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The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  471 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Are you relentlessly curious and creative, always willing to rock the boat in order to get things done . . . extremely energetic and focused, yet constantly switching gears . . . intensely sensitive, able to intuit subtly charged situations and decipher others' feeling? If these traits sound familiar, then you may be an Everyday Genius--an ordinary person of unusual vision ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 28th 2000 by Ballantine Books (first published November 2nd 1999)
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Rita I agree with the first sentence that you quoted, "Darwin..." Survival of the fittest in some sense can be applied to animals, but not to humans. If th…moreI agree with the first sentence that you quoted, "Darwin..." Survival of the fittest in some sense can be applied to animals, but not to humans. If that were the case, our "less fit" infants and children would never survive to adulthood. It is only by self-sacrifice that they do, or that we take care of the old or disabled.

The second part regarding "Nature has no intent" -- there are interesting, hypocritical statements made throughout nature programs on TV. I like to watch them for the great photography, to learn about animals, etc. They are usually produced from the scientific perspective that the universe started all on its own with a big bang, and that there's no entity running the cosmos. Yet, they constantly speak of Nature, Mother Nature, Evolution as if it/they were an entity with intent. Personally, I think there is an entity who/that has intent. But it seems that the show producers, who claim or assume there is no such entity, can't bring themselves to not name it. And they name it Evolution or Nature. (less)

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Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Practical and fabulous. My favorite chapter deals with the Ten Criticisms of Gifted Adults and how to counter them with grace. "Why Don't You Slow Down?" becomes: "Going Fast is Normal for Me." "Can't You Just Stick with One Thing?" is answered with: "No, Probably Not." :) ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
In the late 1970s, I was enrolled in my school's Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. We were taught different ways to explore topics and ideas, and the time spent in the program was my favorite. I was bored in school (my oldest sister liked to play "teacher", so for years I was doing the same work she did...she's 4.5 years older than I am) and curious. I was a day dreamer. Before I hit high school in the early 1980s, the program was over. It simply didn't extend beyond middle grade years.

I rarely
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
So I finished reading 'The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius' from Mary-Elaine Jacobsen last Wednesday. I read the book because my psychologist and psychiatrist seem to be convinced that I'm 'gifted.' Personally I'm not convinced that I am gifted but I do have a bunch of problems that gifted people seem to have and because of this I figured it wouldn't hurt to find out how others deal with these problems.

Before I start ranting about this book I should say that I
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I was originally hesitant about this book because the term "gifted" sounds so elitist. I was pleased at the focus on multiple intelligences and personality traits of highly sensitive individuals. I definitely have been told I'm "too intense" by a variety of people, so I could relate to having lots of intensity, complexity, and drive. Though my drive has lagged the past couple years due to depression and anxiety (hoping to correct that!) A fun book, and helpful in understanding one's differences ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a very dry read, but it's a forgivable flaw. Jacobsen has written one of only two books on adult giftedness and the *only* book on adult giftedness aimed at helping us function better in a world that doesn't understand us. More than a self-help book, this is really more of a text book, the missing operator's manual for a gifted life. If you *know* that you're a deeply intelligent person and yet your struggling to function in a world where the rules of conduct seem both stupidly simp ...more
Carla Hahn
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
SHE NAILED ME. This book is about me, in almost every way - good and bad.

Though a gifted adult, I've often made a mess of my life. Dr Jacobsen explains why and offers practical tips to help me from making the same mistakes I've made over and over, despite knowing better.

Parts of this book are repetitive, but maybe that's a good thing. I apparently need to hear the message multiple times.

A good read for those of us who have difficulty understanding why the rest of the world isn't like us.
Laura Rehfeld
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: smart people and those who live or work with them.
This is a great book for understanding the motivations, penchants and challenges of smart people. I felt like everything in the book helped me understand either myself or someone I knew. It outlines three main differences between gifted adults and the general population: intensity, complexity and drive. Talk about hitting the nail on the head! I recommend this to anyone who works, live or knows someone extraordinary. And if you're like me, and you think "I'm not gifted", read the book. I had got ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book could have been 1/3 of its total size. While there is some really great insight, it tends to get buried under inordinate amounts of anecdotes, seemingly endless repetition, and a little bit of preachiness surrounding her concept of a "mandated mission." The last of these was disclosed as not being a religious concept, however it sounded just like one in practice, even using the phrase "from the Divine" a few times. ...more
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
For the unacknowledged gifted adult, this book is the permission you needed to see yourself as the talented individual God created you as.
Simon Rebsdorf
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: intelligence
Very eye-opening for me. I you can confirm the following questions, go read this book:
- Do you always have an insatiable curiosity?
- Do you set high standards for yourself and can you be your own worst critic?
- do you have a powerful need to know and are you a seeker of ultimate truths?
- Have you been criticized for being "too much" of just about everything?
- Have you always felt deeply wounded by injustice and human suffering?
- Can you see many sides to nearly every issue and love a good debate
Jan 05, 2018 added it
I started reading this book (30-50 pages in or so, I think) a few years back and what stuck to me most was Jacobson focussing on how high achieving and effortlessly valuable the gifted's contributions were to society and how this was their true life mission blabla. When I read that, and there was definitely an elitist ("we are so special and privileged in our ultimate mission") air in there, I thought I was not gifted. I thought: well, I'm obviously struggling, underachieving and not effortlessl ...more
Found myself skipping large parts with too much irrelevant storytelling in the beginning and the final chapter, but also found myself underlining large parts that did make a lot of sense. Don't agree with some opinions of the author, nor do I like the writing style in which the reader is addressed as "we", but hey did pick up more than a few good pointers, so 4 stars for those parts of the book. ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok

Just no.

This was an extremely frustrating read. It starts off fine enough setting up what is the most clinical definition of giftedness I heard yet and setting up pillars for the gifted person's identity (Intensity, Complexity and Drive) but it QUICKLY falls off a cliff and swerves DEEP into new age woo woo territory.

Everyone who reads this book can tell themselves they're a gifted person. Literally everyone. Once this book settles on a definition of giftedness, it become just any self-help
Frank D'hanis junior
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok

No, it actually does, it has tons of them. The central irony of this book might be that it's written as one would for a child, while the so-called everyday genius, an apparent oxymoron, longs to be taken in ernst. Admittedly, the book contains some good insights (involving spirituality as a marker of intelligence not being one of them) but it's far too long winded and at times pseudo-scientific (eg different types of people, kinesthetic, visual, auditive,.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is appropriate for adults who previously have not know they were gifted or those who like myself were in gifted education their entire childhood, but did not realize how much their giftedness defined them. After years of gifted education, I still never understood just how different I am. My experiences as a child and adult are markedly different from those who are not gifted. I always just felt that I was overly sensitive or defective in some manner because I was different from others. ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reading that conveys several positive messages to gifted adults. The originality of the book is related to the way giftedness is defined, that is people whom the main characteristics are high intensity, drive and complexity. Instead of identifying giftedness based on IQ scores (or similar metrics), the book provides an interesting and original survey that enables to scale oneself intelligence based on those 3 features (intensity, drive and complexity). Also, I loved the idea of the nec ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Not my favorite book on giftedness but it did have some valuable insights and information. Sometimes it got a lil mystic for my liking and some things I didn't fully agree with, but on the whole there were good nuggets of wisdom in here. ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Utter trash.
If you enjoy reading about arbitrary magical concepts like Mandated Missions and Evolutionary Moments, by all means go ahead. I still suspect this book is a parody, or an undercover pamphlet for Scientology.

The advice is disappointing too. It makes all the usual pop psychology / self help mistakes like telling the reader to “just do XYZ”. (Jordon Peterson does this too if you’re curious — “be honest”.)
Psychology doesn’t work this way. You can’t just tell someone to “do XYZ” and the
Sharon Orlopp
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly, highly recommend this book! Mary Jacobsen has created a thorough assessment that measures 15 traits that measure Evolutionary IQ----a new way to look at multiple intelligences.

Her book addresses the Ten Criticisms that gifted adults commonly hear throughout their lives:
* Why Don't You Slow Down
* You Worry About Everything
* Can't You Just Stick With One Thing
* You're so Sensitive and Dramatic
* You Have to do Everything the Hard Way
* You're so Demanding
* Can't you Ever be Satisfied
* You're
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Taught me a lot about myself. As pretentious as it feels to identify with something involving the word 'gifted,' this book clarified a great number of things I'd noticed but not had the words to express. ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book. There are other books on the topic that may be more clear and straightforward, but this book has some very sophisticated material that is very useful and really makes you think.
Jennifer Horton
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Opened my eyes to my extra.
Manish Pandey
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best read for people who want answers for certain peculiar way they live their daily life
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an eye-opening and empowering ride this was. As an undiagnosed gifted adult it provided me with the insights and directions I needed. Would call it a must-read for others out there.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
The book contains a number of interesting remarks in order to identify damaging behaviors and how to deal with them, but these is too little content from the totality of the book.

The most helpful for me would be some practices on how to deal with high standards and procrastination, which although didn't provide with much new material, reinforced my confidence in some practices I've already started in the recent past.

The main reason I'm rating this book with 2 stars, is that it pissed me off with
This is an odd one to review, IMO.

An acquaintance recommended that I read this, so it wasn't a topic personally on my radar. My sibling was labeled as "gifted," when we were young. Though, I was never tested. Due to a lifetime of hearing and understanding that I 'don't measure up,' to have someone suggest that I may be gifted and talented seemed completely outlandish. I'm not saying I'm convinced, but... this book certainly explains a lot of my eccentricities that others find to be "too much."
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is incredible and the author does an incredible job explaining this in practical terms without being dry. It's written from the assumption the gifted adult in question doesn't know they're gifted, so it's not going to be as helpful if you were aware of being gifted as a child, had an easy time of it in the right schools, but then found yourself floundering as an adult when you found your skills to be a great hindrance. I took one star off for her tendency to overgeneralize (saying thin ...more
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don't read a lot of self-help books so take the following with a grain of salt. I liked the premise and I could follow the hypothesis well enough. In fact the book made me smile in acknowledgement a couple of times. The practical aspects of what to do know that you know - almost 75% of the book - were more of a let down. Some of it was obvious to me and some of it seemed to veer in the opposite direction presenting a solution more cumbersome than the original problem. I ended up skimming the l ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
this book hit the nail right on the head! Every thought, every action and every choice I've made during the first 34 years of my life was explained to me in such a way that I could only cry: 'yes, yes, yes!'.
On the downside, it's not a page-turning crime novel. I advise reading it whilst not being distracted by two children, but taking the time to read it while your head can focus.
Definitely going to apply the tips and turn the remainder of my life into fully exploring my abilities and putting t
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some parts of this resonated pretty well, and though I initially skimmed it on an ILL, I read enough to know that I'll probably want to own it to work through some of the suggestions and worksheets.

Although geared for adults, it refers back enough to their childhoods to help raise gifted children should one be so fortunate as to have such kids. I'll expand more later, after I've given it the thorough reading it deserves.
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