Throughout my work with individuals, couples, and families, I have found that my clients feel incredible relief when I empathically express that I understand their exasperation. In my personal life, I have contributed to and received similar exasperation… so I get it.
And I have told many families with gifted children, “This intensity may be tough for years to come, but you will at least have a cool kid to have dinner with.” With both parental relationships and romantic relationships, there is a corresponding hope of light and lightness after a dark and heavy journey.
Inspired by a conversation with my partner Sara (who happens to be a life coach for gifted adults) about how to support clients in relationship, we worked together to draft a list of indicators that the characteristics of giftedness are impacting your relationships. The list below is geared towards couples, but I trust that it may also reflect the dynamics of some parent-child relationships:
10. You tremble to admit that you have considered what it would be like to have a less intense, but cool-enough partner or child.
9. For perhaps the first time in your life, you can talk to somebody for hours and hours and never get bored.
8. Words expressed in anger have a ringing poetry that simultaneously infuriates and compels you.
7. You are right, and you care, but for the first time in your life you are contemplating letting go.
6. You are wrong, and you know it, and for the first time in your life you are contemplating letting go.
5. You can foresee this person’s place in your life and household as incredibly joyous, if you don’t lock them out beforehand.
4. After a ridiculously challenging fight, you want to talk and vent to somebody who really gets you… and the only one for the task is the person with whom you just fought.
3. You are having new thoughts with increased depth, clarity, and simplicity.
2. You have a renewed perspective on your developmental potential, and you feel more driven than ever to pursue your passions.
1. This person brings out the best in you and the worst in you, and you have no idea how to reconcile that complexity.
Now I’d love to hear what you think. Any of these resonate? Let me know in the comments below!