Today, Quentin shares his vision of giftedness through the Gifted Interview. Thank you, Quentin! He is a police inspector and currently lives in Namur, Belgium.
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
A rather complicated question. In fact, it is difficult to decide on this kind of question. A gifted person has always lived like this, with his or her difference without really knowing any other way of life. It is easy to say whether one prefers chocolate, coconut, or strawberries having tasted all three. Living a life as a normal person (not atypical, I prefer 😉) is abstract and against our own “self”. So, I would say I enjoy this atypical version of myself, the way I function and am.
.WHAT (MY OWN) GIFTEDNESS MEANS TO ME
Giftedness is a kind of superpower for me: You feel things differently, you see the world differently, you think differently… It can be complicated to live with, but on the whole, this “difference” is a kind of gift: to think faster, stronger, to feel emotions with greater intensity, with a deep sense of justice, great logic, an important openness of mind and all the other little details, such as curiosity, the desire to always know more.
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
A galaxy…. a huge cluster of all sorts of different things, which are not necessarily connected, but interact sooner or later and with great intensity. All these things work differently, are quiet or very active, are dark or bright. That’s what being gifted is all about, a big galaxy swarming in our heads.
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
I always knew I was different. I think my parents did too. But we’re talking about a time when there was no such thing as Gifted (the term) and giftedness was limited to Einstein and therefore, by implication, to a person of such intelligence that he or she was happy and successful in his or her life by getting a prestigious degree. So for many, many years, I went to therapy with various psychologists to find out what was wrong with me and what was different about me that I could not explain. The first time I heard the term Gifted was during a session with a practitioner who sensed a profound difference in me and a great potential that was dormant like a thousand-year-old volcano. I stopped seeing this practitioner and went through an association for Gifted people. I then had numerous appointments with psychologists and neuropsychologists, IQ and potential tests…all of which revealed my Giftedness in 2018…. just as it started the process of discovering that I also had ADHD in 2020 (at the start of the pandemic).
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
Simply: A Gifted person is a common individual, but thinks differently (tree-like…), faster, and has an atypical vision of what surrounds him. We do not study black holes, we are black holes.
NB from Gloria: tree thinking is not only for Gifted people. To find out more, dig deeper HERE.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
In fact, I have two. The first is from my godmother: “I always knew you were different”. This sentence warmed me up inside like a tsunami of happiness.
The second came from the world of medicine when a doctor specialising in attention deficit disorders told me that “with abilities like that, I could do almost anything I wanted to in my life”. This is an important statement for someone who constantly doubts himself, his abilities and has never been able to use them properly.
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
Understanding (finally) why certain things worked differently for me, why my visual memory was so good while I was unable to study a text by heart. Even if there is still a long way to go, I know now that I have the ability to do many things that seemed impossible before.
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
As a self-defense instructor, I started to study all the movements I had to teach my students, but in a more scientific way, including principles of physics and biomechanics that I had never studied before. Knowing this advantage, I put it to use in my understanding of the biomechanical functioning but also of the psychology of an aggressor and an aggressed person. This has helped me enormously in my role as an instructor but also in my work as a police officer.
.WHAT IT CREATES TO OTHERS WHEN I TALK ABOUT IT
In general (and having a great pedagogy), it did not bring anything more or less to others. Friends and family have seen that I have not changed. But, I’m sure, a little pride in my parents.
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
Not being able to control everything and not being able to use all these abilities (yet).
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
This particular capacity for reflection (which is still debated), which really brings a plus in the way of seeing and feeling things.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
Still searching for my path….though I think I know the direction, I haven’t found it yet. I have a passion that I would like to see developed: writing. I would be so happy to become a writer. But it’s so hard to organize it and have a clear idea….when hundreds come in all the time throughout the day.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
My way of analysing things. It’s hard to explain, but I have the ability to see a problem from many different angles. When the problem is technical (how to fit something into something else), I project myself inside the material, as if I were modeling in 3D in my head. This helps me enormously and it always gives me a great feeling of well-being.
.MY WELLBEING TOOL OR PRACTICE THAT HELPS ME MOST
Sitting in bed at night, putting headphones on, listening to the sounds of nature (especially storms and thunderstorms….I love storms and thunder), and letting my imagination run wild. It’s like sitting in a cinema without knowing the film, but knowing in advance that whatever we see there we will enjoy.
.A MISREPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
A gifted person is not necessarily happy with an incredible professional life.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
Don’t stay alone, get help and talk to people you trust who will understand and be able to support you.
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
Don’t listen to health professionals who tell you that being Gifted is a myth, that it doesn’t exist (a situation experienced personally with a psychologist).
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
Shout it from the rooftops. Many will not understand and will play on it. This opens the door to a moral massacre. Only people you trust.
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Find a job that suits you. It doesn’t matter what the job is, as long as you’re happy with it, it’s worth all the gold in the world.
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Explain what a Gifted person is and recognise that sometimes we are exaggerating and that it is very difficult to manage things that seem so simple for others.
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE IQ WAIS TEST
It is interesting, but it does not take into account certain subtleties of the person. For example, in the test with the pictures, I saw that there was snow missing in one place (a mountain hut setting) when there should have been. I explained why I thought this was the correct answer. This remark attracted the attention of the neuropsychologist but was not the right answer. The same with another image: A branch was missing to connect leaves on a plant in a library setting. Again, a relevant answer but not the right one. Yet he explained that I was the only one who had seen his details. A pity. The test is sometimes too rigid and sometimes too much left to the discretion of the psychologist.
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
I think it’s a waste to find out so late. I had a desire when I was young: to become a scientist…I was passionate about the universe. But as I had a lot of problems with memorization (due, I think, to an outdated school system that favours memorization instead of understanding…), I always had a lot of difficulty and very low grades. So I had difficult schooling with teachers who pushed me into a branch I hated and lied to my parents (true) by making me look like a dunce and a troublemaker.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM·HER? BY WHAT?
Honestly, I’ve already met some very intelligent people and I’m always delighted. I don’t have a great general culture, but I like to talk to people who are “above” the norm. I recognise them by the richness of their language, the way they think and see things.
.THE CRUCIAL STEPS NOT TO BE MISSED IN THE JOURNEY OF A GIFTED PERSON?
There are no real stages. Everyone is different. Personally, I became a father at the age of 20, with no job and a degree in a job I hated. I worked hard, had a second child, changed jobs several times (I was an electro-mechanic…) and then got fired and joined the police. I consider this job to be one of the most beautiful (but also the hardest morally and mentally), and it brings me a lot while bringing a lot to others and to society.
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
Even though I still don’t have the keys to control my intellect and tame my ADHD, I know that I am capable of great things now and one day I will be able to fulfil my desires (become a writer, learn English and Spanish, etc.).
.AN INTUITION ON THE SUBJECT
For me, intuition is only the result of a complex and unconscious analysis of a particular situation that attracts attention. So I don’t see intuition like anyone else, but as a process in its own right.