This curve shows the familiar Normal or Gaussian Distribution. The height of the curve above an IQ-number shows proportionally how many people will correspond to that IQ-value.
The lightly coloured area, to the right of IQ=130, indicates the 2% group with a very high IQ, associated with giftedness.
This (customary) description suggests that these people are a well defined compact group at the high end of the spectrum. But it is only a projection of an enormous diversity on a 1-dimensional scale.
This scattergram illustrates the relative large diversity within the 2% group, who are represented by the dots that lie outside of the concentric arcs. They share a large distance to the 'centre' or IQ-mean. Apart from that, they share little, because there are so very many ways to be extra intelligent. Many more ways than can be illustrated by this 2-dimensional graph. It illustrates their relative loneliness and the precious little chance that they will encounter someone with similar gifts.
Read for instance below about the 'dots and spaces'.
"....therefore I'm not gifted."
In her article ‘Self-Knowledge, Self-Esteem and the Gifted Adult’ (1999), Stephanie Tolan describes how difficult self-identification as a gifted adult is, because of the diversity of the gifted population.
This leads to the fatal argumentation:
"She is obviously gifted! Just look at her competences X and Y. I do not have those competences as strongly, therefore I am not gifted!"
Dots and spaces
There are so very many unusual capacities to make you excel in your own very special way. Tolan writes:
'If we were to think of each of these various unusual mental capacities (e.g. photographic memory, lightning mathematical calculation, the ability to visualize clearly, speed reading, quick spatial pattern recognition, ease in learning languages, metaphorical thought and speech) as "dots" and the lack of them as "spaces," we would see very different patterns in different individuals, even if IQ scores seemed to indicate great similarity.'
"....I'm just weird!"
Because you are quite accustomed to your own excellent qualities (I did not do anything special for it, really, it is no big deal....), you will tend to underrate them, and certainly compared to the 'dots' of others, where you consider yourself to have 'spaces'.
It does lead to an unnecessary low self esteem and a biased self-image.
Combined with the always lurking feeling of being too different, the conclusion can only be: "I'm not gifted, I'm just weird!"
I remember a married couple who came to me separately after my presentation on extra intelligence: Each partner explained how obviously the other was Xi, but both doubted whether they qualified themselves. Afterwards at lunch I joined them while they were sitting together and told them the story. They looked at each other utterly surprised...
Can you see the beauty and value of your own dots?