Last week someone on Twitter tagged me in a post asking if I was familiar with the concept of over-excitability. It made me realize that many who follow my work around twice-exceptionality aren’t familiar with my early work which is founded on the concept of excitability. Excitability is the foundation of my work on the Embracing Intensity Podcast and Community.
Five years ago, I asked my community to help me come up with things that many of us had in common being highly excitable. I made an animated post on Buzzfeed, but I thought it was a good time to revisit the origins of my blog, and I finally figured out how to add GIFs to my own blog so I decided to revisit this post with animation!
If you are Highly Excitable, you pick up on things that other people don’t and respond more intensely than the average Joe.
Excitability is often associated with, but not limited to, giftedness, twice-exceptionality (gifted plus disability), and ADHD.
Many Highly Excitables are also Highly Sensitive.
The key difference is the presence of one or more of five overexcitabilities:
You might be just one, or have the adventure of being all five!
Here are some signs you might be Highly Excitable:
You feel both “too much” and “not enough” at the same time. You feel like you have to tone yourself down and/or tune yourself out, and at the same time you don’t measure up to your own self-imposed standards.
2. You get a sense of elation from getting to the bottom of your laundry pile! You can get super excited about the little things in life.
3. When that certain song comes up, you can’t help but dance or sing to it wherever you are. When you feel like dancing, you’re gonna dance and when you feel like singing, you’re gonna sing!
4. Only one or two people get your jokes. But that’s what makes them so funny!
5. You feel like everyone is more together than you. When you see what others are doing that you aren’t, you get that feeling that you should be doing THAT too.
6. You find it hard to live up to your own standards. Being told not to compare yourself to others doesn’t help, because you know what YOU should be capable of doing.
7. You feel like you have 100 tabs open in the browser of your mind. Your mind is going a mile a minute and there’s so much going on at one time.
8. Sometimes you just want to go climb up a tree. Being an adult is such a drag sometimes.
9. When you are into someone you are REALLY INTO them, but you’re afraid you will scare them off. You just need to find someone equally intense (but not high drama).
10. It might take you an hour and a half to pick out a lamp. You have a finely tuned aesthetic sense that no one but you gets.
11. You must be a princess because you can definitely feel that pea!. Things others don’t notice annoy the pants off of you and things that annoy others are downright painful.
12. You can get so focused on that new project, you forgot to pee. While it is often hard to concentrate with so much on your mind, when you get excited about a project, you hyperfocus.
13. Last week you were an avid fish collector, and this week you are all about ham radio. You have so many interests you can’t possibly do them all at once, so you cycle through them with great enthusiasm.
14. It’s not enough to just make something cool, you need to make something revolutionary. You are not satisfied with “good enough,” you want to do something that’s never been done before.
15. You’re kind of like my broken car fan, you’re either on full blast or not on at all. Moderation is not your strong suit.
16. You have to be careful not to pick up other people’s accents lest they inadvertently think you are making fun of them. You are so good at picking up other people’s social cues, you sometimes start to reflect them back.
17. You think of the exact right thing to say when it is no longer relevant. You can be quick on your feet, but sometimes you keep thinking about what you could have said that was better.
18. Part of that conversation you were having happened in your head, so you might have to catch the other person up. Sometimes your mind is ahead of the conversation you’re having so you start in the middle of what you were thinking.
19. You can remember Monty Python sketches or song lyrics word for word after hearing them once, but you can’t remember what you put on your grocery list earlier that day. If you don’t find it meaningful or fun, you probably won’t remember it.
20. You have a class clown/teenage boy sense of humor, but a sophisticated intellect. You appreciate the finer things in life, but you also have an appreciation for the absurd.
21. You can solve perplexing puzzles, yet this is the third time you’ve had to run the washer because you keep forgetting about the wet clothes inside. You rise to a challenge, but struggle with the mundane.
22. No matter how much you like the person you just met, or how long you spoke to them, you will still forget their name by the time they stop talking. In fact the more emotional you feel about them the less likely you are to recall their name!
23. You force yourself to pay attention when people make small talk, but as soon as they talk about something personal or meaningful, you hang on their every word. It’s all about connection. Anything less just isn’t worth your time.
24. You compile a list of things of things you’d like to accomplish, then go play instead, and then beat yourself up for being “lazy” for not getting anything done. This makes your play time not nearly as much fun!
25. You worry that choosing pictures of people dancing for your excitability blog post will make others think that all excitable people like to dance. You spend a lot of time over-analyzing what people will read into your choices when in fact they are likely more worried about what you think of them.
Being Highly Excitable has it’s challenges, but it can also be the root of a lot of great powers! Depending on the type of excitability, it can bring excellent problem solving abilities, supremely innovative thinking, deep emotional connection, keen sensory perception and/or dynamic energy.
If you ever feel like you are “too much” (too analytical, too spacey, too emotional, too sensitive, too hyper), remember that you excesses might just be your greatest assets!
Now it’s you’re turn! Write in the comments how you know if YOU are Highly Excitable!
Excitability can be a superpower when well harnessed. Sign up for my free workbook: Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity: A Self-Regulation Workbook for Gifted, Creative and Twice Exceptional Thinkers.
You can also join us in our Embracing Intensity Community for my full Ignite Your Power Course to help you use Excitability to connect with your unique super powers, balance your energy and feel a sense of accomplishment in your life!
This week I just launched book 5 in the series, Building Positive Coping Skills, which is available at 50% off for the first week! You can find the full series of completed books in my Embracing Intensity Store.