I’ve been thinking a lot about children described as gifted who have grown up to be adults who live out their lives cloaked. Modesty is still a virtue in modern society so most gifted adults don’t want to appear immodest by identifying themselves as “two-percent-ers”. Few of them want to behave like Donald Trump and shout from the rooftops: I’m really, really smart.
Where is this documented? An Internet search reveals many studies of gifted adults. For example, Deirdre Lovecky’s study lead her to conclude:
Gifted adults continuously face choices that seem to lead either to denial of gifts or rejection by others. Unless they learn to value self and find support from others, these adults will experience identity crises whenever the conflict resurfaces. This process entraps creative energy, which is then lost to creative production.
Once I declared an interest in giftedness, I also started hearing from friends and family who had been dealing with a variety of issues all their lives. One wrote (and I’ve asked permission to share):
It’s not cool to be gifted. I hid my intelligence at school because other kids didn’t like it. Did an IQ test there at the end of term. The teacher looked at my result and said “no that’s wrong”. Recently joined British Mensa though with IQ of 150! If my teachers had nurtured me, who knows what job I’d be doing now.
I added to my resources page a list of the characteristics of gifted, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. My message to closeted gifted adults is…come out! You need to self-actualize and we need you.