Today, Hervé Ferro gives us his vision of giftedness through the “gifted” questionnaire. Thank you Hervé! He is Co-founder of Hipip IN whose mission is to detect hidden talents and facilitate the professional inclusion of neurodiverse profiles (gifted and talented, Empaths, high level autistic, ADHD, Dys …) and lives in Paris.
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
Yes, it seems difficult to let go of certain abilities after having experienced them…
.WHAT (MY OWN) GIFTEDNESS MEANS TO ME
As far as I’m concerned, this translates into a brain in constant turmoil, ideas every five minutes, sensors on alert and constantly anticipating, the reconstitution of stories from bits and pieces, the “sick” need to solve problems encountered and perceived, the vision of invisible links and synergies, the perception of hidden intentions, a mixture of dark and British offbeat humour, chronic impatience….
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
Not sure if it exists: a universal 360-degree sensor
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
I knew I was “different” in kindergarten and became aware of my giftedness in first grade: as something abstract, harmless, without paying too much attention to it.
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
Confirmation – rather than discovery – did not change anything. I have always adapted myself to others without effort. I attribute this to the homogeneity of my abilities (both emotional and physical as well as intellectual), and to my modest parents for whom I am still a kid at the age of fifty (they are right 😉), who have given me the humility and balance necessary to avoid problems and face the sometimes very difficult ups and downs of life.
.HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF IT?
If I have to talk about it, it’s as a professional, to promote the benefits of giftedness in general. Explanations will depend on the degree of openness and awareness of the listener. But I will always focus the explanations on the benefits rather than on the “absolute value” of giftedness.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
What comes to my mind is rather the little grin, a mixture of sarcasm, disbelief and perplexity, of the one who is not sure if what he or she is being told is bacon or pork 😉
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
It hasn’t changed my life, but I understand very well those for whom everything has changed. For a long time, I wondered how it was possible to miss out, to not realise one’s own giftedness. Having then met a great number of Gifted and especially Highly Gifted, I understood that mistreatment and “humiliations”, often encountered in childhood, could radically pollute the vision that one has of one’s own abilities.
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
Nothing more than before. Rather less.
.WHAT IT CREATES TO OTHERS WHEN I TALK ABOUT IT
My professional mission is to build a bridge between the company and the Gifted profile, which can bring a lot to the company. Between the frequent fear, reticence, and disbelief of companies, and the victimisation, arrogance, or extreme discretion (a description that is far from being exhaustive…) of the Gifted. It’s not always easy to establish trust!
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
There are several things in the related behaviours that harm the Gifted: for example, false modesty, “condescending empathy”, wanting to be right at all costs, the “certainties” generated by an impression of intellectual invulnerability, victimisation…
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
Hidden talents, either because they have not been discovered or because the person hides or restrains them.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
Doing one thing at a time, managing my impatience, seeing too far and not being able to explain it, anticipating or detecting problems and being frowned upon for that.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
Humour, including dark humour that forces to extricate oneself from one’s system of reference.
.MY WELLBEING TOOL OR PRACTICE THAT HELPS ME MOST
Meeting other people in the same situation: a breath of fresh air!
.A (MIS)REPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
Generalisation. Not all gifted people are alike. They are not, for me, represented by a category that would start around 130 with a homogeneity of personality and intelligence that would justify saying “the gifted”. A Highly Gifted has as much difficulty with a Gifted as a Gifted with an average IQ, and they are not all sensitive, empathetic, logical… as we can read quite often.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
Forget that you are gifted. Use and showcase your talents instead.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED
Maybe you are! And in any case, to use a slogan that is valuable to me: “I am not different from you, I am different like you” 😉
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
Find the right people to talk about it and avoid “diagnosing” yourself, as there is a high risk of getting wrong.
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
Make others responsible for not understanding you, for not appreciating you at your true value, for not understanding your added value: if you remain in this state of mind, even if in the absolute sense you are not wrong, you have lost in advance!
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Make sure you practice an activity or activities that correspond not only to your aspirations but also to your talents. Sooner or later, these subjects will come to torment you if they do not. Don’t hesitate also to take a step towards others: you are not always right, and in any case, the others are there! 😉
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
First of all a good choice: with few exceptions, a couple will not last long (or badly) with too different intellectual capacities. That being said (and settled!), the same rules apply as in “normal” couples.
.A BOOK TO READ ON THE SUBJECT
I can’t concentrate enough to read a book, so I can’t advise 😉. But I recommend Descartes’ quote as food for thought: “Common sense is the thing best shared because everyone thinks they are so well provided for, that even those who are the most difficult to please in anything else do not usually want more than they have.”
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE WAIS IQ TEST
I have trouble with the idea of talking about intelligence for an IQ test. For me, intelligence is multiple or not. However, you can be labelled “gifted”, “intelligent”… with an IQ test that measures only a few very limited aspects of your intelligence, being very good in one area and limited in others: this bothers me and raises the problem of heterogeneity. Moreover, observation (experience) shows that homogeneous gifted people pass fewer tests than heterogeneous gifted people since they have fewer personal and professional integration concerns (on average of course).
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
For those who encounter personal and/or professional problems, yes, it is a real waste not to know and, above all, to recognise one’s hidden talents. For others, it is very complicated to answer: do a person’s talents correspond to what they do and their ambitions or not? One can feel happy in a quiet little life and realise after thirty years that one could have done something else much more fulfilling. I believe that everyone should have the chance to take talent tests (not only IQ tests) and I don’t understand why this is not done as early as elementary school and even kindergarten: to go further, I would say that it is both stupid for society and criminal for individuals.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM.HER? BY WHAT?
To his gazes first, the ability to finish each other’s sentences, humour… a few minutes of discussion is often sufficient 😉
.WHAT DO GIFTED PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
To be able to talk about one’s little quirks and other gifted-related experiences in an environment of understanding and caring, when they are unbearable for the “non-gifted”.
.THE CRUCIAL STEPS NOT TO BE MISSED IN THE JOURNEY OF A GIFTED PERSON?
Rather a step to be avoided if possible: the one where one considers oneself a gifted specialist just because one is concerned about oneself 😉
.AN INSPIRATION FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
I would like Giftedness to be taken as just another feature. It would allow us to talk about it freely, without the egos of one another being affected one way or the other, to explain its benefits more easily to companies, and thus to help us all progress.
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
May this giftedness spread throughout the world end up serving a purpose!
.A HUNCH ON THE SUBJECT
More than an intuition: with Hipipip IN, we are gradually creating the conditions that will allow us to channel all this grey matter that is little or very poorly used today, to solve micro and macroeconomic, societal and humanitarian problems…
.THE QUESTION THAT I WAS MISSING BUT THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ANSWER?
What do you think of the “zebra” phenomenon?
(NB from Gloria: “Zebra” is a word created in France by J. Siaud-Facchin to describe the Gifted; in French, some people invent or create other words, because of being reluctant to use the word “Gifted”).
I’m not comfortable with this label that anyone can turn away, that anyone can attribute to themselves and that can give false hope. It is also a way of “pretending” to assume oneself while not assuming oneself (and vice versa!) which does not always seem “correct” to me with regard to oneself or others, which can according to the case delegitimize the giftedness and end up harming Gifted people. At the same time, I can understand the difficulty to accept and/or assume being gifted. In short, it is not simple, as usual! 😉