gifted Adults


Often, once a child is found to be gifted it inevitably raises questions about where that giftedness has come from! It’s not unusual for parents to say ‘oh, they didn’t get it me!’, or ‘I’m not gifted at all. I’m just average.’ However, research shows that just in the same way the IQ scores of siblings are often similar, parents’ scores are also frequently within ten points of their children. For clarification on this read Linda Silverman’s article, ‘What We Have Learned About Gifted Children‘.

So, what does a gifted adult look like? Well, just like a gifted child, we in no way all look the same. However, there are some traits that are commonly found in gifted adults. Below you’ll find some characteristics of gifted adults as compiled by Annemarie Roeper, Ed.D. and Betty Maxwell, Ph.D.

  • Sensitivity
  • Remembering insults forever
  • Doing three things at once
  • Doing the outwardly foolish thing, taking up lost causes
  • Psychic
  • Interest in life and death
  • Driven to comprehend, complexity of understanding
  • Wanting to know the reasons and origins of things
  • Asks, “What is my purpose?”
  • Naive
  • Recognition of falsity, no “trophy friends”
  • Complexifying solutions
  • Finding non-conventional solutions, originality
  • Not motivated by extrinsic awards, discomfort with praise
  • Passionate
  • Undeterred by conventional expectations
  • Self taught, non-sequential learning
  • Need for precision
  • Recognition of unfairness, strong sense of justice
  • Making intuitive leaps, making logical projections
  • Noticing what no one else does
  • Manipulation and bargaining
  • Make and follow their own plans, less teachable
  • Devise practical experiments to see “What if?”
  • Saying, “Actually”
  • Large vocabulary, love of big words
  • Delayed in toilet training, difficulty in separating from mom
  • Early sense of responsibility
  • Not wanting to grow up and face the world
  • Less physical risk-taking
  • Zipping through Piagetian stages
  • Friends of both genders, later sexual interests
  • Abstract thinkers before having the emotional ability to handle it
  • Symbolic thinkers
  • Can animate their fears, powerful emotional imagination

If you can see yourself in this list of characteristics then it is probably worth exploring this area further. Discovering your giftedness can be an enlightening, and sometimes emotional experience, for gifted adults. Hop on over to the  page which offers resources on embracing being a gifted adult and do some more reading. The more you read the more empowered you will feel in your understanding of your self and your needs as a gifted adult.


A family with gifted adults and gifted children is often an intense one, full of passion and curiosity. This useful video explores gifted adults and family dynamics.


Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

~ Allen Ginsberg