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. Kaisa Avatar

    We really are gifted though, remember that even if you can’t be honest about it. The people that get mad at us for being like that are usually just jerks like how Hitler was with the Jews that were better than him in school

  2. Sofie Avatar

    Although I already know since ten years I am gif… Euh, have a rainforest mind 😉
    People can still make me doubt about myself, saying I need help when I’m just a bit emotional, psychologists say I must have ADHD, …
    “Like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws”… That sentence brought tears to my eyes. It is wonderful to be a RF, but it’s a difficult world we’re living in.

    1. Marcelo Theodoro Moreira Avatar
      Marcelo Theodoro Moreira

      The chainsaws….too many of them…

  3. Kristi Avatar

    My mother has known I was gifted since I was nine. I am 45 and just found out recently. I am so lost, yet found now. I look forward to reading this, and learning how to deal with myself…hopefully 😂.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      My blog ought to help you understand yourself, Kristi. Glad you’re here.

  4. Caroline Madeofjellyfish Boileau Avatar
    Caroline Madeofjellyfish Boileau

    Good day and so many thanks for the book, the idea and the quiz I took yesterday: I answered Yes 29 times. The one blank I drew was about this one I don’t grasp. What is it about really? Randomness? Way of life? Freedom Ideal versus Constraints or Mass Transportation? (“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?”) I didn’t extrapolate from the very specifics and terminology of this one. But if you clarify what it means, I will feel enlightened. Again thousands thanks for the immense gift of the Rainforest mind. Kindest regards, Caroline

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Yes, Caroline, I can see how that one isn’t clear. It’s meant as another metaphor. The RFM often feels slowed down by others. Others can’t keep up. The RFM has to wait for others, has to explain something over and over, has to walk when they want to fly. Make sense now?

      1. Dana Longpre Avatar
        Dana Longpre


        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          Thanks, Dana. I will have to watch that movie!

          1. Dana Longpre Avatar
            Dana Longpre

            There are two out now. They both grapple with the trials of having to hide/playdown extraordinary gifts in the mundane routine of life, especially the first one! I refer to many parts in it when discussing the struggles of gifted individuals.

      2. Caroline Madeofjellyfish Boileau Avatar
        Caroline Madeofjellyfish Boileau

        Thank you very much, dear Paula, I understand so very clearly now, and even at multi-levels. All in all, I wouldn’t dare answer that one without getting to feel further mixed feelings (extrapolating on the meaning of it all I suppose: What if I get lost and know nothing of the way other people are doing what they do the manner they do it? What if something else is at stakes? What if I am to understand more about something I don’t do the way other people do what they do. I would need to learn more and even more. – Already, saying “I” versus “Others” makes me very uncomfortable. I want to be accepted and even loved, I suppose. Or just not trying. On mute. On contemplation. Maybe. Else: Keep learning ahead, even when there is no one around anymore. One can always come back and write it down to make it clearer, at least for oneself. The island is nearing… Maybe it’s the Ferrari idea, in a bubble. Added kindest regards, and thousands thanks, Caroline

  5. Paul Avatar

    Dear Paula,
    after finding a TedTalk by Lynn Berresford on Gifted Adults and realizing that my 21 year old son is most likely gifted (call from the teacher in 5th grade to let us know about his very high IQ, traits, etc.) I am finally able to see the possibility of a better relationship with him. Our first improvement was for me to be straight forward and honest with him about this idea of “Giftedness”. I was trying to cleverly introduce “Giftedness” to him and he sensed my agenda. Being straight forward with him about it has improved our relationship right away. I think I can better understand now that his traits, underachievement (full college scholarship then dropping out) come from a different place than a typical 21 year old. I do have to be careful to not expect him to ask to attend MIT because we now know he is gifted. He must now begin to accept it as he hopefully investigates on his own. My question is what now? Recommended reading? TedTalks? Finding a good therapist who has experience with gifted adults? Online college courses?
    I justed started reading “Gifted Adults” by Jacobsen and “Rain Forest Mind” looks like it should be next.
    He really downplays his abilities but I think I see a little spark in his eyes when we now talk about utilizing his abilities. I even joke with him and call him a UNR…Untapped National Resource. lol. He gets it. I KNOW he gets it.
    Any suggestion on moving forward would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much Paula.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I’m guessing that it’s a relief for your son to have you understand him as gifted. (even though he may deny the label) I’m guessing that he’ll appreciate the straight forward honest approach. Certainly, I’d recommend my blog and both books. The newer one, the Journey book, might be easier to start with because it’s a faster read and more light-hearted. I list many resources for further study in both books. It’ll be important to check with him to see what he wants regarding coursework, counseling, etc. And maybe explore whether you have these traits as well. 🙂

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      SENG is an organization “supporting the emotional needs of the gifted.” They have articles, conferences, and other resources for families with gifted kids and adults. I’m presenting this coming week at their conference in Houston, Texas. USA.

  6. Mary Ennis Avatar
    Mary Ennis

    What is the SENG website/newsletter mentioned by Dana Longpre?

  7. steveharper2 Avatar

    I’m so excited about this whole concept. I think describing our minds as Rainforest Mind is just genius. I’m finally getting some proof that it’s a real thing. I’m so glad for that!

    You’re a big inspiration for me, Paula. Not just because of understanding myself, but imagining how this will help thousands of children come out of anxiety, depression, and existential crisis. And giving a helping hand to gifted children.

    Please visit my blog, called INFP Muse, where I’ve written an article on Your Rainforest Mind, to honor your work and creativity. And to honor every person with Rainforest Mind.


    Thanks for showing me my life matters!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you, Steve. I’m so happy to hear this. I will check your website now! Yes, your life matters!!

      1. Paula Prober Avatar

        Wow! steveharper2, that was great. I hope your post gets shared widely! OK, if I share it on Facebook?

        1. steveharper2 Avatar

          Oh sure, thank you! 🙂

        2. Dana Longpre Avatar
          Dana Longpre

          Hello Everyone in this thread now and to come,
          I wanted to share a book recommendation that reminds me so much of Paula’s insights that helped me “own” who I am and begin living very confidently in my own skin!

          One of the books that struck a chord with me last year is called,

          Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults
          Book by Michael Marian Piechowski and Susan Daniels

          I found out about it from the SENG website/newsletter. It was the book that confirmed my giftedness to myself. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. It is like reading Paula Prober’s Rainforest Mind site, a warm, refreshing insightful, empathetic in depth description of what living in a gifted mind is like.


    I’ve come home. At 52, I am loneliest I have ever felt. Which is saying something because I have spent my entire life feeling lonely. But at least here, I don’t feel like a complete misfit. I feel deeply understood. Thank You for the gift that you bring Paula.

    Ps. I’m a therapist who typically ends up working with gifted, highly sensitive, intuitive Indigo types. Adults, adolescents and children. I love my work and the healing I bring into the world.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome home, Stacie. <3


    I’ve come home. At 52, I am loneliest I have ever felt. Which is saying something because I have spent my entire life feeling lonely. But at least here, I don’t like a complete misfit. I’ll feel deeply understood. Thank You for the gift that you bring Paula.

    Ps. I’m a therapist who typically ends up working with gifted, highly sensitive, intuitive Indigo types. Adults, adolescents and children. I love my work and the healing I bring into the world.

  10. carijyao Avatar

    I feel heard and understood. As a highly sensitive person with a rainforest mind, I’m constantly battling with depression and anxiety, as well as sense of guilt coming from my emotionally-neglect parents’ financial support. They are visiting me right now and I feel so exhausted. All my creative energies are gone…

  11. ladydragon136 Avatar

    I feel like I finally came home

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome home, ladydragon136. <3

  12. Isa Avatar

    OMG! This is me!. I started to hardly understand myself better when my two chidren were detected as gifted. I have been crying all time while reading this. I Will not feel so Alone from now on. LOVE from Spain.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thanks, Isa! Keep reading. Love from N. America.

  13. Devi Avatar

    I’ve entered the world of the “gifted” because of my daughter. I haven’t made her test her because she’s only 3, but I can tell she’s far ahead… too conscious, too smart for her own sake, too imaginative and too aware of things that are too serious for her. Me on the other hand have never been bright. Not in maths, not in sociology, and mildly bright in arts but nothing extraordinary… I also have brain disfunction (very light, but important enough to make me have dyslexia and spatially unsecure, I can get myself lost around the corner).
    I have had a lonely path as an Expat. I am foreign here in Argentina and and an outsider in Brazil where I was born. Yet I feel everything so deep. This quiz describes me in the 90%. I always thought I am too aware and too emotional. Never understood… and things are so clear to me, that we all need to ask some questions to know what path to take in this life, and most of us can’t even handle it… never mind understand. I am conscious and fighting so the future generations have a better place to live than this one we are leaving them, and too worried about climate change. How can people not care?
    Everything strikes me. People is so numb!. I think I might have something in common with gifted people.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      It certainly sounds like you have many of the gifted traits, Devi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  14.  Avatar

    What a neat site. Just stumbled across it. Why rainforest? I get that a rainforest is wildly fertile and diverse.

    Also, I sense a distinct lack of the word “fun” in your questions. I can be mired in the impossible to solve challenges, trying to figure it out, stress and angry and speaking down to myself, and yet when I raise my head I think how fun ’this’ is.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Interesting observation. But you may notice that there is some humor in the questions, yes? So, yes. There is fun. If you keep reading my blog, you’ll see some references to the analogy. It’s the most complex ecosystem, highly sensitive, intense, colorful, full of life, misunderstood, being cut down…Make sense?

      1.  Avatar

        Yes. Thanks

  15. James Sattva Avatar
    James Sattva

    I am so grateful to find that I am not sick. I have sought help before because I assumed that my behavior was pathological, because I never felt like fit in. I am always at odds (usually quietly) with employers because I won’t comply with the process they have in place. Too often, it is participation in a prescribed system that is the measure of success. It is wonderful to know that being a misunderstood genius is a thing. I can move forward now with a different outlook. Thank you.

    1.  Avatar

      Damn. I just noticed that I typed “nots sick”. That stuff drives me crazy.

      1. Paula Prober Avatar

        I can edit it out!

    2. Paula Prober Avatar

      Glad to have you here, James. Thank you for sharing.

    3. Dana Longpre Avatar
      Dana Longpre

      Same here! My load is much lighter now that I’ve found this group!!! I know I’m not alone now. I feel we are all glowing flames of light each in our own parts of the world and now we can shine even brighter with new found strength and confidence because of the encouragement we find here!

      1. Paula Prober Avatar

        <3 Thank you, Dana.

  16. Cat Avatar

    I am not gifted, but 14 apply to me for sure. I’m not sure what you mean by some of the questions.

  17. Dana Longpre Avatar
    Dana Longpre

    I wish I could counsel with you directly! I have so many passions and talents and so little time to pursue them I become overwhelmed and depressed at times. I have recently set about producing music videos 2-4 times a year with music I’ve written and I’m also a dance teacher. These barely satiate me. I long for other adults I can dream with and collaborate with on large scale projects without scaring people away!!!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      You will find them, Dana. Don’t give up!!

  18. Madeline Heise Avatar
    Madeline Heise

    I feel this applies to me, then again, I feel under qualified, … yet enough, not enough…
    Learning, through books, articles, blogs, you tubes. Not educated in the schooling sense, but always learning. Feeling things deeply. So much applies, yes.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      If you read more of my blog, Madeline, you may get more clarity about the nature of your rainforest mind. Thanks for being here.

  19. Shelley Avatar

    Wow, interested in finding out more! Where can we get book?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      The easiest place to get the book is on Thanks, Shelley! If you click on the photo of the book on my homepage, it should take you right there. If you’re not in the US, you may have an Amazon in your country. Of course, you can also order it from an independent bookstore, Barnes and Noble, or Powells Books!

  20. Kathy Thompson Avatar
    Kathy Thompson

    Ummmm… This is on point and a bit scary at too! LoL but I’m glade to know more about me and my personality RFM I embrace …. Me.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome, Kathy!

  21. Liu Avatar

    Hey, maybe don’t misuse mental health labels (ADHD, OCD, bipolar) if you’re trying to convince people you’re a good authority on intelligence? I feel like using those terms in such a frivolous way is a sign of less intelligence, if anything. Those conditions are serious, and should be treated as seriously as any other health condition.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback, Liu. These are serious conditions and my intention is not to diminish that. What I’m saying is that there are times when RFMs are misdiagnosed with these conditions. At the same time, there are many folks who are twice-exceptional who can be both gifted and ADHD, etc. So it’s not simple for sure. I apologize if I’ve offended you.

  22. Saira Avatar

    I am so happy that I came to know about the concept of “rainforest mind”. I now find it easier to tell people and myself that I am not as strange as I they/myself thought I was for I am just someone with a “rainforest mind”. After all;” It isnt that simple in the rainforest…”. Thank you 🙂

  23. abbey Crouse Avatar
    abbey Crouse

    I have tears in my eyes. My whole life has been spent trying to be dumb (I am only realizing this now) so that my mom and sister would like me. I remember one time as a kid thinking how superficial and stupid their concerns were but was met with so much anger I never judged them again. As a matter of fact I convinced myself that they must be right and that I was wrong. As I got older I hid all my curiosity because I felt “stupid” for the stuff I thought about. I also discounted my intuition because how can anyone “know” without data. I actually didnt do that great in school because it was boring and had no meaning to me. I would have NEVER considered myself “gifted” until I found this article. I feel so guilty for judging someone privately in my mind but my lack of discernment has led me to accept and stay in bad relationships. Could I actually be smart??? This is so contrary to my self image but could be the reason I struggle so much with cognitive dissonance.
    Thank you….

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome to your rainforest mind, Abbey! <3

  24. Roger Cook Avatar
    Roger Cook

    Me to a T !

  25. Chethi Koduveli Avatar
    Chethi Koduveli

    Hello Paula its nice to meet you…

  26. Chethi Koduveli Avatar
    Chethi Koduveli

    Hi Paula…how are you…I actually face criticism from people and have a very eccentric relationship with my imaginations…but I am below average in science , mathematics and logic… I also have a low memory power…and inability to take strong decisions with an introverted lost-in-thought personality and I have a fear of stentorian voices authority violence abuse threats insensitive comments and people who hate me for my rebellious non-conformist opinions and I don’t feel so good about life…I just feel like being transported to a world where I can better connect with strange flavors of unusual illogical irrational metaphors…do you think I am dumb…? I know I have a low IQ but still I love the strangeness of my whole being and I don’t want to change or be forced to change…

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Of course, Chethi, I’m not able to make an assessment, not knowing you. But if you connect with many of the quiz questions, it could mean that you have a rainforest mind! IQ isn’t the only measure of intelligence.

  27. Jet Avatar

    On one hand, I tend to call ‘unscientific psychology’ pop-psychology and I don’t like it much. On the other hand, your blog touches me like I’ve rarely been by said pop-psycho, and these series of questions are all but a few painfully accurate depictions of my state of mind. Thank you for reminding me I’m far from being alone.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I’m glad that you’ve given this pop-psycho a chance! 🙂 Good to have you here, Jet.

  28. Thearron Gordon Avatar
    Thearron Gordon

    Thank you Love thank

  29. Toren Hynes Avatar
    Toren Hynes

    I’ve a question. I’ve looked at the list of the characteristics of adult autistic females, and they are strikingly similar to those you list here. Especially the characteristics of Aspergian females. I forwarded this list to many of the members of (an autism forum) and… what do you know, a lot of the people there could identify with this list very well.

    In your honest opinion what’s the difference between having a rain forest mind and having the mind of an autistic/aspergian? Are they just two separate terms for describing the same phenomenon?

    Like your posts, thanks!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      There are some overlapping traits but they are definitely different. Certainly the aspergian has the advanced intelligence. And certain sensitivities. I haven’t studied the females in particular so can’t give you a detailed response. But I’m guessing you’d find differences when it came to the capacity to read social cues and understand them and respond to them, understand metaphors and subtle humor, have considerable empathy, consider various opinions and openness to change. Things that would fit in the social-emotional category. Perhaps some others who know more can chime in here. Sorry I can’t be more specific, Toren. (some on the forum may have mislabeled themselves aspergian when they may be RFMs??)

      1. Ian Avatar

        I am someone who is scoring roughly 20 on this test and people have quite often suggested that I might have Asperger’s. My experience has been that often my difficulties ironically stem from being “too much” in areas where people with Asperger’s tend to be “too little”. For example, having unusually high appreciation of metaphors and subtle humour and word relations, too much ability at reading social cues and seeing through facades, seeing everything in continuous shades of grey rather than in black and white absolutes, etc. Both misdiagnosis, and failure to get a correct diagnosis, can be problematic, and I certainly found that when I was getting help from people that thought I had Asperger’s, they were often mis-assessing the reasons for my difficulties and ended up making things worse.

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          What a great way to differentiate, Ian. Too much versus too little. What you describe here would lead me to conclude that you’re not aspie but you are RFM. But, of course, I can’t legitimately diagnose not knowing you!! Thanks for sharing.

  30. Sharon Rose Avatar

    I got 10 yes’s and 11 no’s. Might I suggest a new quiz? Because I definitely had a RFM as a kid and teen, even 20s, but now in 30s, I have balanced out.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Maybe if you answered the questions as your 20-something self, you would have different answers? If you have ideas for new quiz questions, I’d be happy to see them! Thanks Sharon.

  31. Wanderer Avatar

    I have been told I am gifted. It is more of a burden than a blessing as people tell me I am too abstract and theoretical. I am very ideational, strategic, and intellectual. At work I feel like I can never be myself. I am not completely introverted but at work I am becoming so…it is survival mechanism…I feel like I tried very hard to adapt to other people, but they can’t see to accept my personality and the lens through which I view the world…I am started not to care about this at all so I suppose it is ok…

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Good to have you here, Wanderer. Perhaps reading my posts will help you feel less alone.

  32. Marlene Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    I only recently found out I am a highly sensitive Introvert and like some other commentators here I’m such a procrastinator – and extremely perfectionistic at the same time.
    Basically, I want to succeed, but I don’t like praise and attention (of people I don’t care about)…

    Anyway, I could handle this dichotomy so far, but lately it got out of hand.
    For example: I wrote my bachelor thesis in the last three days before the deadline – and still got a “Sehr gut” (an A).
    And that’s my problem: I’m too good in compensating my procrastination and now it’s getting even worse.

    I know this sounds crazy and there may be people out there who would be thankful for being this productive in this short amount of time, but I’m really stressed and scared of the day I won’t study at all, just to fail. Because I think I kind of feel guilty for being more “successful” or “better” as some of my friends call it.
    Do you have any advice for me to stop feeling guilty and stop procrastinating?

    Please excuse my English (it’s not my mother language and I haven’t used it since my graduation in 2014) and thank you!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Procrastination is complicated, particularly because it’s connected to perfectionism. A great book is Procrastination by Burka and Yuen. It goes into the complexity of it. It doesn’t address giftedness directly, as I recall, but a lot of it is applicable. Also, I’ve written about it more on the blog is you type “procrastination” or “perfectionism” into the search engine. Thanks for sharing!

  33. writerschocolateblog Avatar

    Wow, there are some definite truths about me here!
    I knew I was a highly sensitive introvert when I read about that in Introvert, Dear.. and now this makes a whole lot of sense when it comes to my thought processes as well!
    Do you have any suggestions regarding how to study? I’m trying to major in nutrition and one thing I have a hard time with is keeping true to my goals cause I’m such a lazy procrastinator.. a person who tends to give all or nothing.
    How do you not be afraid of things like failure / success? I have a hard time getting through that barrier. I want to be perfect and facing the fact that I might not perform perfectly for people is hard. and if I succeed, I don’t want to be drowned in praise. I don’t want praise.. I want to be deeply appreciated for who I am. If that makes any sense.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      It makes total sense. I write about procrastination, perfectionism, failure/success, etc. here on the blog. So that’s the place to start. Keep reading. These things are complex so there aren’t any easy answers, as I’m sure you know. My book goes into greater depth on these topics. The chapter on Perfectionism might be a big help. OK? I’m glad you found me on Introvert Dear. Good to have you here.

  34. Laura Acosta Avatar
    Laura Acosta

    About 18 and the rest “it depends”, but am I “gifted”. I wish I could know for sure. I really don´t feel very intelligent, everybody else seems more intelligent than me. Yes I have a masters degree and I´m a qualifed teacher and speak 3 languages but I had to put quite a lot of work. I love having deep pholosopical conversations but I´m an expert in nothing and normally everybody else just reply by shutting me down with their knowledge (except other wannabe philosophers who don´t care about expertise but the exercise of philosophy). I struggle to write down my ideas in an orderly fashion and to express what´s in my head, normally hundreds of things at once. As soon as I open my mouth to say what I want to say and that look so great to me, I just seem to forget how to talk and half of what I wanted to say, so nothing sounds that great any longer. I hate arbitrary rules and oppressive laws that are supposed to be for “the greater good” and have a hard time accepting life as it is. I am very respectful of rules that makes sense to me and of others though and hate not being respected in the same way or when rules aren’t followed. I have lots of sensory issues that make my life difficult and stressful but it seems not so difficult as to be considered a problem. I live in my own head a lot. Sometimes I take things too literally and fail to see second intentions even though I am also very good at reading others, but not always. Are all this contradictions normal? Is my tested child even “gifted”? Pshychologist said yes but she just barely touched the “passing score” and it´s not the obvious “genius”. But everything you explain, and the rainforest mind analogy makes me feel like finally someone gets me. Maybe a label isn´t that important. However it is to me, to know myself better, to not let others misdiagnose me or mislabel me. But what can you do when you can´t afford testing? I can’t go thinking I am something without being 100 % sure because I just always need to know the full truth. I think most things in life are grey but when it comes to me I only see black or white. Do I make any sense?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      It’s normal to have contradictions and complexity, Laura. Testing in only so useful. I don’t recommend it. There can be so many variables influencing the results. Maybe you don’t have to use the label gifted but you can definitely agree that you have a rainforest mind. Then you can determine what that means for you. Which traits resonate? Try and get to the grey when it comes to yourself!

    2.  Avatar

      Yes. Because you just described me as well.

  35. Julie Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    I recently found out that I am a gifted person in my mid 40’s while escaping a brutally abusive marriage. If it were not for that incident, I probably never felt the need for searching of who I am. It seems that my life has a pattern of searching for my self identity whenever abuse overpowered my balance and peace in life and this time, the level of search reached the identification of gifted talented and creative adult “diagnosed”? by professionals and recognized by few more… However, I am feeling the need that I must own my reality of being the marginal population of the bell curve instead of the mean of the bell curve who can be very mean to the either margins who are minorities.

    At times, I wonder how to survive this world full of non-rain forest minded society while innately rain forest minded.
    I wonder how to reconstruct my life to be a fully independent person.
    Rather than a lot of books and passive reading, at times, I would like person to person interactions in the rainforest arena and it feels more like the oasis in the dessert.
    Sometimes, I wonder if it is the right thing to feel afraid to let my wings open in fear of envious ones in tantrums. I wish I can let my lungs have the fuller airway for refreshing deep breath instead of slouching on purpose just to save my head from being scratched against a low ceiling. Not sure where I can be happy without feeling as if I am in hiding.
    Thank you for listening and posting your blog.

    I will continue to read your book and become more familiar with feelings of identification. It is still brand new to me.
    Enjoy a beautiful day~

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Glad to have you here, Julie. It’s a way to start deepening your understanding of who you are and how to live a fulfilling life.

  36. Sherry Muldoon Avatar

    oh my God! I was in tears halfway through. I was diagnosed “gifted” as a child and found out it was more a curse than a blessing. When I tell this to others they look at me like I’m some sort of self righteous freak. I finally felt recognized when reading this quiz. Feeling too much and not enough at the same time….. arguing with people about shades of colors that are clearly there. I’m also frustrated with my own insatiable need to read every book on the planet about philosophy, religion, and psychology and this started as a child. Oh my! I need this book.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome, Sherry. Keep reading the blog and yes, get my book!

    2. Julie Avatar

      I just found out about being “gifted” in my 40’s and beginning to realize how it can be a bitterly painful experience being mistreated, misidentified, mislabeld, isolated etc..
      Reading your remark gave me sense of comfort.
      Have a great day!

  37. cbrock Avatar

    Wow, I experience/relate to all of these! I never knew all of these feelings, desires, and characteristics I have are all related! How exciting! Thanks for this awesome blog and book! But I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself to be gifted. Any tips for finding/embracing my “gift”? Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thanks for writing, cbrock. For now, just read more posts on the blog and my book. There are many tips in those places. If you’re already read them, another excellent book is The Gifted Adult by Jacobsen.

  38. dcbukowski Avatar

    American society’s obsession with competition attaches a degree of social stigma to words like “bright” and “smart.” Saying “I’m gifted” might as well be saying “I’m a pretentious jerk!” As sensitive people, we learn pretty early to try to hide or minimize our gifted traits to get along with others, but that type of behavior can easily lead a person to think that what they’re hiding is bad. We end up fearing that “living up to our potential” will alienate our friends, but being so conscientious to contribute leaves us feeling guilty for “failing” to do so. I want to connect deeply with others but fear the scope and intensity of my inner world will frighten them away–since it sometimes feels overwhelming to me! I am excited to explore your site and your book, both of which I am glad to have finally discovered.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      So glad that you found my blog/book. Welcome! Thank you for commenting.

      1. KR Avatar

        35.5 years on this earth and I FINALLY found someone who understands me. THANK YOU. I’m in tears right now – the good, super-relieved kind. 🙂

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          Hugs to you, KR! Welcome. <3

    2. Carla Padua Avatar

      Creo que al describirte me estás describiendo a mí y seguro a muchos otros como nosotros… Es gratificante saber que lo creíamos, no es cierto: no somos un bicho raro, no estamos dañados o rotos (no más que la mayoría) y NO ESTAMOS SOLOS… BIENVENIDO a este magnífico lugar: el nuestro.

  39. Leni Oertel Avatar
    Leni Oertel

    This is so me. I am so lucky to have a teacher at my school that told me this. I am not alone and now I understand myself!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I’m so glad that you have a teacher who understands you!! Welcome, Leni.

  40. gracedelarosa9305 Avatar

    🔆 Thank you so much for creating your platform and sharing your 🎁 with the 🌍! ✨💫💖🙇🏻‍♀️ 💭💡✏📄 😊

  41. Shyami Avatar

    Thank you for this. At nearly 45 I have wondered, why and how I can become thick friends with people and yet no one knows me really and how many times that I don’t fit in anywhere or have no one to talk to about what I really feel like. It is so tough when I look around me and see such beautiful sights and want to share it to someone who will not think I am all over them. I feel I need to give others the space yet want someone to hold on to. I want to find a place where there is no poverty, no hunger, no sadness and no negative feelings, but I also know that that place wouldn’t be normal. Sigh….

  42. butterflywarriorsite Avatar

    This is mind blowing… I found my tribe! I have a diagnosis of bipolar too lol…. My psychologist often calls me a outlier and I’ve had some difficulty accepting this. One of my favorite books/movie is “touched with fire”… I love to write poetry…. Been doing it since single digits. I’m so buying your book…. I feel less alone!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome. I’m so glad you found us! 🙂

  43. Rachel Avatar

    I am comforted. Much of this is thoughts I could never put into words.

  44. René Avatar

    I teared up with both happiness and frustration. I feel as though this applies to me, and, at the same time, doesn’t. It frightens me to say that it does because as a human, there are blind spots in my own perception; and, therefore, I am prone to over and underestimating myself and my abilities or experiences (also, our brain partially makes up and rewrites our memories to suit our own self-perception, – so, I might be very, very wrong. And I don’t want to fundament myself on a false belief).

    Anyhow, I was looking for information about two topics: a) gifted children, because my cousin is, indeed, very intelligent; which, I wasn’t when I was a child (I never payed attention in class. I doodled, walked about and daydreamed, instead (I was diagnosed with ADHD), – of course, I never failed and I was never held back, but I wasn’t a bright child. I was very inquisitive and skeptic, yes, but not academically driven. Actually, in pre-school and I was usually sent to detention because I never finished my assignments. Instead I helped others finish theirs. I am just lucky that I’m a fast learner and that I have a good memory, otherwise…) I was pretty dumb, but mother says I did well in an IQ test, although, she never told me what I got – so, I fear the worst), and b) how to deal with having too many interests. Because I’m transitioning from Economics (because it doesn’t keep me up at night wondering, dreaming, it doesn’t fill me up with happiness) to a Mathematics major. (Although, I have a Linguistics degree already and I’ve played and grappled with at least some other disciplines i. e. Illustration, Psychology, Business… etc). So, naturally, I found your wonderful website because I felt broken. What am I most passionate about when I am passionate about everything? I’m 23 and I feel like I’m wasting my life…

    Let’s see… I don’t, per se, see myself as being particularly different from others (sure, I do not socialize much because I am quite content in my own little World, – and I become consumed with certain subjects. Right now, I’m obsessed with Chinese literature and history as well as Discrete Mathematics), – but others see it. I’ve been told I’m special, most have said that I’m highly intelligent, that I’m different. The unspoken implicature is: ”you’re weird”. Whenever my dad finds me weeping and unmotivated he asks if it’s because I am different, – but I don’t see it, sorry. Am I different? I don’t fit in, clearly, but I don’t feel different. I feel like a disconfigured machine, going at my own pace (be it faster or slower than others), but I still function, I still am a machine like the rest.

    Sorry for any non-sequitur proposition, – I am emotional and, well, English is not my mother tongue.

    Thank you for this, the blog, the article, – everything.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Keep reading, René. I think you’ll find yourself in these posts. You’ll see that gifted folks aren’t necessarily successful in school. Also look for “multipotentiality” as it describes your many interests and changes in areas of study. You surely sound to me like you have a rainforest mind. Welcome!

  45. Nichole Avatar

    I have bought your book and am reading it intensely…

    All the best,

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I’m so glad you’re reading my book, Nichole. I think it will provide even more pieces of your story.

  46. Nichole Avatar

    Thank you very much for your response Paula!
    – Nichole

  47. Nichole Avatar

    Hi Paula
    I just want to thank you very much for such an informative website and article. I have been on an intense path of self exploration, and very recently came across your website. Your fun questionnaire and other articles resonate with me really well, and it seems to explains a ‘gap’ in my understanding as to why i’ve always felt I was different from others (apart from cultural and hardship reasons), and some of the backlash that came with that.

    I initially embraced the idea of a rainforest mind/giftedness, however the next day doubts started to creep in (perhaps partially an ‘imposter syndrome’), and now I am evaluating my entire life up to this moment (e.g experiences & remarks from others) which is keeping me up at night. Despite being told in the past (e.g psychologists) that I am for e.g ‘very intelligent’ , have ‘a very analytical mind’, ‘(very) mature for her age’ ‘ she’s not like us’ etc – I am struggling to accept this label. I can however undoubtedly see how those close to me, including family, my very gifted ex-boyfriend and a new close friend of mine – are gifted.

    I had a very abusive late-childhood (luckily am resilient) and was plagued with ‘control related’ neuroses like unhealthy perfectionism, OCD and an E.D. These resulted in oscillating marks (procrastination & excessive striving) in high school which reinforced my low-self esteem. I was also bullied quite a bit, and my ‘good looks’ caused a lot of attention & commentary, making me believe that was all I had if at all. Evidently the ‘under-achievement’ is fueling my doubts. I’ve been trying to think a lot about my primary school years, and can recall that I had a strong sense of right/wrong since an early age, and could read at a 5th grade level in the 2nd grade. I can also very much relate to Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities (on Intelligence and Emotion most of all).

    However I have a nagging and pressing question/concern even though I have not done a real IQ test. I have read that the ‘gifted’ category starts at an IQ of 130. I doubt I would be in this category. I would like to ask your thoughts on IQ, and how much emphasis I should place IQ in deciding ow much importance should I place IQ on this path of self discovery?

    All the best,

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      As you read more comments on this blog, Nichole. I think you’ll see that you’re not alone in questioning whether you’re gifted or not. IQ tests can be useful but they’re only one measure. There can be many reasons why a gifted person might not score well, including overthinking the questions, test anxiety, pressure to perform, low self-esteem, not feeling well the day of the test, cultural/language differences, and so on. I think as you read more here, you’ll get more clarity. You might also see if my book is helpful. Thanks for writing!

  48. Monica Avatar

    Love this!! Had me laughing along as I agreed…

  49. Brittany Clark Avatar

    I am lost. I am practically screaming from the inside out. I have no idea how to handle everything. I feel like I am going crazy haha yet I read this list and bam…it fits. How on earth do I do this? Everything was essentially muted for years and then I met someone and BAM! Everything is flying with full force and I have NO clue how to handle it all. People think I’m crazy at times and now I finally understand why. I cannot afford to buy resources so I am reaching out. I am panicking over here. What do I do? How can I handle this?? How can I talk to my friend about all of this? I can talk to him about anything and everything because its as if we are connected yet when I try to express how I feel, he already knows. I am seriously freaking out.

    1. Brittany C Avatar

      I was diagnosed with anxiety 20 years ago, given medication and then went on with my life thinking thats exactly what was wrong with me. Then, another doctor tells me I have ADD and not anxiety so now I am on a different medication and all these do is mute everything but it is all still there. I thought I was crazy for years and then all of the sudden I meet someone (neighbor of all people) and he starts talking about things that he thinks will make me believe he is crazy but I understand ALL of it. Now all of my emotions, feelings, thoughts, visions, dreams, nightmares, everything is going FULL FORCE. I am seriously lost and kinda panicking over here….. Sorry, I just wanted to add some more details as I left the last comment short and didn’t really explain much lol

      1. Paula Prober Avatar

        If this information is new, Brittany, try and take a few deep breaths and use your skills to calm yourself a bit. Maybe take a walk or drink some calming tea? Talk to a friend? Then let yourself read some more posts. If you’re just learning about having a rainforest mind, it might take some time to let it sink in and to understand what it means.

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