Loneliness/Isolation

I love to listen to my podcasts on the way to work. I love science oriented ones and I have found a lot at abc.net.au. It’s surprising the US doesn’t have anything like this of this quality. Well I was listening to a show All In the Mind I have mentioned earlier and there was this discussion about chronic loneliness and isolation.

The Show was based in Emily White’s book Lonely: A memoir. You can also read more on their blog. It was an interesting thought provoking show about this problem, which raised issues for instance stigma against people struggling with chronic loneliness, the assumption that if you are lonely than you are unattractive, you caused your problem, etc. which can be totally false. Raising this as an issue can set one up for ridicule. It also raised real health risks for people who struggle with this, including overall health, immune function, anxiety, sleep, heart health and other complications. It was interesting the familial link that had been found. If you have a parent who has been chronically lonely, than it may be a problem for the children as well, and as many as 15% of the population may deal with these issues.

This has been a challenge for myself at times, during times in high school, early in my adult life and during a 2-1/2 year unemployment period after 9/11 I was really struggling with this problem. Yes I got out and later when I was unemployed, I had places to go to be around people, but it’s really hard when it goes on for a long time. I am a moderate introvert and at times shy, though also quite bold. Sometimes it has been hard to go out and meet people new.

I think for gifted people this can become a problem, simply because of the decreasing number of people you can truly relate to drops substantially, simply from a statistical analysis. Considering the bell curve and the number of people left at the edges, simply being gifted brings you to 2% of the population, and as intelligence goes up, the number of people decrease, and then the specific sub-groups and where you happen to live enters into it. For instance living in a small town like I did can be a real problem.

I Plan to review this book next week, please check back next week.

 

 

 

 

 

Introversion vs Extroversion

The difference between Introversion and Extroversion is Introverts find energy and nurturing from within, where extroverts find it in the outside. Research suggests that more gifted people are introverts and the number of introverts is smaller than extroverts. Carl Jung, the gifted psychoanalyst first identified in his personality theory the polarities as a statement of how people are.

Recently Time Magazine had on it’s cover the Title What if Introverts Ruled the World with an intro from Richard Stengell. The real article by Bryan Walsh was based in a book by Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking raised a lot of questions about the way the world works and the advantage that Extroverts have with the real difference in who Introverts are and what they can do.

At first it seemed somewhat silly, such as you too can be Steve Jobs, like frankly I would never wish to be someone that difficult, but also a kind of cheerleading, but most problematically it left giftedness out of the equation. In reality Susan Cain’s book gives more power to the introvert Steve Wozniak, who Steve Jobs could not have succeeded without.

Frankly there is a tendency on the part of extroverts to malign introverts and discriminate and it can be far easier to be an extrovert. Many jobs which require a high amount of work with the public as well as sales and out going, is better for the extrovert. The Introvert will be the gifted person who can tell you how the system works and make the system do things nobody thinks it could, so sometimes we introverts need to toot our own horns.

Two well regarded tests, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI and the Kiersey Temperment Sorter can help people identify for themselves what type they are. There are 16types, a type being a 4 letter code, each letter designating a polarity i.e. I for introvert or E for Extrovert; N for Intuitive or S for Sensing, T for Thinking vs Feeling and F for feeling; J for Judging vs P for perceiving. These are preferential attitudes toward information and the world, they in no way should be seen as criticizing one type or another. Any type is equally valid and acceptable, it’s really the problem to understand your own type and others and to learn how to communicate with them.

Another book Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by psychologist Laurie Helgoe Ph.D. also encourages and empowers Introverts.

I have taken the MBTI and the Kiersey a number of times, and over the years, I have moved from Extrovert to Introvert. I suspect I haven’t changed in personality, but just more accepting of myself, and likely answered with the more socially acceptable answers to the test. One of the challenges of the tests is that the test taker can answer in a way that they think others want them to, which can lead to faulty conclusions.

I am very capable of having conversations with people and working in groups, the point to be taken, is this can be exhausting and can be draining and I need time for myself. I need my quiet. I have often been puzzled why I can’t do certain social tasks which require one to be more socially outgoing, and frankly it’s not me, and I have been I guess working very hard to be something that I am not, which is not the best thing for myself.

Are You a Visual-Spatial person/learner?

List of traits on visualspatial.org

It can be challenging to be visual-spatial, there are estimates that up to 40% of the population are visual-spatial. for those in the GT world being visual-spatial can give you different gifts, abilities and challenges.

Here are a few traits, see if you identify with them: learns things at once not in steps or stages; thinks in terms of pictures; good at map reading navigating; good at seeing patterns in things; seeing the big picture but we miss details; better at geometry, trigonometry, physics but worse at algebra; understand the why of math, but don’t calculate well, better at seeing things than learning by hearing, better if things are written down, more intuitive, rote learning is not helpful. It is likely step by step learning doesn’t work as well for you, but you learn by immersion by integrating all the pieces.

These are learning styles and also suggests what your brain’s preferred mode of learning is, but it’s likely not a black or white distinction, some people are more so than others. Often people who are VS are misunderstood by teachers and managers, particularly if they learn more toward the other side, the Auditory Sequential style of learning.

Visual-Spatial Resources

VisualSpatial.org

Article on Visual-Spatial Strengths

VisualLearners.com

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., published by Broadway Books, 1998.

Elaine N. Aron’s book is aimed at helping people who are highly sensitive, which can include many GT people, especially those with certain Overexcitabilities, though she argues this is not just for gifted people. She suggests that being highly sensitive is not abnormal and such sensitivity, even though it leads to being stigmatized is a gift and not a problem. Her arguments are that people need to take steps to manage their emotions and the circumstances in their lives that overwhelm them. This can be useful, but sometimes can be difficult if the circumstances are such that you can’t make the adjustments. It is good to hear a lot of her comments especially her attempts to reframe and normalize the challenges that we face.

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Mailing Lists i.e. email lists, listserv

There are several email lists at http://vcbconsulting.com/gtworld/ for the GT world. Especially for adults, their GT-Adults list is a real good resource. For those into discussing and debating GT-Talk can  be a good place. They also have a number of lists for those who are parents GT-Families, and those who home school who have special ed needs i.e. disabilities GT-Spec-Home, and those who have GT children with special ed needs GT-Special

Gifted Grown Ups: The mixed belessings of extraordinary potential

Gifted Grown Ups: The mixed blessings of extraordinary potential, by Marylou Kelly Streznewski, published by John Wiley & Sons, 1999.

This is a good basic informational book for gifted adults. It covers many basic information. The basic point of the book is “This is who you are and what you have to deal with.” This can be a good book to give to a friend who you want to understand you better. As far as books that may help you take steps to grow and improve yourself and live a better life, this is not the best. For many people this may be a good starting point. This book is also honest about some of the problems that gifted adults face in the world and challenges that we need to deal with.

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The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D., published in Paperback by Ballantine books, 1999.

This book is a very useful book for gifted adults. It normalizes a lot of what gifted and talented people are and deal with and tries to provide a framework that people can use to enhance their lives and develop their potential. Jacobsen acknowledges the challenges GT (Gifted and Talented) people face in a normal world where talents and gifts are viewed as oddness and problems and helps us find ways to use them productively and face less pain in the world. This book is also good for those who aren’t sure they are GT and know more about themselves if they have not known a lot about who they are and why they have struggled with life. She breaks areas of potential into three different levels, collapsed or unexpressed, exagerated where all features are very big and balanced where we are able to use our potential to the fullest, but not be as troubled by it. She also helps normalize some of the criticisms that we have heard and face the reality that many of us create a false-self to avoid pain in dealing with others.

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