Today, Alexis Crépel gives us his vision of giftedness through the “gifted interview” and thus continues my series to share on Giftedness. Thank you, Alexis! He is an editor, spell checker, and webmaster. He lives in Limousin (France).
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
Without a doubt! I have learned to clearly love what it brings me and I don’t want to give it up!
.WHAT (MY OWN) GIFTEDNESS MEANS TO ME
For me it is an ability to see through, it is a decompartmentalisation of the intellect that frees itself from many limits. It is an ability to cross-reference and analyse quite quickly and with several dimensions.
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
It’s been 9 years, and now I feel like I’ve known it forever!
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
When I first came across this idea and before it was confirmed, I was amazed, it seemed very familiar, it spoke to me instantly and it upset me because it could legitimise in my eyes some of my characteristics that were not necessarily rewarding, such as my ability to intellectualise too much, to be clumsy or off-beat in my relationships with others, to be more than thorough on a specific subject, etc. I was very surprised to discover that I had a very good idea and that I had a lot of fun with it. I was worried about taking the test (scared of being wrong), and a heterogeneous result and a therapist who could not answer the questions I was having created turmoil. Finally, the rereading of the written word and the maturing of this dynamic led to a complete acceptance of my special characteristics, and others!
. HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF IT?
Honestly, I don’t explain it anymore, it doesn’t matter to me in the relationships I can build. If a person is interested or curious, or if I feel that maybe it could help him or her on his or her path, I can bring the giftedness with some ideas like a different relationship to the world and others, a feeling often of strangeness, an ability to over-intellectualize things.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
There was not really any, the remarks that really stuck with me were rather my personal judgments around this discovery and my story.
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
It was really liberating for me because it allowed me to value, appreciate and gradually accept characteristics I was ashamed of, and even now to fully love them. I love my different atypicalities and the gifts that giftedness offers me, even if I still pay for some of them now (having trouble finding sleep despite being tired, because of a brain that appreciates this silence too much to put itself on standby).
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
To be just me, to accept all my characteristics, to be proud of who I am, to make better use of my creative force as well.
.WHAT IT CREATES TO OTHERS WHEN I TALK ABOUT IT
I never or rarely talk about it! Thinking back to the years of discovery, I think it generated some tension in the discussions among some people who were annoyed by this aspect. Others were very curious, others simply didn’t care about the theme.
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
Nothing in giftedness, I like my “giftedness” package so there’s nothing that really annoys me. I will perhaps evoke more the reception of the giftedness in our society which is not without turmoil, it polarizes and that is really harmful insofar as it is only a difference, another functioning. Tolerance, as for other subjects, should allow a simple acceptance of giftedness as it is not deleterious and can even be rather useful and profitable for this society.
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
Its richness and creativity are a well of intelligence and creation without depth, or at least very deep, and I find it one of its most beautiful beauties.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
The feeling of not being up to this gift, even today! I say this with a real lightness because it is something that is moving slowly inside of me, but I have a certain frustration in not yet being able to bring out the full potential of this gift. The ones that are already coming out delight me and fill me up already, but not everything is mature yet.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
I think I have already said this on a previous point, it is its diversity, its richness and its creativity. I am passionate about a subject and I devote myself to it with determination, joy and dedication, with thoroughness as well, and I love the beauty that comes out of this process.
.MY SURVIVAL AND REBOUND STRATEGIES
My loved ones and having a lovely wife are vital to me and to have managed to surround myself with such a caring, supportive, luminous, loving person is a real chance. Having caring and loving people around seems to me more important than anything else. Then, personal resilience comes with self-confidence and self-esteem, pride and self-acceptance. Everything seems to be connected.
.A (MIS)REPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
The gifted one who achieves everything, very quickly and is capable of great prowess. This may be true for some but it is not the case for all, far from it, and unfortunately, it often generates a lot of complexes & self-rejection, both in gifted people who discover themselves and in gifted people who were going to discover this aspect and who will lose years by distancing themselves from their own encounter.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
Be proud of yourself, and accept your characteristics and atypicalities, whatever they may be, they deserve to be loved. Be patient, let things that take time mature, and have confidence in yourself. Choose the people around you, in the same way, that our body is what it eats, our fulfillment depends on the people we have around us. They are not responsible for it, but we are responsible for the choices we make. We are neither more nor less than others, just different and complementary.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT GIFTED
It can be summed up in one simple word: tolerance. We don’t need to understand to legitimize and accept, and in the end all this is out of the realm of giftedness.
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
To follow the path he wishes. I don’t think that any path is better, mine went through a few books, a forum of exchanges, a WAIS test, explanations with my relatives, a few years of introspection and visits of my own life through this prism… The test (WAIS like other approaches) seems important to me because it allows me to objectify some things, and I had this need for legitimacy, but the only advice I can give is neither to compare yourself to other paths nor other people: trust yourself and go where you want.
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
None! As I have just said, I don’t like the idea of a certain path to follow, there is none written down because each path to get to oneself is fundamentally unique. I would nevertheless say in answer to this question that one mistake to avoid is to choose your surroundings badly, at least close to them. Living with people who irremediably and systematically pull us down more than up cannot be combined with a quest for fulfillment in my opinion. Working on your self-esteem is essential.
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
I think that a characteristic of the Gifted, namely this possibility of being obsessive and totally bewitched by what we are dealing with, must be handled with great care. Overinvesting in professional life can easily lead to burnout, having expectations and aspirations that are equal to our investment (= total) and that will regularly be disappointed by a world that can go slower, less far than we would like. Also, over-investing in professional life can lead us to disinvest in personal life and generate certain consequences of isolation and loneliness in the long term, for example.
Another point that I think it is useful to underline on this subject is the possibility that a gifted person may throw everything away to completely invest in a new professional field of play; even if this means not giving enough importance to simpler elements (how to pay rents in the early stages, bills, etc.) and ending up in a precarious situation that is difficult to accept.
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
I say it again, entourage, entourage, entourage! Choosing our close entourage well is absolutely vital because it is our breathing when things are going less well. One should not consider the entourage with a utilitarian vision, but when the kindness, love, and acceptance of the other flows continuously in a relationship, it can only be beneficial for everyone. It seems to me extremely important to take great care of one’s relationships, and their choice.
.A BOOK TO READ ON THE SUBJECT
Not really an essential book to share as I can have on other themes, but clearly the one that came as a great shock to me was by Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, “Too smart to be happy”.
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE WAIS IQ TEST
It is too basic, too academic, I was almost going to say too one-dimensional even though it tests several levels of “practical” intelligence. I find that it does not give enough importance to the transversality of gifted thinking, to its richness, to its real depth. But it remains useful and interesting of course!
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
No, not in my eyes, not fundamentally anyway. Why would it be a waste for a person who is fully developed and feels well, knowing and accepting all his capacities and limits, not to know the name of one of his labels in which he could group some of his traits? It would bring him nothing but possibly a game that could amuse him, I would not use the word waste.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM.HER? BY WHAT?
That’s always a complicated question, I very regularly have the impression of being able to attribute or not this label, but I have never been able to test myself with a large number of individuals in front of me and with the correct or incorrect result afterwards, so it remains purely subjective. Personally, great intellectual speed is what quickly strikes me.
.WHAT DO GIFTED PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
A love for intellectual/emotional/sensory nourishment I think, whatever it is. An immense curiosity and thirst for discovery if self-confidence is there.
.THE CRUCIAL STEPS NOT TO BE MISSED IN THE JOURNEY OF A GIFTED PERSON?
None in my eyes, absolutely none. The only step not to be missed is the meeting with oneself, no matter how. You cannot, I think, be happy and fulfilled with an unknown person as your most intimate companion (yourself).
.THE LAST THING I LEARNED ON THE SUBJECT
The last thing I “learned”, and I put quotation marks around it because to me it’s just a theory that speaks to me… comes from Carlos Tinoco. The whole human population, with a few exceptions, would be born “gifted”, in fact gifted in the average, and various experiences would lead to intellectual inhibitions that cause us to appear falsely gifted. Our functioning (tree thinking) is in fact classical and common to all, fundamentally. I’m not saying that this is the case, but this theory, better developed by its author than what I’m doing here, strongly challenged me.
.AN INSPIRATION FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
No, not at all… I mean yes, the master Jean-Jacques Goldman has always seemed gifted to me and he lives in England, does it work? Yes ? Then all his discography and the lyrics of his songs !^^
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
That our world evolves towards more respect (of the human being, the planet, the neighbour, the other, …) and leans towards construction rather than destruction, in the abstract meaning of these terms.
.THE QUESTION THAT I WAS MISSING BUT THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ANSWER?
I found the questionnaire very complete! Thanks to you for these very interesting questions and your work in raising awareness around Giftedness!