The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
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!