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“Chameleons share an above-average level of intensity, sensitivity and complexity. However, how these qualities show up individually varies from one chameleon to the other.”

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Rozelien Callaerts

The chameleon

What distinguishes the highly gifted from neurotypical people? Their brain is wired differently. They experience the world with an above-average level of intensity, sensitivity and complexity. The way that giftedness is developed and expressed though, is highly personal. Giftedness is not a one-size-fits-all way of being. Many gifted adults have not been identified as a child. Hence, they may not be aware of their giftedness. The list below is meant as an indication that requires a flexible interpretation. This means that not all mentioned traits must be covered to be considered gifted.

Are you not entirely sure if you are a chameleon?
No worries, we can find out together.

The changing color palette of chameleons is what makes them unique. They have this gift to be creative. This creativity can show up in artistic practices, intellectual reasoning, communication, problem solving, meaning making, eloquence, and so on. Most likely you will catch them daydreaming. They use the act of daydreaming to integrate lived experiences, to free-associate, and to imagine the seemingly unimaginable. These chameleons have an innate drive to create, change or innovate. People would refer to them as idealists, developers, innovators, creatives or changemakers.
Strong sense of justice
Chameleons look like tiny dragons. It stands for those who have a strong sense of right and wrong. Hence they have an innate drive to fight against injustice and hypocrisy. They also hold tightly to promises and agreements. If they observe inconsistent or unreliable behavior in others, they will hold the ones involved accountable or question their reliability. Their high standards for themselves and others can lead to disappointment, frustration, perfectionism and fear of failure.
Inquisitive, sharp and independent mind
Chameleons regularly slough their skin. It symbolizes a renewal and growth. Inquisitive minds want to be intellectually challenged as a way to grow. They love to engage in deep conversations, to question themselves and the world critically, and to learn through experience. They yearn for depth and complexity. Moments of solitary contemplation are necessary to examine their thoughts and experiences or to find solutions to complex questions. Often they have studied divergent subjects, pursued different careers or chased one challenge after the other. They like to explore and dislike routine. However, this irresistible eagerness can make them feel indecisive or restless.
Sensitive and highly empathic
Chameleons can easily adapt physically and emotionally. They sense atmospheres in the room and naturally pick up on other people’s emotions. Their sensitive antennas make them change colors in order to match the environment and the people around them. Chameleons feel intensely, process deeply and respond strongly to various stimuli. Feeling the feels with such intensity can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Their talent for fine attunement carries a few risks: It can lead to perfectionism or a loss of authenticity as an attempt to fit in. Besides, a constant adjustment to the needs of others can result in poor personal boundaries and an inability to voice personal needs.
Chameleons are known for their sharp observation skills. They take the time to observe the environment, allowing them to see details and patterns with greater ease. They seek truth through observation and reasoning. People may perceive them as distant, reserved or hard to read at first.

Why do chameleons need support?

Despite this set of valuable qualities, not all gifted chameleons lead a fulfilling and successful life. Their higher than average cognitive and emotional complexity can feel very challenging for both themselves and the people around them. Besides they may have been called “too much” in the past: too critical, too intense, too quirky, too sensitive, too serious, too complex and so on. My services are designed for identified and unidentified gifted adults. You might recognize yourself in a few characteristics, but you doubt if you are a chameleon or not. Please do not hold back. I know it can feel intimidating and scary at first, but there is no need to. You are most welcome for a 30-minute intro video call (free) or an explorative intake session. Together we will evaluate whether you can benefit from my services.

Human movement is an unrecognized body of knowledge that is connected to all aspects of the human experience And through understanding the complexity of the patterns of human movement we are better able to understand the complexity of what it means to be human.

Karen A. Studd

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