Giftedness, testimonials and tips for making and keeping friends

HPI, comment avoir et se faire des amis
Comment avoir une vie sociale en étant HPI haut potentiel intellectuel

Source photo credit: Casting Stranger Things

Article updated on January 14, 2023

Can you have friends if you have HPI? Can you be yourself and build lasting friendships?

HPI is very intense in friendship. He often has trouble positioning himself. Either he’s too present and takes up too much space, or on the contrary, he doesn’t necessarily feel at ease and doesn’t know how to behave.

Is it harder to make friends when you’re HPI?

What can seem difficult in friendship when you’re HPI is that you don’t function like everyone else! The singular way in which HPI people function sometimes makes them curious or bizarre. He’s often too outspoken, too frank, a little clumsy and stubborn. His thirst for justice can even make him aggressive or stubborn when he feels hurt or misunderstood.

These over-the-top behaviors can tire those around him. The family accepts… You choose your friends, but not your family! On the other hand, friends who have a choice may tire of the HPI person’s behavior and end up giving up on them.

Once again, the HPI person questions himself and ends up thinking that he’s not lovable or not worthy of friendship. He ends up believing that he’s too strange or too different, and as he’s a very emotional person, the loss of each friend is unbearable for him. Especially since a single gifted person is an unhappy gifted person!

So, should you be yourself when you have HPI, at the risk of not pleasing everyone, or should you play a role?

Romy sometimes finds it hard to commit to friendships. Often disappointed and sometimes misunderstood, the loss of friends is sometimes too much for her to handle: I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m high potential, but every time I lose someone I care about, I feel like I’m losing a piece of myself!

Losing friendships is all the more complicated for HPI people, as they are often quick to attach themselves and give without restraint.

Whether we’ve known each other for six months or six years, it doesn’t detract from the authenticity of the moments we share.


HPI: Friendship is not a question of time, but of feeling!

HPI people are often very spontaneous, have their hearts in their hands and trust their intuition. When she meets someone she likes, it’s unfiltered, without a net.

Mel tells us about his encounter with Charlotte: ” In a very short time, she has become a huge part of my life, my life , my life. my daily thoughts… We’re similar in a lot of ways, we’re both very sensitive and passionate, and we’re always asking questions. 1 billion questions, we change our minds forty times in two hours, and we have heated debates all the time… She’s all there, just like me, no shades of grey, life is either black or white! I immediately fell in love with it. In the beginning, I remember being afraid of losing her, afraid that the chemistry would stop.

I know what you’re thinking, Charlotte is definitely HPI. As if you can only be friends with HPIs when you’re an HPI. I don’t know if Cha is HPI, and neither is she. And in the end, it’s anecdotal. It’s still there, and that’s the most important thing. We’ve known each other for almost 6 years and she’s still one of my best friends, even if we don’t see each other as much as we’d like.

Friendship and HPI, going beyond differences

Charlotte: When I first met Mel, I saw a girl with a lot of style, a lot of smiles and a lot of self-confidence. I discovered a resourceful person with a lovely way with words. A person with a very strong image, very present, who seemed very sure of herself. Mel is someone who takes up a lot of space. She speaks with her hands, with her eyes and she speaks loudly. I’ve never seen anyone move their eyebrows so energetically! (laughs). I think that for others, it’s someone who can appear disturbing or too imposing.

A High Potential person can be surprisingly calm and thoughtful, or on the contrary, very playful or even excited, depending on the situation. He’s often a disconcerting, even annoying friend, but always very interesting and inspiring.

Jonathan explains: As a child, I always oscillated between a state of extreme calm, seemingly only (it was already bubbling inside), andexuberance and excitement because I was experimenting… I was trying to figure out how best to behave and react, with little success at the time. I couldn’t bond with kids my own age because I didn’t have the right instructions! I don ‘t approach things and analyses in the same way as others, and this often leads to misunderstandings or strained relationships with people who clearly don’t understand me.

The HPI friend, strengths and qualities

If you’re HPI, don’t worry, you can make and have friends! However, it’s important to choose them carefully. Like everyone else, an HPI person has his or her qualities and faults. Beyond this atypical way of functioning, every human being has his or her own values, passions, opinions and upbringing. The most important thing is to find people with whom you resonate.

Charlotte : It’s not always easy to follow them. It pushes us to our limits because, unconsciously of course, they constantly ask us to adapt to them. Except that they often have a slightly offbeat vision of the world we live in! Mel exudes an optimism that can be confusing, even overrated at times. As if she were living in the beautiful world of Care Bears. But deep down, I tell myself she’s right! It’s better to draw a sky that’s too blue and could be tainted by a slight whiteout than to live in a permanently grey sky, isn’t it?

HPI, a life where everything goes faster!

What can be disconcerting in a friendship with an HPI is the speed at which life evolves, the risk-taking and 180-degree turns when you’re used to being in a rut.

Romy: my life can take totally opposite directions in a matter of days! The good thing about my friends is that they don’t feel guilty. if they had forgotten a few details of recent events, because everything will surely have changed by now anyway!

Charlotte : This madness and her ability to put up no insurmountable barriers in her life are completely mind-boggling. I know that all this confidence and self-assurance is worked on day after day. because I also know thatshe asks herself a lot of questions, hence her need to be able to refocus on herself from time to time so as not to overload her brain and eliminate her doubts and questions, step by step. I’m more rational. Before making a decision, I calculate all the risks involved. I’d never dare take the plunge if I didn’t know where I was going! We talk a lot about the decisions we make, and in the end our differences help us to have a more complete view of each situation.

Imposter syndrome in friendship

People with high potential often suffer from impostor syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a self-deprecating condition. People with this syndrome think they’re bad or mean, and that they don’t deserve to be loved or successful. When this happens, they tell themselves that it’s often a fluke and that it won’t last. How optimistic! Mel helps us understand how it works.

Mel : The crazy thing is that in general my family, friends and colleagues all think I have this strong, confident personalityI’m always in doubt. My sister said on my wedding day, my sister is a rock, only if she has a pillar to lean on. I loved her speech, because deep down she knows that rock has fragile foundations. My foundations are all the people who are an integral part of my life. They help me to build myself up, to question myself and to ask the right questions! I love them with an immeasurable love, but I’m clumsy, rough and frank, so sometimes that creates disagreements or conflicts. What I can’t stand! (laughs) My anxieties come flooding back and I’m afraid he won’t love me anymore (except for my dog, but we always agree!). What a childish reaction! As I get older, I don’t let the situation fester; on the contrary, I try to defuse the bomb so I can move on more easily.

When you’re HPI, you’re often afraid of commitment because you’re afraid of losing the other person. Finally, to create and maintain a friendly relationship when you’re HPI, all you have to do is overcome your fears and anxieties. Be able to trust yourself enough to have confidence in the other person, and accept that you are lovable and a good person!

To work on your self-esteem and self-confidence, personal development can be a good tool in your quest for happiness. By working on yourself, you give yourself a chance to realize that, as an HPI, you deserve to have friends, to be in a relationship, to have a job, to be as successful as anyone else!

Having an HPI friend in your life is a blessing!

Despite the complexity of their brains, people with HPI learn to live things as simply as possible, without denying themselves the slightest desire. If an HPI person feels comfortable in their own shoes, then they allow themselves to be different, and anything is possible!

Charlotte : Mel is one of my friendships the richest I can count in my life because of its multiplicity. He’s really someone you can count on. A friend who is never judgmental, she opens up different ways of seeing things and makes us ask the right questions. Let us be our own decision-makers, resolving our doubts and problems and overcoming our fears.

Friendship with an HPI with or without constraints?

It is important to distinguish between High Potential individuals , who suffer from abandonment syndrome and therefore emotional dependence, and HPI who do not. In the first case, friendship can quickly be perceived as a constraint, because it’s not based on healthy functioning. In this case, we don’t choose friends for what they are, but for what they bring us (not being alone).

If you are HPI and suffer from emotional dependence, getting professional help can be a good start to help you build true, reciprocal friendships and avoid toxic relationships. Here again, personal development is a good place to start.

If you don’t suffer from abandonment syndrome, then your friendship will certainly be reciprocal and unconstrained. Indeed, the lucidity, fidelity and loyalty of HPI and their big hearts are their greatest strengths, if they don’t feel obliged to do anything in return.

Mel : I like friendships with no strings attached. I want to be sure that I can say no to a party without hurting the other person’s feelings. Just knowing that I can say no without being judged is important to me. I thinkfriendship can be very strong without seeing each other every day. I’m also convinced that when you really love someone, you accept that they don’t belong to you, and that they’re free to share their time with people other than you. Friendship doesn’t have to be exclusive to be beautiful.

Time allows relationships to mature, but only feeling and desire can make them special.


A High Potential person is aware of everything around him, and his instinct is his strength when he trusts himself. Believing in yourself allows you to take responsibility for your decisions and to draw the positive out of every situation, including your friendships.

Friendship with an HPI is beautiful, rich and important

Laughing, talking, debating, meditating, analyzing, playing, recharging our batteries, enjoying, exchanging and enriching ourselves together!

Thank you to all the HPIs who help those around them evolve through their own introspection, their objective view of the world and their ability to connect people to help them have the best time together.

HPI and friendship: our advice

Here are a few tips from the Follow the Zebra team for maintaining a good friendship when you’re HPI:

  • check in regularly
  • support your friends when they’re down, but also when they’re up
  • listen to them and take an interest in them
  • ask them questions about what’s important to them
  • meet at least once a year
  • accepting that we don’t always have the same point of view
  • sharing good times together and as a group
  • communicate a lot!

Thanks to Romy, Mel, Charlotte and Jonathan for their testimonials.

To go further, you can read

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