High giftedness and personality

Scientifically, a relationship between personality and IQ has not been found. Yet there are people who think a number of specific personality traits are to be seen more often in intellectually gifted people. This 'personality structure of the highly gifted' is characterized by:

  • Quick understanding, thinks and talks fast;
  • Curious, intrinsically motivated, wants to solve problems;
  • Perfectionist often combined with fear of failure;
  • Creative, lots of new ideas, stubborn, averse to authorities;
  • Highly sensitive to all sorts of stimuli, both positive and negative.


Some of these traits can be traced back to the physiological characteristics that people with a high IQ share. Some of them not. There certainly are people with a very high IQ (and thus highly gifted) who are not creative, are obedient to authorities, not especially sensitive to stimuli and not very driven.

It is a good idea to distinguish the group of people with the above personality structure, because they are able to achieve enormous results. Unfortunately, not all of them will succeed.

Pitfalls that can hinder the development include: underperformance, depression, hypersensitivity, fear of failure, communication problems at work or in relations. For a highly gifted person to be happy and successful, the following conditions are important:

  • Being taken seriously and stimulated by parents and school; being able to follow up on interests;
  • Knowing your motives and passion and being able to translate them to the job market;
  • A work place offering freedom to 'explore' and being creative.

Highly gifted?

If you are a highly gifted person like this, what can you do to become happy and successful yourself?

  • Accept that you are different, and that most people are not as quick to understand;
  • Be aware of your communications and listen to others;
  • Create your own jobs and do not select from standard professions;
  • Figure out what inspires you, even it is not new anymore.


Besides taking a free IQ test, you can read about emotional intelligence.