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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default Trouble with directions, keeping time straight, awareness of surroundings

    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.

  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    Well, I'll admit, I don't remember details. I think it's because I often don't place importance in them. I always aim to understand the 'gist' of something, and don't focus or concentrate on remembering all of the details and specifics. Most of the time this isn't an issue. In cases where details are important, I make it a point to focus. But still, it causes me stress if I need to keep track of tons of little things.

    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.
    Hmm... not sure I can relate this this part. But, to be fair, for pretty much my whole life I've made it a point NOT to be too busy (my schedule is very open, and I try to keep it un-cluttered, so as to avoid stress), and do my best to avoid roles/responsibilities that require a lot of being on top of this sort of stuff, so that may be a lot of it too.

    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 think I'm ok being at the right spot at the right time.

    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.
    I wouldn't be able to tell you the first thing about most things I drive by, nor the names of roads. BUT. I have a very good visual sense of direction / where I am. I remember by visuals. So while I wouldn't be able to give someone directions to a certain place, when I'm driving TO that place, I know I need to head east, then, oh, yeah, I know THAT particular road heads east, so if I take that, I'll get to a N/S road, and then I need to head south, and then I need to take a left at the KFC.... etc.

    So I navigate pretty well/intuitively, I think, but I couldn't tell you the first thing about the details.

    I use mapquest to write out the general directions (road names) the first time I go somewhere, though.

    I'm confounded by my infj friend, though, who even when she has a GPS in her car, and writes directions, still without fail gets lost pretty much all of the time. All I can figure is that she lacks the visual/spatial element that I seem to have.

    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 definitely have the thing where I'm absorbed in thoughts, and in my first year of college it was a bit of a joke with a few of my friends that they'd have to pull me back by my jacket because I'd start stepping into a street when a car was coming. I've gotten much better with that, though.

    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 start forgetting things from the day before, the next day. Things just flow out of me. I would never remember specific dates.

    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.
    I wouldn't be able to tell you, but I mark the starting date on the calendar every time, so I have that information at hand. (I do that because I've historically never been super regular. I'm generally regular (although every now and then I'll be a week or two off), but not to the day.)
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    There's nothing wrong with you. everyone had strengths and deficits.
    I also confuse right and left all of the time.
    I can't spell worth a shit, despite being able to read and write Greek and Latin.
    You don't have brain fog. You always write very clearly and insightfully.
    Just learn to laugh at what doesn't come easily.

  4. #4
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I wouldn't be able to tell you the first thing about most things I drive by, nor the names of roads. BUT. I have a very good visual sense of direction / where I am. I remember by visuals. So while I wouldn't be able to give someone directions to a certain place, when I'm driving TO that place, I know I need to head east, then, oh, yeah, I know THAT particular road heads east, so if I take that, I'll get to a N/S road, and then I need to head south, and then I need to take a left at the KFC.... etc.

    So I navigate pretty well/intuitively, I think, but I couldn't tell you the first thing about the details.
    This sounds quite similar to how I do it, when I haven't consulted a map ahead of time and I'm not sure where to go. I generally do check a map, though (I don't use GPS), and can retain the important details on a map, including names, after a quick look. Directions entirely in words take more effort to absorb. I do orient by the compass points, and people are often confused when they ask me for directions since they will include steps like turn east on A street, then north on B street. I enjoy driving new places, and rarely get truly lost.

    As for the other things, I am very selective about what details I retain. I can remember the words and melody of a song I heard once, years ago, if it made an impression on me, but couldn't tell you what I ate last week, or what the weather was.

    I have always had a good sense of time. I can almost program myself to get up at a certain time, though I use an alarm to be sure. Similarly, I can review all the things I need to do in a given day in the morning or even the night before, then recall all of them correctly throughout the day, even when it is quite busy. But, I must do this deliberately, otherwise I may be as forgetful as the next person. I can usually guess the time within 15 minutes, even after not seeing a clock for hours. (Not sure why any of this - it just is, and I take advantage of it.)
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #5
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    My memory sucks and will always suck, so I've resigned to outsourcing a good chunk of it to calendar programs, lists, and those who have a better memory.

    I also try to recognize the importance of habits and systems as aids--reinforce the ol' synaptic pathways, and they'll be easier to traverse.

    I'm very well aware of my surroundings compared to most, but I might not necessarily remember them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ism's Avatar
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    It's why I didn't pass my driver's test.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily remember a lot of detailed instructions either (I don't think any SPs prioritize that the same as SJs), but I think the cloudy/awkward mental state is probably more NJ. I try to get the main point and then end up improvising a bit. Sometimes I don't even want to hear details, so I cut them off intentionally and try to get the gist of it. If it's something very critical, I'm better if accompanied first, watching how something's done, and then I'll pick it up from there.

  8. #8
    Glycerine
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    Interestingly, my mind= my calendar/planner and I have a fairly decent memory for certain things (hell, my ESFJ dad asks me to remind him of things regularly) but I struggle with highly detailed directions and sense of direction.

  9. #9
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    I'm the worst person I know with directions, I'm completely dependent on my phones GPS and I still get lost all the time. but I'm decent with time. meaning I instinctively go to the kitchen the second before the timer goes off or change the channel back right when the show starts again. I'm still late sometimes, but usually aware of it and its due to laziness.

  10. #10
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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.
    The below sound like a mixture. Brain fog is apparently linked to ADHD (I suffer from it on occasion.)

    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.
    I'm assuming you mean you have difficulty recollecting impersonal data but you don't have this issue with data relevant to the Fe? Not strictly an INFJ issue at all.

    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.
    Sounds like an inferior sensing problem but not one necessarily limited to inferior Se users. I have this issue on occasion but it's more a short-term lapse in understanding where I know for most of the day which weekly rota I am using (work) only to find myself asking "what week are we on again?" or exclaim "I've been using the wrong schedule" only to realise the answer and correct myself a few moments later. It is rarely the case where I am mistaken throughout the day as I eventually reflect upon it and realise my mistake but these can happen on rare occasion. Everyone makes these mistakes sometimes, don't worry too much 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.
    Inferior sensing again.

    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.
    Issue no way limited to INJs. I can't remember the amount of times I have nearly been hit by cars because I'm more focused on my thoughts than my environment. I am only good with directions if a) I have memorised the route b) I am able to perceive the environment as a map e.g. If I make a left turn I am moving towards town A and my destination is just to the west of town A.

    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.
    Issue not limited to INJs. Don't think of it as a fault IMO. If anything its a strength because your brain is being more efficient with the data, choosing to overlook this information in favour of the patterns that emerge from the more relevant data.

    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.
    To expand on my above point, I don't think you should fix yourself or seek to change yourself unless it is seriously undermining your day-to-day functioning. It provides its own strength and an increased Se function would (in my understanding) lessen the effectiveness and operating efficiency of the Ni function. It should improve on its own in later life anyway.

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