Do you have a rainforest mind?

Take the following totally, completely and utterly unscientific quiz to find out.


1. Like the rain forest, are you intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, idealistic, and influential?

2. Are you misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mysterious?

3. Like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws?

4. Do people tell you to lighten up when you are just trying to enlighten them?

5. Are you overwhelmed by breathtaking sunsets, itchy clothes, strong perfumes, clashing colors, bad architecture, buzzing that no one else hears, angry strangers, needy friends, or global hunger?

6. Do you see ecru, beige, and sand where others see only white?

7. Do you spend hours looking for the exact word, precise flavor, smoothest texture, right note, perfect gift, finest color, most meaningful discussion, fairest solution, or deepest connection?

8. Have you ever called yourself ADHD because you are easily distracted by new ideas or intricate cobwebs, or OCD because you alphabetize your home library or color-code your sweaters, or bipolar because you go from ecstasy to despair in 10 minutes?

9. Are you passionate about learning, reading, and research, yet perplexed, perturbed, and perspiring about schooling?

10. Do your intuition and empathy tell you what family members, neighbors, and stray dogs think, feel, or need even before they know what they think, feel, or need?

11. Do you find decision-making about your future career and deciding what color to paint the bedroom equally daunting due to the deluge of possibilities assaulting your frontal lobes?

12. Are your favorite spiritual conversations the ones you have with trees, rocks, and babbling brooks?

13. Does your worth depend on your achievements, so that if you make a mistake or do not perform up to your standards, you feel like an utter failure as a human being now and forever more?

14. Do you crave intellectual stimulation and are you desperate to find even one person who is fascinated by fractals or thrilled by theology?

15. Are you embarrassed to tell your family and friends that you find it easier to fall in love with ideas than with people?

16. Have you ruminated about the purpose of life and your contribution to the betterment of humanity since you were young?

17. Do you get blank, confused stares from people when you think you have just said something really funny?

18. Are people awestruck at what you can accomplish in a day, but if they knew the real you, they would see that you are actually a lazy, procrastinating, slacking impostor?

19. Are you afraid of: failure/success, losing/winning, criticism/praise, mediocrity/excellence, stagnation/change, not fitting in/fitting in, low expectations/high expectations, boredom/intellectual challenge, not being normal/being normal?

20. Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway in L.A. during rush hour?

21. Do you love skipping down new sensual paths and exploring imaginary worlds to discover beautiful connections between fascinating objects, words, ideas, or images?

22. Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time?

23. Are you uncomfortable with the label “gifted,” and sure that if you were to use the word as a descriptor of people with some sort of advanced intelligence—which you would not because it is so offensive—that it certainly would not apply to you.

If you answered “yes” to at least 12 of the above questions, you likely have a rainforest mind. If you ruminated about the answers to many of these questions and often thought “it depends,” you, too, fit the profile.

(from my book Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth) ProberGuide_CoverCROP_72dpi_4web

386 responses to “THE QUIZ”

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  1. Rachel Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    Thank you so much for what you do! I started to laugh at loud when I read in question 8 “…bipolar because you go from ecstasy to despair in 10 minutes?”. Yep that’s me. I am so eager to read your book. Actually, my sister sent me one of your podcast thinking that it will be helpful for me and my daughter and I am very glad she did so. I felt like a weight coming out of my shoulders, thinking “I don’t have a problem, I don’t have to choose one thing among all the things I like to do… and they are people like me”. 🙂
    Well if you know any good therapists in Barcelona, please let me know, that would be helpful.
    Big hug from Spain!

    1. pprober Avatar

      Welcome, Rachel. I know of two therapists in Spain. Not sure of the city and I have not met them but I think they follow my blog., Maria Gomez. and

      1. Rachel Avatar

        Thank you very much!

        1. Gabriela Avatar

          Hi Rachel,
          Try with Hemisferi in Rambla Catalunya, Barcelona
          Susana Arroyo is the director and an excellent professional

          1. pprober Avatar

            Thank you Gabriela!!

    2. Gabriela Avatar

      @Rachel. Prueba con Hemisferi, en Rambla Catalunya. Susana Arroyo es la directora y es una excelente profesional. Te hará esperar pero vale la pena

  2. Eleni Avatar

    Hello, I reached out today on IG and looked up your book and found your site!
    I answer yes to almost all of these above if not all, and yet I am feeling uncomfortable with “gifted” because that always in my experience means very highly intelligent which I guess I don’t believe I am. However intuitively I would say I am above average, and HSP absolutely! I guess I need to read the book. Thank you for this insight and reading peoples replies makes me feel like I am not alone. At 52 I have spent a lifetime feeling misunderstood, don’t fit in, hard finding the right people, prefer animals, etc etc. I enjoyed Elaine Arons book and yet your book seems to have some actual answers on HOW to deal with my quirky self, said lovingly. 🙂 Eleni

    1. pprober Avatar

      Welcome, Eleni! Glad you are here.

  3. Rochelle Avatar

    I started bawling by number 14.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh!! Hugs to you, Rochelle. <3

  4. Vinícios Caldeira Soares Avatar

    I found your book through a girl who, by coincidence, created a YouTube channel a few months before. I watched a video and couldn’t get it out of my head. That subject always came back.
    I picked up your book to read and couldn’t believe that my entire life I was “fooled.” The girl in question is Lorena, she’s Brazilian, highly intelligent and lives in France!

    Please arrange a conversation, the two of you, to talk about anxiety and depression in highly intelligent adults. I, and many others, suffer deeply (in Brazil, in particular, due to a characteristic of “extreme envy” typical of the Brazilian people) with isolation, rejection and imposter syndrome.

    My life today is a bit better. I sought a psychologist to talk to, and a psychiatrist to deal with anxiety. To you who went down to the comments, don’t hesitate to seek help. You’re not alone. And another thing, the psychologist doesn’t have to be intelligent, just a good listener. You know perfectly well how to solve it.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Thank you, Vinicios. It sounds like you found a good psychologist. There is a group in Brazil that specializes in gifted clients. Did you find them? They are on Instagram. giovanna.cognos. Or cognos.centro.neuropsi


    scored 23/23
    It is very hard at Job Interviews… never know the right words… the thing you explained in the YT video about “perfccionism” is very struggling… when something frustrastes you (like a negative from a Job Interview), specially when you first thought that you could nail it, the wave of “impostor syndrom” that cames after that is like a tsunami, and things you already understand previously starts to get bluried and confused and it begins a loop of frustration mixed with a feeling of beeing dumb that is completely paralazying…
    Hi from Brazil!
    Just got to know your work from a video of brazilian psychologist Jean Alessandro

    1. pprober Avatar

      Glad you have found me, Wagner. I have met a few of the wonderful Brazilian therapists who understand giftedness! Good to have you here. Thank you, also, to Jean Alessandro.

  6. Brenda K King Avatar
    Brenda K King

    Wow! How do you know me? I laughed at many of these because it is so me.
    I read them to my sis and we both laughed.
    I have a rainforest mind! I love this.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Yay! Glad you love it, Brenda. Welcome.

    2. Nicole S Reichrath Avatar
      Nicole S Reichrath

      Yes for me guess it’s genetic thanks Mom @Brenda King for sending me this quiz looking forward to listening to your book ma’am.

      1. pprober Avatar

        Thanks, Mom! Nicole, the book isn’t audio, unfortunately. Hope you will read it.

  7. Dawn Jackson Avatar
    Dawn Jackson

    YES! ALL YES!! How have I made it to age 52 without even once hearing anything about the negative impacts being gifted has on everyday life?!? THANK YOU for the many light-bulb moments your site has given me this morning. It is quite surprising how deeply emotional I am reading through all of this. I feel like someone FINALLY understands me, and very literally for the first time in my life <3

    1. pprober Avatar

      Glad you found me, Dawn! Welcome.

  8. J'aime Wells Avatar
    J’aime Wells

    Okay, that was fun. 🙂 I had whole conversations with some of those questions.

    #8: No, I don’t color-code sweaters, etc. Oh, wait, though, I count the exact number of blueberries that go in my oatmeal every morning. (I do not like to estimate.) Okay, that probably counts as “yes-equivalent” to this one. LOL

    #9: Definite NO on that one. I was fantastic at school. I fit in better as a college student than anything else I’ve ever done. It’s a shame I had to stop, but once you have an advanced degree, they sort of stop giving you financial aid and boot you out. Sadly I’m not so great at having jobs and adulting.

    #10: I’m good on the dogs and horses, not so much on the humans. They are complicated and full of surprises.

    #12: Spiritual conversation. Huh, not with rocks… I’d probably say mine are with music, either recorded or live or (best of all) played or sung with other people. Sometimes I forget how to play my instrument, when the people I’m playing with are doing such a beautiful job that I just want to listen.

    #17: Oh, no, that happens to other people? LOL. I have stopped saying the things, except to a few tolerant people. Around everyone else, I just say it silently to myself and then laugh, and they probably wonder if I am cracking up.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Love reading about your conversations, J’aime. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Toni Hemming Avatar
    Toni Hemming

    Hi Paula,

    I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog over the past few years. I decided to take your “quiz” and noticed the discomfort I still feel. A yes to all, but numbers 10, 12, 16, and 23 jump off the page. I just always assumed I had an offbeat personality as a child and still don’t feel connected to the idea of “gifted”. I started writing poetry when I was 11, mostly about the state of the world as I saw it. I felt odd and out of place, but figured out how to mimic more acceptable behavior and interests for my age. I didn’t think about any of this until I had children. My then 22 month old son taught himself American Sign Language by watching a video he picked out from the library. I just thought he liked the video cover. Then he turned his attention to books. Sometimes he’d be fixated on something and when I would ask what he was doing he’d point to his head and say “I’m thinking”. By the time he was four, his “rainforest mind” no longer gelled with his agemates. I recall just wanting him to be part of the norm, play with the neighborhood kids, and go to a regular school. This was a difficult time for me as a parent. It was his piano teacher ( at age 4 he begged to learn to play piano after hearing a piano played in an airport) who suggested he might need something different. Long story shorter, he was accepted to a K-8 non-profit, public charter school for highly gifted kids. I’ll confess, I was uncomfortable with the “highly gifted label”, but soon realized the school was not just about meeting his intellectual needs, but more importantly, his social and emotional needs. I believe that being in an environment where you can be your authentic self opens the door to so many possibilities!! He wasn’t just the kid who excelled at math and science, but the kid who loved participating in the school musicals, collaborating with his peers in a program called “Future Problem Solving Program”, and appreciating all forms of humor. By the time he was a freshman at a large public high school, he had the confidence to try out for their IMPROV club (think PG version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?). He made their varsity team and went on to be a co-captain. IMPROV is a big risk, because you don’t always get the laughs. Those social and emotional skills he learned made him more comfortable with taking risks and the possibility of failure. Many years later (my kids are 23 and 29), I’m glad I didn’t try to navigate my kids down a path just to “fit in”. Now, as adults, they continue to embrace who they are and are better for it! Sorry for my long windedness!

    I look forward to sharing your book “Your Rainforest Mind – A Guide To The Well-Being Of Gifted Adults and Youth” with my “adulted” children!


    1. pprober Avatar

      I loved reading your story, Toni. Thanks for sharing it!

  10. Kris Morone Avatar
    Kris Morone

    Yes to all. Thank you for this. Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend comes to mind, when he finally discovers other humans that also survived the apocalypse lol. I struggle with how to use these traits to help others – otherwise it’s just exhausting 🫢

    1. pprober Avatar

      Yes, it can be exhausting, Kris. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Christine Truex Avatar
    Christine Truex

    My 22 yr old daughter’s doctor brought this to her awareness. She told me the doctor described me as well. I honestly didn’t believe it at first. Then, like your quiz, the information she was given, did describe me. I thought it was the result of so much trauma in my life. In fact, all my children. I never understood the meltdowns, #5, i would not have made any of the connections. I said yes to all the above yet, questioned my yes and thought, “Well not always or maybe not too bad.” This is actually a bit frightening, I cried after the quiz. If I had a few hours to tell you what my daughter’s, all 3 college age, my 5 year old grandson and most likely my son are all going through. We are rainforests, which can be very overwhelming when there’s so many of us. I will get your book,
    we need understanding and help. I will post this then have anxiety over posting. 🙃

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh, Christine. I’m glad you found me. Keep reading. It will be important for all of you to understand this.

  12. Alexandro Marcel Avatar
    Alexandro Marcel

    Game over: Strong yes on the 23s! What should I do know?

    1. pprober Avatar

      You should keep reading, Alexandro! 🙂

  13. Yamilet Ayisha Rodriguez Avatar
    Yamilet Ayisha Rodriguez

    OMG! 🤔so many yes. Always feel uncomfortable, misunderstood, always trying to fit. Too much intense, too much sensitive, they said too much of me. Love the questions. Never feel so identified.

    1. pprober Avatar

      I’m glad you found my blog, Yamilet. Keep reading! 🙂

  14. shah Avatar

    16( +/- 3 ) are definitely yes.. but others are more nuanced answers..
    It’s just isn’t everyone on the spectrum.. of it… ?
    I mean .. I am definitely not ambitious or anything career wise.. and I love learning for learning sake and just find the conventional mode of learning too frustrating.. all the focus on performance and the general notions of success and achievement etc…
    It’s just.. rainforest mind sounds so good.. but gifted definitely doesn’t fit me..I don’t think..

    Anyhow, like somebody asked in the comments, don’t everyone think these thoughts…?
    And won’t everyone fall in the spectrum.. or under the Umbrella.. to various degrees.. ?

    Anyhow, thanks for the blog and the books.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Not everyone has these traits, even though there is a spectrum among the gifted. Keep reading, shah, and thanks for being here.

  15. Susan Avatar

    Oh my! Um…. 23!

    1. pprober Avatar


  16. Connor Avatar

    “If you ruminated about the answers to many of these questions and often thought “it depends,” you, too, fit the profile.”

    I think I would give bonus points for questioning the answers. Then again, doesn’t everyone do this??

    1. pprober Avatar

      Nope. Not everyone does this, Connor!

  17. SepiaRabbit Avatar

    I’m only a maybe on one of them—the rest are YES!! I💜#12 so much!!

    1. pprober Avatar

      Glad to have you here, SepiaRabbit!

  18. MJ Avatar

    Is it possible to become a Rainforest Mind Imposter? A friend introduced me to your work a few years ago and I “fit” and have followed you since. But a fractured wrist, a major setback in career (I was fired for asking questions and a few “made up” reasons) have me doubting my entire life. The worst is that you can’t get Cheetos where I am living. Being female in my field always made me feel like an imposter and for the past few weeks I feel like I can barely justify my existence.

    1. pprober Avatar

      MJ. You are still a rainforest mind! These setbacks don’t change that. So sorry you are dealing with them, though. You can substitute apple pie for the Cheetos. 🙂

  19. Kris Morone Avatar

    yes all of them.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Glad to have you here, Kris.

  20. Lora Eike Avatar
    Lora Eike

    Misunderstood MY ENTIRE life because if this. Labeled with hurtful and mentally debilitating labels as a result.
    I thank you for your work!

    1. pprober Avatar

      You are welcome. <3

  21. Kathy Avatar

    Thank you. When did you start living in my head?!?! I have always felt like an imposter. Now I need to find out what a rainforest mind is.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Yes, Kathy. Read on. 🙂

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