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

442 responses to “THE QUIZ”

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  1. Downwind Avatar

    Yes, I relate to so many questions. More, it seems through time, as I am currently a retired widow living out in the woods and often feeling alone but not really lonely. I have a few neighbors and I am only fifteen miles from town but I choose to stay home as much as possible. Since I live on a steep mountain it is easier for me to want to stay home all winter. Many neighbors drive up and down everyday but I find it easier to stay home. My step kids rarely visit nor do I hear from them much. Over the last 12 years since losing my husband I have finally developed my art interest so I am totally consumed but I realize it is not too good to really being alone. As I sometimes try to mingle at times it is difficult to relate personally with anyone. Just a social gesture seems to be limited by lack of deep common interests. So I have concluded, its ok…..I have already been there over my many years of work and marriage and step kids and grand kids in the gifted program…..and so many wonderful times. Its ok … efforts to communicate or make new friends seems thwarted by my real passion of late. Some day I will branch out but today I will paint….I am a watercolorist and that seems to be all I want to do…..but I do often worry at times, does this make me seem a little nutty….oh well. I read these comments and I find so many struggles others are having that I have had over my years….somehow I survived. But I do remember the similar hardships that others are having and feel for them. I married late in life but remained in that marriage for 22 years so I guess I did something right. My years of work and career have been rewarding. One of my positions was working for a Psychologist and testing many kids for I.Q. and academic concerns and also major in college. My personal abilities, though not important enough to me to worry about, was often given a lot of attaboys by my boss so I understand many of your posts. But most of my positions were as a Buyer for large manufacturing companies and then we started our own company in aviation when I met my husband. So I have travelled in many areas.

    Recently, my struggles have been finding someone to communicate to on the deep level of my husband. I guess over time, I didn’t really know how rare our communication was but I do appreciate it now and find that extremely difficult. It is extra difficult due to the fact that I am now single and even though I have no personal interests but my motives may be mistaken so real communication is hard to come by. Most of my interests over my years have seemed to be with men either over cars, or airplanes so I am left with that. Its not really a struggle to find someone, as I don’t desire a partner but I would just enjoy an in depth conversation once in awhile……and my struggle of being alone I do go over and over in my head a lot… own worst enemy…..saying, “this is a little nutty to be alone” but it is not serious enough to make the changes necessary, such as location, moving, relationships, major changes etc. I would rather just branch out through communication and getting to know others. I am glad to have found your blog and I hope I can be of some help to someone. “Downwind”…..if you need a friend.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Glad you found my blog, Downwind. Perhaps you have earned the right to stay home and get absorbed in your art?? Thank you for sharing.

  2. Lane Avatar

    So, a person *isn’t* ADHD. A person *has* ADHD.

    A person *isn’t* OCD. A person *has*OCD.

    A person *isn’t* AS. A person *has* AS.

    A person *is not* a condition. A person *has* a condition.

  3. Beatrice Avatar

    I’m 20 Yo, and after reading this among other articles, I realize that what actually matters to me today, is to accept my ways of thinking. Most importantly, to accept that sometimes people don’t believe me when i solve something intuitively without being able to recall how i actually solved it ; or accept that i need hours of reflexion and writing my thoughts and that it’s not a waste of time, and other points cited in this quiz.

    Thank you for this little quiz. It doesn’t really matter to me to know if i’m actually gifted or not. I just can’t see myself as highly intelligent because i think that my difference of thinking had been the main cause of the sad or traumatic episodes in my childhood. Today i’m doing my best to hide my special traits. However, i’ve been doing a lot of research about it lately and it’s such a relief to -at least- realize that there’s people out there who share similar thoughts as i do.

    Thank you again and my apologies if i made little mistakes, English isn’t my first nor second langage ^^

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you for writing, Beatrice. I’m glad you found my blog. It can help a lot to know you are not alone in the different ways you think, feel, intuit, and more! I hope you will keep reading.

  4. Rainbowghost Avatar

    I’m just like… WT…actual F.
    Eye opening! Thank you, I definitely hit more than 12 of them :O

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome! 🙂

  5. Mary Avatar

    Hi Paula

    How is this different than an INFP type of personality?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I think it’s pretty similar, Mary. Many RFMs also are also INFJs. One difference is that RFMs are also advanced intellectually and have multiple interests/abilities and love learning. I’m not sure if all of these traits are part of INFPs. But there is plenty of overlap.

  6. Paula Prober Avatar

    Sounds like you have a good therapist, Gina! Keep reading. You might find some answers here.

  7. Gina Siciliano Avatar
    Gina Siciliano

    My therapist, new therapist, after 4 sessions requested I take this test, and she plans on sending me a copy. I am very much isolated and feeling apart from. I am very sensitive and rigid too, in my values and morals. I didn’t realize til I was in my late 20s that not everyone sees or feels as I do. I always thought I was less than. So I work hard to be the best at everything I do. I am diagnosed OCPD which stems from parenting and PTSD events. I always end up in managing positions as I can’t take it when others don’t work up to my standards. Yet even I crash trying to keep up with my standards. I’m so alone and want to be apart of. But I don’t feel I got anywhere and don’t know my purpose. I wish my purpose could be, just being the best at being content with what I have.

  8. Cristina Avatar

    “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?” THIS. In my whole life I found 2 types of people: the ones that was amazed by me, thinking I was so smart and capable and that I was probably working the whole day for these achievements (I promptly say “no way, I do nothing at all” cause I feel that way) and the second type, the ones that always bothered me because I’m a stay at home mama, cause I lived my pharmacist job, cause I don’t work anymore, cause I do nothing according to them (jeez, I can’t stop organizing the day and starting 100 different projects and studying 3 or 4 different disciplines a day, always at little pieces and in a whole daily chaos. Actually to stay at home is sooo consuming to me).
    By the way, almost all the points here resonate to me😊

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you for sharing, Cristina, and for being here.

  9. Robin Avatar

    This list! It’s strange, even though I was in the gifted programs as a child, very high achieving student etc… I weirdly never thought about it after school or perhaps I just assumed the other kids eventually ‘caught up’ and things evened out more in adulthood. But as I’ve begun the journey of figuring out the needs of my gifted 5yo, I have suddenly come to realize that it is a form of nurodiversity that never goes away. It’s funny how your kids often hold a mirror up to you. It can be painful and illuminating. Suddenly a lot of things make sense to me. The ways in which I have always struggled, my sensitivity, the intensity I constantly battle to hide, my feelings of being awkward and on the outside despite being very successful in a field many lable as their dream career. The shame and embarrassment I feel around people knowing the true extent of what I am capable of. And the anxiety! The over-thinking and worrying, the future predicting and strategizing…
    Thank you for creating a space to learn more about this.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      You are welcome, Robin. Glad to have you here.

  10. ionaa Avatar

    They all apply to me in a profound way, apart from the one about other people being in awe of how much I can achieve in a day. And I don’t find that anything I read about gifted people applies to me because I am not highly academic and have spent my life so far doing almost nothing – barely ever working, creating or even reading. I’ve spent it all just escaping to count the hours away.
    So I’m not sure if I have a rainforest mind because while I relate to the emotional experiences of others who have this, I don’t at all relate to the achievements they have all made.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Keep reading my blog, ionaa. You’ll see that highly academic people may or may not be gifted. There could be many reasons why you are not achieving like you think you should be. Thanks for writing.

  11. GM Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    I am writing this comment in the hope that it reaches you. I can see that you have liked or responded to most of the comments on this page, so I feel that there is a good chance that you may read this.

    I was wondering if I could get your advice on the matter of high+ giftedness.

    To make better sense of the problem I will just provide a bit of background information. Despite being identified as gifted by a government standardized assessment in grade 3, I had no idea that giftedness meant anything more than a test score, until about 3 years ago. I was actually just beginning my recovery from depression when I stumbled upon your website. It was the first time I had ever encountered a complex model of giftedness, in fact, I had not even thought about giftedness in years. Your post, along with a few other key peices of literature, began my journey into human psychology. It is not that I had not thought about psychology before, but that I had never held it in such esteem. I never knew just how much essential truth was held in the field of psychology. Of course, the same lense was later pointed towards philosophy, which held just as much if not more essential truth. Ignoring the broader multivariable implications, your post set my sights upon giftedness as a model for explaining the differences in experience that I percive between myself and others. Fast forward three years. I have developed my logical reasoning capability to a far higher degree, and built my own theories and, even further, models regarding philosophy and psychology. I have also extended this understanding to many more areas. Yet, I have never been able to quite, for lack of better word, “nail” a model that explains the full breadth and depth of difference in experience. Giftedness did not prove to be fully adequate; consequently, I sought out other theories to supplement its shortcomings. Positive Disintegration was revolutionary. I had a hard time getting a hold of the full work, but when it arrived I devoured it quickly. I then set out to create a combined model to explain my differences in experience. Giftedness in conjunction with Positive Disintegration was initially very promising. Unfortunately, when I put myself in environments with other gifted individuals (online communities, Mensa, looking back to the gifted program, gifted programs in high school, etc.) I did not encounter the levels of Positive Disintegration that I predicted. In fact, I did not find a single individual who I felt sympathized “completely” (not an exact version of myself, but similar in the ways that matter). As I sifted through more and more gifted literature and communities the problem persisted.

    Eventually, I encountered a few resources that posited that the existence of multiple significantly different levels of giftedness was responsible for this discrepancy. In other words, what I hoped to find in the gifted population, I would supposedly find in the highly gifted population. (I neglect exceptionally or profoundly gifted bc those IQ brackets have not been scientifically supported). Unfortunately, I have not been able to find many reliable resources on high+ giftedness; especially its impact beyond mechanical achievement (which is the classic flawed societal perspective) or its presence in adults. This leads me to my question.

    What is your view on high+ giftedness? (Does it exist? Is it significant? (beyond scoring higher, does it designate a group with a dramatically different experince))

    If you are familiar with the term/feild/group, are there any resources that you can suggest? (nothing is too technical or complex)

    I would really appreciate anything you can offer.

    Finally, I am very grateful for your work; without it I may never have found the theory of giftedness, which I now consider indispensable to my understanding of psychology.

    Thank you for your time,


    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      There are not many resources on high+ giftedness that I am aware of. P. Susan Jackson in British Columbia is one of the most well known in the field. She is writing a book about it now. Chris Wells is a Dabrowski scholar. There are articles on high giftedness written by Jennifer Harvey Sallin There is research on highly gifted children out of Australia from Miraca Gross. Maggie Brown in New Zealand just did her PHD on giftedness in adults. You might find articles on

      Those would be some places to start. This is an article I wrote on the blog: As you know, my work is purely anecdotal, based on my experience in my practice. Thanks for asking. I’m glad you have found my writing to be helpful!

  12. Priya Avatar

    I used to fit this criteria, or thought I did, before abuse burnt me to a crisp. I’m hoping the rainforest can reflourish, shoot by shoot, tendril by tendril…

    What a lovely description of a mind.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Yes, Priya, you can reflourish. The rainforest is resilient!

  13. archivistslament Avatar

    It’s like living in technicolour and surround sound when everyone around me is living in black and white. There’s a quote in one of my favourite books that says something like the whole bloody world is crowded with absences. I feel that. The absences are deafening.

    I’m exhausted from holding back but I’ve got no idea what else to do. Every time I let go even a fragment I’m too much: “too smart”, “too intense”, “too passionate”(all direct quotes). The word quirky follows me around like a dog.

    I don’t even think I’m especially clever or anything. I just don’t get why people seem so wilfully obtuse about what’s right in front of them a lot of the time.

    The world is full of these amazing weird and wonderful things, you know? The golden ratio and shamanism, poetry and altered states of consciousness, mythology and anthropology and symbolism and semiotics of colour and how different combinations and patterns of letters can catapult you into ecstasy and despair.

    And there’s all the terrible things too like FGM, and violence and murders and the way we grossly abuse animals and our natural world and it feels sometimes like that can just squash you flat. Every action we take is like an indelible footprint and sometimes I think back on my indelible footprints and how much I’ve inadvertently harmed just by existing and it leaves me breathless.

    1. Dana Longpre Avatar
      Dana Longpre

      ABSOLUTELY 100% RELATE TO EVERY WORD SAID HERE! I have to work hard to conserve my energy, I find, since everything moves me so!

    2. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you so much for this beautiful description of what it’s like to have a rainforest mind. Just a thought: People seem to be “willfully obtuse” but it may be that your RFM actually sees what they don’t actually see/know/feel.

      1. Archivists Lament Avatar

        I’m 89% sure you’re right and yet, these things are so obvious. I’m loath to say “maybe they can’t” because I’ll have to forgive them for their inability to see, and everything else that stems from it and I’m not sure I want to. I don’t want to be the one who has to give. Why do I have to meet them where they are? Why FOR ONCE can’t they meet me where I am?

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          It is so frustrating and painful to always be the one giving. And this is not unusual in the RFM world. This is why it’s important to keep looking for other RFMs who can meet you where you are or who can even get ahead of you!

          1. Archivists Lament Avatar

            Entirely true.

  14. Aelin Avatar

    almost all the points apply to me but I can’t help wonder how can I be gifted when I don’t even get the highest grades I used to get and so many others whom I used to top are getting higher grades than me . I am not envious I just always get highest grades and now I feel dumb . Honestly the word gifted daunts me because I don’t know if I am smart or not and thinking I may not be smart annoys me . sometimes I feel like I am so clever and sometimes so dumb and this really gets on my nerves. I LOVE researching ,reading languages and sciences and I get so curious about stuff teachers tell me it’ so difficult for you to understand yet I still read about them and understand those difficult concepts yet I don’t get highest grades and feeling everyone around me getting higher grades makes me feel stupid and intellectually ungifted

  15. Amelia Avatar

    almost everything applies to me but how can I be gifted when I don’t even get the highest grades this year and so many others even those I used to top all the time started getting better than me I love reading researching I even love languages and sciences but I don’t believe I am gifted especially when I feel others around me are getting better grades while I used to get the highest grades did I just get less smart or did they get smarter I am not envious I just know I always got better than the grades I get this year . honestly, the word gifted or smart daunts me because I really want to be that but don’t know if I am and thinking I may be not smart annoys me

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Amelia. I think you wrote this comment twice so I’m just posting this one. One idea is that high grades are not necessarily a sign of giftedness,. They can be– but some gifted kids don’t score well on tests, don’t complete homework, or choose not to complete assignments for various reasons. If you find yourself answering “yes” to many of the quiz questions and if many of my posts resonate with you, there’s a good chance you have a rainforest mind.

  16. Alyssa W Avatar
    Alyssa W

    I’m reading this, late at night, letting the biggest sigh of relief out because I was on the verge of feeling like I was going absolutely insane and researching why me (an HSP which I already knew) is struggling so much with feeling like I’m not good enough and feeling like too much at the same time. I’m a Highly Sensitive Person with a Rainforest Mind. Who would’ve thought? But as I’ve gone through this quiz and read different articles on RFMs, I can’t help but suddenly feel so safe and understood. There was a comment that said they also felt that they were some weird mix of ADHD, OCD, and Bipolar…SAME! But, my mind is just a little more complex than the “normal” mind and now I can start to take the steps into accepting this gift that I have. Thank you so, so much for this.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Glad to have you here, Alyssa!

  17. China Blue Tar Heel Avatar
    China Blue Tar Heel

    Two comment-y questions.
    1) Could you reformat this page so the reader can apply a check mark to a tick box by each item? I was a bit miffed when I got to the end and it said “If you answered “yes” to at least 12 of the above questions” and I felt compelled to go back and count, necessitating doing the quiz a 2nd time and pondering some questions even more.

    2) I think I meet 2/3+ of the designators, but I also wonder “doesn’t EVERYONE?” I can’t imagine a person who in their heart-of-hearts doesn’t think at least half of these apply, particularly since the ones which aren’t “me” must be many other people. So, I feel like I’ve encountered a webmarketer selling wondermops at 2a.m. and suddenly I’m agreeing with everything and reaching for my credit card…

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Ha! I probably won’t reformat the quiz. And, no, not everyone has these traits. Really! Although your response is something I’ve heard from others. And if I start selling wondermops, I’ll let you know! 🙂

  18. phtothedh Avatar

    This is all me but honestly the descriptor of ‘gifted’ is not at all me. I feel more useless than anything.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Keep reading, phtothedh. Find out more about who you are.

  19. katethekate Avatar

    holy frick,
    I really thought I have some weird mental illness that is a combination of ADHD, OCD, and bipolar depression(i know that sounds dumb)

    thank you so much!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Not dumb, katethekate. There is often confusion when people are not educated about what giftedness can look like. Glad to have you here.

  20. Alice Coursier Avatar

    I’m glad I found this website. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable calling myself gifted, but relate to this list a lot. I actually stumbled upon the site after (in one day) I saw a couple of people I knew labeling themselves as gifted. So, I entered something weird about giftedness into Google to see what would happen and found this site. Can’t wait to read your books!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome, Alice. So happy you found us! 🙂

  21.  Avatar

    Words to my feelings! And accurately so. I have often doubted i am autistic for the above mentioned reasons, although technically i’m told i’m ‘fine’. 🙂

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      There can be overlap with some gifted traits and Aspergers which can be confusing for folks. But there are also very clear differences. And if someone is twice-exceptional, they can be on the autism spectrum (Aspergers) and intellectually gifted.

  22. welcometoopenground Avatar

    Hi there

    I’ve listened to you speak on your work on a couple of podcasts and it’s fascinating! In one you mention this quiz so I’ve read through it a few times. For years I’ve been thinking about my own abilities so I thought I’d try it. It’s really interesting to me because I can’t answer a single one! I keep wondering about the answers. My brain sorta short circuits and I can’t think of definitive answers…..🤓

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Uh huh. Did you see the part where I said if you can’t answer then….you are likely a Rainforest Mind?!

      1. welcometoopenground Avatar

        Good call Mmmm I did yes indeed….😊🤭 …. I just needed to share how I felt …..Perhaps a bit of reading required . I’m somehow scared of being gifted after years of thinking pretty much the opposite!

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          I understand. It can be scary. Take your time. 🙂

          1. welcometoopenground Avatar

            Thank you . I think good advice

  23. Nilufer Torres Avatar
    Nilufer Torres

    That’s so me!

  24. 2y2d Avatar

    Ok, so I answered and pondered deeply on all of those examples… now what? 😉

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Now, keep reading! 🙂

  25. kjavallas Avatar

    Have you ever considered the overlap with ADHD? I see the comment about “saying you’re so ADHD” (which is hurtful to people who have ADHD) but there has been a very obvious overlap with myself and many of my friends with ADHD who also process the world this way. I’m noticing a very large overlap.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      There are definitely people who are RFMs and also ADHD. They are what are called twice exceptional or 2e. And there are gifted traits that can look like ADHD but are not. Multiple interests and nonlinear learners who are easily bored and don’t finish one thing before starting another can be misdiagnosed. Kids who are advanced in school and distracted because they are not being challenged can look ADHD. I’m sorry if there was a hurtful comment that I missed. I don’t write much about ADHD or other exceptionalities because I don’t have a lot of experience with them. But I have had a few clients who struggle with ADHD for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  26. MBAwalks Avatar

    Oh boy, there I am. In just about every quiz question. What hit me between the eyes was “itchy clothes”. As a child I refused to wear wool. The texture drove me out of my mind! I am both relieved and terrified by this revelation for myself. I suffer from analysis paralysis — so many ideas and overwhelmed by which path to pursue. I am a great starter, a finisher — not so much. I get easily distracted (Husband jokingly nicknamed me Dory, the fish from Finding Nemo)… Added pressure of being 53 (married and parent to 3 teens). One of the most painful things ever said about me came from my father-in-law who shared with my husband that he thought I was “floundering”. Gut punch! So, there’s that. I will start with your book and reading the blog. Thank you for your work!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Glad you found me, MBAwalks! Enjoy reading!!

  27. Meg Mitchell Avatar
    Meg Mitchell

    “• 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?”

    I was thinking — autistic because you infodump on your favorite topics? 🙂

    Thanks again for responding to my panicked contact the other day. I think it’s going to be okay!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Oh yes, I should add Aspergers to the list for that reason for sure. Thanks, Meg. And I’m glad you’re going to be OK!

      1. Silvia Avatar

        For the past 3 years I’ve been feeling totally like I have Asperger’s. Now that I’ve found out what giftedness is, I’m not so sure anymore, so many things are in common. What are some main differences to tell the 2 apart??

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          There are clear differences. One would be your ability to understand social cues, to know when someone else is upset or angry or tired, etc. Aspies usually miss social cues. Another is that you understand metaphors and symbolic language. AS is usually very literal. Similarities can be sensitivities to sounds, textures, smells, etc. And diving deeply into interests. With AS, there is usually too much sharing of passions and lack of awareness when the listener isn’t interested. I’m not an expert in the area of autism spectrum issues but you can do some research at for more details. Many people are confused by this!

          1. reiofhope Avatar

            There is also a new emerging criteria for diagnosing women with Asperger’s that does not fit that model you’ve described. Here’s a link to Tania A. Marshall’s blog entry describing how women display different characteristics:

            1. Paula Prober Avatar

              Thank you for this link, reiofhope.

          2. Alice Avatar

            Yes, my 13 years old daughter is confused as well. She is gifted, yet her school thinks that she is on autism spectrum.
            My daughter is very sensitive to others’ emotions. She can easily tell by other breathing pattern and facial expressions.
            At the end, we decided not to arrange any autism assessment. We don’t want her to be mis-assessed and make her confused.
            She is still in the realisation stage of being gifted.
            Thank you so much for your information and sharing.
            Hope all gifted children could be heard and understood.

            1. Paula Prober Avatar

              Thanks, Alice.

      2. Deborah Phillips Avatar

        The first time I heard of Aspergers, I wondered if that could be what’s going on with me. Paula, after reading your blog I discovered it must be something else. My level of curiosity and what others call ‘weirdness’ now I know what it is. I really enjoy reading what you have to say and no longer feel alone or odd. Thank you.

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          You are most welcome, Deborah!

  28. Kaly Avatar

    This really hit home for me. I’ve spent all my life feeling different or weird…glad to know I’m not alone

  29. Jodi Avatar

    I relate to all 22 of the examples. What a relief to discover I am not simply fighting with my heart & my head all the time, nor am I odd or difficult. I am truly blessed, and have a lovely new goal of embracing, sharing and managing my newfound superpower, previously referred to as a ‘curse’. I feel as though, at 55 years of age, I have a brand new life ahead of me! Thank you! I can’t wait to read Rainforest Mind!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thanks for letting me know, Jodi. Enjoy my book!

  30. Em Avatar

    I cried while reading this. Thank you, thank you, thank you

    1. Stephanie Avatar

      Likewise… Teary right now. I feel heard or understood.

  31. Amy Lea🌟 Avatar

    Wow. I think I’m mildly these,but I can point out people who are just this. Its crazy.

  32. missb Avatar

    I got 12 or higher yes or maybes but need more convincing. Have to get my hands on your book/s. Oh the sleepless ahead!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Looks like you’ve just found me and are making your way around my blog, missb. Good to have you here. Keep on reading! My books will convince you…:)

      1. missb Avatar

        I’ve said it already, glad I found your blog:) I’ve been restless and needed an outlet when I remembered this old blog of mine and found yours eventually. I’ll be sticking around. Looking forward to learning from you. Done a lot of inner work and unpacking over the years but still very much a work in progress. Seem to be having a purpose run for the past few months and trying to rein it in.

  33. Anonymous Avatar

    Ive been doing a lot of self reflection over the past many years, when I first came across the idea of the rainforest mind I was rather skeptical. But the more Ive looked into it, it does apparently seem to be a trait. It strikingly closely matches my experience, yet now I struggle with the whole idea of being gifted all together. The most Ive ever scored on a test was maybe 140 about 10 years ago, Ive never felt incredibly intelligent. At 34 Ive never been to college, though I am considering it, I am so horrible at numbers I couldn’t even read a watch until about 24. I always had a curiosity about the world people around me don’t seem to follow. There are things I enjoy like some people mentioned here, like philosophy for instance, just for the exercise but I always felt afraid to mention it to anyone but the closest people to me. Because Ive always been afraid I’ll look pretentious and a fool, I’m just a lay person in all my interests. Ive never felt qualified enough to speak either way on any of it, and can’t really say there are many accolades to my name. Thanks to all this Ive recently come across the idea of twice excpetionality, and I need to look into it more but it does seem to be reflective. (I have schizoaffective,generalized anxiety, and very possibly dyscalculia though Ive never been formally tested)

    Reading and listening to all your work on this area has helped me understand myself a lot better, Ive even come to realize I may be more gifted in areas like EQ and empathy. I am also highly sensitive, an introvert and an empath. But I just wanted to say thank you for helping people like me with all this exercise. Its helped me understand that I’m not completely alien, and even though a lot of it is still gray to me, atleast I can feel a little more comfortable with the grayness of it all.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you for sharing, it helps others to read your experiences. And it always uplifts me to read about how my writing has helped RFMs to greater self-understanding and acceptance.

  34. skaianstars Avatar

    My therapist recommended me your book. I’ve only read half but it has honestly helped me find a better understanding of myself. I cried when I first read it because of how much I related and it felt amazing to finally understand why none of my peers or friends recognize my struggles or how I think. I battle with anxiety and what feels like depression, and it is uplifting to see this.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      I’m so glad it’s been helpful, skaianstars. Please thank your therapist for me!

  35. iona Avatar

    Gosh, thank you for reading it.
    But I don’t see how I can be if I don’t excel at most things I try…if it’s actually the opposite.

  36. Adam Jabkowski Avatar
    Adam Jabkowski

    I was tested as a child (5 years old) and while my aptitudes were off the charts, I apparently failed the “maturity” part of the test, so I was not enrolled in the “gifted” program in school, and as this was 1976, nothing more came of it, so, for the rest of my life so far, I have been the “smart kid” who never lived up to my “potential”, as all those people who were less gifted than me have said…..I did nothing remarkable in school, did not get a college degree, as I did not get straight “A’s” all through high school and so therefore did not get an academic scholarship to any college, but yet, the whole time, everyone who knew me thought I was “smart”……I went in the Navy out of high school, served in Desert Storm, and have had 3 different careers so far, and have only recently discovered what my passion is, what I want to do with my life, and now, have no money to make that happen…..I would just like to find some other people like me, who are “smart”, but yet accept people like me, whose IQ is a measly 155………….at least according to the online test I took 20 years ago……my email is, if anyone is curious or interested in talking to me…..

  37. Theodore Lawrence Avatar
    Theodore Lawrence

    These questions do not reveal anything. Instead, they are a great demonstration of the Forer/Barnum effect.

  38. Ellie Avatar

    I’m all of the above, and feel really tearful reading how it was all SO me. But I struggle to concentrate and lacked confidence as a child (I was also abused a lot), and now as an older adult have depression, anxiety, PTSD and have been diagnosed with ADHD. Medication makes me worse. I feel really different to other people, I am very creative and feel very connected to animals and the earth, and anything creative, I know I’m really smart, but my memory is now so bad, I’ve done nothing with my life but go around in crazy circles, I feel suicidal most of the time. I don’t know if I’m gifted, but this quiz was me 100%. Thanks

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome to my blog, Ellie. Keep reading. It might help you better understand some of your struggles.

  39. sharpesharpe Avatar

    There’s only one other time I ever felt so seen, and that was when my therapist read my astrological birth chart. I wanna say maybe only three of those questions did not ring true. And when I say ring true, I mean jaw dropped and stunned how well articulated each question depicted who I was. 😮this quiz pretty much perfectly summed up my entire day, everyday, my entire life 😂 thank you. Thank you big time!

  40. Alisa Avatar

    I am so glad I found this article. I have been battling depression, anxiety and PTSD; and none of the typical self soothing or coping methods are working to help me. As soon as I can get a little extra cash together, I am definitely buying your book! Thank you for posting this, it has actually helped with with a bout of severe depression today.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      So glad you found my blog, Alisa. Thanks for buying my book! 🙂

  41. Ima Girl Avatar
    Ima Girl

    Yes. Yes to all. I have hundreds of credits from a dozen schools and have moved and changed jobs and am still the weird little nerd trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to be when she eventually considers herself a grownup. I still cry intensely and then stop and wonder at snow on tree trunks and then struggle to breathe as I desperately fail to capture its meaning with oil pastels. Lyrics will spark a sudden poem and the need to write write write right now enraptures me, and I think I understand life just a little bit.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Welcome to your rainforest mind, Ima Girl! Glad to have you here.

  42. Kevin Avatar

    Where can I get your book? Your quiz made me want to run away to my island in the South Pacific that I keep telling everyone I want to go die on. I would love to talk to a volleyball and eat jungle berries on gilligans island. Maybe then I might have a calm sense of peace for once and. It have to just pretend I do.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Kevin. You can ask for my books in your library. Ask your bookstore to carry them. Or order it from Thanks! (click on the image of my book on the home page)

      1. Kevin Avatar

        Thank you Paula,

        I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve read a few like this but I think yours may be a little different. Taking your quiz made me laugh and want to cry all at once. A lot of little details in each statement you had and they hit all marks hard and fast. Yeah. This is definitely me. Thank you

        1. Paula Prober Avatar

          Glad you were laughing and crying, Kevin. I wanted to make the quiz both informative yet light-hearted!

  43. Kevin Avatar

    Where can I get your book?

  44. Allison Avatar

    I just stumbled onto your site and I should feel known, but instead I feel profoundly sad and not a little isolated. Is there a meetup for gifted adults to find each other to feel longing and exaltation and all the overwhelming emotions together? Preferably with brownie batter.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Alison. Here are a few of the “meetups” that I know about. There are 2 FB groups that I’m aware of but I think there are actually more. The website has a FB group. Also there’s a FB group called Gifted Adults. The organization has a conference every year. Most of the participants are parents of gifted kids but many of them are also gifted. Another idea is to think of things you like to do and look for the RFMs among the participants. Bring the brownies. Also, I’ve found many gifted folks at Argentine tango lessons!! If you keep reading, you’ll come across posts that talk about more ways to meet other RFMs. Welcome!

  45. beabea mccombs Avatar

    I just stumbled across your site after an exasperated, long winded, shot-in-the-dark google search. The kind that I do only when I have no idea what I am looking for. Reading this list feels like coming home —

    I am 29 years old, a successful, painfully curious researcher in the first year of my PhD (I am a marine ecosystem mathematical modeler). I am depressed and confused about how I can get so much from a course, spend hours on reading, participate, thinking deeply, but ALWAYS, always, without fail fall short where it matters… the devil is in the deadline, the detail. Now I am faced with my first grade of what was supposed to be my fresh academic start — B-, which in my school means academic probation, and writing a plan to succeed to the dean. I don’t know why I always think that the new planner, the new list, the new method, the new meditation, the new mantra will solve my issues in a semester. My solution has always been to just get madder, meaner, harder on myself. Maybe I can beat myself into academic submission? Turn off my brain, and learn to turn it on only when I need it, cut the noise, but get it back when it is helpful. I don’t know how to plan differently, I don’t know what to say or what excuse to give, I want to be honest, but I don’t know what honest is. I can get As, I’ve done it before, it involves a robotic and depressive anxiety about everything, and absolutely no side projects to distract, but it is possible.

    I moved a lot growing up, and always just accepted my grades as my inherent meritocracy, I had a bad day-dreaming habit, and would rather hide in the back then engage in school. I recently started to think I might have some form of learning disability or autism, it amazes me how I can get lost in the web of my mind and creative desire. I will emerge, tarnished and wide-eyed, but so lost. So much good comes out of it — although I don’t know if it is more bad than good at this point… I will snap into the world, and in a whirlwind amaze myself, I am a creepy fast learner and reader, and I do this thing where I am somehow gleaning and gathering information when I don’t realize it and then out of nowhere I will have a huge comprehensive view or idea, I have notebooks full. I can write and read and learn and research so quickly, procrastination has always paid off, because I have enough trials to know that I will pull it off surprisingly well. I am just always lacking that final 10%, and I know that if I paced myself, I could do it, but I can’t do it. In college I discovered a buried love for advanced math, I learned it all backwards. Meaning, I never thought I understood math until I saw the problems answered with the hard stuff and fell in love, and then worked to understand it. I know I will succeed in my field if I could just learn how to work with and accept myself. It amazes me how far I’ve gotten without any tools, and I wonder if I deserve it or if academic jut isn’t a place for me, but in this world any plan B will be sabotaged in some way or another. I feel so much doubt and pain, I consider dropping out, but I have no idea how I could do anything differently, my heart and my abilities has led me to this spot — but I am exhausted. How can I proceed? Anyway — your work, the rainforest, is the closest thing to understanding myself that I have found. I don’t know if “gifted” is the right word, but at least here is a place for a brain like mine, that does not sound like my own self-criticism and hatred. It is a shining beacon of hope in a bramble.

    Thank you,
    accidental academic

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Oh, I’m so glad that you’ve found my blog, beabea. Keep reading. It will explain a lot which ought to help you better manage academia. The word “gifted” definitely applies as far as I can tell from what you’ve written here. Welcome home!

  46. Ayekaba Mengue Avatar
    Ayekaba Mengue

    I’ve rumiated on writing a comment on this blog because I’ve lately struggled quite a lot with an ever-present feeling of inadequacy, be it because I’m too much for some people (almost anyone who knows me) and yet I’m never enough for myself, or because I can’t quite catch the speed at which my head seems to be constantly working, so I’m not feeling very confident as I write these lines. Nevertheless, I think I’ve just arrived at the right place at the right time.

    Anyhow, before I start to digress and this becomes a testament, I just wanted to say thank you for creating a space so that people like me can feel safe and understood.

    (Sorry for any errors, English isn’t my first language)

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Thank you so much for writing, Ayekaba. Your English is excellent. I’m so glad you’re here.

  47. Pablo Avatar

    Hi Paula, I see myself 100% in this post, but I don’t think I am gifted at all! I have been told by some people that I might be but I have tried some internet intelligence tests and I am simply average so, what is wrong with me? I feel like my life make no sense at all because everything seems not to be enough for me. I can’t face a serius diagnose because I think that real tests will show that I’m just a normal delusional guy who thinks he is special. I want so bad to do something that’s really meaningful.
    I’ll appreciate some feedback. Thank you very much, hope you have a beautiful day full of meaning and connection.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Hi Pablo. Keep reading. If you can relate to much of what I write, then you’re likely somewhere on the gifted spectrum. Intelligence tests are only one measure and I doubt that those on the internet are very reliable! Thanks for being here!

      1. Pablo Avatar

        Thank so much Paula 🙂

  48. Gabriel Z. Avatar
    Gabriel Z.

    Never in my life have I read anything that described me so much… And I have known about my “rfm” since I was 8 years old.

    Thank you so much for this.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      You are so welcome. Thank you for letting me know, Gabriel.

  49.  Avatar

    This just made me cry…can’t stop because it made so much sense, all of it. It’s both a relief and very scary! I almost can’t believe it.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Believe it! Keep reading. 🙂

  50. Marcelo Theodoro Moreira Avatar
    Marcelo Theodoro Moreira

    Gazing at the night sky for hours…and forgetting to shower…i thought I was Just a lazy person. It’s comforting, but “gifted” is a label that you don’t want to be placed on you. Others begin to expect GREAT THINGS about you. I just want to be a good dad. AND meet Elon Musk!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar

      Yes, Marcelo. The pressure is real! But it can help to rethink whether or not you’re lazy. 🙂