Today, Priscille Mahe shares her vision of giftedness through the Gifted Interview. Thank you Priscille! As an entrepreneur, she has created her own marketing strategy consulting company and supports companies and entrepreneurs who wish to develop online training. She currently lives in Paris.
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
A few months ago, I would have answered no because of the imaginary nature of the label “gifted”. Today, after having been identified through the WAIS test, my answer is more nuanced. It is difficult to imagine myself functioning differently. Even if I have never really felt different, I am well aware that certain experiences are linked to this sometimes singular functioning. So I would say yes, I am happy to be who I am, Gifted among other things.
.WHAT (MY OWN) GIFTEDNESS MEANS TO ME
To live everything with more intensity. I have never felt out of step as one can read in some articles or books. On the other hand, I always felt that what I was experiencing could seem to be more intense: pleasant or unpleasant emotions.
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
October 2021. It’s a question I had been asking myself for a few years but without allowing myself to believe it before taking the test. For me, having the confirmation of this identification was above all an access to a rereading and a better understanding of my life, of my choices, of some of my experiences.
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
First of all, a denial of the assessment: I told myself that it was a mistake. But having passed it with Mrs. Arielle Adda, it was impossible to question her skills 🤣
Then, a real integration process since. I have read books on the subject which allows me to have a better understanding of who I am and my reactions. I had done it before, but it was not in the same process. Before I knew this, I was constantly torn between recognizing my identity as a Gifted person and denying or even rejecting this possibility.
Today, when I read a book or watch content on the subject, I sort out what does and does not concern me as a person and what it might mean in my life, my behavior, or my choices. It’s much more serene.
Moreover, at the moment, not only do I accept it completely, but I have also decided not to hide it. When I found out last October, my first reaction was to hide it and not to talk about it. Not because I’m ashamed of it, but because of the fantasies linked to this label, which I don’t always recognize myself in.
.HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF IT?
To be Gifted is to be an intense person.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
“I know a person who is really gifted.” I didn’t say anything, but I smiled because the image of the Gifted is still sometimes that of the genius at school or the person who succeeds brilliantly in life as a researcher for example.
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
A better acceptance of who I am and a better understanding of my emotions. The desire to explore more things and the permission I give myself to wander around on different subjects according to my interests at the time.
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
To listen to me better, to live at my own pace. I know that I have a great amplitude in my pleasant and unpleasant emotions and to better regulate them I know that one of the keys is to listen to my body, my needs of rest, or disconnection.
Moreover, I know that I need a lot of intellectual stimulation, and I get bored easily and quickly. When a new subject interests me, I’ll scratch around a bit, to see if I want to go further or if after a few readings it sinks in. I am perfectly in agreement with myself about allowing me to be interested in many things, which can give the impression that I am spreading myself too thin. I am nevertheless vigilant on certain commitments that I make in order not to stop as soon as I understand how it works…
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
All the mistakes that are made by people who talk about it without knowing much about the subject.
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
The speed of work and reflection.
The ability to always have different possible scenarios in mind is a real strength in the professional world.
The ability to question oneself allows one to move forward by adapting quite well (one must nevertheless be careful not to over adapt).
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
The intensity of everything I’m going through. It is exhausting at times.
The gaze of others and their judgments on what I am experiencing can be difficult – even though I am well aware of my ability to interpret things. In these cases, I go into metacognition (thinking about my own thoughts) and come out exhausted. 🤣
With a brain that thinks about everything all the time, it can be a real challenge in one’s daily life, especially when you add the layer of emotions and an outsized ability to ruminate or angst.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
The amplitude of emotions makes it possible to live an intense life and even to have the impression of having lived several lives. When I live pleasant moments, I live them with much more intensity.
My great curiosity and my incessant desire to learn new things, not necessarily to become an expert on the subject, because that is not my objective, but to feed myself intellectually.
Resilience is a real strength.
Complex projects, which really stimulate me and in which I can have fun.
.MY WELLBEING TOOL OR PRACTICE THAT HELPS ME MOST
EFT, meditation, yoga. I have a very complete toolbox from which I can choose according to my needs. I don’t hesitate to ask for help when I feel the need, because I know how I work and I know that at times, to get off the hamster wheel, I need an outside view.
.A MISREPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
The fantasy or fantasies linked to this label. For example, Gifted people are necessarily tortured people or geniuses. This is obviously not the case. From what I understand, all geniuses would be Gifted, but not all Gifted are geniuses.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
That it is important to understand one’s functioning in order to avoid extremes: an over-adaptation that exhausts or a lack of adaptation that is totally unconcerned and therefore not very adapted.
That we should not interpret everything under this label, it is an aspect of what we are, but we are not only that. It is an important key to know ourselves better, but then there is what we have experienced that can interfere with our behavior.
Moreover, in my opinion, if we learn about it late, we can easily fall into the trap of victimizing ourselves or using it as an excuse to take responsibility for ourselves; all the difficult things we have experienced in life cannot be explained solely by this singularity. At times, life is simply the way it is, and it is up to us to see what we want to learn from what we are experiencing, whether we are Gifted or not.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED
In the previous interview with Nicolas Gauvrit, he talks a lot about the continuum between neurotypicals and Gifted people. I find this approach particularly interesting because it emphasizes the fact that the difference on a subject, for example, that of emotions, is not the difference in the emotions, but rather its amplitude in the feeling and the behavior that can result from it.
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
In case of doubt, it is really good to take the step and do the WAIS IQ test to be sure. Even if it can be frightening, because it is often seen as a key to explaining a feeling of discrepancy, professional or personal difficulties, and one can say to oneself that if the result does not correspond to one’s expectations, it will be a great disillusion. Well, in my opinion, it is better to go to the end of this path, even if it means opening up other paths afterward if it is not the case, rather than remaining in a state of questioning and doubt for years. Personally, even with the assessment in front of me, I can sometimes have doubts, because I have never recognized myself in “all” the characteristics of a Gifted person.
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
Limiting oneself to this “label”, not seeing oneself in a more global way with one’s life experience, and remaining focused on the “differences”.
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Know that you have a strong sensitivity to boredom and therefore find what corresponds to you, even if it means changing if you are done with it because it is part of your functioning and it is ok. If we want to grow professionally, it seems important to me to find what makes us vibrate, even if it means changing as soon as it is no longer the case. This can be seen as “professional instability”, it is really about being aligned with who you are: Intense people, who are able to succeed in complex situations when the brain is really stimulated.
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
If there are children in the family, look carefully to see if they are concerned with giftedness, because even if “everything is fine”, self-esteem is built in childhood. Giving them access to this knowledge of themselves is a great key to helping them in their construction.
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE IQ WAIS TEST
I made a big deal out of it and it really wasn’t that “difficult” 😉. The most important thing is to choose the right clinician to accompany us, because he is the one who will identify the Giftedness, beyond the test which is a tool.
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
It all depends on your life path. If you feel good about yourself and the family or educational context has allowed you to create a good self-image, there is no waste. The most important thing in life is to be happy and fulfilled.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM·HER? BY WHAT?
I don’t know if I recognize them, but I realized that some of my close friends were also Gifted. This has happened over the years. There is certainly this need for deep and authentic discussions, this sensitivity and acceptance of each other’s emotions, without judgment.
.THE LAST THING I LEARNED ON THE SUBJECT (THAT I’D LIKE TO SHARE)
The difference between heterogeneous Gifted people and homogeneous Gifted people. There are some pretty glaring differences between the two and this may explain why it is sometimes hard to recognize yourself in the Gifted labels.
A homogeneous Gifted person is more adapted to society, often very good (or even brilliant at school), it corresponds better to the image that we have of “gifted”.
A heterogeneous Gifted person has more unpredictable reactions, and irregular learning (success at school depending on the effect with the teachers). Personally, being a heterogeneous Gifted person, I understood better why my love life was so complicated, because of my disproportionate reactions. Apparently, the couples that would work best among the Gifted would be one heterogeneous and one homogeneous. Because there are enough similarities, but also enough differences to make it work.
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
A better knowledge of the subject in France could allow a better acceptance of the “other” in his difference and that without judgment.