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)
442 responses to “THE QUIZ”
All of the above. Pointed out as a gifted child by my headmaster as I was leaving primary education, I never really got the support I needed. The more so as I was a girl – be good sweet maid, and let who will be clever! Well I wasn’t particularly good, I’m afraid. I was often chided for being too clever by half. Life got especially difficult at age 17, when my father, who had to some extent championed my intellect, died. Now 60 years later at 77, widowed, and freed at last of all responsibilities, I am trying to be me, whoever that is, and hope your books will help. Before it’s too late.Loading…
Here I am back exploring this subject I answered yes to most of above, instead of Ferrari insert horse. Instead of falling in love with ideas, insert animals but tons of ideas. Do love a few people deeply.
I am being evaluated for adhd, because something about me is just, well challenging different weird… I am 52. I have a child with ADHD, my dad was eccentric or very different, super smart ( Dr always learning doing strange nerdy things in his room, a loner ) I also seem to have executive function issues or is it trauma ? Will someone please label me already? Lol and not just anxiety – which is like saying you have fatigue.
There is so much mystery to all of this! I feel confused and I want to know what I am. I am also highly sensitive deeply connected to nature, don’t feel like I ever find my tribe. Spiritual, took an online IQ got 110 ( it’s late I would maybe have done a teeny bit better nowhere near gifted status).
I think I’m a combo of who knows what. A misfit? A beautiful unique human?
Thing is I like who I am. I have emotional intelligence yet at the same time act very child like with my pets nature I get excited about things…like a kid.
Rambling because (I’m tired) and my mind is going feel like I’ve been masking for a loooong time. I feel like I probably sound nuts, but I want to know where I belong. Always misunderstood. Crazy intuitive and aware of many things around me.
I’ve reached out before but something brought me back to question this.Loading…
Hey Eleni, This reminded me so much of me that I thought I would comment. I answered yes to only half. I’ve just had a bunch of psych profiling assessments as my son has just been assessed, I felt the same about feeling challenging, different, weird. I’m 44. Child with ADHD and autism and high IQ.
Ignore the online IQ test. I did one 3 weeks before the full psych assessment. Mine showed as 115. Mine is 145 and 99.9 on verbal.
Also havent worked out what I am. Misfit, unique and beautiful. Assessments gave me numbers and labels, I know I’m autistic (highly sensitive, massive sense of justice, very specific ideas on some longstanding topics, safe repetitive foods when I am tired), and now apparently I’m gifted but feel guessing I am “not high enough to be actually gifted”… perhaps this is how some minds work? the quesioning, the looping, the noise?Loading…
21 yes:s. I ordered your book.
I never saw myself as smart although I do think people in general are pretty stupid. I’ve often found myself wondering how can they not know and understand how “things” are working, whether it be technical, financial, or political mechanisms, weather phenomenons, at work processes, cultural vs. behavioural patterns… As a child I was often taken from class to sit with a special teacher, I guess I was lucky although I didn’t know it back then – I was given extra difficult tasks. I read fact books for fun. I still do. At work, I am frustrated for “upwards” they don’t understand what I am capable of (I’m a senior in a mid-senior position and they love it because I fill all six role descriptions for getting the job done), and “downwards” because they don’t understand why things are as they are and why management do what they do.
I am not sure learning more about myself as a gifted adult will actually help me. I am afraid it might make me even more frustrated and lost, especially at work – management and people around me still don’t understand how (not who) I am and why. I’ll probably switch jobs although I want to stay and take on a bigger responsibility.Loading…
I’m finding it hard to face that my desire to want to see myself as gifted/ have others think of me in this way, is masking the reality that I am not. The ‘yes, I am gifted’ part of me answers ‘yes’ to many of your questions. But I’m unsure if I’m deluding myself and wanting to create an identity of ‘gifted.’ Do you have any suggestions for getting below all the confusion and discovering whether I could be described as gifted- or not?Loading…
When I was a kid I was a member of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented youth – classified at least in the top 5% most able in the UK. As an adult I feel a sense of frustration, like there are not enough outlets for what I was to express. I didn’t realise it had anything to do with that gifted kid because society has so many categories of which you are meant to fit, people want to identify you by your single job x at company y. Whereas I have many interests, many competencies and love to cross them. And it’s lonely apart from a select few friends who get me. Reading your website I felt understood. Thank you. 🙏🏽Loading…
I didn’t believe I was gifted,
simply because I was told. My B’s, and utterly depressing C’s, made me believe those individuals. But, ALL of these questions fit like a puzzle piece; Maybe I’m still in denial?Loading…
I found some of the questions difficult to understand let alone answer. Feel more confused than ever!!!!!Loading…
I’m a 20! It took me 70 years to recognize this. Thank you for your work, into which I will now delve more deeply.
Having read you blog on therapists, I recognize how fortunate I am not have found mine. Again, it took me until later in life, but I’ve been working with him for almost 5 years. This work (a lot of IFS and EMDR) has allowed me finally to understand and accept my rainforest mind, and form my relationships and pursuit of interests around my nature, and not those of others. Thank you for the reinforcement, though I too feel uncomfortable with the word “gifted.” People have different gifts, and I often think those who have less complicated ways of thinking and feeling are gifted with more overall contentment and a feeling of “fitting in.”Loading…
Thank you for this book – it helped me in so very many ways at a crucial time. Instead of thinking I was just not made for this world, I discovered I had a RFM. A full blown one :-). I have been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 36. I thought this would explain everything, but 20 years after the diagnosis, I still had so many unanswered issues. Only recently was I suggested to be a “gifted” (what a word!) adult. Hence my search for explanations, hence reading your book. It was SO soothing, many thanks for easing my mind, and feeding my soul with hope. Finally somebody understood!
As I became an ADHD coach years ago, wanting to help other adults with ADHD (in Belgium not much help is available), I am now much more aware. I am able to detect fellow-RFM’s every now and then. In the meantime I have recommended your book to some customers of mine who, like me, “had the feeling of just not fitting in”, and showing very distinguished signs of RFM. Friends are now even reading this book, to have a better understanding of me – it works wonders.Loading…
Hi, I answered YES to all except the Ferrari question above! But then again, I am in love with human skill!Loading…
A friend recently recommended the book: “Living with Intensity” by Daniels and Piechowski. I read parts of it, and found out about your book.
1) Have you considered the term “high idea flow” as part of RFM?
2) I scored 23/23 on the quiz. I am 69 years old, and was diagnosed with ASD, empirically, 2012, and neuropsych testing 2018. Every ASD is different. The advantage of ASD is that once I find an area I’m very interested in, I can hyperfocus. Do you discuss hyperfocus in your writings and teachings?
3) Needing to focus, and cut out distractions, was/is a major victory for me. I teach meditation. Glad to find that you discuss slowing down, and some forms of meditation in your book: “Your Rainforest Mind”.
You know you’re basically describing autism, right?Loading…
I just discovered the terms high-ability and/or gifted yesterday. And I saw someone on Twitter describing himself. And then that made so much sense to me… and I started researching and researching and I found your book, which I just bought and started reading. I cried for 30 minutes just in the introduction, a mixture of relief, gratitude, freedom, being understood. I live in Brazil, where the wonderful Amazon rainforest is located, for which I fight so hard not to be destroyed. Your metaphor/analogy is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read and the use of this concept was a great insight. It’s beautiful. Strong. Power and tenderness at the same time. Definitely “gifted” doesn’t fits me. I will take the opportunity to read and improve my ability to read in English and recognize myself and hug myself as I would hug a big tree with all the fauna and flora that surround it. I’m 46 years old, I’m depressed and I feel like I’ve just seen a light at the end of the road. Thank you very much.Loading…
23/23. My life, I think has been a lot like many of the others who are posting here; a lot of internal “EVERYTHING” and a lot of external challenges existing and connecting with others in the world and wrestling with the, “they all seem fine so it must be me” mantra. I just discovered you and your work, and I’m waiting for your books to come from Amazon. I’m presently going through the feelings of doubt and hope. Doubt because nothing has ever truly described me and my life experience before (I’m 39), and hope because your words and descriptions (and the stories of others here) are deeply resonating with me. I am very much looking forward to learning more! Thank you for caring about us. 💚Loading…
OMG, 18 but wait, I took the list and place it in a word document to be able to highlight and count. Is that OCD? LOL, I know the answer, I was just kidding!
aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! Thanks for the test. Now I will read the bookLoading…
My score of 19/26 is even more than I realized.Loading…
Every. Single. One.Loading…
Thank you so much for expressing this! Every question resonated with me, especially the bit about feeling uncomfortable about the label gifted.
Like others have said, I felt so seen and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m just ordering your book and following you 🙏🏼Loading…
I have done the Rainforest test. My total was 23/23 and made me smile. WOW.Loading…
I’m a bit emotional and scared to respond.
I’m an older adult and my coach suggested I might be gifted. I feel exceptionally uncomfortable even expressing that idea.
I did your test and found that I scored 23/23. It made me cry, scared and also understood at the same time. However there uncomfortability I feel will most likely mean that I don’t know how knowing this is going to help me as I don’t feel that stating that you are gifted will make you very popular.
I don’t feel comfortable presenting myself as better than others and come across conceited.
I’m struggling in general because I seem to be either totally in tune with people or totally disconnected.
Personally I really don’t know what to do with it… Or how to get help.
It is still good to be acknowledged and recognized though, thank you!Loading…
I read your book and it’s really amazing… congratulations on your work, you are a therapist and a truly enlightened human being!
I have a question about diagnosis and would love to look into it from your perspective.
I’ve always looked for books and subjects about self-knowledge, I think they make us bigger as a whole. Within these researches I found your book; I started reading it to identify traits of my brother, but when I started reading I saw that I identify even more. I tried to do a neuropsychological evaluation and the evaluator considered me HSP and discarded the RFM due to the IQ score (107).
I feel nervous in tests, I charge myself to have great results even in simple things and this has always been a lifelong obstacle.
I don’t mind being diagnosed as “gifted” or not (I hate that name hahah), but feeling throughout life that we are not part of anything is so painful, I always felt “weird”.
anyway, the question is whether the IQ test would be so definitive for this diagnosis.
Thank you very much for your attention, if you come to read my story.
I tried to be brief but I couldn’t, I apologize hahah Kisses from Brazil! <3Loading…
After many, many, many years of feeling misunderstood and “too much,” I finally feel seen. Going through these questions was very validating, especially knowing that there are others out there like me. I have been trying to understand my mind for a long time now, but to no avail until coming across your blog. I am so grateful to you and and others who are working in this field. I am wondering if you have any recommendations for therapists in the Ontario, Canada area? I have been searching for a while but have come up short.
OMG! I’ve been seeking answers to these exact feelings and my perceived ‘failings’! I took the ADD test and come out with ‘significant autistic traits’, but don’t fit the profile for autism, nor do I fit ADD profile. But I’m creative, intense, love learning, but feel like I just don’t fit. Don’t understand most humans (except my small, close circle), procrastinate, struggle to focus. I answered a resounding ‘YES!’ to every one of those questions.Loading…
Thank you so much for what you do! I started to laugh at loud when I read in question 8 “…bipolar because you go from ecstasy to despair in 10 minutes?”. Yep that’s me. I am so eager to read your book. Actually, my sister sent me one of your podcast thinking that it will be helpful for me and my daughter and I am very glad she did so. I felt like a weight coming out of my shoulders, thinking “I don’t have a problem, I don’t have to choose one thing among all the things I like to do… and they are people like me”. 🙂
Well if you know any good therapists in Barcelona, please let me know, that would be helpful.
Big hug from Spain!Loading…
@Rachel. Prueba con Hemisferi, en Rambla Catalunya. Susana Arroyo es la directora y es una excelente profesional. Te hará esperar pero vale la penaLoading…
Hello, I reached out today on IG and looked up your book and found your site!
I answer yes to almost all of these above if not all, and yet I am feeling uncomfortable with “gifted” because that always in my experience means very highly intelligent which I guess I don’t believe I am. However intuitively I would say I am above average, and HSP absolutely! I guess I need to read the book. Thank you for this insight and reading peoples replies makes me feel like I am not alone. At 52 I have spent a lifetime feeling misunderstood, don’t fit in, hard finding the right people, prefer animals, etc etc. I enjoyed Elaine Arons book and yet your book seems to have some actual answers on HOW to deal with my quirky self, said lovingly. 🙂 EleniLoading…
I started bawling by number 14.Loading…
I found your book through a girl who, by coincidence, created a YouTube channel a few months before. I watched a video and couldn’t get it out of my head. That subject always came back.
I picked up your book to read and couldn’t believe that my entire life I was “fooled.” The girl in question is Lorena, she’s Brazilian, highly intelligent and lives in France!
Please arrange a conversation, the two of you, to talk about anxiety and depression in highly intelligent adults. I, and many others, suffer deeply (in Brazil, in particular, due to a characteristic of “extreme envy” typical of the Brazilian people) with isolation, rejection and imposter syndrome.
My life today is a bit better. I sought a psychologist to talk to, and a psychiatrist to deal with anxiety. To you who went down to the comments, don’t hesitate to seek help. You’re not alone. And another thing, the psychologist doesn’t have to be intelligent, just a good listener. You know perfectly well how to solve it.Loading…
It is very hard at Job Interviews… never know the right words… the thing you explained in the YT video about “perfccionism” is very struggling… when something frustrastes you (like a negative from a Job Interview), specially when you first thought that you could nail it, the wave of “impostor syndrom” that cames after that is like a tsunami, and things you already understand previously starts to get bluried and confused and it begins a loop of frustration mixed with a feeling of beeing dumb that is completely paralazying…
Hi from Brazil!
Just got to know your work from a video of brazilian psychologist Jean AlessandroLoading…
Wow! How do you know me? I laughed at many of these because it is so me.
I read them to my sis and we both laughed.
I have a rainforest mind! I love this.Loading…
Yes for me guess it’s genetic thanks Mom @Brenda King for sending me this quiz looking forward to listening to your book ma’am.Loading…
YES! ALL YES!! How have I made it to age 52 without even once hearing anything about the negative impacts being gifted has on everyday life?!? THANK YOU for the many light-bulb moments your site has given me this morning. It is quite surprising how deeply emotional I am reading through all of this. I feel like someone FINALLY understands me, and very literally for the first time in my life <3Loading…
Okay, that was fun. 🙂 I had whole conversations with some of those questions.
#8: No, I don’t color-code sweaters, etc. Oh, wait, though, I count the exact number of blueberries that go in my oatmeal every morning. (I do not like to estimate.) Okay, that probably counts as “yes-equivalent” to this one. LOL
#9: Definite NO on that one. I was fantastic at school. I fit in better as a college student than anything else I’ve ever done. It’s a shame I had to stop, but once you have an advanced degree, they sort of stop giving you financial aid and boot you out. Sadly I’m not so great at having jobs and adulting.
#10: I’m good on the dogs and horses, not so much on the humans. They are complicated and full of surprises.
#12: Spiritual conversation. Huh, not with rocks… I’d probably say mine are with music, either recorded or live or (best of all) played or sung with other people. Sometimes I forget how to play my instrument, when the people I’m playing with are doing such a beautiful job that I just want to listen.
#17: Oh, no, that happens to other people? LOL. I have stopped saying the things, except to a few tolerant people. Around everyone else, I just say it silently to myself and then laugh, and they probably wonder if I am cracking up.Loading…
I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog over the past few years. I decided to take your “quiz” and noticed the discomfort I still feel. A yes to all, but numbers 10, 12, 16, and 23 jump off the page. I just always assumed I had an offbeat personality as a child and still don’t feel connected to the idea of “gifted”. I started writing poetry when I was 11, mostly about the state of the world as I saw it. I felt odd and out of place, but figured out how to mimic more acceptable behavior and interests for my age. I didn’t think about any of this until I had children. My then 22 month old son taught himself American Sign Language by watching a video he picked out from the library. I just thought he liked the video cover. Then he turned his attention to books. Sometimes he’d be fixated on something and when I would ask what he was doing he’d point to his head and say “I’m thinking”. By the time he was four, his “rainforest mind” no longer gelled with his agemates. I recall just wanting him to be part of the norm, play with the neighborhood kids, and go to a regular school. This was a difficult time for me as a parent. It was his piano teacher ( at age 4 he begged to learn to play piano after hearing a piano played in an airport) who suggested he might need something different. Long story shorter, he was accepted to a K-8 non-profit, public charter school for highly gifted kids. I’ll confess, I was uncomfortable with the “highly gifted label”, but soon realized the school was not just about meeting his intellectual needs, but more importantly, his social and emotional needs. I believe that being in an environment where you can be your authentic self opens the door to so many possibilities!! He wasn’t just the kid who excelled at math and science, but the kid who loved participating in the school musicals, collaborating with his peers in a program called “Future Problem Solving Program”, and appreciating all forms of humor. By the time he was a freshman at a large public high school, he had the confidence to try out for their IMPROV club (think PG version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?). He made their varsity team and went on to be a co-captain. IMPROV is a big risk, because you don’t always get the laughs. Those social and emotional skills he learned made him more comfortable with taking risks and the possibility of failure. Many years later (my kids are 23 and 29), I’m glad I didn’t try to navigate my kids down a path just to “fit in”. Now, as adults, they continue to embrace who they are and are better for it! Sorry for my long windedness!
I look forward to sharing your book “Your Rainforest Mind – A Guide To The Well-Being Of Gifted Adults and Youth” with my “adulted” children!
Yes to all. Thank you for this. Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend comes to mind, when he finally discovers other humans that also survived the apocalypse lol. I struggle with how to use these traits to help others – otherwise it’s just exhausting Loading…
My 22 yr old daughter’s doctor brought this to her awareness. She told me the doctor described me as well. I honestly didn’t believe it at first. Then, like your quiz, the information she was given, did describe me. I thought it was the result of so much trauma in my life. In fact, all my children. I never understood the meltdowns, #5, i would not have made any of the connections. I said yes to all the above yet, questioned my yes and thought, “Well not always or maybe not too bad.” This is actually a bit frightening, I cried after the quiz. If I had a few hours to tell you what my daughter’s, all 3 college age, my 5 year old grandson and most likely my son are all going through. We are rainforests, which can be very overwhelming when there’s so many of us. I will get your book,
we need understanding and help. I will post this then have anxiety over posting. 🙃Loading…
Game over: Strong yes on the 23s! What should I do know?
OMG! 🤔so many yes. Always feel uncomfortable, misunderstood, always trying to fit. Too much intense, too much sensitive, they said too much of me. Love the questions. Never feel so identified.Loading…
16( +/- 3 ) are definitely yes.. but others are more nuanced answers..
It’s just isn’t everyone on the spectrum.. of it… ?
I mean .. I am definitely not ambitious or anything career wise.. and I love learning for learning sake and just find the conventional mode of learning too frustrating.. all the focus on performance and the general notions of success and achievement etc…
It’s just.. rainforest mind sounds so good.. but gifted definitely doesn’t fit me..I don’t think..
Anyhow, like somebody asked in the comments, don’t everyone think these thoughts…?
And won’t everyone fall in the spectrum.. or under the Umbrella.. to various degrees.. ?
Anyhow, thanks for the blog and the books.Loading…
Oh my! Um…. 23!Loading…
“If you ruminated about the answers to many of these questions and often thought “it depends,” you, too, fit the profile.”
I think I would give bonus points for questioning the answers. Then again, doesn’t everyone do this??Loading…
I’m only a maybe on one of them—the rest are YES!! I💜#12 so much!!Loading…
Is it possible to become a Rainforest Mind Imposter? A friend introduced me to your work a few years ago and I “fit” and have followed you since. But a fractured wrist, a major setback in career (I was fired for asking questions and a few “made up” reasons) have me doubting my entire life. The worst is that you can’t get Cheetos where I am living. Being female in my field always made me feel like an imposter and for the past few weeks I feel like I can barely justify my existence.Loading…
yes all of them.Loading…
Misunderstood MY ENTIRE life because if this. Labeled with hurtful and mentally debilitating labels as a result.
I thank you for your work!Loading…
Thank you. When did you start living in my head?!?! I have always felt like an imposter. Now I need to find out what a rainforest mind is.Loading…
Yes, Kathy. Read on. 🙂Loading…
I have to keep reading, sometimes I feel there’s no way to decipher me, it’s hard to think this is a good thing, feels like a curse sometimes. I’m sorry, I also know there’s a lot of beauty in it, it’s just overwhelming and it’s been a tough day. Wish you all the best!Loading…
Thank you, Josué. Yes, keep reading.Loading…