GT-Adults Mailing List

GT-Adults is an electronic mailing list provided by GT World, an online support community for Gifted and Talented individuals.

This list is intended for adults who share an interest in exploring issues related to being a gifted adult, discovering giftedness as an adult, or growing up gifted (whether or not recognized as such during childhood). We welcome all who fit that description, as long as they agree to follow the rules and principles set out below.

While some of us long ago recognized and readily accepted our own giftedness, others among us are ambivalent, in denial or just starting to suspect this truth about ourselves. Many of us were first confronted with our own giftedness as we tried to meet the needs of our gifted children, and recognized reflections of ourselves in them.

From Stephanie Tolan:

"...we believed all those myths about gifted people, and didn't know we were, and we had all these hang-ups. In both our cases, it was denial. It really was an inability to know who we were, and an unwillingness to admit it. Denial was such a major thing with me, because it was just bloody dangerous to be very bright, so you had to not be, so there were always these reasons."

This list is a place where we can share our knowledge and our fears, and where we can help each other to deal with the myths, the hang-ups and everyday struggles we face on the way to finding out who we are as gifted adults.

Topics welcome on GT-Adults include:

If you would like to subscribe to GT-Adults from this web page you can send e-mail to with the two word message subscribe gt-adults but we'd really appreciate your taking the time to read our stuff about being civilized first! Note that in order to post to the GT-Adults list, you must first be a subscriber.

Promoting a Civilized Environment

We find a list works best when everyone treats everyone else with respect. Below are a few suggestions designed to keep GT-Adults the kind of place where the experienced want to stay and the brand-new feel welcome.

Every list evolves its own culture over time. One of the best ways to make a good impression in a new place is to spend some time "reading the room" to get a feel for the place. Take some time to read the posts over a few days, then please write a note to introduce yourself to us. We ask that you post a message to introduce yourself within 4 weeks of subscribing.

From past experience, we know that being aware of a lot of listmembers who are subscribed but not actively participating can feel a little like being watched. While not every thread on the list may interest you enough to participate, and while we realize that some of you lead very busy lives, we do ask that you make your presence known by sharing your experiences or insights regularly. Sometimes what seems insignificant to you may help someone else, or develop into another thread of interest.

Please be aware that GT-Adults is an unarchived list. However, this list is also a public forum. Think twice before divulging information which you would feel uncomfortable mentioning in a restaurant or another public venue where anyone could overhear you. While our listmember agreement outlines acceptable use of the information on this list, our open membership policy means that it is possible for anyone, with any motivation, to join the list and read our posts. Please use the *who* command (found later in this message) if you wish to see a list of current subscribers.

To the extent that we are successful in creating a friendly, helpful atmosphere, it is possible that we will attract people you actually know in "Real Life"; neighbors, relatives, friends, or co-workers. Once you've been around for a while, the Internet quickly ceases to be a place where you are truly anonymous. For this reason, you need to take the same responsibility for the things you say here, as you would anywhere else.

We recommend including your name and e-mail address in the last two lines of each message sent to the list, to make it simpler for people to communicate privately with you via e-mail. However, please do not use signature blocks which occupy more than five lines of text, or which contain lines longer than 80 characters.

Remember that people read this list using a very wide variety of hardware and software, and that some users are limited in their mailbox space or must pay according to the volume of mail they receive. As a courtesy, please configure your e-mail software to use "7-bit" encoding, and turn off the use of "attachments".

It is helpful to include part of the message to which you are responding, but please don't quote the whole thing. If your response is a simple "I agree", those of us who labor with full mailboxes will thank you for sending that privately to the poster's e-mail address instead of to the entire list.

It's important to remember that each of us speaks only from our own experience and reading. What works for one person does not work for all. Each listmember is responsible for evaluating the information presented here in terms of the context of other opinions, the credibility of the source, and the applicability to the listmember's own situation.

We don't "flame" here; we are trying to *help* one another. Because support doesn't always mean saying "I agree", it is important to phrase challenges in such a way that it is clear that it is not the worth of the writer you are questioning, but rather the validity of the idea.

What is a flame?

It is important to recognize that disagreeing respectfully, or politely requesting a change of behavior, is not "flaming".

The following is NOT a flame:

"Some of us have positive memories of growing up gifted, but others have suffered a great deal in coming to terms with the downsides of being different. While there are obvious advantages to being the "smartest" kid on the block, most of us also experienced disadvantages, socially and academically. If we are to all to derive maximum benefit from this list, we need to respect the variety of differences amongst us, which are many: notwithstanding our common membership in a minority group.

I, also, have felt compelled to ask deep questions about faith, religion and spirituality. Talking about your own journey and your experiences, decisions and conclusions at various steps along the way can be useful to others passing the same way, and interesting to those who've been there or chosen other paths.

While we still disagree with each other's conclusions, perhaps simply because our experiences have been so different, we probably understand each other's point of view better, now."

This *is* a Flame:

"Listen you stupid jerk...we bigwigs who have been on this mailinglist forever, and who have forgotten more about gifted issues than you could ever know, are sick and tired of hearing you numb-skull newbies acting like know-it-alls. Are you sure you're gifted? You sound more like an idiot to me. Maybe you're an idiot-savant! Ha ha ha ha!"

GT-Adults will be a much more effective resource for all of us if we endeavor to keep it flame-free.

Please don't post the following to this list:

Expected Listmember Conduct:

  1. All posts to GT-Adults remain the copyrighted work of their individual authors. With the exception of "fair use" applications such as quoted material included to clarify replies, no posts may be reproduced in whole or in part in any medium without the express written permission of the author. This includes reproducing or forwarding any part of a list post in private e-mail to non-listmembers. And please do not, under any circumstances, post private e-mail to this list.

  2. The GT-Adults list is not to be used to conduct research. We are here to share our individual experiences openly and honestly. Even the slightest hint of someone "monitoring" or "polling" the list is destructive of that openness. The content of posts(both the specific words as well as the general information conveyed) is NOT to be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

    We recognize that many of our listmembers deal with gifted adults professionally, or have a professional interest in gifted adult issues. Please be vigilant in making a distinction between collecting anecdotal evidence or data of any kind, and the welcome sharing of your personal knowledge and interests. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to contact a listowner for clarification of this policy.

  3. GT-Adults is maintained for the benefit of the adult gifted community. While lively discussion is expected and encouraged, listmembers will maintain a tone which is constructive of community and respectful of fellow listmembers.

    Posts which appear to be destructive of community will result in revocation of list membership. The listowner is empowered to revoke list membership at his/her discretion, but is required to inform the GT World board of directors of such actions. Listmembers who wish to appeal the decision of the listowner may take their case to the GT World board.

  4. Listmembers understand that information exchanged on GT-Adults is the product of anecdotal individual experience and in no way represents professional advice. Listmembers implement strategies suggested on GT-Adults at their own risk.

Listmember Agreement:

By remaining subscribed to the GT-Adults mailing list, you demonstrate that you have agreed to the above conditions. If these conditions are not acceptable to you, then you must immediately unsubscribe from the list by sending e-mail with an empty subject line to:

containing the text

unsubscribe gt-adults

Technical Details

The GT-adults mailing list runs on Listserv version 16.

Web Interface

We recommend using the link below to set your preferences for the GT-Adults List.  You may need to create an icors login as part of this process.

GT-Adults Web Interface

E-Mail Interface

It's also possible to change your preferences by

The following is a summary of the most common e-mail commands: 

To subscribe to gt-adults

send e-mail to with the command subscribe gt-adults in the body

To unsubscribe

send e-mail to with the command signoff gt-adults in the body.

To contact a human being

send e-mail to

To send a post for distribution to the mailing list

send e-mail to
NOTE: Only subscribers to gt-world lists can post to them!

To receive multiple posts in a single mailing

send e-mail to with the command set gt-adults digest in the body

To set list to send no messages

send e-mail to with the command set gt-adults nomail in the body

To set list to send messages as they come in

send e-mail to with the command set gt-adults mail in the body

To resume a held membership

send e-mail to with the command unhold in the body

Other mailing list commands

send e-mail to with the command help in the body

Technical Details updated on 11/13/2010 by Valerie Bock

Web Page Content updated on January 5, 2001 by Valerie Bock