Today, Guillaume Macczak shares his vision of giftedness through the Gifted Interview. Thank you, Guillaume! He is a Consultant and currently lives in Bucharest, Romania.
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
Of course, no doubt about it. And at the same time, I have no idea what it would be like not to be.
.WHAT (MY OWN) GIFTEDNESS MEANS TO ME
Mainly intuition and (too?) great empathy (not to be confused with benevolence). I realise that this is what differentiates me the most from the majority.
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
The word would be a lightning bolt. Like baking, “l’éclair” it sounds like a pleasant treat (in France it’s a delicious pastry and is the same word as a lightning bolt), but like lightning, it sometimes goes too fast to be properly observed and understood.
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
Since I was 38 years old, about two years ago. I did the test after meeting a specialist coach who asked me to clarify the point. Of course, now it explains a lot of things about childhood in hindsight but I try to be careful not to rewrite the past and focus on the future. How can I make the most of it?
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
A phase of astonishment first, of understanding, then of acceptance. The denial at the beginning quickly gave way to questioning in order to understand. When one spends 38 years of one’s life not really understanding that one is different, but that relationships with others are complicated (a euphemism), it is a great relief but also a need to understand others that is felt.
For example, I am prone to synaesthesia and, not knowing what it was and that it was rare, I thought everyone saw the letters in color (that’s one example). I now think back to some discussions where I probably seemed to come from another planet for others.
.HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF IT?
Generally, I avoid talking about it with someone who doesn’t know me or is close to me. But with people close to me, I generally mention the speed of communication of the neurons, a little higher, which allows going a little faster, and deeper in the analyses.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
After a rather long WAIS test, sessions with a specialised psychologist, a ten-page reasoned report, receiving a remark like “But she’s sure of what she’s saying???? ».
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
It really made me wonder how others worked. Trying to understand what was different in a lot of everyday situations. My normality became the exception. In addition to giftedness, I discovered synaesthesia and understood that not everyone felt that way, so we go back to a lot of past conversations and we can better explain certain misunderstandings or conflicts.
This led me to change my job and we (the family) moved abroad.
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
Clearly to follow my intuition more and to tell myself that coming to a conclusion more quickly is not due to laxity.
.WHAT IT CREATES TO OTHERS WHEN I TALK ABOUT IT
I don’t talk about it much, even if I don’t hide it. I live abroad and here it’s not as “mature” as in France. There are few or no professionals on the subject. The WAIS is not recognised by the association of psychologists, the official test remains the Raven Progressive Matrices.
In short, culturally, giftedness does not really exist and is therefore not a subject. This sometimes creates bizarre situations when you take “personality tests” for work which are actually disguised IQ tests and which give bizarre results every time in my case.
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
Now that I know and understand myself better, I don’t have anything that gets on my nerves.
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
If it is well-fed and channeled, it can enable many innovations.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
Sometimes holding back and not speaking in certain personal or professional situations so as not to dominate the conversation and not always appear negative.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
I have taken a lot of distance in the last 2 years and this has allowed me to accomplish a lot more, to open myself up to new subjects, to not feel limited when a subject interests me.
Also, being abroad is a big advantage because I am much less exposed to the different information flows (no TV, no streaming news) and, not having learned the local language, my brain is not bombarded with conversations in the surrounding area.
When I go back to France, I feel assaulted all day long, especially in public places because suddenly there is too much information.
.MY WELLBEING TOOL OR PRACTICE THAT HELPS ME MOST
Meditation has helped me a lot to calm the turmoil in my brain. Before the tests I thought I had a migraine, I had headaches very often, which were not actually migraine headaches. Meditation allows me to decrease the flow of thoughts. I’ve hardly taken any aspirin since I started.
.A MISREPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
The idea that the gifted are all unhappy, as we can read in the books of the fashionable psychologist who profit from this market. Saying that being gifted will create problems for you is certainly partly the cause of future problems.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
Don’t act as if you were different, but be yourself. There is nothing worse than some gifted people who take others for fools or who give lessons to everyone.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED
Just because your child is unbearable doesn’t mean he or she is gifted or hyperactive. Have him.her tested, but while waiting for the results, tell yourself that “jerks” are more common than gifted children and that statistically, the truth is certainly less advantageous.
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
To do a WAIS/WISC test to be certain.
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
To consider oneself superior.
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Take the time to understand and explain your points of view, to factualise your opinions. Do not judge your colleagues, clients, etc.
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Talk about it and try to understand others and explain how you feel. Share your inner experiences.
.A BOOK TO READ ON THE SUBJECT
Arielle Adda (french author) rather than her more media-oriented colleagues who have only rewritten. Read the original but don’t spend too much time on it.
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE IQ WAIS TEST
This allowed me to open my eyes to the areas where my strengths were and also to know my weaknesses. Even if you are not concerned with giftedness, this test can be very instructive.
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
Certainly not, if the person is happy in his.her life. But if you are feeling shadowy and you can’t explain it to yourself, getting tested can be a good start.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM.HER? BY WHAT?
In general, by the way, he or she responds to a problem, by the sequence of ideas, by the way he or she talks about favourite subjects.
.WHAT DO GIFTED PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
I don’t see the gifted as a community. I would prefer them not to come together. Being integrated into other communities and bringing their intrinsic value should be the priority.
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
That HR departments around the world, the education systems of countries (especially France) are interested in the subject, understand it to a minimum and benefit from understanding it.