Redefining Responsibility through Self Leadership:
Thoughts for Gifted Men

by Merlin Györy

This piece is one of my contributions to the creative writing & art compilation
"Gift for an emerging world"

About the compilation:

Gifts for an Emerging World explores the question of what it means to be gifted at a time of great global crisis and transformation. Through creative writing and art, we explore our deep connection to the Earth, the ways we grieve and grapple with how humanity is severing that connection, how we dream and sense an emerging healed world, and how with our many gifts we may help birth that emerging future. We explore these challenging questions and emotions through the lens of our gifts, the superpowers we bring to bear in this moment, the creative challenges we face and the deep and meaningful connections we form. Sometimes our gifts remain unseen and hidden, but as we face this transformation together, we have the chance to shine our gifted lights through the emerging cracks and make a positive impact. Join us in coming together and raising our voices to share that light.


Compiled and edited by Jan Provoost, Karin Eglinton & Jennifer Harvey Sallin. It includes 26 contributors and 37 entries. 189 pages in PDF format.

Please pick your copy up here, and enjoy all the wonderful pieces of everyone else.

Much of my professional work, as well as my own self-development work, is centered on the experience and meaning of being, as well as developing robust leadership and creativity, as a gifted man. For each of us, regardless of sex or gender, our giftedness, creativity and leadership are meaningful aspects to bring to the world. But when I envision the future of our world, of this planet and all it contains, it seems that to me that a better understanding of the male perspective and experience is one of the core areas – if not the core area – that could make or break how this future looks...

Self-Leadership for Gifted Men

First published on InterGifted

For many gifted and twice- or multi-exceptional men, the self-leadership process requires resolving experiences of impasse and feelings of "failing to actualize potential". InterGifted coach & community leader Merlin Györy recently shared his wisdom with us on this topic in a community Q+A, which we've adapted to an article here. Learn about what self-leadership for gifted men entails, how to find a starting point on your path, how to overcome resistance on the journey, and where to find attuned and connection support along the way. 
By Merlin Györy


Self-leadership is the concerted effort we make to take responsibility for guiding ourselves along the path to developing into fully mature, generative adults. For many gifted men and twice- or multi-exceptional men, the self-leadership process involves resolving experiences of impasse, such as being deeply stuck in a kind of rut that can be felt as "failing to actualize potential"; or standing still even while making seemingly titanic efforts to move forward in one's journey of self-development. This experience can be lived with overtones of isolation, lack of connection, and dissonance between the cultural images of what it means to be a man, versus one's complex, unique lived experience. Being a multi-exceptional man who has struggled to embrace my own journey of emotionally balanced self-leadership, I've made some progress on the question and in turn work to support other gifted men on their respective self-leadership journeys. Given that many of us have been or are being raised in repressive and oppressive cultures which encourage a toxic masculinity rather than a healthy masculinity, there is work to be done, both personally and collectively. Here I will share some of the meaningful stepping stones which are common on the gifted male journey of waking up to the self-leadership call and finding the agency to holistically and meaningfully engage in it...

Creativity, Perfectionism & Self-Love: Thoughts for the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional 

First published on

Gifted and twice/multi-exceptional creatives can face major blocks via perfectionism, which has some roots in a lack of self-love. InterGifted creatives coach Merlin Györy recently shared his wisdom with us on this topic in a community Q+A, which we've adapted to an article here. Learn about the role of self-love in overcoming perfectionism, as well as the stages of a creative project and how to ask for the right kind of creative feedback at the right time.

By Merlin Györy



Many (if not all) gifted creatives have had many monsters to battle internally which have kept us from making space to create. Shame and lack of self love are two of the biggest monsters I’ve known, and they can combine really well to form the "perfectionism team". As artists, we often put a part of our soul via our perspective into our work. Art is all about communication, and whilst true for any artist, we gifted and twice-/multi-exceptional people confront something specific when we put our art out there. For us, the fear of being not seen, or not understood, can be amplified as we have often had to deal with not being fully seen or understood throughout our life, and not just in our creative endeavors. This can create enormous pressure in many forms and shapes.

One of the forms that many of us are very familiar with is the "trap-voice" in our heads which tells us that by making our art "perfect", we can protect ourselves from those who will not see us or who would even use the "opening" our art provides to hurt us. And that by being our own toughest critic, we can protect ourselves from the critics outside - after all, we’d often rather deal the blow ourselves in the name of “becoming better” than let others do it to hurt us. This is one of the most dangerous arguments I’ve heard from my own perfectionism and the perfectionism patterns of the gifted creatives I coach in my practice. As gifted creatives, we can't allow our natural drive for mastery and excellence to become hijacked and thus lend its immense power to what limits us; rather, we can encourage it to be the force that lets us create the joy and expansion we crave...

Gender & Giftedness: Toward a Human-First Model of Self-Expression

First Published on

Just as giftedness is not an isolated quality of your life, neither is your biological sex and the connected gender norm you received from your social and cultural environment. Both your giftedness and your inherited gender roles – individually and interconnectedly – globally affect your particular expression and experience of your intelligence, your sense of possibility, and your relationship with yourself and with the external world. In this article, InterGifted Coach Merlin Györy shares his own "positive gender disintegration" process with us as well as suggestions and insight for navigating our own.

By Merlin Györy


While I was growing up, I felt a lot of pressure to match my gender – to be “manly”. Unfortunately, as a sensitive, gifted kid, this often conflicted with my inner desires to express my high intelligence in non-stereotypically manly ways. My emotional and intellectual intelligence craved relationships in which I could seek understanding, collaboratively solve puzzles, and enjoy the connection that resulted. I was also not afraid to cry, to hug someone, or to show my intense reaction and appreciation for art. After watching a movie with friends, I wanted to talk about the concepts presented and how they made me feel; not only reenact the fight scenes, like most other boys wanted to. All of this (and more) did not fit in well with what being a boy meant in my world.

As a kid, a lot of my friends were girls and I felt very “at home” with them, but the older I got the more girls thought being friends with boys was “not okay”. Furthermore, I observed that most other boys seemed interested in destruction and “one up” behavior, while I tended to be interested in bridging differences and collaborating non-competitively – and the more I interacted primarily with boys, the more I “learned” that behavior. I also noticed that other guys seemed afraid of closeness and “feelings”. Expressions of sensitivity for them seemed to connect with a weakness reserved only for girls and women (or weak men and boys). Boys around me seemed to prefer to “break” the problem rather than admit they were interested in it, or challenged by it, in what seemed to be an effort to make it clear that they were strong enough to not have to stoop to solving it. This confused me, and at the same time hurt me, because my offers for help and understanding were often harshly rejected by them...