The characteristics of Giftedness in detail

Articles updated on 05 August 2022, by Mel Poinas

Before defining the characteristics generally found in gifted profiles, it is important to define what a High Learning Potential profile is.

What is giftedness?

It is difficult to give a definition of giftedness that everyone agrees on.The High Potential, we live it, we feel it, but to theorize it… That’s another story!

Like many gifted people, when I created Suivez le Zèbre, I was looking for rationality everywhere! And then I discovered this incredible world of giftedness and it taught me that not everything in life is black and white.

The Characteristics of Giftedness in Detail

Giftedness is a concept. Like any concept, there are several theories. In this article, I will share with you a personal vision of giftedness inspired by my experience and my story. I myself was detected as gifted 6 years ago, it changed my life.

Let’s take a look at what’s behind this incredible quirk of nature!

#1. Giftedness Characteristic: A brain that works differently

An individual with an IQ above 125/130 is considered to be gifted. In addition, the speed of movement of information in the brain of gifted profiles would be much faster, up to 3.5 meters per second compared to 2 meters per second in non-gifted people.

First of all, it is important to know that all human beings have the ability to accelerate their thinking. What changes is the way it develops. When we start a new task, the brain will work in linear mode.

The power of neural connections

Then, the more we repeat this task, the more learning will develop and the neuronal connections will squeezze synapses in order to go faster. In gifted people, these neural links are faster, so learning is often easier and goes faster.

He is also said to have overdeveloped senses as well asheightened hypersensitivity and hyper-emotionality. On hypersensitivity (also called high sensitivity) and High Potential, neuropsychologists do not agree that it is an intrinsic characteristic of giftedness.

At Suivez le Zèbre, we are not psychologist but through our work and our exchanges with many gifted people, we consider hypersensitivity or high sensitivity as a characteristic of Giftedness.

Jeanne Siaud Facchin is one of the psychologists who assert that to be identified as a High Potential, one must combine these characteristics, Giftendness and Hypersensitive which are two inseparable facets.

I think it is important to define what we mean by Hypersensitive.

#2. High Learning Potential Characteristic: Hypersensitivity

Jeanne Siaud Facchin in her book Trop intelligent pour être heureux gives specific characteristics of theHigh Learning Potential :

  • Being gifted is first and foremost a way of being intelligent, an atypical mode of intellectual functioning, an activation of cognitive resources whose cerebral bases differ and whose organization shows unexpected singularities.
  • it is not a question of being quantitatively more intelligent, but of having a qualitatively different intelligence. It’s really not the same thing.
  • Being gifted combines a very high level of intellectual resources, an extraordinary intelligence, immense capacities of comprehension, analysis, memorization AND a sensitivity, an emotionality, an affective receptivity, a perception of the five senses, a clairvoyance whose extent and intensity invade the field of thought. The two facets are ALWAYS intertwined.
  • Being gifted is a way of being in the world that colors the whole personality.
  • To be gifted is to have emotion on the edge of your lips, always, and to think on the edge of infinity, all the time.

At Suivez le Zèbre, we do not know Jeanne Siaud-Facchin personally. We talk about Giftedness from all these angles but if we had to keep only one definition of High Potential, it would be his.

Even with great self-control and emotional control, I find his definition of High Potential very accurate.

#3. Giftedness Characteristic: divergent or tree thinking

Our brain would analyze the data of a different than a non gifted person because he would have a singular cognitive functioning. He would have a so-called divergent thinking (or commonly called tree thinking), one idea leading to another etc.

Fanny Nusbaum and Olivier Revol, two neuropsychologists specialized in giftedness, worked on Gifted and non-Gifted patients at the Psyrene center in Lyon. Thanks to medical imaging (MRI), they can see in real time the difference in response of a gifted brain to a non gifted brain to the same stimuli. The areas of the brain are not activated in the same way!

There are two opposing ways of thinking: divergent and convergent.

Convergent thinking consists in finding one and only one solution following the analysis of an environment. Divergent thinking will favor several solutions as an answer. Having fun while learning promotes divergent thinking. Gifted individuals would naturally have an easier time developing this type of thinking.

#4. High Potential Characteristic: the importance and the sense of teamwork

High Potential individuals like to help others. If they are not scalded, they are naturally kind and caring.

#5. Giftedness Characteristic: Hyper empathy

Hyper empathy, they feel things so strongly that they are able to feel the state of mind, the emotions of the person in front of them.

#6. Giftedness Characteristic: Resilience

The profiles with High Potential are very resilient, which is sometimes surprising non-gifted people, a little to their detriment it must be admitted… Why? Because they are able to recover from major traumatic shocks in a period of time that, for a person without this functioning, may seem relatively short.

#7. Giftedness characteristic: the relationship to time

Another amazing characteristic is their relationship to time, at all levels. Since their speed of thought is extremely fast, they often cut others off because they don’t have the patience to wait until the end.

They also have an impressive speed of execution, and when motivated, they are able to complete an impressive workload in a very short time.

#8. Giftedness Characteristic: Procrastination

The other side of the coin is that as much as they are able to stop eating and sleeping when they are at their peak, when they don’t like what they are doing, they have a terrible tendency to procrastinate!

#9. Giftedness Characteristic: passionate people

Hence the following point, they are real enthusiasts: they are unable to do things by halves and especially when they are convinced of something, they put all their heart and soul into it.

#10. Giftedness Characteristic: Creativity

One of their characteristics that I love is creativity! They are very creative people, with an overflowing imagination in many different areas… There is never a dull moment with them.

#11. Giftedness characteristic: the vision in project mode

Combined with this creativity, they are able to manage many projects or tasks at the same time. Often at work, they multi-task: they work on several projects at the same time, they listen to a conference and the conversations of their other colleagues in the open space.

When they are aware of all these possibilities of their brain power, of this ease of execution, then they develop their potentials more and more.This is really the great strength of these Gifted profiles.

#12. Giftedness Characteristic: overthinkers

Intellectual rest? They don’t know… Their brain never stops thinking! It’s like a little bike that goes round and round in their head. Their tree-like architecture implies that the areas of their brain are constantly solicited and connected.

They are hyper-thinkers. They have permanently the brain overheated and need to be fed intellectually. But,it is important to find ways to rest their heads, or else they will explode!

Personal development is a very popular method for individuals with Gifted people.

#13. Giftedness Characteristic: Justice

They hate injustice, bad faith, people who lie, who cheat, who mistreat others, be it human beings or animals… They have a hard time with human stupidity, violence, entitlement and what is not right in their eyes.

Today’s world with its inequalities, wars, backward-looking social and societal laws, global warming, famine, can be a great source of stress for Gifted individuals. They often feel powerless and the impossibility of changing things and acting to radically improve the world can make them feel guilty and depressed.

They are big children, they can be as lucid as naive.

Mel Poinas

#14. Giftedness Characteristic: the first degree

Ah their first degree! They are impressive by their ideas, their projects, their intelligence, their way of managing everything at the same time… And they surprise us all the more when they take things at face value, without being able to detect the second degree, whereas in general, they are people who have rather a sharp mind ! But no, the second degree is complicated, especially when we do not share the same humor …

#15. Giftedness Characteristic: the need for recognition

The need for recognition! They give a lot to the people they love, in their work, in their relationship, in friendship etc… And they expect the same from others. But others don’t function like them and this need for recognition can sometimes make them unhappy.

#16. Giftedness Characteristic: the requirement

They want so much to do everything, and do it well! They are so demanding with themselves that they are also demanding with others! They expect a lot and I think they expect too much. As a couple, their partner often says,“you feel like no matter what you do, with a gifted person, it’s never enough“.

Learning that I was gifted completely changed my life and the way I look at others.

Mel Poinas

Today I have learned to tame these traits that are unique to us, and I must admit, I love being gifted! Simply because I would not have liked to be someone other than the one I am… And most importantly, when we understand why we are different, it helps us live it with less pressure.

Mel Poinas’ testimony on the characteristics of high potential

If you want to test yourself and reassure yourself before contacting a psychologist, on Suivez le Zèbre, we offer severalpre-tests without registration to identify a potential giftedness.

You can also find more information, resources and tools on High Potential in Mel POINASbook. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her High Potential and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

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