Understanding Emotional Intensity


The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him…
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

– Pearl Buck

This is my absolute favorite explanation of what it means to be gifted – and therefore intense.  I have worked with gifted children and adults for more than a decade, and I can say that everyone, with the exception of dually exceptional individuals which we will discuss in future posts, have lived this poem to some degree.

Intensity refers to how an individual approaches life.  At its best, it is the driving passion that enables some people to achieve amazing things – in any domain.  But at its worst, it is the turmoil that has the power to consume these same individuals from time to time as they learn how to manage that aspect of their personality.

Intensity comes in the form of cognitive intensity – those aspects of thinking ad processing information that all gifted individuals to problem solve.  It relates to the attributes of focus, sustained attention, creative problem solving, and advanced reasoning skills.  Most people think of cognitive intensity as intellect, or “being smart” – all good things.

Emotional intensity is akin to the above poem.  It refers to the passion gifted people feel daily.  But it also refers to the extreme highs and lows many gifted people experience throughout their lifetime, causing them to question their own mental stability from time to time.  This type of intensity is a natural aspect of giftedness.  However, in my experience, it is also one of the most misunderstood attributes.

This month is dedicated to emotional intensity. We will all share our perspectives on the topic, with lots of strategies for you. We hope you enjoy and welcome whatever comments and questions you have!

About these ads

43 thoughts on “Understanding Emotional Intensity

  1. I’m wondering if it is true of ALL gifted. You see a biased sample of emotionally intense gifted because that is your specialty. And also teenagers. I know a lot of gifted engineers. Highly analytical, sometimes emotionally “boring” individuals. NT instead of NF. I certainly am NF which is why I follow your post. But I forward it to many with high IQ. And they don’t “get” it. Are they therefore not gifted because their personality does not fit?

    • I honestly have not met a GT person that is NOT emotionally intense in some way. I do NOT mean they are outwardly emotional. Some intense people I know are able to focus in ways that are practically super human. And some are able to channel their intensities in other domains. All of it can be a form of intensity

      • I would agree that there has to be some sort of intensity. It’s just I know so many intellectually intense who are not emotionally intense, or at least not compared to myself. Yet they may hide it so well that I wouldn’t know it (as you are saying).

        It’s just that I remember being the most sensitive kid in my class through most of my years of schooling,even in the GT program, even in my so-smart college. And being so surprised that that was a trait of the gifted! (Why, I can get depressed or giddy from just a book or an idea. And I am not profoundly gifted as it sounds many of your readers are.)

        It’s true that I identify with the “intensity” trait so much that I gave away several copies of Living with Intensity, recommended  your book to many of my college friends for their kids, who just happen to seem to need it. But I have heard a lot of counterarguments as well. Which I grapple to fit into my ever shifting theories of why people I love act as they do.

        And then there are all my NFP friends who tell me to stop trying to label the world, to put it all in neat categories. Said one wise friend, “Categories are just there to make people feel safe, to make them feel like they understand the world. But the world is really so much more complex than that.”

        And still I ask the question, is my kid gifted or just plain messed up, but most importantly, how can I help her? And if the help comes from the GT community because they’ve been down that road, well that’s cool. 

         

        ________________________________

      • Well said Christine : )

  2. Here is one response I got: Interesting consideration. I know that manic depressives are prone to be creative, but I wouldn’t limit giftedness to them! And I think giftedness comes in many forms depending on the exceptional modality which drives ease and grasp in different areas – think words vs crafts, numbers vs social leadership. And some folk are multiple gifted, some single passion driven. I would say that as aging is something that shows greater variation than early development, so giftedness shows greater variation perhaps than persons closer to norm – what ever that really is in our complexity. And some extraordinarily gifted researchers I’ve known are quite introverted. I find very people oriented persons to show more passionate emotion – not always organized or easy to live with.
    Hmmm….

  3. Although I’ve read a little on Emotional Intensity for whatever reason it never really clicked. When I read your post however your comment on the highs and lows of the emotionally intense resonated with me. I thought of my own life and how my highs and lows were, and are, attributed to a mild depression (correctly or not). I obviously need to do more reading and introspection on the matter.
    Thanks for writing,
    Cheers, Dwayne

  4. thank you for posting this. My 10yo daughter is currently grappling with exactly what you describe: “extreme highs and lows many gifted people experience throughout their lifetime, causing them to question their own mental stability from time to time.”

    I feel for her as I see her try to make sense of it all and would welcome any insight on how to approach it as her mom.

    steph h
    livefitandsore.com

    • I’m not a mother yet, but as an adult looking back on my childhood, what would have been great for my particular situation was to be given time and to be accepted and to understand myself to be acceptable… if that makes sense. Sometimes the biggest challenge for me was feeling out of place. Just from my personal experience. From the sounds of it though, you are already doing all of that. Hope maybe that helps in some little way. HT

      • I took my daughter for anxiety counseling yesterday. Because she is anxious daily and worried she will catch germs from her out sick classroom seat partners (my mom says, well she should be concerned about that, the way germs are spread). This is the same way her mind obsesses over ideas from her imagination, creating so many interrelated characters and scenes daily. It’s part of the wiring. The counselor said, “I feel sad you spend time worrying when you could be thinking of fun things.” On the way home, my daughter said, “But I like the way I am.” Does this mean I am showing a lack of acceptance for who she is? Because I don’t want her to cry over germs?

      • To start, I don’t know the answers to your questions. I only know what I have experienced.
        I don’t think that anybody ever wants the people they love to suffer, but, my suggestion is that instead of focusing on the fact that you do not want her to cry over germs, for example, try and help her find ways to deal and cope with the fact that she feels so strongly about these things. Coping mechanisms for living in a world where not everyone feels the same way as you. This is how I have personally dealt with my own intensities. And judging by the way she said, but I like the way I am, she is well on the road to self-acceptance! 

      • Coping skills are good, but apparently she is getting something from her worry and wants to keep it. A sense of self. Believe me, I sort of even get it. I read Listening to Prozac many years ago and I wouldn’t go on SSRI’s (at that time) because I didn’t want to lose my sensitive self. In that book, the woman who used to visit old people in nursing homes no longer gave a hoot about the old and lonely once she was on Prozac.

        My daughter does not learn quickly, but her brain does seize and grip as mine has always done. For good or bad.

         

        ________________________________

      • Your comment about how your daughter gets a sense of self from her worry has been on my mind. I have never thought about worry in this way before. Is it like a defence then? I would be interested to hear more about that.
        HT

      • Getting many ideas on this by talking about it. Not sure if all my theorizing really changes anything. But it’s just what I do. I think I read too many psychological theorists in college.

        Worry is about control. She wants to be in control and she doesn’t want people telling her how to think. Has been like that for a loooooooooooong time. Husband proposed that people who think worry helps them believe that by worrying about something, you are preventing it from happening. I think that’s the way his mind works. We are a ball of it over here.

         

        ________________________________

  5. ‘A friend is a lover, a lover is a God’. That is exactly how it has been for me. I spent years thinking that there was something wrong with me – I took everything so seriously! Why couldn’t I stop getting so… involved… and in so deep… Now, simply understanding giftedness and intensity as they manifest in my personality and life has made a phenomenal difference. Love the posts and I’m really looking forward to further discussion of this months topic.
    HT

  6. I understand this, I’m a 2-E but I keep my pintrest account because color Really jazzez me. I have a whole board of beautiful landscapes and looking at the color just makes me happy. Or the interior design of some Nancy Meyers movies. I just bought “its Complicated” for the bakery reveal alone…its so pretty! Or Izaac Mizrahi’s juctaposition of red white and that fushia, total joy right there. My daughter is even more gifted than I and yes this poem does esp. fit her. I can’t hug her cause she doesn’t like being hugged- to her it hurts. She has -5 hearing, I never have to yell up the stairs for her, I only have to speak a little louder than normal and she can hear me.
    I hope the imput helps.
    Sincerely, Anna R.

    • Okay, I know this is off topic, but what is “-5 hearing?” I googled it and only got links about hearing loss, which just by the context of your comments, I know is not what you are talking about.

      • Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I didn’t know I had comments on my comment.
        To answer your question. my daughters hearing is so sensitive that if I speak too loudly, she hears it like yelling. I don’t even have to yell to get her attn from her room upstairs. i just speak a little louder than conversation level and she can hear me from her room. Very sensitive hearing.

  7. Pingback: Working With the Up-Side of Emotional Intensity « An Intense Life

  8. Pingback: Working With the Up-Side of Emotional Intensity « An Intense Life « The Highly Sensitive Family

  9. Pingback: Fall Back, The Colours are Upon Us « SkiDaddy

  10. Hi Robin,

    I’m not an expert but I am gifted and from what I’ve learned I don’t know if every gifted person has emotional intensity, but I think the majority do. Giftedness can look very different depending on the individual due to the learning style, possible learning disabilities (2e Twice Exceptional), emotional intensity, etc…. Each gifted individual will rate anywhere from low to high on the IQ scale. What primarily makes someone gifted is in the way the gifted brain processes information. They receive, experience, process information and experience emotion differently than the average person. Gifted people have various levels of intensity, sensitivity, introversion/extroversion and it’s more apparent in some than others. Sometimes it’s obvious but sometimes not so and it’s under the surface. Environment and life experience can also affect the gifted persons “appearance” or awareness of being gifted but I’m pretty sure you are born gifted. Gifted people are not all stereotypical high achievers. They can have high abilities in many or just a few focused areas. Emotional abilities also tend to mature and or develop at different rates.

    Here are some of the gifted intelligences listed in Mary-Elaine Jacobsen’s book The Gifted Adult.

    Multiple Intelligences
    Body-smart
    Word-smart
    Spatial-smart
    Music-smart
    Logic-smart
    Relationship-smart
    Nature-smart
    Self-smart

    Gifted Traits
    Intensity (Excitability And Sensitivity)
    Complexity (Complex thinking and Perception)
    Drive

    Advanced Development
    (changes and grows over time)

    In Dabrowski’s Theory of “Overexcitabilities”

    Psychomotor OE
    Sensual OE
    Intellectual OE
    Imaginational OE
    Emotional OE
    Positive Disintegration/Developmental Potential

    For example, I’m 46 years old. Just this year, found out I’m gifted. My IQ score is very high yet I did below average in school and have underachieved in life and career considering my intelligence level. I am a visual/spatial learner (not the method of teaching in my school) and I also just found out that I have a form of dyslexia. I’m extremely sensitive so public school was much too overstimulating for me. I also suffered sexual and emotional abuse as a child. As an adult, I love learning, reading, writing, problem solving, have exceptional reasoning ability etc… It’s obvious that I’m different from people that are not gifted, especially women who are not gifted. This is because women that are gifted tend to be different from the stereotypical female. I score high in all areas in the above listed gifted intelligences and advanced development. I score in the high end of all 5 of Dabrowski’s Overexcitability traits, especially Emotional OE which often makes life a challenge for me.

    My Boyfriend is 44 years old. Just this year found out he is gifted but scores on the lower end of IQ. He is an engineer, high achiever, did excellent in school and is very successful in his career. He also has mild Aspergers and so doesn’t appear emotional but actually is very sensitive. He is very different from me in that he does not have good coordination, spends a lot of time alone and his interests are very
    narrow among other things. So to answer your question, individuals that are highly analytical, emotionally “boring” , nerdy, lack social skills etc…can be gifted. They may score lower on the excitability scale and or have suffered from abuse, bullying, overstimulation or negative upbringing. They may score high on IQ but their focus/gifts are in one or very few of the intelligences. I know many Asperger men that are in IT, Engineering, Tech. People like this really excel in technology and the sciences because of their complex, logical and rational thinking. Narrow focus and lower excitabilities allow them to intensely focus and become experts in their narrow interests and field of work. Every person is different and should be assessed as an individual.

  11. Thank you for your meaningful response. I personally loved the validation I felt when I first read about this aspect of the gifted and wished fervently I’d had this validation earlier in life! Like 30+ years ago! The problem is not that I don’t find Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities meaningful for me or for my interpretation of the behavior of other gifted individuals I know and love. The problem is that I keep sending these posts out to people who I think should “get it” and I am getting responses that say these are generalities. What I need is the DATA. I have leant out my Living with Intensities book and my Dual Diagnosis books so I can’t look in there. But my Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children is here and I can’t find any studies on this. I ordered the Fullerton longitudinal study which finds NO difference between gifted and typical in these areas but their samples were odd. So does anyone know a study which supports Dabrowski’s intensities?

    • Your welcome Robin,

      I also wish I had known about 30+ years ago about this trait. My experience of life would have been different and I would have had more validation of my self-worth.

      Can you explain what you mean by the responses you get that say these are generalities? In the back of the Living with Intensity Book (you mentioned you don’t have right now) there is a references section about 15 pages long. There’s a lot to weed through and I don’t know if you could get all the studies in writing. I do understand your frustration. My whole life I’ve dealt with people who don’t get it.

      I would contact the Author of Living With Intensity, Susan Daniels.
      Go to http://summitcenter.us/about/staff/ Her email is there. The Summit Center is on the cutting edge of gifted information. If you aren’t successful contacting her call or email one of the general center emails or contact numbers.

      I hope you find the info you are looking for.

      Michelle

      • Good suggestion.
        Here is an example of what I got.

        “This fits Wordsworth’s definition of a poet: a normal person who feels more intensely. But to call the truly creative mind more emotionally intense is to make a rash generalization. Some truly creative mnds are not very intense at all. Some truly uncreative people (minds) arevery intense. Some creative people are schizophrenic, some bipolar. Emotional intensity doesn’t make one gifted, doesn’t make you not gifted. Just another attempt to simplify life or booster your ego.”

        I think it hurt my feelings because of the “ego-stroke” part. But hey, my ego has taken many hits, so maybe that’s not bad. I get a lot of very intelligent people telling me to stop trying to analyze stuff into categories, that simplifying life into categories denies its complexity. I hang out with a lot of “out of the box” thinkers who really hate boxes. As an INFJ, I love boxes. It’s not like I keep people in a box! As soon as I find one box, even if it fits, I try to think of other boxes. It’s like a huge-everchanging puzzle. Does that make sense? I love theories.

  12. Hi Robin,

    I love that you question things. I’m an INFP so Im not sure if or how that affects my viewpoint. : ) What I do know is that most people see and experience life, base their opinions, theories through their own narrow lens. Peoples opinions and beliefs on everything is affected by their emotional state, their upbringing, religious views, their personality type etc… I’ve realized that the majority of people cannot see the complete truth or facts because they are unable to. This can be due to painful emotional blocks and or never experiencing that in which they are giving an opinion about. Even with a professional or expert opinion in a field there is this issue. I understand that we all have opinions which is good because it makes us individuals but I think the majority of humanity is in the dark. Usually when I am researching/analyzing something and I come to a conclusion, it was found through bits of information from various sources but there is often one often unpopular, discounted, forgotten and or unrecognized person I derived it from.

    So, if you were talking to someone about Emotional intensity, are they really understanding what Emotional intensity means? Do they even have a true definition of giftedness? A lot of people feel inferior when they hear the word gifted. If you see that they don’t get it, its obvious that they have no idea what it is or what it’s like to have these extreme feelings. I’ve also found that there are a lot of misconceptions about being gifted. For example, think about the people that don’t understand depression and deny it’s debilitating affect on sufferers. I believe there are a lot of gifted people, specifically the ones with high excitability and the 2e trait that have no idea they are gifted.

    I’ve always been an intense, sensitive, kind, insightful, direct, ethical, intuitive person and I know this because I’ve lived my life experiencing what others do not. I experience a huge contrast between myself and others. As I mentioned earlier, I suffered abuse and essentially was abandoned by my family. I grew up emotionally
    isolated in fear, without support. I know now I was born gifted with uncommon traits but my childhood and life experiences have made me even more open the realities and falsehoods in life. When I initially met my boyfriend and my few close friends they questioned me sometimes about my “knowing” and knowledge. Well, they don’t question me anymore. I proved them right every time over years and years. They know If I say something it’s most likely true. People drive me nuts sometimes.

    I think it’s great that you analyze. It makes sense to me. Iv’e lived my whole life analyzing and I love boxes too. That is how I came to be so wise. I believe this is important because solutions are found this way and solutions help people. The world needs people like you to cut through all the crap and “plant seeds” that will hopefully trigger people to question their beliefs. This ultimately helps humanity in so many ways.

    Michelle

    • That was a really beautiful response. Very validating! (which I guess is what motivates my quest… seeking mirrors of the self) I especially identified with the part when you said that you have always known that you see the world differently than most others do. That’s me and that’s my daughter. What is most wonderful about my daughter’s childhood is the connections she is finding with others who are also “different.” Others who are lost in their imagination for hours and very intense in their emotions. =) Wish I’d found that more. One lecture on the gifted said that those who grow up where others are like them don’t feel so isolated and have fewer social and emotional problems. All about feeling understood.

      • Thank you Robin,

        Yes I believe what people like you and I desperately need is validation, a mirror of ourselves. We already posses the knowing, the feeling, contemplating and questioning. By our very nature we will always seek the answers but we need to know that we are valued. Most people are unaware of what it’s like to live their lives feeling disconnected and different from the people around them. I guess that is why they misinterpret or don’t understand us. It’s really lonely going though life without a sense of self or security. Do you ever remember looking in the mirror and wondering who that person was? Not feeling a part of, being valued by others affects everything in your life. I don’t think it’s entirely possible to move forward and fulfill your dreams without this belonging. It’s a basic human need. I totally agree with you, it’s all about feeling understood.

        I’m so glad that your daughter is finding connections with others who are also different like her. I would guess this is because she has a sense of who she is because you have mirrored it back to her. Also, because of the type of person you are allowing her to feel her feelings, express herself and find her own voice.

        It is said the the most terrifying fear in a human being is to feel that they are alone in the world. I believe that. I’ve searched my whole life for that validation. Thank you for being a mirror for me.

        I’m still searching for “that” life surrounded by others who get me. I believe that I have such a deficit that I am damaged when I engage on a personal level with those who unknowingly criticize. I’m thinking about how I can cake connections through a career that focuses on this need.

        Michelle

        PS I hope I’m not bombarding you with too much writing. I’m just excited to talk to someone who gets it.

      • You said you were an INFP. For a while I joined an INFJ group online and I think they had meet-ups related to it. Anyway, How many INFJ’s to change a light bulb? 10. 1 to change the bulb and 9 to stand around validating each other’s experiences. =) INFP is one of the least represented personalities out there. My husband is one as well as most of my close friends.

  13. Love the light bulb joke, so true. I’ll look into the online INFP groups. I wonder though, how much I would have in common with most INFP’s. I would probably like a lot of them. How many of them do you think have the gifted/excitability trait? I saw a gifted counselor recently and she said within the gifted community I am in the 1% area. Talk about feeling different.

    • Many INFP’s are gifted. that’s why there are links to gifted websites from the INFJ/P websites. The NF lends itself to emotionally connecting to life. I feel a connection to most NF’s (who are often therapists ministers artists). I felt “too emotional” in my very academic college which had many NT’s who had the intellectual intensity, but not the emotional intensity. As an example, I was unable to take a course in existentialism without getting extremely depressed. For me, all reading and learning is very personal. So my intellectual and emotional intensity are very connected. NT’s are not usually like that, I have found. INFP and INFJ’s are prone to stomach aches and anxiety, which is totally me. If you like to find mirrors, I highly recommend reading high and low about Myers Briggs. By the way, Isabella Myers Briggs was an INFP!
      I found many mirrors when I started being a “writer” as well, so I must belong there as well.
      How bout you? Where do you find your mirrors?
      I had a really good gifted counselor, but she moved away.
      Robin

      • Hi Robin,

        In the past I read a lot of Myers Briggs material but I did not know I was gifted then. I never noticed the gifted links before now. Isn’t it funny how we don’t see things. I’m sure I will see more this time. I’ll read about Isabel. I just found this INFP description. You’ve probably seen it. It’s quite accurate. http://personalitycafe.com/infp-articles/75931-present-infps-great-article.html

        You said you found many mirrors when you started being a “writer.” Do you mean blog writing? Do you write about other things too?

        It’s been a long road for me up to this point. I guess I’m a late bloomer which I’ve read is common. I’m a really complex person, I think because of my personality, being a gifted female and my childhood. I have not found much information for gifted/abused people. Being in the 1% gifted rank, having a learning disability and an INFP must be rare in itself. When you have a traumatic childhood all traits are amplified, intensified and intertwined substantially. Then add on feeling you were not too bright most of your life, but in actuality you are more intelligent than most people. Then, all the patronizing and shame from other people up until about 43 years old. It makes things even more crazy If you can believe it. Regardless, I have done much personal development over the years (primarily motivated by my pain) and have self-actualized beyond anyone I know. I do however, still have a lot of struggles and need to learn coping skills. I think that is where the validation will help me immensely. I haven’t found many “mirrors” in the way of real people, friends and mentors. As I mentioned, I saw a gifted counselor but only for a short time because she was not experienced in the excitability/emotional part and was not evolved enough to help someone like me. Also, I could not afford to pay her fee very frequently. My friends are very kind, ethical people but not at all like me in way of personality or temperament. They love and adore me. I’m more of a mentor to them. So in finding mirrors, I’m not sure where to look since I have never been in circles where a person like me would be, wherever that is. : ) I think people like myself tend to live a somewhat reclusive life. If you’re referring to “mirrors” in reading material, I found myself in reading about the enneagram, empaths, highly sensitive people, sensory defensiveness, astrology and famous people I identify with. I see a lot of myself in Buck Brannaman yet I have many other sides.

        I expect that the people with my traits and trauma are deeply troubled, on drugs, in jail or live a tumultuous life. People like me either turn out really exceptional or they struggle immensely and go down a self-destructive road.

        Not surprisingly, I also have all the stomach issues and anxiety.

        Have you met many people like yourself? If so, Where did you meet them? How did you find your gifted counselor?

      • I have had one best friend since high school who has a lot of drama in her life. She is not classically “gifted” but creatively. She’s an INFP. I had an INFP boyfriend in high school who was too intense for me (no room for MY emotions). Then my INFP husband I met in grad school (living in dorm) who acts like an INTP often, relative to my emotion,w hich is fine. I meet many people with my personality at my Unitarian Church, which might interest you- very thoughtful individuals there. MInisters are often INFP/J I met my gifted counselor through a speaker at my church. another friend for many years was someone I taught with. And lately, I had trouble identifying with other stay at home moms (often people with as much energy as I have work). So I took some classes through the UCLA writing extension and joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I am writing a young adult novel.

  14. Hi Robin, I wonder how many INFP’s, INTP’s I have in my life. Sometimes it’s hard for me see beyond all the other stuff. I do have a friend that is a INFJ but like your friend has a lot of drama in her life. She probably know’s me better than anyone. I think my boyfriend is an INTP which is difficult.

    Church may be a good idea. One of my dearest friends is a sort of mentor for me. She is a retired minister. She says she doesn’t know anyone that would be a good match for me. I should go to her church and check it out.

    I know nothing about The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It sound’s exciting. I would benefit from some writing courses. It’s impressive that you are writing a young adult novel. Is it your first?

    Im starting to realize that there’s a whole world out there that I missed due to my struggles in school, etc… I never made it past city college. I’ve never been around creative, intelligent people.

    Do you live in Southern California?

  15. Oops, I meant my friend is an ENFJ. Too much energy for me.

  16. Hi Robin,

    No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to post personal information online. If you feel comfortable you can contact me on this “throw away” email. roxie41 at ymail.com

  17. Pingback: Understanding Emotional Intensity | Lavelda Naylor LMFTA

  18. Aloha, Thank you for this. It’s helped me so much already today. I used to follow an author who wrote a book called the Highly Sensitive Person and you have reminded me that being emotionally intense goes with being gifted in some way. Thanks. Thought I was going mad today! You all know those days. I call them bad brain chemistry days. But I will reframe that with emotional intensity and gifted… much better.

    Thanks so much for the article on how to write a synopsis. God, did that help!!! I have been going mad with it. It worked like a charm. Now, I don’t feel quite so intense and insane. :-) Thanks and aloha Meg; :–)

    • Aloha to you! I am thrilled that the articles are helpful. In truth – I still refer back to my synopsis article from time to time!

  19. Nice article. I recently read a book that got me thinking hard about my own situation. It is called “The way things look to me” and its by Roopa Farooki. The story captures some of the things discussed here and I recommend to it for readers on this forum

    A question to Christine: does this have anything to do with emotional intensity disorder? Can this intensity become a disorder that would affect relationships?. I am a newspaper columnist on relationships in Kenya.

    • Yes and no. With gifted individuals, the intensity is a naturally occurring phenomenon that typically would not rise to the level of a disorder (though it can). The “disorder” happens when the intensity impairs daily functioning in many domains.

    • As a deeply spiritual person on my path for a very long time, I have to say that intensity as it is utilized in the link you provided is not what I mean by living intensely. I believe strongly that the artists, creatives, gifted amongst us interact with the world differently than others. Not better, not worse. Different. This difference, in my case for example, has enabled me to have empathy in a way for others that is different. It enables me to help in a way that is different. And it has enriched my quiet moments of self reflection and connection with the universe. It has in no way prohibited my connections to the spiritual and manifesting aspects of self or my ability to stay at the pinnacle between being in the now and understanding the duality in which we, as humans, must function.

      Thank you for sharing the article – it is an interesting read, despite the ways in which I disagree with the premises espoused

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s