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Awareness of External Environment

Yooo. INTP here...

I will admit that I've had a little difficulty with both awareness of my immediate environment and getting outside my head while growing up. There have been many times where I was just plain oblivious to what's going on around me because I find it so easy to get lost in thought.

Just wondering if any INFP's share this problem to any extent. Speculations as to why would of course be more than welcome.
 

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I get lost in thought very easily but lately I haven't and social things haven't been a problem. But yeah, I think it's just because I think a lot About anything usually deep thinking though. If I'm in a boring environment this is more common.
 

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uh yes. i am completely unaware of the world around me at most times. hahaha. i am either lost in my thoughts or focus too much on one certain thing.

like today i went for a walk and of course i was TRYING to enjoy the scenery but honestly most of the time i was just running through thoughts. then on the way back i was walking down the road and kept looking at the trees and reached up to touch some overhanging branches from a tree on someone's front lawn and i realized the people who lived there were coming home and like, pulling in their driveway and just watching me be a crazy person in front of their house.

so it's funny. it can kindof go either way. sometimes i'm lost in thought and find it hard to focus on everything around me... and other times i'll get wrapped up in something beautiful and be unable to ignore it. like there was a beautiful sunset awhile ago, lit up the whole sky with pink and gold flames. and i was trying to walk home but i kept looking back at the sunset. then a bus went by and EVERYBODY on the bus was completely miserable and just looking straight ahead or looking down or lost in thought except this ONE guy (who i actually think had a mental disability of some sort) who was plastered up against the window of the bus with his mouth wide open in an awe-stricken smile, just staring at the sunset. it made me smile a lot. :)

so yes. i find it really hard to be present in the moment and go along with everybody else, but other times i notice something beautiful that other people just don't seem to see or care about. blah.
 

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i had a REAL problem like this at work. :( i was a cashier and it was like i had short-term memory. a customer would be like "and i have this coupon for 10% off as well" and i'd be like "certainly! i will use that in a moment" and then get lost in thought and completely forget. or i'll just like, be serving someone and completely not even notice what they look like, like one time i went through half a transaction before i realized i was serving my friend's mom. :\

the worst part is i cannot help it, it makes me think i'm autistic or something. i just CAN'T stop thinking and being in my own world. it's terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
okaydrifter: Lolol! Thank you for sharing your anecdotes :)
And I understand, many times I feel the same way.
 

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This happens to me all the time. I get lost in the city, forget little details (which ARE important), am not aware of my immediate physical environment sometimes... need to get on our shit man.


wow @okaydrifter
I have the same problem regarding thoughts just running in my head even when I am trying to keep my thoughts clear. sometimes, its just too hard to divorce strong emotion from the mind...
 

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Awareness of External Environment


Just wondering if any INFP's share this problem to any extent. Speculations as to why would of course be more than welcome.
It's because extraverted sensing, which takes information from the immediate environment through our 5 senses, isn't one of our primary functions.
 

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Agree with everyone above.

I can be very oblivious. Unless I put my mind to it and decide upon observing others, I get lost in thought very easily. This often results in me zoning out, losing track of a conversation, not realizing a family member is in the hospital except after a few weeks, etc. Yep, it's that bad. Unless it's a really intense stimulus, or something that somehow relates to my conception of interesting, I find it really hard to stay grounded in the real world.
 

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I will admit that I've had a little difficulty with both awareness of my immediate environment and getting outside my head while growing up. There have been many times where I was just plain oblivious to what's going on around me because I find it so easy to get lost in thought.
I am sometimes like this, but other times I am the complete opposite. Just last night I heard my parents arguing in the basement, even though they were not that loud and they were on the far side of the house.
 

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I like to think my self preservation skills are top-notch so if I'm in an environment that is unfamiliar, I will be hyper-vigilant for dangers and not space out too much. If I determine I am in a comfortable environment I'll space out more. When I was in college, I don't think I paid attention to half of the classes and lectures. BOR----ING!
 

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I have an awareness of the external world in as much as it fits in with the broader scope of my abstractions. I heavily rely on my Si because it forms part of the basis of my intuitive understanding of ideas. My brain stores certain pieces of environmental data like a computer because I know those pieces of information will be very useful to run against each other to form a bigger picture in the future.
 

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Hi, same here with me! I think that Se is my least developed function and I think that going to Disney-Land or something would be really too much. I get way enough stimulating and satifying information by being out in nature or having an interesting discussion with someone!

I can take in information from the outside-world for a while but then I have to shut down to recover.

Imagine being at a crowded train-station and you look around seeing eyes here and there, suitcases rolling, someone shouting, turning around to look at the person for one second then someone crosses your way really really close and you have to stop or get out of the way and pay attention that you're not walking into someone else by doing so, hysterical laugh, man walking by in weird clothes, being blinded by the sun, pigeon flying by, ... etc.

And after a while I'm like "Whoa" and totally overwhelmed by all the pictures and noises.
 

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Oh yes, I can be extremely oblivious. Especially when it comes to what people are wearing, what a car looks like, what color the walls are, etc. For example, there have been many times when a thief came into the store I work at and we've had to call the police. The police ask me what the thief was wearing and I usually have no idea. Can't even remember if it was a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, or anything. I could tell you, however, what I thought of his character in the brief moment I got to talk to him. Or if the thief got in a car and drove away, I probably couldn't even tell you the color of the car unless it was something bright, like red or yellow or something. I could tell you if it was a car or a truck, and that's about it.

Or if I'm in a group of people and later someone asks me, "did you see that girl in the red shirt?" 99% of the time I will say no. I don't notice people at all, especially in a crowd. I think I'm too focused on what i'm doing, where I'm going, the destination, getting out of there (I hate crowds).

Even when I'm helping a customer at work, I am more focused on getting them the item they need or ringing up the purchase than I am on any details about their person. If you asked me later that day what customers came in, I could tell you every book I sold but I couldn't point out the customers in a line-up or anything.

My focus is always on what I'm doing instead of what is around me. Oh man, and don't get me started on my horrible sense of direction when I am walking. I get so lost in office buildings, shopping malls or school halls. Also, when walking around a downtown area, I never know where I am or what direction the car is in, or where I've already been. Thank god for signage with arrows.

BUT it's totally different when I'm driving. I have an excellent sense of direction when i'm driving, I never ever get lost. I think this is because, like I said, I am concentrating on what I am doing, which is driving. When I'm walking, I am not concerned with where I am walking, but more with the motion of walking. With driving, I am always planning ahead about what lane I need to get into, where I am headed, what I need to do so I don't cause an accident. I am not sure why this is so different to me than walking.... odd.
 

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I am much the same way with my thoughts. Sometimes I think I should not have a driver's license. I get afraid sometimes after realizing the extent to which I'm not paying attention while driving. Sometimes I am oblivious and just have to force myself to pay attention to lights, cars around me, and pedestrians. I think I have gotten better at that over time...conditioning myself to stay focused at "this" moment and I will actually be at point A and tell myself to just pay attention til you get to point B... and after you do this, you can do what you want. On busy days, I have learned to make little agreements with myself. I just hate it when you have to keep putting that quiet time off for yourself and it gets pushed back until bed time. This is so frustrating for me...having an entire day being forced to pay attention to my surroundings is exhausting so it makes me just want to sleep, which of course is the the absolute last thing I am then able to do. My mind becomes a huge vortex and as soon as I start to or attempt to relax it sweeps me up into it. There is no possible way that I can relax after being disconnected from myself and my mind for an entire day. I usually have trouble sleeping anyway, so I tend to covet the night where I can be left alone with my thoughts. But there are just some nights that are overwhelming to me. Where I just can't get it to shut off and I'm still swirling around in my whirlpool of worries, ponderings, ideas, what ifs, questions... at 5 am the next morning. I dread nights like that. That is usually when I feel the most alone.
 
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i had a REAL problem like this at work. :( i was a cashier and it was like i had short-term memory. a customer would be like "and i have this coupon for 10% off as well" and i'd be like "certainly! i will use that in a moment" and then get lost in thought and completely forget. or i'll just like, be serving someone and completely not even notice what they look like, like one time i went through half a transaction before i realized i was serving my friend's mom. :\

the worst part is i cannot help it, it makes me think i'm autistic or something. i just CAN'T stop thinking and being in my own world. it's
terrible.
I guess that's why our personality type is so often referred to as "the dreamer". I don't think my mind is ever blank. There are always thoughts spinning through it. A lot of times those thoughts are more interesting than my environment, I guess.
 
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