Are you gifted?

Many people wonder if they are, some because they took an IQ test that didn’t seem to reflect how intelligent they feel they are, some because they never had access to a professional IQ test.

And, no, those free IQ tests online are not valid.  But that begs the question–how can most people figure out if they are gifted or not?

Below you will find a list of 150 traits that I’ve seen in gifted peoiple.  Several of these traits are mutually exclusive.  None of these is a trait that all gifted people will have.  But the general sense one gets when reading through these traits ought to help a person recognize themselves if they are gifted.

There is no score.  It is not a test.  It is just a list of personality traits often found in gifted people.  There are traits here that are often found in people who are not gifted, as well.  But the combination of having many of these traits, and recognizing that most people do not have a plethora of these traits, suggests giftedness.

Enjoy.  Feel free to leave comments about this or that item, or to offer suggestions for other items to add to the list.


1. I have a heightened ability or appetite for perception

2. I have a heightened ability or appetite for organization

3. I have a heightened ability or appetite for creation

4. I consider myself an extrovert

5. People tell me I seem to have a lot of energy

6. I feel like I am much more perceptive than most people

7. I am extreme in more ways than one

8. People tell me I make funny faces

9. I find myself frequently explaining things to others

10. People tell me to slow down

11. I can be amused by just about anything

12. I take issue with minutia

13. I enjoy spending time working on solving problems

14. Often I “just get it” when others don’t

15. People tease me about my vocabulary

16. I tend to make things more complex than they are

17. Sometimes I enjoy concentrating on for hours without a break

18. I am a terrible perfectionist

19. I feel like I am significantly more compassionate than the general public

20. I am a passionate person

21. I get overwhelmed by the emotions of others

22. I often smile or wave at people I don’t know when I am out

23. My intensity has caused me problems

24. I speak often about my moral or philosophical convictions

25. Small talk can never be as satisfying as a deep conversation about interesting ideas

26. I feel out-of-sync with others

27. I have an extreme sense of humor

28. I have so many abilities/talents that I just don’t know which ones I should pursue

29. I read more than I should

30. I always wish I could read faster, so I could get more done in the time I have available

31. I can’t let an injustice go by, and not comment on it

32. I see things that others miss

33. I have a tendency to make unusual or off-topic comments

34. I get a kick out of being insightful

35. I often question, or feel unimpressed by, “authority”

36. I love ardent discussions

37. I am perceptive/insightful

38. Sometimes I don’t answer right away, not because I have not thought of an answer, but because my thinking is too extensive

39. If I can do a job easily, it is too boring for me to enjoy

40. Considering how intellectually capable I usually am, it is amazing how bad I am at some things

41. I set high standards for myself

42. I have unusual ways of perceiving things

43. I seem to come to conceptual realizations faster than others

44. I’m known to create complexity where none need exist

45. I come across as “weird,” and I don’t mind that

46. I’m known for my quick, humorous remarks/retorts/observations

47. I tend to give a lot of consideration to ethical or moral issues, even when they may seem to be somewhat off the topic

48. I’ve had experiences that seemed psychic to others around me

49. I have an unusual facility for seeing how disparate things are related (or could be)

50. People have always told me I’m “different”

51. I have a heightened ability and appetite for analysis

52. I have a heightened ability and appetite for innovation

53. I have a heightened ability and appetite for production

54. I do not consider myself particularly more introverted, or extroverted

55. People tell me I do things really fast

56. It seems to me that most people just aren’t that sophisticated

57. Certain situations are overwhelming for me

58. I talk rapidly, about complex things

59. I often wonder how some people can manage life—they seem so clueless

60. People tell me to repeat myself, because they didn’t understand the first time

61. I get angry or frustrated at “unclear” assignments

62. People seem to feel I am easily offended

63. I generally understand new ideas quickly

64. I have an extensive vocabulary

65. I am a complex person

66. People are surprised at the things I remember

67. There’s a kernel of humor in almost any situation

68. My perfectionism gets in the way of me trying things, or completing them

69. I like that I am very compassionate

70. I have intense feelings

71. I get overwhelmed by my own emotions

72. I often smile at children I don’t know

73. I often feel compelled to critique or improve upon the status quo

74. I think a lot about philosophy or morality

75. I don’t need as much sleep as other people

76. I have so many interests

77. People often don’t understand my sense of humor

78. I enjoy a philosophical sense of humor

79. I have reading material in every room of my house, and other places, too

80. I often take a stand against injustice

81. As a child I was considered mature for my age in some ways

82. Others see things that I miss, regularly

83. I have a vivid imagination

84. I am a particularly creative person

85. I have facility with numbers

86. I enjoy debate

87. I enjoy organized collections

88. I thrive on challenge

89. I am fascinated with paradox

90. I am often aware of things that others are not

91. I often pursue goals that some people think of as “too high”

92. I find that I race ahead of folks in ways that they deem surprising

93. I have an endless curiosity

94. I have a broad range of emotion, both positive and negative

95. I value authenticity

96. I sometimes laugh at the oddest things

97. Sometimes I anticipate so acutely, that is seems psychic

98. I am interested in strengthening the part of me that is sometimes called a “sixth sense”

99. I have the ability to see through what others consider paradox

100. I tend to go off on tangents

101. I have a heightened ability and appetite for evaluation

102. I have a heightened ability and appetite for synthesis

103. I consider myself an introvert

104. I feel like I have a lot of curiosity

105. I am very sensitive

106. I have a broad sense of humor

107. I try to avoid overwhelming situations

108. People tell me I talk too much

109. I make up my own words to fit what I’m trying to say

110. I speak slowly when stuff is important, and I’m carefully choosing my words

111. When I was a kid, I got in trouble for acting like a know it all

112. I am an excellent problem solver

113. I’ve been known to come up with unique or elegant solutions to problems that have stumped others

114. I use more of my vocabulary than most people I know

115. I prefer life to be complex rather than boring

116. When I’m involved and interested in a project, I can stay at it for great lengths of time

117. I like being a perfectionist

118. I expect excellence from myself when I take on a project or job

119. My compassion leaves me feeling battered by life

120. I’ve always believed that emotions get in the way of accomplishing things as well as I’d like

121. I get into deep conversations with total strangers

122. I would like it if I could be more exact in what I do

123. I have strong moral or philosophical convictions

124. I ask more questions than most people

125. I need much more sleep than most people

126. I have a narrow range of interests, for which I feel compelled to pursue

127. I have too many interests, and feel overwhelmed by them all

128. I read a lot

129. I get tired of people telling me I’m “so different” or “strange”

130. I am always noticing injustices that other people seem to pass right by

131. I am a keen observer

132. I am more energetic than other adults my age

133. I have a nearly perpetual flow of ideas

134. I am driven by my creativity

135. I spend time doing puzzles or quizzes

136. People are uncomfortable with how far I push conversations

137. I need periods of contemplation

138. I want to “get to the hard stuff”

139. I have extraordinary abilities and deficits

140. Life is just so full of interesting things

141. I get unusual ideas

142. I notice patterns and exceptions to patterns—even subtle ones

143. I get bored with repetition

144. People think I am overly emotional

145. I feel more playful than other adults my age seem to be

146. I have had the experience of blushing or getting teary when I didn’t expect to

147. I’ve had experiences that seem psychic to me

148. I recognize psychic ability in others

149. I notice that people are deeply different in so many ways

150. I go so far off on tangents, that sometimes people can’t follow me


Remember, it is not a test.  If you see yourself in this list, you are probably gifted.  If you don’t, you are probably smart (you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t) and likely fit in more comfortably in society than do the gifted.  Be happy.