Communicating in Gifted Adult
Category : Gifts
Communication is a complicated thing that trips everyone up continually but for gifted adults, communication can be its own particular animal. First is the gap between how the gifted mind works and the ability to translate it into words. And since the world is not solely a rationale experience there is also the interplay between thoughts and feelings and the lack of language to address the synergy between the two. That distance between the interwoven, rapidly moving, potentially non-linear thoughts/feelings and language can be vast for a gifted adult. So often the words expressed by a gifted adult are already a lesser version than what is in a gifted adult’s mind. But communication has a sender and a receiver – there needs to be someone on the other end to receive the message who can understand. There is the second gap: the ability for a gifted adult to find a recipient who can synthesize the information that is sent.
Gifted adult communication can also be affected by other qualities Like speaking emphatically. Some of us never outgrow the gifted child’s tendency toward argument and may be perceived as argumentative. Because of what we know or how may be able to solve problems, we may be perceived (or in fact, actually be) arrogant know it alls. In my case, I have the natural tendency to speak elliptically and digressively (and OK, yes, emphatically). When I speak with someone who has the same tendencies, it’s a thing of beauty. But most people don’t communicate like I do naturally and I regularly reign in my natural speaking style so people don’t look at me cross-eyed.
At the end of the day, communication takes two sides. The reality for a gifted adult is that we naturally communicate unlike the vast majority of people. So most of us adapt. For me, I very interested in people and connecting with them. Practically it serves no purpose to haul out the full extent of my vocabulary when it means that person I’m talking to has no idea what I’m saying. Also have no desire to make anyone feel diminished so I unconsciously adjust my vocabulary, subject matter and the depth of my knowledge on many topics. It also helps that I tend to be genuinely interested in the other person. When I was a teenager and was being obnoxious about something I no longer recall, my father offered me sound advice: that everyone knows more than me about something and my experience has confirmed this. As a gifted adult, adjust how we communicate is necessary if we wish to be able to communicate effectively with people.
Nevertheless, not being able to regularly communicate as feels most natural ultimately compromises a gifted adult. For any of you who speak a second language, you know how much effort it takes to think and communicate in a language that is not native, even when you’re fluent. That is what it’s like for gifted adult – we either spend the majority of our life adapting to how most people communicate, in our second language so to speak or communicating in our natural way, our native tongue as a gifted adult, which few understand. To take the analogy one step further, languages often have dialects – speaking the English of Eastern Canada does not always guarantee I will understand the English in other parts of the world. So too is the case with gifted adults – already a small group, further splintered because not all gifted adults speak the same dialect.
As a gifted adult, I think the first step is recognizing that this is how it is. Personally, I may find the need to adapt frustrating at times but the rest of the world is not going to change to communicate my way. Ideally, it’s great to find that ultimate trifecta of alignment in communication: intellectual, emotional and values but most of the time I’m content to communicate on any one of those three. And considering that I’m a very small minority, I figure it’s on me to go find others with whom I can communicate with in my natural, impassioned, loopy, digressive manner without censor and to whom I can be an equivalent receiver. For you gifted adults who speak a small dialect of an already obscure language, I really encourage you to do what you can to find someone else who knows your language.