Have you ever felt pressure to tone yourself down?
You’re too intense, too emotional, too deep, too sensitive, too whatever…
And it feels like you’re the only one.
You’re the only one who gets crazy-excited about things.
You’re the only one who can’t stand superficial conversation.
You’re the only one who gets carried away by how strongly you feel.
Is something wrong with you?
Or are you just highly excitable?
In this week’s YBTV interview, we talk with Embracing Intensity founder Aurora Remember about what it means to be a Highly Excitable Person.
You’ll learn how being a highly excitable person is similar to but not the same as being a highly sensitive person.
You’ll find out why gifted children with this trait often struggle, and what it means to be twice exceptional.
You’ll also learn how you can channel your intensity in positive ways, without having to tone yourself down for other people.
Intensity is a superpower, Aurora says, and it’s time to embrace your uniqueness.
What You’ll Learn
Growing up, Aurora felt like an orange in a box of apples.
She was young for her grade. She was always getting in trouble. She was hyper. She asked too many questions for her teachers.
Even though her unconventional spirit was appreciated by her family, at school she was “too much.”
In the fifth grade, she tested into a full-time gifted program. She thrived in this new setting.
But her educational opportunities didn’t come without challenges. By high school, she felt like an underachiever in a class of overachievers. Despite getting into a good college, she dropped out after two years because of health problems.
It wasn’t until she was a mother herself that she discovered that there was a word for what she was going through.
That word was overexcitability…
And her discovery led her to create a community and podcast around the experience of being a highly excitable person.
Overexcitability and Twice Exceptionality
Aurora was looking up behavior problems in gifted children when she came across author and educator Jade Rivera’s blog posts on overexcitability.
“Overexcitability is both being more sensitive than others, but also reacting more intensely,” she explains.
There were five areas where overexcitability can manifest:
- Emotional, and
Aurora identified with all five.
She’s since learned that she also struggled with ADHD, but no one picked it up because she’d been labeled as gifted.
That’s a common experience, she says.
When a child is both gifted AND neurodivergent (e.g., their brain functions differently from normal, as in ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia), often one gets picked up but not the other.
Or their giftedness gets canceled out by the neurodivergence, so neither becomes apparent.
This twice exceptionality (also known as 2e) can be difficult for kids who don’t get the support they need for their giftedness or their neurodivergence, or both.
Gifted kids can feel like they don’t measure up. Neurodivergent kids can feel bored and unchallenged.
Simply having the language to identify these kids can help them get their unique needs met.
Life as a Highly Excitable Person
Highly excitable people often feel “both too much and not enough at the same time.”
“The key part is that intensity of experience,” Aurora says, “so we’re more sensitive and more reactive to things. That can be a good thing, but it can also lead to challenges.”
When she’s networking, for example, she feels like she has to be “on” all the time.
“I worry about, ‘Am I talking too much? Am I picking up on their signals? Am I getting too excited?'”
She gets anxious when she has to make small talk with a number of people, but she’s found that she has an easier time one-on-one.
When you recognize that intensity in someone else, it’s so much easier to just relax into the conversation, because they’re just as intense as you.”
Connect with Your Community
To help other highly excitable people find connection and feel less alone, Aurora has created a private community called Embracing Intensity.
This community is for both men and women, and it’s entirely online.
Her community helps people access “that kind of intensity of connection that you don’t always get.”
Membership includes group calls, guest speakers, and a course called “Ignite Your Power” that will help you figure out how to use your traits in a positive way.
If you want a taster, Aurora is offering a free gift to Your Brilliance readers:
The workbook will help you identify your own areas of intensity and develop strategies to manage those traits.
Channel Your Energy
Key to thriving as an intense person is finding ways to channel your energy in the direction you want it to go.
Look “at a trait that you might think is too much. How does that look when it’s out of control? How does it look when you’re trying to suppress it…? And then how does it look when it’s fully realized and channeled in a positive direction?”
That doesn’t mean toning yourself down to make yourself more acceptable to other people.
“When I talk about harnessing your intensity,” Aurora says, “it’s for yourself. It’s not for other people.”
She compares it to “trying to fit in versus just being you and drawing the right people to you.”
If we’re trying too hard to tone down our innate self, then we may fit in, but we’re not going to truly belong until we can be our full selves.”
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:58 An orange in a box of apples
4:57 Discovering overexcitability
6:12 What is overexcitability?
7:15 Twice exceptionality
13:08 Using traits in a positive way
14:13 The Embracing Intensity community
16:46 Connect with the right people
20:14 Do this for you
Aurora Remember Holtzman
Aurora is an expert in twice exceptionality and excitability. She’s an educational consultant and coach and founder of Embracing Intensity, a community and podcast for gifted, creative, and out-of-the-box thinkers. Harness the power of your intensity.