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Why are gifted kids so intense?

Gifted children are often described as intense, displaying a level of emotional depth and complexity that can sometimes be overwhelming. This intensity is not only limited to their emotional experiences; it also extends to their intellectual and social interactions. Understanding the reasons behind this intensity is crucial for parents, educators, and caregivers to provide appropriate support and nurturing for these exceptional individuals.


A. Definition of giftedness

Giftedness refers to individuals who demonstrate exceptional abilities or potential in intellectual, creative, or artistic domains. These individuals tend to think differently and have an advanced capacity for learning and problem-solving beyond their age peers.

B. Brief explanation of intensities in gifted children

Intensities in gifted children refer to the heightened levels of emotional, intellectual, and social experiences they often display. These intensities are intrinsic characteristics of giftedness and play a significant role in shaping their overall development.

Intellectual Intensity

A. Advanced cognitive abilities in gifted children

Gifted children possess advanced cognitive abilities, which allow them to grasp complex concepts and information at a faster pace than their peers. This intellectual prowess enables them to think deeply, analytically, and critically, often leading to a more intense intellectual experience.

B. Higher levels of curiosity and thirst for knowledge

Gifted individuals have a natural curiosity and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. They constantly seek intellectual challenges and stimulation, which can lead to a heightened intensity in their pursuit of learning and understanding new concepts.

C. Enhanced reasoning and problem-solving skills

Gifted children possess exceptional reasoning and problem-solving skills. They have the ability to think abstractly and make connections that may not be apparent to others. This intellectual capacity can contribute to their intensity as they dive deep into complex problems and seek innovative solutions.

D. Constant need for mental stimulation and challenge

Gifted individuals have an inherent need for mental stimulation and challenge. They can quickly become bored or disengaged in routine or repetitive tasks. This constant need for intellectual stimulation can contribute to their intensity as they seek out new and captivating experiences to satisfy their intellectual hunger.

Emotional Intensity

A. Psychological aspects of giftedness

Giftedness encompasses not only intellectual abilities but also emotional depth and sensitivity. Gifted individuals often experience emotions with greater intensity and complexity compared to their peers. This emotional depth is intertwined with their intellectual complexity and contributes to their overall intensity.

B. Heightened sensitivity and empathy

Gifted children tend to be highly sensitive and empathetic. They have a keen awareness of their own emotions and those of others, often experiencing the highs and lows of emotions more intensely. This heightened sensitivity and empathy can contribute to their emotional intensity as they become deeply affected by the world around them.

C. Strong emotional reactions and depth

Gifted individuals may exhibit strong emotional reactions to various situations. They may feel joy, excitement, or sadness with great intensity, often processing these emotions deeply. Their emotional depth can sometimes lead to a heightened sense of vulnerability and a need for support from caregivers and understanding from peers.

D. Perfectionism and fear of failure

Perfectionism is commonly observed in gifted children. They have high expectations of themselves and fear failure or falling short of their own standards. This drive for perfection can contribute to their emotional intensity as they strive for excellence in their pursuits and may become emotionally invested in their achievements.

Social Intensity

A. Feelings of being different and not fitting in

Gifted children often feel a sense of being different from their peers. Their intellectual abilities and unique interests may set them apart, leading to a sense of not fitting in with their age peers. This feeling of being different can contribute to their social intensity as they grapple with finding their place in social settings.

B. Difficulty relating to peers with different interests or abilities

Gifted individuals may find it challenging to relate to peers who do not share the same level of intellectual curiosity or abilities. This difficulty in relating to peers with different interests or abilities can contribute to feelings of isolation and social intensity.

C. Frustration with slow-paced or repetitive instruction

Gifted children often find traditional educational settings to be slow-paced and repetitive, which can lead to frustration and restlessness. Their need for intellectual challenge and stimulation may not be met in these settings, contributing to their social intensity as they yearn for more engaging learning experiences.

D. Need for intellectual peers and like-minded individuals

Gifted children thrive in the company of intellectual peers and like-minded individuals. Being able to connect with others who share similar intellectual abilities and interests provides a sense of belonging and reduces social intensity. Having opportunities to engage in intellectually stimulating conversations and activities can positively impact their overall well-being.


A. Definition and explanation of overexcitabilities

Overexcitabilities are heightened sensitivities that are often observed in gifted individuals. These sensitivities can manifest in various domains, including intellectual, emotional, sensory, imaginational, and psychomotor. Overexcitabilities contribute to the intensity experienced by gifted individuals in different aspects of their lives.

B. Types of overexcitabilities

There are five types of overexcitabilities commonly observed in gifted individuals:

  1. Intellectual overexcitability: intense curiosity, love for learning, and desire for intellectual challenge.
  2. Emotional overexcitability: heightened sensitivity and depth of feelings.
  3. Sensory overexcitability: heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as sound, smell, or touch.
  4. Imaginational overexcitability: rich and vivid imagination, tendency towards daydreaming or fantasy.
  5. Psychomotor overexcitability: abundance of energy, restless and impulsive behaviors.

C. Influence of overexcitabilities on intensity in gifted children

Overexcitabilities contribute to the overall intensity experienced by gifted individuals. Depending on the dominant overexcitability, this intensity can manifest in different ways, shaping their intellectual, emotional, sensory, imaginative, and psychomotor experiences.

Nurturing Gifted Intensities

A. Understanding and accepting intensities as natural traits

It is essential for parents, educators, and caregivers to understand that intensities are natural traits of gifted individuals. Accepting and embracing these intensities can foster a positive environment where their unique needs can be met.

B. Providing appropriate intellectual challenges and stimulation

Gifted individuals require intellectual challenges and stimulation to thrive. Providing them with a curriculum that is intellectually stimulating and tailored to their abilities can help alleviate their intensity. Enrichment programs, advanced classes, and opportunities for independent research can help satisfy their need for intellectual growth.

C. Promoting emotional self-awareness and coping strategies

Helping gifted children develop emotional self-awareness and coping strategies is essential in managing their intense emotions. Teaching them mindfulness techniques, stress-relief methods, and providing a safe and supportive space for discussing their feelings can help them navigate their emotional intensity more effectively.

D. Fostering supportive peer and social connections

Creating opportunities for gifted children to connect with intellectual peers and like-minded individuals is crucial in reducing their social intensity. Gifted programs, clubs, or online communities can provide them with a sense of belonging and a supportive network of individuals who understand and appreciate their intellectual abilities and intensities.


A. Recap of the intensities in gifted children

Gifted children display intensities in multiple domains, including intellectual, emotional, and social. These intensities are natural traits of giftedness and contribute to their overall development and experiences.

B. Importance of recognizing and supporting gifted intensities

Recognizing and supporting the intensities of gifted children is vital to their well-being and fulfillment. Providing appropriate intellectual challenges, addressing their emotional needs, and fostering supportive social connections are key in supporting their development.

C. Potential positive outcomes of intense giftedness in adulthood

Intense giftedness, when nurtured and supported, can lead to positive outcomes in adulthood. Gifted individuals often harness their intensities to excel in their areas of interest, contribute to society, and make significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Understanding and embracing the intensity in gifted children is crucial for providing them with the support they need to thrive. By recognizing their unique abilities and intensities, we can help these exceptional individuals reach their full potential and make a positive impact on the world.


  1. Gifted children: Emotionally immature or emotionally intense?
  2. Are Your Child’s Intense Emotions a Sign of Giftedness?
  3. Why Can’t They Loosen Up? Intensities of Gifted Youth
  4. Understanding Emotional Sensitivity in Gifted Children
  5. The Emotional Gifted Child