Today, Tamara Laszlo shares her vision of giftedness through the Gifted Interview. Thank you, Tamara! She is a Coach in Intercultural Communication and Management. She currently lives in The Hague, The Netherlands.
.IF I COULD CHOOSE, WOULD I STILL BE GIFTED?
Yes, it’s a rich life.
.WHAT BEING GIFTED MEANS TO ME
Having millions of ideas, having fun making links between the most unexpected areas, never being bored alone, thinking you can help thanks to your brain, and then realising that qualities such as patience, openness and benevolence change everything, for yourself and as a professional!
.IF I HAD TO CHOOSE AN IMAGE OR A KEYWORD THAT SUMS UP WHAT GIFTEDNESS MEANS
Multifunctional! And Sensitive.
.HOW LONG HAVE I KNOWN ABOUT IT?
For a little over two years.
.WHAT PHASES HAVE I GONE THROUGH SINCE MY DISCOVERY?
Through the recognition (finally!) of who I was, then the frantic accumulation of information and research in order to verify, interspersed with abysmal doubts and feelings of imposter, then the verification with a psychologist, shock and alternation between “obviously!” and “no, not possible, it’s for others”. I am still in this phase, but I am slowly moving towards a profound acceptance of the diagnosis, a re-reading of my life, and a renewed approach to the implications.
.HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF IT?
I make connections quickly, between areas that are not necessarily related. I think all the time. Furthermore, I have a hard time filtering information that comes from inside, outside, etc. (everything is hyper-stimulating and interesting, and I have a thirst for learning and a fascination for life, the functioning of beings, and I love challenges!); which means I tend to abuse the brain!
I also have no problem admitting that I don’t know something: what is important is curiosity, the path that unfolds before us, what we can create. So I have a fundamental need for anchoring, for security and well-being of the physical body, for Nature, and for caring relationships – in order to be a gift to those around me. And this implies breaks, otherwise the hypersensitive side comes out; but that too can be “managed”!
I need hope, to make sense of everything, to connect everything – all of us; to remember that we are a coherent, fluid whole – with different expressions.
.THE REMARK WHICH BLEW ME AWAY MOST WHEN I TALKED ABOUT IT
Of course, you are gifted (on the one hand); questioning everything I said (on the other hand). It depends on who you talk to, and what it challenges (or not) in them!
.HOW IT CHANGED MY LIFE (TO KNOW IT)
I accept myself more. I have realised that instead of fighting all my life against who I am, to finally be “normal”, integrated and accepted, I can instead make myself happy! And rather find out how to function with this sensitivity to everything (information, sensations, emotions, energies): priorities (I tell my daughter: “the body, first!” because the quality of our physical sensations will influence the quality of our thoughts, their depth), physical and emotional well-being, peaceful limits, etc.
.WHAT I HAVE ALLOWED MYSELF TO DO EVER SINCE
To rest, to say “no, thank you”, to understand myself when others are too stressed to find the kind explanation, to set limits because I value myself more than before, to do a lot of body work in order to bypass my mind which is “too” strong for emotional work – mainly.
.WHAT IT CREATES TO OTHERS WHEN I TALK ABOUT IT
For many, incomprehension; or else, “yes, it does that to everyone”. So I don’t talk about it, or only a little. I prefer the deep appreciation of the look and of the whole being when we understand that we are on the same wavelength: that we have the same basic functioning. It gives me the feeling of finally being understood, and of being able to value something that is not necessarily visible, and which is beautiful – of the order of the dignity of the being.
.WHAT IRRITATES ME WITH GIFTEDNESS
Nothing, I think. I have a lot of appreciation for this sensitivity, this thirst for learning.
.WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE ABOUT GIFTEDNESS
To manipulate, you just have to narrow the field of information presented. Gifted people are for me “researchers” (in the broadest sense) who like to find and learn, who like to connect information with each other, to broaden, or deepen the information to be considered, and this is important for our societies.
.WHAT I PERSONALLY FIND TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT
Being able to say “stop”. Resting my brain!
.WHAT I PERSONALLY LOVE
It is as if I am witnessing, in a diffuse way, the billions of possible, and developing, neural connections of the collective mental architectural structure…
.MY WELLBEING TOOL OR PRACTICE THAT HELPS ME MOST
Conscious dance: practices such as Open Floor (the one where I train), the 5 Rhythms, Ecstatic Dance, Biodanza, etc. – anything that allows you to follow the energy in the body in movement, and to digest all the emotional. And to this bodily, emotional and energetic experience, we must add the benevolent relationships that develop in these communities.
.A MISREPRESENTATION THAT I WANT TO CALL INTO QUESTION
That they are arrogant. I have only met very sensitive people, the exact opposite of this image, with intentions that are often not well understood by themselves, or by others. And when these intentions are aligned, they are meteors.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO GIFTED PEOPLE
That they are not alone, that they have the right to exist as they are, and that their functioning only deserves understanding and informed support. And that the world needs them and their atypical functioning.
.WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED
That there is no need to be afraid of the gifted people; but that caring, inclusion and curiosity, acceptance of different ways of thinking, and ways of being in the world, may require an effort of openness; an effort that will be amply repaid!
Different ways of thinking include the spectrum of neurodivergent, but I would also like to see different ways of being in the world included. One can be more connected to the earth and body, to emotions, or have a more spiritual, analytical and material anchor, etc.
I feel that the over-valuing of the mental and analytical (and the financial and societal valuing that goes with it), to the exclusion of circulation with everything else (body, heart, others, energy, divinity, planet, animals, plants, ancestors, etc.), has cut off a large part of us (myself included!) from a more complete and healthy life.
It is about revaluing sensitivity, nature, the fineness of the connection with oneself and with one’s environment, silence and solitude, inaction and the very personal way one can live the great values.
.WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO SOMEONE WHO IS WONDERING
When you have questions, do your research, then seek a competent professional. This can have an impact on the opportunities you allow yourself and give yourself (think of the cumulative impact on the rest of your life!).
.THE MISTAKE NOT TO MAKE FOR A GIFTED PERSON
Seeking approval from anyone.
.MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Trust your instincts, much more than anything else. This intuition is the synthesis of everything you have felt, seen, read, and if you are in a state of peaceful joy, this internal communication is the most accurate compass you have. It’s all about the art of getting to the right state of mind – and that’s where my efforts are focused, as far as I’m concerned. The rest (the learning, the research, the opportunities, the connections, will happen – and quickly).
.MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR GIFTED
Acquire an understanding of the different levels that are at play for HP women, which helps to remove the guilt from many societal expectations that are not adapted to their functioning. Find your freedom of tone!
.A BOOK TO READ ON THE SUBJECT
On giftedness in general, I like the book that Fabrice Micheau recommended: Dabrowski’s Positive Disintegration (which allows us to understand in detail what happens during the major life cycles, and which gives essential keys for a gifted person to make sense of things).
Regarding the physical and emotional resources that women can use, I really like the work of Kristin Neff, who wrote Fierce Self-Compassion, with many exercises.
.MY OPINION ABOUT THE IQ WAIS TEST
It should be taken into account that stress (chronic or not) affects IQ, that there are different types of intelligence, and that everyone is needed. In an ideal world, I would like to see the different types of intelligence valued and given room to express themselves, and try to expand their vocabulary.
.IS IT A WASTE NOT TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIFTED?
For me, it was; I was ashamed of my difference, of my “too much”, which has no reason to be. I can adapt, eventually, but it’s a shame to be ashamed of something that brings so many good things.
.WHEN I MEET ANOTHER GIFTED PERSON, DO I RECOGNIZE HIM.HER? BY WHAT?
The shining eyes, the coherence of the body, thoughts and emotional state: it is the depth and alignment of the whole being that strikes me.
.WHAT DO GIFTED PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
A sensitive heart, I think. Empathy. And an endless curiosity, a thirst for learning! A finesse, too.
.THE CRUCIAL STEPS NOT TO BE MISSED IN THE JOURNEY OF A GIFTED PERSON?
Validate and validate again. For the assessments, you need a professional who knows how to read them, and that there is a possibility of communication. After that, you need to find support, at least at the beginning. There is a lot to deconstruct, especially as a woman. Give yourself time for the transition, with all its stages (see Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ change curve, with the emotions of change, including initial shock, denial, frustration, and sadness – before moving on to exploration, acceptance and commitment to a new balance)
.THE LAST THING I LEARNED ON THE SUBJECT (THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE)
That as a gifted person, one can get bored quickly when one knows! (since one wants to learn, and quickly!). Not to judge oneself when one already wants to move on, but to seek either to go deep (into another dimension, which gives back depth: slowing down, feeling, for example); or to fully allow oneself to change direction, and be at peace with giving up what had been started.
.AN INSPIRATION FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY ON GIFTEDNESS
I like the work of Andrew Huberman in general, an American neuroscientist – and in particular his forays into ADHD: thanks to him, I understood that I could take advantage of my speed and change activity very, very quickly, even if I had just started, in order to hit my need of the moment as close as possible.
For example, if I have an emotion that needs music to release it, and in 3 seconds I don’t need it anymore, and I need another piece for another emotion, and in 2 seconds it’s good, I switch to the music I need to work with without remorse. I go fast emotionally and mentally, my life adapts. I’ve given up persevering at all costs. The key is to stay as close as possible to my needs and my intention, minute by minute. Perseverance is about coming back to what is important. I forget, then I come back to it. I think it’s a life’s work.
.A WISH FOR THE FUTURE
That the role of the nervous system in the ability to access information is recognised. And that this is influenced by political, social and relational conditions, as well as by intergenerational trauma, and that the well-being of each individual is promoted, for healthy and intelligent societies.
.A HUNCH ON THE SUBJECT
That when compassion finally enters the debate, we will integrate the different types of functioning quite naturally (such as Giftedness, autism, ADHD, but also cultural differences…). And this requires compassion for our own limitations, our functioning, our heritage. Then we can really change, evolve
.THE MISSING QUESTION, WHICH I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO ANSWER ON THE SUBJECT?
Why is the world of giftedness relatively homogeneous?
I believe that intelligence as the WAIS sees it is only a very small part of what is important to be happy together in this world open to so many colours and dimensionalities.
The mind is fantastic, but when we give it exclusive rights, it doesn’t go well, for ourselves or for others! We need to take into account more sources of information, and more types of information, and integrate them: cognitive, emotional, physical and metaphysical.
In my opinion, the work lies in refining who you are and then expressing it in a framework and with caring facilitators, who know how to grasp what is going on deep down, and transform it so that each person can communicate to the world the gift of who they really are.