Living with giftedness and hypersensitivity as a man
To be a zebra is by definition to be sensitive and emotional. When you’re a woman, it can be complicated to deal with, especially with other people’s opinion, but when you’re a man, how do you admit it, deal with it, assume it, without being afraid or ashamed of rejection?
Many thanks to Simon for his testimonial as a hypersensitive zebra man!
Zebra and yet longing for a bit of “normality”.
I’m 39, have two children and have been in a couple for 20 years. My wife and I are invited by friends to an adult picnic. My first reaction is fear.
I’ll be in the presence of people my own age who will talk to me and stimulate me; I risk talking nonsense, too much or too littleI’d like to enjoy a moment with other people and be like them, reacting to a group discussion in the right way, without absence or excess.
For gifted people, going out can become a real phobia.
Being invited to a picnic on the beach sounds more like a festive event in the near future. For me, there’s an element of hard work. I agreed to go, with half my guts tied up in knots by fear of myself.
I’m trying to convince myself that it’s going to be good, a time with friends, with new people to meet. My efforts at positive thinking are struggling to counter my instinctive warnings. But I must make the effort to see this as a positive event.
So off we go, driving along and finding ourselves at the start of a path that leads to a cove.
Gifted, how to be yourself with others?
There are just a dozen of us, most of whom don’t know each other. We walk along the path. Everyone starts talking. I start chatting with a really nice guy.
The sky is blue, it’s spring. The flowers smell good, that’s it: just a few minutes and my memories start to overlap with reality.
I share dreams with my new friend. I understand him so well that I sometimes anticipate what he’s going to say. So I make incongruous associations. He quickly drops the discussion with me.
Gifted, the feeling of being out of step
Among us is a rather eccentric guy, an actor of Indian origin: Jay. Jay doesn’t want to define himself as male or female. Jay seems to be deliberately eccentric, and I’m touched by his fragility. We hit it off. Jay is a little bit crazy, but not like me.
Gifted and Hypersensitive, an atypical vision of the world?
A few moments later, he says, “If the earth were your body, what would the ocean be? I respond with “My prison”. And I explain that the fish go round and round in circles, trapped in this liquid mass which they can circle forever, always thinking they’re moving forward.
Okay, that’s a bit extreme, but it makes sense to me. Everyone then gave their own interpretation of Jay’s parable. I started to speak out of turn, apparently because my wife, who knows me, gave me a little wave and touched my hand.
Gifted and Hypersensitive, a brain that never sleeps
But it doesn’t matter, associations flood into my mind in spite of myself, and I interrupt a friend to say that we’ve found the pill that will eliminate the feeling of loneliness.
And I ask: would you take it? What is solitude, if not the feeling of being alone, whether real or fictional?
I started asking a lot of questions, going from one thing to another and getting less and less response, when suddenly I realized that I needed to get some distance.
So I cut the cord and went off to sit by myself. I’ve just imposed my problems on others, who obviously don’t share them.
Gifted, the feeling of loneliness
I feel guilty because I can see it clearly. I reflect on what’s just happened and tell myself once again that I’m not on the same wavelength as the others, that I’m better off alone, and that such is my condition.
I hope everyone finds their place in this world.
I don’t pretend to justify my madness by my psychological profile. I’m just trying to tell the story of how we’re sometimes inadequate.
A huge thank you to Simon for this beautiful and touching testimonial.
To discover other zebra testimonials, click here: Testimonials on Suivez le Zèbre
Would you like to share your story about Suivez le Zèbre?
You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINAS‘ book. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- How to manage hypersensitivity and emotions
- Is an HPI necessarily hypersensitive?
- What is being Gifted?
- Our giftedness test
- Online IQ tests for a fee, beware of scams?
- Mary Rocamora’s pre-test
- Being a High Potential Woman