“You’re just too much!” I’ve heard that comment in all sorts of variants. “Stop being so enthusiastic!” “You can’t feel for everything.” “No one else cares about it.” “But it wasn’t that remarkable.” A lot of comments sometimes combined with rolling their eyes and deep sighs.
And I feel that I usually hold myself back. Should I express how I really feel, what they called my enthusiasm, would appear to be pale. And the pace I adjust to. Most people have no idea that it feels to me like the rabbit in Disney’s movie about the sloth (linked below).
When I started reading on giftedness and taking part of the experience of others, I understood that it is quite common to be “too much” when being gifted. One possible explanation may be what psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimerz Dabrowski calls overexitabilities. In Swedish, you usually translate it into intensities.
Dabrowski divided the intensities into five areas. The explanations below are my interpretations of what I read.
- Intellectual intensity. An intense attention and curiosity. An urge to understand how things work. Intellectual intensity is not the same as intellectual ability. Intensity is rather the engine that drives the gifted to want to know more and constantly learning new.
- Psychomotor intensity. The energy of the body that makes it necessary to be in motion. A capacity to be physically active and more energetic than most. It is seen in motion patterns, how you talk, sit, eat. In all physically there is a greater intensity.
- Sensual intensity. Increased sensitivity of all the senses. Which makes everything feel, hear, smell, taste and look more.
- Intensity in fantasy / visualization. Higher ability to imagine what’s not yet created, associate freely, daydream and visualize, and to “disappear” in other thoughts.
- Emotional intensity. Intense feelings of joy and concern, extreme heights and valleys emotionally. Greater responsiveness to small shades.
HSP – highly sensitive persons
Some of the intensities are in line with what is called “High Sensitive Person” HSP. This is an area I haven’t read much about, but it often appears in talks with gifted people who say HSP gave them new insights.
Have you heard or felt that you are too much in different ways? Do you hold yourself back? Or not?
Link to more information about Dabrowski’s overexitabilities
With the link below I have not said that my pace is more right than anyone else’s. Just that we have different pace: