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Thursday, January 19, 2006


Humble Aim

Thanks, Chris for asking the following in a comment on yesterday's post:

You wrote "Humble aim: stop annoying family and friends."
Is that YOUR humble aim, or the aim of channeling gifted people?

It's all MINE! I wouldn't presume to direct others to do the same, or use the same method - if that's what you meant by "channeling". I find that I'm often the only person interested in my exciting discoveries. There's tons of ideas I think are marvellous, and make me happy to be alive. For example, I'm completely fascinated by gifted people; their lives, their brains, their relationships. When I go on about it too much, people usually tune out or remember they left something in the oven and leave. It's one consequence of devoting my time to thinking about a very specialized subject, and helps me understand why small talk was invented.

It can be depressing, though. It's difficult to feel heard if the person you are pouring out your heart to can't relate to your experience, even when they are doing their best. Part of the pleasure of finding a great new theory, author, poet, play, or movie, is sharing it with the people you love. Knowing that it won't appeal them means the only outlet for my enthusiasm is likely to be....the blog! There's usually at least one other human out there who feels the same way. Sometimes, someone might even identify with the joy - or angst - and experience universality* for the first time. Blogosphere as group therapy? Why not?

*A common feeling among group therapy members, especially when a group is just starting, is that of being isolated, unique, and apart from others.....Enormous relief often accompanies the recognition that they are not alone; this is a special benefit of group therapy. full text

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My husband and I both use the internet....blogs for me and computer geek chatrooms for him to connect with others like us. Without that outlet we would definitely annoy each other with our specialized interests! We finally have a "place" where we fit in because of our giftedness.
Are you ever disappointed when others don't share their experiences, readings and discoveries with you? One of the things I enjoy about my wife is that some of her interests are foreign to mine and I enjoy hearing her talk about them. I am always mystified by people who aren't exicited by life and have no interests to share and discuss.
Are you familiar with Aspberger's Syndrome? A high functioning autistic condition, combined with intense single interest. Not caring what others think, when focused on an interest.

Do you ever see that?
Hi Andrea! Nice to know I'm not alone in using this technique!

That's a good point, i_wonder. I do love to hear my beloved talk about his interests, even though I often have no idea what he is talking about because of the jargon (he's a sports and poker nut). It's the way his eyes light up, and his face gets so animated. It's his excitement and passion that I enjoy, not the content, I suppose. I can identify with the emotions but not the intricacies of the ideas he is expressing, and I suspect it's the same for him.

Although I'm familiar with the diagnostics, I'm definitely not a specialist on Aspergers, renegade eye, and to my knowledge I've never met anyone with the disorder. However, as I work on social literacy with gifted kids I am struck by how many of the DSM-VI criteria could be misapplied to them by someone with no experience of working in this population. I've also heard of people getting diagnosed as "Aspergers Light" (very strange!) and it does appear in the book, Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults.
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