Personality Cafe banner

Do you think in words?

11038 Views 87 Replies 74 Participants Last post by  saturnne
I don't know if this question has been brought up before. I find that I almost never think in words or sentences, unless I'm thinking about writing something.

When I'm just thinking I tend to think conceptually or visually. Words might float up, but never in a sentence structure.
I'm an INTP. My sister who is an ISFJ says she also doesn't think in words very much.

But in one of my classes, there was a debate in which most people seemed to think that thinking without words is impossible.

81 - 88 of 88 Posts
I project pictures and short clips. If I want to project words I have to focus energy onto that -- it doesn't come natural to me
I never knew you could think in words.

You mean literally imagine the words?

I associate images, I've never thought about "words" themselves.

The images give me the basic ideas and key words, then I simply add verbs/determinants,etc. to structure a sentence with it.
I very rarely ever think in words. I always think in emotions (if that makes sense :p) Or sensations, I guess, would be a more accurate term. I like to think in visuals, too. When I'm letting my mind wander about whatever, that's when I think in sensations. If I'm doing work, or some type of writing, I think in words.
%90 of my thought are in words.
Some thing really odd happened today. My grandmother called me up to ask for my mum’s office number.

So, what happened was, I pulled the numbers from my memory. They were stored as sound though. In English, since that’s what I’m most comfortable with. I realised I store numbers in this rhythm.


So, I had to translate the numbers to her language. I was having a very difficult time though, because there were so many numbers, so I slowly started to translate them 2 by 2. She read back the numbers I gave her but something seemed off.

So, I held out my hands and repeated out the numbers in English in my head, each digit moving as each number was read out. Then, I realised I had given her one digit short.

So, I started saying out the numbers in English over the phone, with my hands moving, and holding the image of numbers in my head. My grandmother complained and told me to not say it in English. I told her to hold on. Each time I repeated the numbers out, the image in my head became clearer and clearer, until finally I could read off the numbers in her language back to her.

Stressful, man. D: But yeah, example of thinking in sound, then image/words.
  • Like
Reactions: spylass
Interesting. I'm neuroatypical but not in the Austic sense. I have comorbid mental illnesses. Around the time they started manifesting in adolescence, I became much more creative, and thinking in a far less structured way. My thinking became much more visual and conceptual (less and less with words) and much more like a web of associations instead of a chain of thoughts that follow one after the other. I think I started to think faster too.
I read recently that thinking in words is neurotypical and those with Autism tend to think in pictures/ideas.

If you're more curious than I you could check out Temple Grandin's book -> Thinking in Pictures
Words, definitely!

My thoughts are made up of conversations with myself, intermixed with some imagery to help with the abstract ideas. The conversations can often involve other personas to help expand the viewpoints of the thoughts.
Unspoken assumptions, as Eckhart Tolle calls them - not in words; arise before you know it
And then there's the inner voice, the unending stream of words...
81 - 88 of 88 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.