The Physiology of Multipotentiality
Photo courtesy of Richard.

The Physiology of Multipotentiality

Written by Emilie

Topics: Multipotentialite Patterns

Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Jen Knapp.

Of my many passion paths was a discontinued pursuit in medicine.  But while my medical bug is on bed rest for the time being, I nonetheless have wondered what unique, physiological components lurk deep within a multipotentialite’s biological wiring.

By now, our multipotentialite community is accustomed to seeing its moniker defined as ‘possessing a higher ability or giftedness’.  It’s these and other relational terms used over time that require us to embrace the fact that our internal connectivity must likely differ then, from individuals less inclined to amass their passions.

With just a peek inside Puttylike’s growing community, one could discern that multipotentialites feel largely misunderstood by the public at large (and possibly those closest to them).  Looking deeper still at the commentaries reveals a telling pattern of personal encounters with societal prejudgments and misperceptions – an all too familiar consequence of our extreme drivenness.  But why?

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that gifted individuals are, by nature, emotionally more sensitive to their surrounding stimuli; a biological hard wiring that emerges within the first few years of adolescence, and endures for a lifetime.

It may also help to hear corroborating wisdom from an old-world social scientist like Carl Jung.  Jung, one of the world’s earliest pioneers in uncovering the constructs of introversion, upheld a belief in innate sensitiveness, acknowledging it as a ‘blessing and a curse’.  It’s this wiring, if you will, that affords extraordinary individuals to be so attuned to the subtleties in their midst, enabling them to process information at such a granular level.

Introversion is especially common among the gifted.  Often practiced as a coping mechanism – but misdiagnosed as being socially inept – introverts are considered to be a minority in society as a whole, but rank in the majority among other gifted individuals.  (Factoid: Did you know that introversion increases with intelligence, classifying more than 75% of introverts with IQs above 160?)

Multipotentialites may even find that they experience (or are misdiagnosed as having) symptoms similar to those stricken with ADHD or social anxiety disorders.  So, while sharing similar symptomatic biological markers, those diagnosed with these medical conditions can and do reach their breaking points, whereas conversely, these types of symptoms in highly functioning individuals manifest in much lower intensities, such as an inability to concentrate.

A lesser mainstream, but widely held tangential term that may help to connect these dots is a term known as precognition.  More often an experience of highly sensitive persons (HSPs), possessing a foreknowledge of a coming event is thought to be the product of one’s hyper-sensitized cognizance of their surrounding stimuli.  Naysayers who weigh in, however, speculate instead that belief in this pseudo-science is really nothing more than an individual’s feeling of helplessness, or lack of control over their life, lending that the less control one feels they possess, the greater one’s belief develops in precognition, and vice versa.

 So, do any of these experiences resonate with you? What do you think is going on inside a multipotentialite’s head?

‘The truly creative mind, in any field, is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.” – Pearl Buck, Writer

9180c4225bcba55531b7082411c91b42Jen Knapp
I am a Multipotentialite residing just outside of Denver, CO. Given my multi-committed personality, I try to concentrate my free time devoted to an active fitness regimen, studying physiology and nutrition, being a gearhead, and freelance writing. And when I’m not working out, studying, writing or drooling over cars, my time is spent spoiling my Tabby cat, Prada and Blue Heeler, Callie. This isn’t a comprehensive bio. That would be pure insanity for a Multipotentialite to pull off. :).


  1. Quiana says:

    This is an insane article. I love it!

    While I’m not an introvert, everything else sounds like me spot on. I used to hear that I was too sensitive growing up. I could never understand why my feelings were always considered such.

    I was also told that my focus was so short that I must have ADHD. By the time I was in school diagnosis of this was not as common as it is now. In fact, I’ve seen a number of kids diagnosed and always thought, they weren’t ADHD but were rather gifted and were just multipassionate.

    One thing I would like to know is the correlation between multipotentiality and sexuality. It would be interesting to see if there is some type of correlation between the number of relationships, sexual partners, and/or ability to be aroused (easily or difficulty).

    If I knew I could stay interested long enough to see the study through, I’d probably embark on that research.

    Two thumbs up Jen!

    • Jen says:

      Hey-why thanks for such a great review, Quiana! Funny that you ask – I actually tried researching a variety of demographics in relation to multipotentialites but was unsuccessful. (In the science realm, multipotentiality takes on an entirely new meaning, i.e., the study of human cells. Who knew?
      But alas, try googling the search parameters, ‘correlation between giftedness and sexuality’, and you’ll find enough data to answer your query many times over.
      Thanks again!

  2. Lakshmi says:

    Very interesting post. A commenter on this site on one of the earlier posts had posted a link to this site – I found myself getting absorbed into the site.


    • Jen says:

      Hi Lakshmi, thank you for your post, and for pointing me to that site – I wasn’t aware of that one but see what you mean about how it ‘absorbs’ you. I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in continually finding so many great sites that validate our relevance as well as our complexities.
      Thanks again, Jen

  3. Ben Horak says:

    I have been reading this blog over the course of a few months, the discovery of being a mutipotientialite and finding out there are people like me was so refreshing, relieving and scary. Reading this article and learning about these psychological anomolies I blurted out “holy sh*t.”. Everything from the introversion, social anxiety, hsp and precognition exist in my life. I did not expect these to be interconnected only seperate psychological issues I had to deal with. This helps to bring some peace with myself. Thank you.

    • Jen says:

      Hi Ben, I’m so pleased that my article provides a sort of respite for you; that certainly sounds like a lot to manage. I too, am grateful for Emile’s site. Without trying, it seems to act as an aggregator for the mass of other cousin sites out there – a one stop shop, if you will!
      Take care, Jen

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