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Multipotentiality – Do You Have Too Many Tabs Open?



“Do you have too many tabs open?” proved to be a rhetorical question during this week’s chat on Twitter. For many the answer was “yes” and defining multipotentiality was much easier than living with it. Many definitions were offered – from having the potential to pursue many different passions and succeed to “the risk of becoming a pretty good generalist at the risk of specialization” (Amy Harrington). To another participant (Denise @ddigiova) multipotentiality meant, “Never [being] bored. Always learning. Always growing. Diverse experiences and relationships.”

“Ultimately [multipotentials] have to make a choice – what is most meaningful, fits with one’s values.” ~ Dr. Gail Post 

Although gifted people may not be good at everything, they are often good at many things. It was quickly noted that the benefits are often the drawbacks as well. So many paths can cause high stress levels, overscheduling, confusion and depression. Multipotential persons often find it difficult to choose a career or when they do; sticking with it. For gifted students who display multipotentiality, they often are never challenged until college when studies become difficult.

Finding focus is an important facet of dealing with multipotentiality. Lisa B. of Canada suggested that, “Perhaps it’s best to focus on one passion at a time, but move through different passions in the different seasons of life.” Seeking inspiration from peers and mentors can help a multipotential person focus on their passions. Dr. Gail Post stated, “Ultimately [multipotentials] have to make a choice – what is most meaningful, fits with one’s values.”

Advice for parents: “Emphasize the importance of continually learning and taking on new challenges; not settling because they’ve been labeled as ‘smart’.” ~ Amy Williams

Finally, the discussion turned to guiding a multipotential child. Parents should attempt to tune into their child’s passions and look for ways to help them explore ideas and potential careers. They can also expose children throughout their lives to opportunities to work with peers, mentors, and professionals. Amy Williams summed it up this way, “Emphasize the importance of continually learning and taking on new challenges; not settling because they’ve been labeled as ‘smart’.” For a more in-depth review of this chat, see the transcript at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Multipotentiality: When High Ability Leads to Too Many Options from Lisa Rivero

Counseling Gifted Adults – A Case Study by Paula Prober

Multipotentiality Among the Intellectually Gifted: “It Was Never There & Already It’s Vanishing” (pdf)

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense & Creative Adolescents (Amazon)

Good at Too Many Things? from Byrdseed Gifted

Experience of Giftedness: Eight Great Gripes Six Years Later from Davidson Gifted

Multipotentiality: Multiple Talents, Multiple Challenges by Douglas Eby

Multipotentiality Resources from Douglas Eby

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius (Amazon)

Developing Multiple Talents – The Personal Side of Creative Expression by Douglas Eby

Refuse to Choose! A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love (Amazon)

Multipotentiality: Issues & Considerations for Career Planning from Duke TIP

Career Development in Gifted Students & Multipotentiality (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Multipotentiality Page

The Perils of Multipotentiality


Are You A Multipotentialite*? from Paula Prober

On Crystals, Psychosynthesis & Unearthing Your Multipotentiality

Many Cloaks in the Closet by Jen Merrill

A Multi-Talent’s Growth with Dr. Edith Johnston

A Myriad of Ideas: Personal Development for Multi-Talented Individuals (book) by Dr. Edith Johnston

Are Multipotentialites the Innovators of the Future?

9 Ways to Explain Your Multipotentiality to Non-Mulitpotentialites

Why David Bowie is a Prime Example of Multipotentiality

Multipotentiality: It’s a Thing

Forever at a Crossroads: A Tale of Multipotentiality


The Gifted Introvert

An important topic not often covered in discussions about gifted individuals, this chat was quite active and experienced some lively debate! It was exciting to see many new faces and old friends with participants from 18 states and 5 countries.

The chat covered such questions as “Is introversion and shyness the same thing?”, “Can introversion and extroversion exist at the same time?” and “How can teachers help the introverted gifted child?” A full transcript may be found here.

PLEASE NOTE: Our next chat “Educating for Global Competence” is THURSDAY, 9/12 @5PM ET/4PM CT/22.00 UK/7.00 (ET AUS – Fri). There will be no chat the following day.


We Are the Introverts (comic) courtesy of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted from SENG Gifted

What is the difference between being shy and being introverted?”

Introversion and Giftedness” (pdf) from Dr. Linda Silverman (1993)

The Gifted Introvert” (2002)

The Creative Personality: Both Extroverted and Introverted

Introversion vs. Shyness: The Discussion Continues

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts” (video)TED Talks

The Development of Shyness and Social Withdrawal (Amazon)

After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer from Scott Barry Kaufman

Make Your Class Cozy for Gifted Introverts” from Ian Byrd  

Why Are Such a High Proportion of Gifted People Introverted?

Introversion and the Highly Gifted

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