Happy Monday. Here we are with part 2 of my resiliency series. Building on the previous post related to mastery, this post focuses on building connections. As I mentioned previously, gifted individuals, both children and adults, are hardwired in ways that present unique challenges to overall resiliency. And while these posts will take a look at some of the inherent problems facing the GT population, I do not want any reader to interpret this to mean that GT individuals are MORE prone to resiliency challenges. I would actually argue that the very nature of giftedness may serve as a well of internal resources helping improve resiliency for most. But we will get into that in a follow-up post or two.
And now, let’s talk about building connections.
Connections refers to the ability to make meaningful relationships with peers and adults, and to derive support from these relationships. In short, it refers to the feeling of having people in your corner who “get you” and “have your back”. Although it is important for children to have actual support, the research is clear that perceived support is far more important with regards to this aspect of resiliency and protection factors.
Obviously, GT kids may run into a few barriers in these areas related to the basic characteristics of giftedness, including some of the following:
- Like minded peers vs. typically developing peers
- Difficulties developing relationships in general related to giftedness
- Introverts vs extroverts
- Perceived Support vs Real Support
- Rigid and narrow definitions of friendship, support, and/or expectations
- Adaptability issues like those discussed under Mastery
- OEs (intensities)
- Rigid thinking (yes, this does keep coming up!)
- Resistance to change