Gifted Characteristics a la Jacobsen

Mary-Elaine Jacobsen saved me. She doesn’t know it, but her book The Gifted Adult helped me to see myself in a way that I never imagined before.

Though I usually write with reference to children, I think exploring giftedness through the eyes of an adult is worthy of time and space too. Read on if your child is gifted and don’t dismiss that idea nagging in the back of your mind if it’s still there by the time you finish reading. By the way, these characteristics work for both gifted children and gifted adults.

In her book, she masterfully leads the reader to reflect upon several characteristics that will jump out at you if you’re gifted or politely tell you that you’re reading the wrong book if not. Her characteristics include ideas such as the following:


  • A quirky or offbeat sense of humor
    Are you the person who laughs at your own jokes because no one else seems to understand?


  • A feeling of being “different”
    When you were young, did you sometimes feel as if you were an alien or from another world? As an adult, do you look at people, with mouth gaping and wonder, “Why don’t you see it?


  • A strong sense of purpose and interest in developing yourself to the utmost
    Though you may not live up to your expectations, do you feel as if you were meant for greatness?


  • The special ability to predict, observe, and understand issues
    Do you know all of the answers before someone asks the questions? Do you watch people understanding with some sixth sense what they’re thinking? Do you see both sides of issues and are sometimes accused of lacking in support when in reality you’re trying to offer both sides and remain impartial?


  • A strong sense of fairness, justice, and responsibility irrelative to authoritarian wishes
    Do you consider your core principles to be unwavering; even in the face of an authority?


  • Intrigued by puzzles, creativity, and inventive problem solving activities
    Is boredom unbearable? Do you look for unconventional solutions or inject novelty into your duties?


  • An increased level, depth, and breadth of interests that includes emotional attachments to ideas with interdisciplinary crossovers
    Do you understand connections among ideas? Do you find yourself going down “rabbit holes” looking for more information that others deem necessary?


  • A quickened pace of learning with a love of information and discussion
    Are you that person whom others refer to when saying, “Don’t get him started” ?
    Do you give more information than most because it’s just so darn interesting that you feel the need to share?


  • Constant personal reflections of personal choices and achievements
    Do you often wonder if you’re “too much” or “enough”? Are you left unsatisfied after a few months or years in your work wondering what is next?


  • A deep, personal interest in the natural, spiritual, and existential world
    Do you feel “alive” in nature, examining the beauty? Do you live in awe of the world, at times wondering what else is out there?


If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you need to find out more. If you’re shaking your head “no”, I hope I helped you understand giftedness a little bit more. It’s more than IQ, it’s so much more.


3 thoughts on “Gifted Characteristics a la Jacobsen

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s