence, and there are many amazing people who often go unnoticed.

After all, according to Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner, there are 9 different types of intelligence and an IQ test only focuses on a few types.

Before we go through the signs that suggest you’re a gifted person, let’s first ask the question:

What is giftedness?

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) defines giftedness as the following:

“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).”

Therefore, a person that is considered gifted tends to possess extraordinary potential in a given field, such as art. music, or academia.

The problem is:

The way our school system is set up means that we inevitably miss many gifted people in different areas.

After all, how do you determine someone is spiritually gifted?

Inspirational author and therapist Shannon L. Alder explains it well:

“So many people think that they are not gifted because they don’t have an obvious talent that people can recognize because it doesn’t fall under the creative arts category—writing, dancing, music, acting, art or singing. Sadly, they let their real talents go undeveloped, while they chase after fame. I am grateful for the people with obscure unremarked talents because they make our lives easier—inventors, organizers, planners, peacemakers, communicators, activists, scientists, and so forth. However, there is one gift that trumps all other talents—being an excellent parent. If you can successfully raise a child in this day in age to have integrity then you have left a legacy that future generations will benefit from.”

In this article, we’re going to go over 12 common signs that you are gifted.

Keep in mind that these are very general because there are so many different areas of intelligence.

But if you relate to one or more of these, then you probably have gifts that make you more talented than you might realize.

1. You are extremely curious

Gifted people are insatiably curious. They tend to be highly interested in the world around them.

They ask questions to understand more and even ask questions of answers.

You’re most likely a gifted person if you deeply engage in the world around you and want to understand concepts and the way things work.

Gifted people go beyond the normal knowing of a given topic.

They’re motivated to understand the nuances and complexities of a given topic.

Albert Einstein, one of the most gifted people that ever existed, explains why curiosity is a powerful trait in a gifted person:

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.”

2. You are a fast learner

Did you excel at a particular subject at school?

Gifted learners find learning a breeze in their field of specialty.

Now, this obviously only applies to certain subjects they teach in school.

Not all types of intelligence are covered in school.

But needless to say, gifted learners learn with ease and at speed.

They often seek outside stimulation to satisfy their knowledge appetite.

In fact, in a classroom situation, gifted learners find the material too easy and repetitive.

This is actually why some gifted learners lose motivation to continue in school. Many become dropouts because they find school boring and unimaginative.

Christopher Langan, a genius reported having an incredibly high IQ, explains why being left alone would have offered more benefit than staying in school:

“In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck.”

3. You are intense

When it comes to their area of interest, gifted people are usually described as “intense”.

A gifted person’s mind becomes so stimulated that they tend to possess a “one-track mind” in their field.

This is part of the reason gifted people can achieve miraculous things that go beyond what “normal” people would do.

In fact, gifted people tend to have what is called overexcitability.

This overexcitability can exist in different areas such as psycho-motor overexcitability, or emotional overexcitability.

Pediatrician Marianne Kuzujanakis explains it well in the Huffington Post:

“They see, hear, sense, feel, think, imagine all to a degree that is often completely invisible to others. With these intensely tuned perceptions, they can then create, innovate, perform, and astound. They can also deeply suffer.”

For example, this means that some gifted people tend to feel emotions rather strongly in a particular situation – often far more than the average person.

Also, it has been said that gifted people tend to have strong empathy and intuition.

This can come with a downside.

Mary-Elaine Jacobsen in her book The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius that gifted people often get mistaken for something else because of their intensities:

“Their intellectual and emotional intensities, are mistaken for something else; hence there are mistaken identities by the millions. Instead of being viewed as exceptionally aware, insightful, and responsive, gifted people naturally exhibit traits that are considered excessive.”

4. You are a perfectionist

Are you a perfectionist? Does everything need to be “great”?

If you have extreme focus and dedication on a particular area of interest then you might be gifted.

The downside to this is that gifted people often overwork themselves.

In fact, gifted children are often known to suffer from asynchronous development meaning that they excel in one area while lagging behind in others.

If you tend to focus on one area with complete disregard for other areas in your life, then you might be a gifted person.

5. You have a broad range of interests

While a gifted person might excel in one area of interest, it doesn’t mean they aren’t curious about other things.

Gifted people are very curious people. They love learning.

This sometimes means bouncing around from topic to topic.

In fact, gifted people often have multiple projects going on at once in order to challenge themselves.

6. You have an amazing imagination

If a person is highly gifted in a subject like arts, then it’s likely that they also have an extraordinary imagination.

They can make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.

And they can think in detailed images and “movies”.

In fact, this means that gifted people tend to experience vivid and bizarre dreams – more so than the average person.

7. You are self-motivated

Gifted people often forge their own paths. They follow their interests and intuition.

In school, this often means that gifted children pursue their interests outside of the classroom.

This strong drive to explore and create comes from within.

As we mentioned above, gifted people have a strong desire for intellectual and emotional stimulation and they pursue their passions in a determined and focused manner to achieve this goal.

In fact, according to Marry-Elaine Jacobsen in her book, The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius, gifted people cannot escape their purpose and often feel compelled to act to make it a reality:

“Gifted people cannot escape a sense of calling, a mandate to put their abilities to the test of time and constructive purpose. This is the true legacy of giftedness, the sense of responsibility to leave something valuable behind.”

8. You are eccentric

Let’s not beat around the bush. Gifted people are often seen as weird and eccentric.

After all, being gifted means thinking differently from everyone else.

Gifted people often grow up feeling like outcasts and tend to be a target for criticism because of their idiosyncrasies.

Mary-Elaine Jacobsen says that unfortunately, gifted people are rarely seen as different or interesting, but rather wrong:

“The idiosyncrasies of giftedness are rarely seen as “different = interesting,” but instead are deemed “different = wrong.”

Again, this is more of a social perception than anything physical.

Gifted people tend to be very creative.

They often have unique perspectives that others can’t relate to because they are so far out there.

9. You are incredibly intelligent

Gifted people are naturally intelligent – although they often aren’t told this by their peers or teachers because they struggle to understand the significance of their depth in a particular field.

The truth is gifted people are naturally smarter than most people around them.

This is why they can often feel like an outsider.

Gifted people are often the first to solve complex problems and develop new skills.

They can easily do things that others find difficult.

10. You have a quick wit and wicked sense of humor

Gifted people tend to be extremely intelligent – and they also tend to have a beautifully sharp and keen sense of humor and wit.

Gifted people can often be very funny behind a facade of a serious and sober persona.

They have dark humor that is often quite cruel and they can easily put down competitors with witty lines and jokes.

It’s no wonder then that gifted people often use humor as a tool to express their feelings and emotions.

They love to make others laugh – especially at themselves or what they find annoying.

11. You love different ideas

Why do gifted people love ideas? Because they love to explore and learn about different things.

Gifted people often have multiple interests and a love affair with learning new things.

This often leads to a diverse set of ideologies and an unconventional ways of thinking.

Gifted people tend to question the status quo and dislike following the normal “norms”.

This means that gifted people can sometimes be rebellious or contrarian because their minds just don’t think like everyone else.

They love thinking differently and expanding their worldview in a positive light.

12. You love spending time alone

Gifted people love spending time alone. The reason gifted people love spending time alone is that they need time alone to process what is happening.

They are constantly exploring and learning which means that they are always processing something within themselves.

In fact, many gifted individuals are introverts, according to Joel Annesley:

“The quiet ones, the introverts, are uniquely gifted. We have tremendous patience and empathy. We don’t need to say much, yet we’re able to build deep connections and rapport with those around us. The act of displaying Quiet Confidence is much easier to cultivate than we think. It’s built-in, a bundled accessory, we simply have to activate it!”

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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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