Living Life with an Intense Mind A Letter from the Editor for Issue Nine

Dear Readers,

Are you an intellectually intense person?  Does your brain go on absorbing information, questioning, or analyzing well after others have moved on?  Were labeled “gifted” when you were in school?  (Or, if you were less fortunate, did the adults just see you as an annoyance?)

We’ve got reason to believe that this describes our readers pretty well, so we’re delighted to present an issue that dives right in to the experience of living with a highly excitable mind.  Before I get to our features, however, I’ve got loads of exciting news to share with you.

New Team Members

First off, Third Factor‘s editorial team is growing!  I’m delighted to introduce to you our new associate editor, Eunice Cu.  A New Zealander now living in Toronto, Canada, Eunice had a career as a pharmacist before pursuing a career change to editorial work.  Turns out that she has a real knack for editing and has already been a huge help in putting together this issue.  This lightens my load a lot, which in turn means that we’ll be able to produce more and better content for all of you readers, so this is exciting news indeed.

Also joining us this issue is our new social media manager, Anastasia Linn, a branding and communications strategist from Copenhagen, Denmark with interests in depth psychology and emotional intelligence.  Anastasia has already put her expertise in social media strategy to good use, so those of you who follow us through those channels should already be seeing more and better content—which, again, will mean we can take this magazine’s game to the next level.

It’s like Christmas came early this year!

All a lead editor wants for Christmas is quality editorial help.

Both Eunice and Anastasia have already contributed a lot to this issue, and I remind you that we are a volunteer-run magazine, so they’re donating their time and energy without any compensation. So let’s give them a big round of applause! I trust your individual clapping behind your computer screen will ripple through the Universe in their direction. Or you can head over to our Facebook page and welcome them there.

Coming Soon: Third Factor Columnists

But wait, there’s more: some familiar faces are diving in deeper, enabling us to try something new.

We’ve received some feedback suggesting that you readers would like to get to know some of our authors in more depth.  And of course, we’d love to publish more frequently than we currently do.  So we’ve decided that, to supplement our one-off interviews and expert articles, we are going to experiment with a team of regular columnists who will publish personal reflections between the issues.  We hope adding these short pieces in between our main issues will give us a chance to show rather than tell about the themes we explore in our regular feature articles.

I’m delighted to announce that we have three such columnists lined up.  I’ll be one of them, and so will Benita Jeanelle, whose pieces on overcoming her false personas and her self-misdiagnosis clearly resonated with many of you.  Our third columnist will publish his first piece as a feature in our January/February 2020 issue and build on it from there.  The first inter-issue column will arrive in a few weeks, so stay tuned.

Tell Us What You Think

With so many new contributors and so much of my own mental bandwidth freed up, it should come as no surprise that we here at Third Factor are positively brimming over with ideas.  But which ones should we pursue?

You can help us answer that.  If you’ve got a few minutes, would you fill out our reader survey? Here, allow me to set it off for those of you who are just skimming this piece:

Please Take Our Survey!

We’d like to know more about why you read Third Factor, what you hope to find here, what you might like to share with your friends (to help us grow), and whether you’re interested in things like video content or forming a reader community.  All questions are optional, so feel free to only fill out the parts that interest you.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

In This Issue

Which finally brings me to what we’ve got in store in this issue.  So many of you responded positively when we dove into Benita’s story of misdiagnosis and giftedness in our last issue, so we figured there’s a need out there to dive into just what it means to live with intellectual intensity and the high ability (also known by that awkward G-word) that often goes with it.

To that end, we sat down with Paula Prober, a therapist who works specifically with gifted clients—or, as she calls them, rainforest minds.  She’s developed a deep well of expertise on this group and the struggles they so often experience because of their complexity and what they (and others) perceive as their “too-muchness.”  But there’s a better way to look at it, as she explains in Life in the Rainforest: Sensitivity, Intensity, and Giftedness.

We also connected with Dr. Sonja Falck, an academic and therapist who has both consulted with and formally studied high-IQ populations.  I first encountered her work at the Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference in Houston last summer, where she shared a compelling framework for discussing the experiences of highly intelligent people and why some thrive and others suffer. It’s sure to be of interest to bright people who have gone through positive disintegration, so we’re happy to share with you a preview of her new book in Third Factor Reads: Extreme Intelligence by Dr. Sonja Falck.  Here you’ll find a coupon code for 20% off at the publisher’s website—and an invitation to submit questions for our upcoming interview with Sonja.

Those of you with intellectual intensity will also be sure to enjoy the conclusion of Laura Stavinoha’s series on overexcitability in the voice.  This time, in Regulate Overexcitability to Empower Your Voice – Part II: The Mind, she offers advice tailored to those whose intense minds and imaginations leave them brimming with too much to say, who say it too fast, or who are so grounded in their knowledge of the facts that they struggle to reach those who aren’t already there.

Maybe you’d like to try to put Laura’s insights on empowering your voice to good use, but are feeling anxious about speaking out in politically charged times like these.  If so, then I’m talking to you in my own piece, Cancel Culture and Intellectual Intensity.  It’s the first in a series that I’ll continue in a couple of our new inter-issue columns.  Here, I lay out why those who experience intellectual overexcitability are, in my experience, particularly likely to be feeling anxiety under today’s “cancel culture.” (Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear from you.)

We also welcome back Krystyna Laycraft, who shares with us her doctoral research on the growth of highly creative adolescents as they go through their own struggles, as well as their joys and inspirations.  In Maturing Through Creativity: A Conceptual Model of Creativity Development in Young People, Krystyna compares levels of reintegration to stages of adolescent development.  Her work shows why the theory of positive disintegration so often resonates with those who have a compulsion to create—and reveals how that creation is part of their growth.

Fiction Contest Update

Our fiction contest is still underway. You have until January 19 to submit your piece, which you can do at the link below.

Submit Your Story!

I have heard from one person who reported trouble submitting.  I wasn’t able to replicate the problem, but I can’t rule out that it’s failing for lots of other people, so if you happen to have a problem, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’ll arrange to get your draft from you some other way.

That’s all the news for this issue.  I wish you and yours a happy holiday season, and thank you for being part of this community.  Our team is looking forward to building on that with your feedback and bringing you even more and better content in the year to come!

Sincerely,
Jessie Mannisto
Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at Third Factor jessie@thirdfactor.org Web Posts

A divergent thinker who can't abide an echo chamber, Jessie has served as assistant to the Consul General of Japan, Google Policy Fellow, and CIA leadership analyst. She is now an independent writer and analyst.