deird1: Faith looking thoughtful, with text "deep thought" (Faith thought)
[personal profile] deird1
I've been reading a rather interesting discussion on thinking that everyone experiences the world the same way that you do – until one day you realise that they don't.

Examples include: not realising you're colourblind, that you have synesthesia, that you don't have a sense of smell, etc; not realising that some people actually are extroverted, actually do like music, or actually can have a favourite colour; not reading body language and/or thinking everyone can.


Most of these I find interesting, but can't really relate to. The only one that's so far made me go "Huh. Me too." was someone asking "Do people really feel emotionally moved by pieces of artwork the way they are by music?" because I've always liked art, but never really been moved by art – whereas music can get me into intense emotions very quickly.

I've experienced various instances of the "doesn't everyone...?" thing throughout my life. Such as:
1) Putting on glasses for the first time, and suddenly discovering that leaves on trees weren't supposed to look blurry.
2) Having ritalin for the first time, and discovering what it's like to have a single train of thought continue without interruption for ten minutes.
3) Slowly realising that texture is the important part of food for me (hence I like pineapple juice, pineapple lollies, and cooked pineapple, but can't eat it raw), and that other people really do think that flavour is this huge component.
4) Having someone ask me how to tell if they were singing "off key", and realising they really didn't know.
5) Realsing that, not only can most people stand flickering lights without leaving the room, but most people don't even register that they're flickering.
6) Discovering my total inability to explain how to make a fake American accent sound good, other than... doing the accent like it sounds.
7) Recently, having my sense of smell go into overdrive, and trying to explain to my mum what this was like – to which she nodded and said "that's normal for me" to every example I gave of intense oversmelling. (We're both freaks, in this case. My sense of smell is normally terrible, whereas hers is superhuman.)

I'm rather fascinated by this concept.

Date: 2014-04-16 12:27 pm (UTC)
jillofalltrades: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jillofalltrades
Walking through a synesthesia exhibit at Melbourne Museum with a friend.
"Wow," says my friend, "imagine seeing music as colours!"
"... oh," I replied. "That's unusual now, is it?"

Date: 2014-04-16 01:51 pm (UTC)
shipperx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shipperx
One I discovered over the course of college/ my career: some people truly cannot look at something in two dimensions and imagine how they work in three dimensions. Run into clients (friends, etc.) all the time who simply cannot look at plans and see how that would translate to three-dimensional space.

Date: 2014-04-16 02:23 pm (UTC)
lydiabell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lydiabell
Until a year or two ago, I had no idea that ASMR didn't happen to everyone.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:11 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
I read that, and I still don't really understand what's going on with it, so I'm going to safely assume I don't have it.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:14 pm (UTC)
lydiabell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lydiabell
Yeah, if you did, you'd recognize it. :D

Date: 2014-04-16 04:23 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
How did you realize that it was a rare thing?

Date: 2014-04-16 04:43 pm (UTC)
lydiabell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lydiabell
I listen to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, and one of the hosts, who's a neurologist, wrote a blog post about it.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:44 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
Interesting! I bet that was quite an upending moment for you!

Date: 2014-04-16 06:43 pm (UTC)
lydiabell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lydiabell
It was!

Date: 2014-04-16 04:11 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
For me, it was realizing I was demisexual...like two years ago. Up until I had that moment (when I felt a mild form of actual sexual attraction for the first time), I thought that when people talked about it being difficult not to act on their sexual attraction to other people, they were just exaggerating, that it's really quite easy to do that and they just don't want to practice self-control, so they acted like it's more difficult than it is.

When I see an attractive person of any gender, I have an aesthetic reaction that can be intense and visceral (I do indeed think, "OMG SHE IS SO HOT MY FACE IS MELTING OFF" but it doesn't then follow that I have any desire to have sex with her); when I see an attractive man, I have that aesthetic reaction combined with an awareness of hypothetical reaction ("HE IS SO HOT. I can imagine being really, really into him if we were dating.").

I had always known I didn't have any desire to have sex outside of a committed relationship, and I knew that other people did have that desire, but I had no idea what the pull of real sexual attraction (OMG I MUST TOUCH HIM) felt like. Feeling a bit of it for the first time made me realize what I had always lacked.

Date: 2014-04-17 09:39 am (UTC)
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (hugs)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
I tend to say I'm "kinda asexual" because I do have sexual feelings - it's just (I consciously realised only recently) they're always about fiction. (I have certain 'narrative kinks' which are sometimes sexual and sometimes just about how enjoyable it is to read/view. There are some TV characters I really enjoy watching, but mostly in relation to another character, not just for themselves.) I've never had any sexual interest in any real person; the closest I have occasionally is a mild aesthetic appreciation and occasionally a hypothetical "Oh yeah, in theory this might be where a normal person might consider asking them out, right?"

So yeah, I've long wondered just how literal the whole "OMG CANNOT RESIST TRUE LOVE / LUST" trope is for people who aren't me. Stories about a married person suddenly meeting their One True Love and not being able to resist cheating on their spouse, therefore, are a mixture of bewildering, boring, and intensely irritating.

--Whereas stories about a married person meeting their One True Love and remaining faithful to their spouse because some things are more important than sexytimes, are intensely satisfying. La Princesse de Cleves was a formative experience in this regard. In retrospect, waxing lyrical about this to my boyfriend may have been a bit weird. But I was only dating him because he asked me out and it seemed appropriate to try out this having-a-boyfriend concept, so quite a few things got fairly awkward there anyway.

Date: 2014-04-17 02:47 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
Your situation makes a lot of sense to me. Some people apparently have a hard time imagining what it's like to be asexual, but it's always made sense to me, and I get the idea of having more ~sexy thoughts about fiction than reality.

Stories about a married person suddenly meeting their One True Love and not being able to resist cheating on their spouse, therefore, are a mixture of bewildering, boring, and intensely irritating.

The narrative I hate more than anything in the world! You can always help cheating. Even though I realize that other people's lust is a lot stronger than mine, I completely do not buy that you have no control over your actions.

Whereas stories about a married person meeting their One True Love and remaining faithful to their spouse because some things are more important than sexytimes, are intensely satisfying.

I haven't read many of these (my big marriage kink is people-who-fall-in-love-after-they-get-married, usually because of an arranged marriage situation or a marriage of convenience), but I do remember the Princess of Cleves!

But I was only dating him because he asked me out and it seemed appropriate to try out this having-a-boyfriend concept, so quite a few things got fairly awkward there anyway.

Do you mind me asking if you two figured out you wanted different things and broke up for that reason? I'm really fascinated by the stories I hear from my ace-spectrum friends about dating and what it helped them discover about themselves and how their partners reacted to it. Did it end amicably?

Date: 2014-04-17 11:03 pm (UTC)
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (hugs)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
Alas I was young and very awkward; he was older and fairly madly in love with me; as time passed he was clearly aiming towards marriage. It took me a while to realise that I wasn't going to grow into more than really enjoying our conversations, and then it took me even longer to work up the nerve to broach the topic, which obviously was completely counterproductive.

So eventually on one date I did the dreaded "We need to talk" and he drove me home in stunned silence. A few days later he called up to ask if we could talk about it because it was all out of the blue for him. We had a very civil conversation, especially considering he was clearly devastated. He wanted to understand, I did the best I could to explain, but I didn't have the concept of me being completely asexual yet, so the best I could manage were the "It's not you it's me" and "I'd still like to be friends" tropes. So... amicably in one sense, but we never once after that did meet let alone hang out; I think I'd hurt him way too much for that.

On my part, I definitely regret hurting him, because he was lovely (and in a society where I had no option but marriage it would have been a great marriage) but fortunately without feeling horribly guilty about it.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:18 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
The leaves-on-trees one is big for me.

Relatedly, realizing that not everybody sees, or wants to see, all the tiny orchestrated details that makes something good all at once. Apparently people normally skitter from one to the next, or just glance at the whole without taking in the details. I can become fascinated by the texture of a brick, because all its little pores are so fascinating.

Date: 2014-04-16 04:23 pm (UTC)
rebcake: Spike: What? (Spike: what?)
From: [personal profile] rebcake
Hmmm. I find lots of music gets to me on an emotional level, but art — unless it's of the storytelling variety, such as movies or comics — not so much. Well, photographs do it, obviously. That IS obvious, right? ;-)

BUT! There I was, traveling around Italy (recommended, Euro-girl), looking at tons of amazing art and connecting on the usual intellectual level. Then I thought, "Hey, I'm in the town where they keep the actual David by Michelangelo. I should check it out. That would be funny." I've always had a jokey appreciation for the work, since it's ubiquitous and, you know, a naked man. Pleasant, right? I've even gone to see the giant-sized version in Vegas at Cesar's Palace. (No really. They made it bigger for Vegas.)

I was not prepared. Once I was standing in front of it, I just started crying. How can the original be so much different from all the copies, in terms of emotional connection? No idea, but I felt awe at the amazingness of humans when I was in the room with it, both intellectually and emotionally.

I was pregnant at the time, for what it's worth. Still, I saw a lot of other art on that trip and nothing else connected in that way. I was also oddly repelled by garlic and chocolate when pregnant, but that's another, though related, issue.

Date: 2014-04-16 06:42 pm (UTC)
shipperx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shipperx
BUT! There I was, traveling around Italy (recommended, Euro-girl), looking at tons of amazing art and connecting on the usual intellectual level. Then I thought, "Hey, I'm in the town where they keep the actual David by Michelangelo. I should check it out. That would be funny." I've always had a jokey appreciation for the work, since it's ubiquitous and, you know, a naked man. Pleasant, right? I've even gone to see the giant-sized version in Vegas at Cesar's Palace. (No really. They made it bigger for Vegas.)

I was not prepared. Once I was standing in front of it, I just started crying. How can the original be so much different from all the copies, in terms of emotional connection? No idea, but I felt awe at the amazingness of humans when I was in the room with it, both intellectually and emotionally.


Pictures and reproductions do not do that sculpture justice. It is mesmerising in person (as is Michelangelo's Pieta, which is amazing.

There's a reason that he's remembered as a master.

Date: 2014-04-16 05:05 pm (UTC)
brin_bellway: forget-me-not flowers (Default)
From: [personal profile] brin_bellway
Ah, yes. My life sometimes seems like one long exercise in People Are Different. It's fascinating.

Did you know some people can actually literally feel awe? At least, they claim to experience it even when there doesn't seem to be any social pressure to fake it, so it's probably real. (I haven't ruled out the possibility that I just haven't felt it yet, but unfortunately when faced with awe-inspiring things in the past I have always felt acutely and unpleasantly aware of my lack of awe. (It feels like your soul is bumping ineffectually against the barrier you transcend when you have a transcendent experience. Not fun.) So seeking it out is always a balancing act of "maybe it will work! but it will suck if it doesn't".)

Did you know most people perceive sexual frustration and tiredness as being completely different (sometimes even incompatible) feelings? It's probably even weirder than the awe thing. Awe seems to be fairly rare even amongst people who've felt it, but tiredness and sexual frustration is/are a/both pretty common experience(s). Many are the times I have tried to wrap my head around the idea of them being separate, and I just cannot do it. It's completely alien to me.

I like pineapple juice, pineapple lollies, and cooked pineapple, but can't eat it raw

I actually find that raw pineapple has a different flavour than those other ones. And not only does it taste bad, it makes anything else you eat that meal taste bad too. (I once ate raw pineapple before special extra-yummy Mom-only-makes-them-once-or-twice-a-year chicken fingers. Big mistake.)
Edited Date: 2014-04-16 05:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-16 07:03 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat: (Thranduil)
From: [personal profile] curiouswombat
It is odd how differently thinks work for different people -

Many are the times I have tried to wrap my head around the idea of them being separate, and I just cannot do it. It's completely alien to me.

I cannot imagine feeling both together - tiredness counteracts all sexual feelings completely for me, so I can only feel frustrated when I also feel energetic.

Date: 2014-04-16 07:01 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat: (forest path)
From: [personal profile] curiouswombat
1) Putting on glasses for the first time, and suddenly discovering that leaves on trees weren't supposed to look blurry.

My daughter was amazed to find that she could see the individual bulbs in the strings of decorative lights on our promenade.

Date: 2014-04-17 12:29 am (UTC)
ext_1026: made by lanning (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyrstzha.livejournal.com
I did not discover that the way I see light is not only unusual but considered a disorder until a couple of years ago when I was diagnosed with corneal dystrophy. I see shimmering, oscillating rainbow rays and glowing halos around all light sources. It's so very beautiful. I just thought that's what light looked like. And all this time, I never knew how lucky I am to see that way.

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deird1

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