Growing Up As An Intuitive

I’ve been doing coaching and consulting for a while now, and I’ve had a wide variety of clients. From big companies (like Oracle and Zappos) to small companies to solopreneurs, from individuals trying to get to the next level to couples in failing relationships to people just trying to figure out what they want in life. In almost every context, when I profile and coach an Intuitive I hear the same story again and again: “My parents just didn’t get me.”


curiousIt’s kind of a broken record among Intuitives. As I’ve mentioned before, the biggest discrepancy in how we understand each other is whether or not we have an Intuitive learning style versus a Sensory learning style. (See: What’s the Difference Between Intuitive and Sensory Learning Styles?) Since the majority of the world is Sensory, that means most Intuitives were raised by at least one – if not both! – parents favoring a Sensory preference. And that means that at least one parent looked at their kid as if they must have been swapped at birth.

Now, it’s not always so dire. Just because someone is radically different than their parents doesn’t mean this is always going to end up in a major problem. But just as we all want to feel understood, especially by the people we love the most, feeling this vast difference without having words to explain what’s going on can be extremely disheartening.

Of all the coaching and consulting work I do, I always get the most excited when I hear the words, “Oh, this helps me understand my son (or daughter) so much better!” As I’ve written about before, permission is one of the most important components in a healthy Intuitive’s life – the permission to be fundamentally different, to make mistakes, and to explore alternative ways of living your life. As a rule, our parents would love to give us this gift if they only knew what that gift meant.

This is only one of the reasons why knowing, understanding and communicating learning styles is so important. Most of these issues go unspoken because they don’t have words. I mean, how often throughout your life have your heard the phrase, “Oh, you must have an Intuitive learning style” when you do something outside of the norm? Never, right! But what a relief it would have been if your parents were armed with this information. Instead of giving you the “look” that said ‘why on earth would anyone behave the way you do’ they said, “Oh, I know what’s going on – you must be Intuitive” and then subsequently acted on this information by providing you (or even just making at an attempt to provide you!) with the unique needs you have.

Getting this information into the public consciousness is a major priority for me. If you happen to be Intuitive and have what you suspect is a Sensory parent, I recommend explaining this difference to them even as an adult. Help them understand that what may have caused rifts in your relationship has nothing to do with anyone being ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. See if they aren’t more understanding of you once you have actual language to describe how your mind thinks versus theirs.

And tell me how it goes in the comments!


p.s. If you are an Intuitive and you suspect you have a Sensory child, make sure you’re looking after THEIR needs, as well! Provide your Sensory child with safety, security and concrete conversation.  Don’t make the mistake of overvaluing your preference – you’ll be doing the same thing that was done to you.

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  • Peter

    I bought the premium report and do not know to retrieve it. Can you help me with this?

    • Antonia Dodge

      Hey, Peter! It looks like this was handled by way of personal emails, but let us know if you have any further issues with your purchase



  • Kirk tully

    How early can a personality profile be determined? While I understand this is a soft science, it seems to me that the applications in early childhood development and education are exciting and (in my opinion) should engender huge changes in how the education system works. My mind races with the possibilities, and as an intuitive thinker (NT) I can only imagine the possibilities of how this information could have changed my schooling and my belief in my own capability now had I been educated in this and through this earlier.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Hey, Kirk! Great question.

      So, yeah – it’s a soft science, meaning anything I say is purely anecdotal. With that disclaimer out of the way, after years and years of profiling I’ve noticed that the primary mental process (or, cognitive function in Myers-Briggs language) starts showing up pretty young. Like, a practiced eye could see it emerging by the age of about 2 years old. Obviously, you’d want to keep an eye out for changes in temperament over the years and for any confirmation bias the profiler might have (like, say, an Intuitive parent wanting to see intuition in their child, etc).

      For example, I have two stepsons – an 8 year old and a 6 year old. I’m fairly certain I ‘know’ their types, though I hold space for being wrong. Even if I don’t know their complete type, I feel strongly I know their primary cognitive functions. I also have a 2 year old, and a burgeoning guess as to her type (though mostly just her primary cognitive function as well). But even that information is really helpful.

      I’ve had a lot of interest in the possibility of using the Genius system in creating education curriculum. It’s not directly my passion project, though I can see it potentially coming up on the horizon.

      I did a teleseminar with Rhea Lalla (a parenting expert) not too long ago on this very subject. If you’re interested here’s the link:

      (I believe you have to opt in, but it’s a good teleseminar so it’s worth it.)


      p.s. If I can get enough people interested in using this information to apply to schooling, then maybe I can ignite the pilot light of someone else’s passion and have a mover/shaker help make it happen!

      • Kirk tully

        Thank you! Very informative and the seminar was great. I enjoy new information and theories, and trying to get them to fit into or change how I currently think. You’re knowledge and ability to express it are fantastic. Thank you for challenging me and keep up the good work.

  • Angeline

    Interestingly enough, I had the privilege of being raised by two Intuitive parents and my brother (the only Sensory in the house) was the one who felt extremely left out! I realize this now as an adult and feel a little bad about the superiority complex I had with him. He married into an EXTREME S family and fees like a King over there–very hard for me to watch.

  • David

    One of my main problems is that I “muddle” my way to some depths that others may not be able to follow. When (as happens often) people wonder what I am talking about, I have trouble tracing (and expressing) my thought patterns to satisfy them. Lots of times, I just stop talking and let the conversation go on without me.

    • antonia

      Your natural talent and skill is to get to those depths… that doesn’t mean you have skill built up in communicating them. In fact, this is a skill ALL Intuitives need to exercise. Think of it as being bilingual. Few people have a natural aptitude for language unless they were taught the skill early in life.

      However, it’s extremely high leverage to do so. I have a model that helps with this quite a bit. This gives me a GREAT idea for a video blog on the subject. So, thanks! And keep your eyes peeled for that upcoming video. 🙂



      • Victoria

        I can relate to the need to be “bilingual” in English, too. My husband is an engineer who expects a different way of talking than my most natural style. He keeps saying he likes clear, concise language and that’s what he speaks. I have wracked my brain trying to come up with all kinds of interpretations of “my language,” but the gist of it is that I need to translate my thoughts into a more concrete style for my hubby! By the way, he also tested as an Intuitive in the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator. Still, he definitely is more sensory than I am in his observations and subsequent conversation.

        Your upcoming video blog on how to translate highly intuitive thoughts into a more sensing style.

        By the way, I have a Master’s in Linguistics, teach college English and Creative Writing, and am in Sales.

        I’m enjoying your blogs, tests, and deep information on Intuitives very much. Thank you for sharing this knowledge!



    • Laurel

      Can totally relate. I usually feel like I am disregarded as not knowing what I want to say, but usually it is just so profound that I cannot find the words for others to be able to understand what I see. I think in the future I will stop being so hard on myself and see what happens.

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