Exuberance and Unending Curiosity

Do people tell you to lighten up when you’re just trying to enlighten them?

Individuals with rainforest minds are often intense and quite bright. They love learning new things and sharing what they learn with others. But you may run into trouble when your cohorts don’t appreciate your long detailed descriptions or your esoteric musings. Perhaps you interpret this to mean that something is wrong with you. That you need to tone it down, slow it down, and quiet it down because of your lousy communication skills. Or your mental inadequacy. One of my clients said that she felt shame for years because of her exuberance and her unending curiosity. As a child she was a voracious reader. She loved poetry, art, mythology and anthropology. She was touched by the light reflecting off the trees in her yard. Her parents told her not to take everything so seriously and to stop being so emotional and sensitive. But she was enraptured by the beauty she saw.

What is actually true, is that she has a gifted mind. You, too?

Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

9 responses to “Exuberance and Unending Curiosity”

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  1. Bee Avatar

    This blog leaves me feeling happy and sad all at the same time. I am very much an average person, but I’ve always been interested in so many things and have always struggled to retain any facts about my mini projects. Flowers, birds, gorillas, geology, the history of RADAR, Celtic mythology, philosophy, theology, ASDs. Information evaporates from my mind and I can never learn to the depth I want to. I can’t keep up with my siblings when we discuss “deep” subjects and they’re aren’t gifted, just intelligent.
    This leaves me feeling very low at times. I want to know so much and feel so much more (the world is so exciting!) but it is beyond me. I’m not like the lovely people who are happy socializing all the time and never really learning about the world around them.
    I apologize for posting this because this a blog for very special people and I admire them greatly, but I haven’t found anywhere on the internet who might understand. I found this website after googling “I’m dumb”.
    Again, sorry for venting here. Some days I feel numb, but on others I feel like I might explode from feeling too much sadness, awe and wonder at the world.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Hi Bee. You’re welcome here. You sound like a highly sensitive person with multipotentiality and very possibly a rainforest mind!

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    1. paulaprober Avatar

      I’m glad you like it. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Munchkin Avatar

    As usual I’m late to the party, but definitely better late than never.

    Once I managed to get over the introversion that plagued me as a child, I found (and still find) myself so much like this. I love connecting with people through past experiences, but even more-so through trivia and new knowledge and interesting tidbits of information that I happen to come across. So many times I’ve apologized to my fiancé for rambling (at least whenever I manage to catch myself), but I’m truly blessed to have found someone with as much of a voracious appetite for knowledge. He always asks me what I’m apologizing for XD I’m so happy when I can do the same for him, because to others he can come across as a know-it-all, but to me he’s sharing something special. He’s sharing the gift of knowledge that he found interesting enough to share.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      I think there’s much confusion around this concept of know-it-all and I see it just as you describe. It’s simply a rainforest-minded person excited about what they’re learning!

  5. Deidre Avatar

    My husband describes me as a know it all. Well he said, “sometimes you come across as a know it all” when I was trying to explain my neighbors reaction to my “educating” her on her GMO corn in her garden”. I really was doing my utmost to be sensitive, but apparently, I come across as a know it all when I share what I have learned. Have you ever heard this one before?

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Oh yes. Lots. I remember a teen I worked with was told by her college professor “nobody likes a know-it-all.” She was crushed. What I saw was that she was just excited by what she was learning and wanted to share her ideas. She would have loved to have someone else debate her and challenge her thinking. She wasn’t trying to show off. I think people with rainforest minds may be called arrogant, too, when they don’t realize that others may not share their intellectual passions. Does that make sense?

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