10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults

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10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults

Category : Gifts

Gifted adults are largely invisible.  One of the reasons very few apply the term to themselves is due to the misconceptions about giftedness – in adulthood as well as childhood.  Many adults who have been part of  the gifted community, either as children or as parents still do not acknowledge themselves as gifted adults.  Adults who were identified as gifted children were often not provided information about what it means to be gifted and, as a result, think they have outgrown being gifted.  Parents of gifted children often fail to identify their own giftedness due to the many misconceptions of what a gifted adult is.  Of course, there are many  gifted adults not affiliated with the gifted education system in anyway- gifted adults who simply feel out of step but don’t know why but would never consider themselves gifted because of the misconceptions as to what a gifted adult is.

The misconceptions of being a gifted adult fall into two categories: superstar overachiever or incompetent misfit.  The reality is more subtle than either of these stereotypes suggest: some gifted adults struggle and some achieve extraordinary things.  Most gifted adults are somewhere in the middle neither overachieving nor significantly underachieving.

10 Misconceptions about Gifted Adults

All gifted people:

  • Are ‘nerds’
  • Are socially inept
  • Were exceptional students
  • Have attained a high level of formal education
  • Are ‘book smart’
  • Physically awkward
  • Excel at everything uniformly; have evenly distributed abilities
  • Have exceptional careers
  • Are able to ‘get ahead’ because of their intelligence
  • Cannot be successful with practical things because they’re ‘too intelligent’; absent minded professors

Some gifted adults may or may not conform to a stereotypes but neither stereotype explains or defines what being a gifted adult is.  If you have rejected the idea you are a gifted adult because of the misconceptions above, I encourage you to reconsider but this time based on information, not popular misconceptions.


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