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  1. #11
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you all for responding - I've been sick for the last couple of days and haven't gotten to the computer. I've been thinking as I've been reading responses...

    - I tend to look at generalities more than specifics, which isn't useful when receiving verbal directions. Highly detailed directions in particular are impossible and I don't have a good feel for east, west, north, south.
    - I also go by landmarks. Once I have a clear map in my head, I'm fine. It really helps me to see a visual map of the neighbourhood. I usually write down addresses. I rarely get lost unless relying solely on having been there once and knowing the way.
    - I think I have a good sense of the passage of time. I usually would know what time it was within 10 or 15 minutes. I also rarely go mistaken all day either about the date or the schedule. It's just more like if someone asks me if I have a prep that day and when they should come into my class, I'll thought that I checked and then realize after I was wrong and need to track them down or correct myself to the kids about when something is. It makes me look disorganized. Or the other day, my mum initially thought it was Thursday, I corrected her, and told her what lessons I was teaching after school, but then myself had a lapse where after school I thought I was on my Thursday schedule and arrived home only in the nick of time to teach. Stuff like that.
    - I have problems with setting alarm clocks accurately, even though I understand how they work. I've dealt with it by having 2 or 3 on the go, but even so, I would prefer to live near/with people just for insurance!
    - I often miss announcements or details. It's like my ears and head filter them, so it takes a conscious effort to try to notice those things every day, or I miss a lot. Generally I've always had ESTJ type friends that like to keep everyone else around them in the loop, so that helps.
    - I've found that reviewing the events of a day in the morning helps me. Part of my problem is that I do have a lot of changing appointments and dates to remember because of the kind of work I do (rescheduling lessons, extra practices, meeting with the teacher I work with at lunch, impromptu meetings, etc). I am generally fine with anything that is repetitious, as it has been assimilated into the schedule in my head.
    - Like bologna, I've learned to use lists, calendars, other people, electronic reminders and so on to help my head out. I just wonder if I can improve the skill itself or if it's just one of those things where I have strengths in other areas and can't have everything, so just need to work around it.

  2. #12
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Fidelia:

    As a fellow dominant intuitive perceiver (Fidelia and I both have dominant N functions though hers is Ni and mine is Ne), I've noticed similar weaknesses in myself. I've always attributed my own weaknesses in the areas you described as resulting from my dominant Ne coupled with my inferior Si. The combination of the two makes for complete cluelessness about the concrete details that surround me.

    Evidence in my own life that I've used to support my theory has to do with my sense of direction and the way I prefer to give / receive directions.

    Sense of Direction. For example, if I have a mental map of an area in my head (say from looking at a map or aerial photography), I tend to have a good sense of direction. By contrast, if I were to work/live in an area for months without the benefit of a mental map, I would completely suck at finding my way around. I attribute this to me needing to have a conceptual understanding of the area first (via a big picture view that comes with looking at a map) before I can effectively absorb / comprehend the concrete details about the area. It's not that I don't see the landmarks (though sometimes I don't) as much as it is that unless I can file the landmark away in a conceptual map, the concrete details just don't stick with me.

    Giving/Receiving Directions. I've notice about myself for years that I can't stand the way that most people give me directions. I've since come to observe that in general Ss and Ns have completely different ways of giving directions. Let's take for example these two scenarios:

    N (asking for directions): Can you tell me how to get to St. Mary's church?
    S (giving directions): Sure. Just go down this road until you see the red five-story building on the left. Take a right there. It's the fourth building on the left. You can't miss it.

    Versus

    N (asking for directions): Can you tell me how to get to St. Mary's church?
    N (giving directions): Sure. You're only a couple of blocks away. It's two blocks south as the crow flies, but you have to get around that big red five-story building to get there. Drive right up to the edge of the the red five-story building that's gonna be on your left. As soon as you pass the edge of the building, turn right. You're on the right road now. Just look for a big neo-gothic brick building 4 or 5 buildings on the left. You can't miss it.

    I'm not sure my two scenarios are very good, but what I was trying to describe above is how an N will tend to first give a big picture view of the trip when they give directions. This is hugely helpful to me because this is how I think about things. I need the conceptual map in my head first, then I can pay attention to the nitty gritty detail on how to get there.

    So in answer to your question about sense of direction / getting directions and about improving these skills in yourself, if my theory is at least partially correct, then perhaps the best thing to do is recognize your own preferred way of thinking about things and try to accommodate that whenever possible. In other words, use maps often. If you have to stop for directions, realize that the responder probably isn't going to give directions in your preferred method of communicating so proactively asks questions to get them to give you a big picture map you can first digest.

    I don't know if this makes any sense, but that's my 10 cents on the matter.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  3. #13
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I have problems with all of that, to the point where it has interfered with my functionality in life. I get lost extremely easily, don't notice details I pass on a daily basis (ie. a new building could have gone up months ago and I may not notice it until someone else points it out to me), and have a very poor sense of time. I really have to be on top of all this to not turn into something resembling a rambling bum with alzheimers.

    Because I get lost so easily, I have to be careful about not developing an outright phobia of driving somewhere new. The stress of it is greatly relieved when there is no time issue though, because my problem with time can compound the problem with directions.

    I deal with a lot of this by giving myself excess time to lose myself in daydream, to get lost, etc. I actually don't mind getting lost and improvising as long as I have the time for it.

    I don't retain nor really understand verbal directions either, nor do I have a sense of how far something is physically (I can't tell if I've driven 1 mile or 3). This seems odd since I actually have that ability to rotate 3D objects in my mind & can tell if a piece of furniture will fit in a space just by eye-balling it, and I'm good at arranging objects in a space to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. The problem seems to be less with how objects fit in spaces or proportions so much as navigating space/time & being able to use the past as a template for the present. It's like I don't have a past template for the physical world....or it's just very vague and hazy.

    I do better with a picture map & descriptions of surroundings. I like to use google maps to see what a building or street looks like ahead of time, because I've actually gotten to a location and not been able to find the building itself, as I don't know what ".3 miles" down a street means as a physical experience and I can't seem to pick out small details like the physical address numbers. I also just pass off ramps, streets, and junctions I need because I'm not paying attention. Forcing myself to pay attention feels very tiring.

    I get disoriented easily when driving, because I can be on a familiar route and suddenly notice stuff I've never noticed before & it all looks "new", which throws me. I have this sudden, momentary panic of "where am I?!". If I always come from north, then coming from south on a street can make it almost unrecognizable to me. Sometimes I think this constant reframing of physical reality is also what allows Ne to see fresh possibilities. Si types seem to note differences from what they remember, but I just plain don't note and/or remember, and so it can all seem new, as opposed to just different from what I remembered.

    My poor sense of time is the #1 reason I run late a lot. I will be doing something and find myself absorbed in thought, so that I may have even stopped what I'm doing, and then I realize 20 minutes have passed when it only felt like 5. My body has no consistent clock....I really wouldn't know the time of day if not for clocks & the sun. Sometimes it feels like I have constant jet lag in life.

    I actually know an ISTJ woman with a similar problem with directions, so I don't know how much of this is being an S-tard. If it's related to type, perhaps it's poor Se. I notice the ISTJ remembers well enough how to get somewhere she's been before a few times, but she panics a bit with new directions. I think this may just even be introversion, where the focus on the inner world makes you ignore what's going on around you.

    So I notice this is not an unusual issue, but most people are a bit less extreme.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #14
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    ^
    I can identify with just about everything you have written here. Except I do tend to have a pretty good sense of time. But just about everything else you wrote there could probably be accurately applied to myself. For various reasons, I have had to travel a lot. It's possible this may have helped me some. However, if anything is gained, then at least some of it may be lost if the traveling isn't something almost continuous. I used to go to Europe quite a lot. I always enjoyed it there. I did get lost several times; that's true. Somehow I was able to find my way, but usually only after asking for directions. Now, however, I often have dreams about being totally lost in a strange European city. This is like one of those recurring dreams, but with significant variations.

  5. #15
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I'm the same way, always have been- I've always been REALLY good with dates, times, and names though. As I get older, I'm getting worse with dates. I'm super overly focused on time sometimes. Feel this constant need to be aware of what time it is in relation to what I'm doing- ahead or behind. Regarding surroundings- definitely have a problem with that. 95 percent of the time I get lost even with the most well written directions...Sometimes even after I've been there like 5 times. I hate when people are trying to tell me about a place that's right in my town- like "well, I was on such and such road, you know where that pond is?" "No." Oh, well you know where that store is?" "no." "omg, how can you not know that I think you pass it on your way to work." "what about that gas station?" ... (humors other person) "yea... sure."

    But for me, my biggest thing is losing things... My grandmother always said "you'd lose your head if it weren't attached! I told you this as a kid but now i'm telling you as an adult!" And THAT is the biggest annoying pain in the ass ever. Getting lost is nice if you aren't in a rush- because there's always google maps and friendly people and the person at destination B to guide you on your way. But nothing helps with losing items. I feel like I spend half my day looking for my keys. Which is why I now have spare keys lying around everywhere so I'm bound to find "a" key if not "the" keys. I find various items lying around at work sometimes that I lost months ago. I think there's an area of your brain actually dedicated to where you put things- and mine is shot.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  6. #16
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Lol, about areas of your brain for where you put things. I used to really struggle with this. Finally, in desperation, my ESTJ boyfriend bought me a lanyard because my keys had to be on me at all times but were used often and frequently were covered up by piles of paper. I found that helped me tremendously. Also picking two or three places where those items would always be and having a file folder at my house for any papers that simply could not get lost.

    I have some STJ friends that just can't fathom not being able to direct someone to the actual place in a certain drawer where you keep any given item when it is inquired about. I usually do have an idea of where it is though - it's just that I have 2 or 3 possibilities.

    Interesting, Esoteric (Oh and congrats on your nuptuals by the way!). I have learned to make people draw little maps for me when they give directions, or I am pretty much hooped just with their directions about getting out of the parking lot. I've learned to ask more orienting questions as well and to clarify their instructions and that has helped too. I agree that I use concrete landmarks to find my way around, but very much need a sense of where they fit into the larger map. I also have discovered that my memory is rather inexact about things like whether or not there is a four way stop at an intersection etc when I am giving directions and I've sometimes mislead people, believing very much that I am remembering what I'm seeing in my mind's eye accurately. I think I've found functional ways of working around my problems, but was curious as to whether it was just how I was hard-wired or if it was a skill set that could be improved upon.

    I still find it a little embarrassing to vacantly scan the parking lot for my car, realizing that I have no idea where I parked it because I was thinking about something else at the time. I've gotten better as I've gotten older about noting landmarks nearby, stores it's in front of, or if the parking lot has a numbering system, what area that I am in.

    Thank you everyone for your input. I'm finding this most interesting...

  7. #17
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Lol, about areas of your brain for where you put things. I used to really struggle with this. Finally, in desperation, my ESTJ boyfriend bought me a lanyard because my keys had to be on me at all times but were used often and frequently were covered up by piles of paper. I found that helped me tremendously. Also picking two or three places where those items would always be and having a file folder at my house for any papers that simply could not get lost.


    I grew up always hearing, "if ______ wasn't attached to you, I'm sure you'd lose that, too."


    This is why I use



    My keys/$/ID are always attached to me. If they weren't, there's no telling how many times I'd have to break into my car or house. The fuzz get annoyed when a neighbor calls, reporting a possible B & E across the street, or when they approach me "stealing" my own car in the middle of Boston.

    (I'm extraordinarily retarded when it comes to handling the minutiae of seemingly simple day-to-day tasks, but I have odd random talents, like lockpicking. Makes no sense)

    The leather's seen better days, but she's served me well, over the years. I always hated purses - they're not well suited to me, & I'd leave them somewhere, anyway- negating the purpose of storing my keys in there to begin with. Not to mention, if you hang out in unsavory places [I've been known to, on.. occasion]- things may disappear if you leave it unattended at any point [which I probably would].

    I made it a neurotic habit to always take it off/put it on the shelf by my door as soon as I get home, or I'll end up sending it through laundry, putting it into the fridge, etc.



    I've also been known to sport one of these hip clips for my inhaler. Shamelessly.



    This clip didn't do much to aide in lifesaving measures, actually.. At the airport, as I'd hoisted my luggage onto the security conveyor belt, my bag brushed against it- popped the inhaler cap off [lost forever].
    Stuffed the inhaler into my carry-on, thinking I'd protect the mouthpiece from more germs that way. Went to use it on the plane- nearly choked on a fucking DIME that had found its way in there.



    Maybe intuitives should invest in personalized utility belts..
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  8. #18
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Oh, & as far as directions go.. I can live somewhere for YEARS, and look right through the street names and businesses.. so when someone wants directions, or gives them to me, asking "so y'know _____ street/business? Well it's your 1st right after that then a left at the farmhouse with a blinking light blahbalhblah_________" --and I'm fucking lost in terms of figuring out wtf they're talking about, even if it's somewhere we've both been near for ages.

    I just ask for tons of landmarks, til I have a general idea of where on the mental grid the area is. I'll hit it, eventually.



    As for time.. my old roommate gave me a sportswatch that he'd purposely set to beep at the top of every hour. I didn't know how to shut it off. It helped me keep some sense of time, though. Til it died.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  9. #19
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Lol, about areas of your brain for where you put things. I used to really struggle with this. Finally, in desperation, my ESTJ boyfriend bought me a lanyard because my keys had to be on me at all times but were used often and frequently were covered up by piles of paper. I found that helped me tremendously. Also picking two or three places where those items would always be and having a file folder at my house for any papers that simply could not get lost.
    I try to keep important items close to other important items, e.g. I'll keep my wallet close to the car keys which I'll need to get before leaving the house [sometimes that can fail when carrying two different sets of keys car vs house and thinking/distracted by something].

    I have some STJ friends that just can't fathom not being able to direct someone to the actual place in a certain drawer where you keep any given item when it is inquired about. I usually do have an idea of where it is though - it's just that I have 2 or 3 possibilities.

    I rarely can be bothered, I'll just have a vague idea of the area/room/box/bag where things might be, usually associated with other things e.g. tools were last used/put next to other related tools, soldering equipment, stuff, other times, I'll have no idea, and just have to search a bunch of usual locations that've been accessing recently.

    Interesting, Esoteric (Oh and congrats on your nuptuals by the way!). I have learned to make people draw little maps for me when they give directions, or I am pretty much hooped just with their directions about getting out of the parking lot. I've learned to ask more orienting questions as well and to clarify their instructions and that has helped too. I agree that I use concrete landmarks to find my way around, but very much need a sense of where they fit into the larger map. I also have discovered that my memory is rather inexact about things like whether or not there is a four way stop at an intersection etc when I am giving directions and I've sometimes mislead people, believing very much that I am remembering what I'm seeing in my mind's eye accurately. I think I've found functional ways of working around my problems, but was curious as to whether it was just how I was hard-wired or if it was a skill set that could be improved upon.
    Yeah, I am very visual, so landmarks and a general sense of location first, then related landmarks in a more first-person-short-distance area that I've memorized before. However, this can be trained, too. I once worked as a home cable technician and had to learn/memorize areas/street names of the entire city [roughly 5 clients per day scattered all around], so it was a matter of time/practice/repetition. Eventually most of it faded with time as I left that job [this was in another city I didn't live in]. Conversely though, I barely know any of the street names of the city I've lived in most of my life. The need is lost on me.
    Which reminds me of TV trivia contests, and of these people that seem like living encyclopedias. I'd fail those miserably.

    I still find it a little embarrassing to vacantly scan the parking lot for my car, realizing that I have no idea where I parked it because I was thinking about something else at the time. I've gotten better as I've gotten older about noting landmarks nearby, stores it's in front of, or if the parking lot has a numbering system, what area that I am in.

    Thank you everyone for your input. I'm finding this most interesting...
    guilty @ bold
    yeah, I find this is common in many other situations, being distracted/scattered while doing something in autopilot mode, then later I'll notice I have no recollection whatsoever of what I did before/parked the car, etc.

    This is a close representation of my mind most of the time:
    Last edited by phobik; 02-11-2013 at 09:58 PM. Reason: typos
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't know if this is a me thing, an INFJ thing, or a Ni related thing, or just health related brain fog but I find that I often have difficulty with all of these things and have since I was a little kid.

    I used to watch those spy movies and marvel at the hero being told detailed instructions once and remembering everything. It's not that I can't remember details. It just seems like certain details are really difficult for me. People related details are much easier to deal with than something more surroundings/time related.

    For example, I can look at my time table and think I know what day of the school cycle it is and when my prep and my bus duty are and what the date is. Then I'll realize part way through the day that I have it wrong. I also will be aware it's a certain day or time, but somehow in the space of an hour or part of a day, get mixed up about it.

    When I was a kid, I had difficulty knowing where I should be when and being in the right spot at the right time. It wasn't even getting absorbed in what I was doing. It was somehow that the directions just were foggy in my own head. Having it in writing helps, but I seem to need a combination of both.

    I don't have a strong sense of direction, even though I am extremely good with maps. If you ask me what I saw on my drive to school, I would often have a hard time telling you. When I was a kid, I was always walking in the wrong place, or not aware of cars coming up behind me in parking lots and me blocking their way. I assume this has to do with being Se inferior and also with being absorbed in other thoughts, but I'm not sure.

    I think back over events of a month's time and while certain details are easily recallable, anything to do with specific times and dates and what happened right then are hazier. I'm surprised at people who are easily able to recall the specific date of their last few periods, even though mine is pretty regular and predictable. Maybe it's just that it isn't terrible important, or that I'm not concerned about pregnancy/fertility right now, but the best I could come up with is a general part of the month.

    I'm just wondering if this is me specific or part of a larger trend and if so, how other people work around it and help themselves out.
    Fidelia, I'm like this too. Kinda. I can't remember dates and have very poor autobiographical memory. Historical timelines are tough for me to remember. I also am not great at knowing what's where in the city. I have vague ideas. I think it has to do with vitamin B12. I dunno. Also, not being a sensor. When I understand how something evolved, even throughout time, like sexuality, I can recall the timeline. Too lazy to restructure this poorly formed paragraph. (I'm also lazy.)

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