They Say You’re a Geek

P1050374They say, get realistic, your standards are excessive. You say, I need to raise the bar.

They say, slow down and calm down. You say, I pump my brakes but they still don’t keep up.

They say, you’re too sensitive. You say, doesn’t everyone cry at an orange-fuchsia-purple-mauve sunset?

They say, you’re obsessive-compulsive. You say, I need to do more research.

They say, you’re a know-it-all. You say I’m an impostor.

They say, you read too much. You say, so many books, so little time.

They say, you need to pick one career. You say, so many careers, so little time.

They say, they don’t follow your reasoning. You say, they just aren’t trying hard enough.

They say, you shouldn’t take things so seriously. You say, they need to get out of denial.

They say, you’re naive for being so optimistic and idealistic. You say, they need to dig more deeply.

They say you aren’t having any fun. You say, it’s complicated.

6150842447_b40355b4ddThey say you don’t finish anything. You say, I learned it. I don’t need to finish it.

They say you’re weird. You say, yes.

They say you’re a geek. You say, you betcha.


To my favorite bloggEEs: I just want to mention that I’ll be presenting at the SENG conference in San Jose, CA the weekend of July 18-20. If you can attend, please come say ‘hello.’ I may be blogging less these next 2 weeks as I prepare my talk and attend the event. But don’t worry. I’ll be thinking about you.

And one more thing. It just occurred to me that you may not be commenting because if you did, you’d be openly admitting that you may, in fact, relate to what I’m saying which, might, in fact, imply that you actually might have a rainforest mind which would then have to mean that you would be g-g-gifted. Ahem. Write a comment anyway. OK? Let me know how I can help you.

Photo #2: CC

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.

27 responses to “They Say You’re a Geek”

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  1.  Avatar

    Thank you, very much,

  2. Gigi Avatar

    I love the ending of your blog, Paula, where you introduce some humor into this misunderstanding that seems to keep happening. I am going to incorporate that more, be more resilient about this rain forest mind of mine. If other folks don’t like it, well I guess they don’t have to. It’s mine, it’s my life, and I like it. I’m good with it.
    For too many years I defended myself to the point of being on the defense all the time. This stance ruined a lot of my time. Today I know that I can accept me the way that I am, and that my chances of finding others like me improve when I do.
    This attitude is working much better for me, and provides a few deep relationships that I cherish.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Good point, Gigi. About self-acceptance. It does seem to work that way. We are more accepting of ourselves and we find others who are more like us. Often, we don’t need lots of relationships (especially if we’re introverts); just, like you say, the few deep ones that we “cherish.” Thank you for your comments!

  3. Bob Avatar

    I particularly like this one: “They say, you’re obsessive-compulsive. You say, I need to do more research.” I know about the longing for a possibly complete understanding! These responses embody a stance of both self-acceptance and openness. They take the initial attempt at criticism, and instead transform it into shared understanding. Assertive without undermining: as you say so well, it’s complicated.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Yes, that’s what I’d like us to get to–shared understanding and self-acceptance. Thanks for noticing, Bob!

  4. black sheep Avatar
    black sheep

    I have experienced all of these sayings, repeatedly! I am in tears reading this!!!
    After listening to my family tell me for years that there is something “wrong” with me… I sought counseling but was never told that I was the one with the problem despite the fact that I insisted I MUST be! Now there is this glimmer of hope for answers, I am wonder is THIS what is “wrong” with me? Or could there still an elusive diagnosis or problem? If the G word would truly be the answer I may need some time to mourn what could have been if I only knew… however having an answer as to WHY I am different could be life altering! How does an adult go about determining definitive answer?

    1. C A Avatar
      C A

      Black sheep I know how you feel…when I was reading your post…OMG kept running thru my head! I had the same experiences ….read my above post if you will. C A I know I felt like what could have been because average people often will make you responsible when it is not you. Regular counselling is often not a help either because it doesn’t address the issues you need help with .There is a new path! I am doing it…there are wonderful blogs like this one. and gifted websites and FB pages and everything…explore and see what feels right to you and with you 🙂 C A

    2. paulaprober Avatar

      It can be hard to be definitive. But if you relate to what I’m saying, that’s certainly a very good start. You might read more about giftedness at or you could read The Gifted Adult by Jacobsen. She actually has a test in there that you can take which could give you more evidence. And, yes, it makes sense that you might need to grieve over the years of not knowing. And that your life might be altered by this information.

    3. paulaprober Avatar

      Hi black sheep. I replied to your post but it didn’t show up underneath it. But please read all of my comments and you’ll find your response.

  5. marta Avatar

    dear paula,….what is the recipe not to feel so tremendous isolated and alone deep in myself?? Even if I share time with long-year-friends afterwords inside i feel so empty….as if I’m not able to put all my inner into words …and my daughter she acts like…….dependend 24 hours a day… can it be, that people are not abel to see what is invisivble….? now I know, why I felt so bored often, when I was younger….fun to other’s was…for example..going for long drinks…one after the ohter…, ….os somehting like this…, but going out to nature….ouotdoor.,….water, snow…this is okay….thank you paula…, su much tears in all this years…now…., we losse or second home…cause of this and cause of metabolism of my daughter….my life-power is near to zero… …heartgreet, marta

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Oh Marta. It sounds like you’re having such a hard time right now. Is it possible for you to get counseling or some other type of support? One way to help the loneliness is to find some sort of spiritual connection based on your particular beliefs about such things. Some people feel a deep connection in Nature to something larger than themselves and a loving spiritual energy. The ocean, a particular tree, the earth itself? You might see if books by Pema Chodron are helpful.

  6. vwriter007 Avatar

    You have a way with words! Love all those statements and the ones in the comments. 🙂

    They say, let’s go out and have fun.
    I say, I love you and will go out and share your fun
    … but I think (though rarely dare to say) … my idea of fun is a few hours alone to think, write, design, read and play with ideas.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thank you! Yes, the rainforest person often has a different definition of fun. Have you read my post, Are We Having Fun Yet? It addresses this very issue.

  7. Zen Avatar

    They say ‘you shouldn’t speak the truth, it makes us uncomfortable’. I say ‘if I don’t speak the truth, my life will have been a worthless charade’.

  8. KtCallista Avatar

    They say can’t you just make a decision. You say I need all the information.

  9. dmstauber Avatar

    They say, Stop being so serious, we’re in this to have fun. I say, I AM having fun!

    1. Anna Avatar

      OMG this is how I feel about *music*!!! I have *so* much fun when we’re doing it really, really well. Please no campfire singalongs for me. But boy is that an unpopular stance generally….

  10. toniszymanski Avatar

    What a wonderful commentary. I am currently doing a study of intensity in adults and would love to use this.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Tell us more about your study. Sounds interesting. You can certainly use it, acknowledging the source!

  11. Melyssa Stone Avatar
    Melyssa Stone

    Just spent time yesterday with my dearly loved older sister who is OCD and can’t understand RFM folks and thinks my son and I are destined for failure because we see differently… Thank you for “getting” us so I don’t feel so alone… I appreciate having someone on our side…

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      You’re most welcome!

  12. Katherine Kelley Avatar
    Katherine Kelley

    Oh, dear. This made me teary. You nailed it.

  13. Brandi Dilling Thompson Avatar
    Brandi Dilling Thompson

    Every post in this blog feels like somebody is reading my mind! It is good to know you’re not alone.

  14. marta Avatar

    dear paula, thank youo for this post……..! ..what i have to do… be seen as “normal”….by my sourrounding…?????? how does a normal life feel….????? heartgreet and successful conference.., marta

  15. C A Avatar
    C A

    Paula! 🙂 how do you know me so well! I enjoy your posts so much and yes feel so many of those things… and the foot was previously tied on the brake pedal by people and still they couldnt keep up….just call me Good will Hunting 🙂 but I am seeing that I am a good person and I am releasing that everybody is better than me mentality because other people werent and made me feel bad about it! I am awesome…and everything is… And just for fun and for you 🙂 from our friends at the Dunning Kruger effect 🙂

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thanks for the link, CA. I’m sure readers will find that quite interesting. I appreciate hearing your thoughts!

  16. lauralynnwalsh Avatar

    They say, do you have to analyze everything? You say I need to figure out how this fits in the world.

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