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I'm bad with faces

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Chillhouse

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You know how some people are bad at remembering names? Well, I'm bad at remembering faces. If I've only met a person once, and it was a brief meeting, I won't be able to recognise them the next time I see them. That isn't true for everyone I meet, but there are certain people around who have generic faces.

This one guy I suposedly know, he says Hi to me everytime I see him. Except I never know it's him untill he tells me who he is. Once I saw him at a party, he said, "Yo, Jim!" and waved from across the room. I shouted back, "Who the hell are you?" he looked a little taken aback, like we were old friends or something.

he said, "Dude, it's me Frank!" And there was a horribly awkward moment where everyone was looking at me. I just said, "Oh".

I don't know what our history is together either. I have no idea how we know each other. But apparently he knows more about me than I know about him. I know we went to highschool together for like two years, but I don't recall ever holding a conversation with him.

So, I'm walking through life with people I don't know always saying hi to me. This must be what being a celebrity feels like.


Anyone know what's wrong with me?
 

Pojo

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Anyone know what's wrong with me?
You answered it...You're bad with faces. Like you said, some people are bad with names, and you're bad with faces...Are you looking for like some diagnosis that I don't think anyone on this site can truly give, as they aren't actual doctors?
 

starshine

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Try being bad with faces *and* names. Bet thats awkward.
 
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Rheeer

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Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some are tactile (hands-on). And when you're especially adept in one fashion, you tend to lack in another. So if you're good with names, you won't be as good with faces generally.
 

Chillhouse

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You answered it...You're bad with faces. Like you said, some people are bad with names, and you're bad with faces...Are you looking for like some diagnosis that I don't think anyone on this site can truly give, as they aren't actual doctors?
No. I'm just trying to reach out to other people like me, and share my anecdotes. The question is there to promote discussion.


Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some are tactile (hands-on). And when you're especially adept in one fashion, you tend to lack in another. So if you're good with names, you won't be as good with faces generally.
Oh ya, I'm horrible with names to. I just forget people if I don't see them on a regular basis.
 

Maxicoon

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Chillhouse I'm the same way. I am always forgetting people if I don't see them on a regular basis.
 

PostTenebrasLux

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Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some are tactile (hands-on). And when you're especially adept in one fashion, you tend to lack in another. So if you're good with names, you won't be as good with faces generally.
This is a common belief, but to my knowledge, one with little to no empirical support.

Still, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Anecdotally, I can kind of identify. One time a few years ago, after a night of heavy heavy drinking, I failed to recognize someone with whom I'd been on a first-name basis for a while.

Unless I'm mistaken, alcohol has both short and long term effects on the hippocampus--the part of the brain which allows us to recall memories from 'long term storage'. Now, I'm no brain-scientist, but I'm certain that facial recognition is regulated by the brain, and is probably subject to variation, just like every other aspect of the human body. Hippocampus or Face-Recognition Center? Not sure.
 

dogboy

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I was going to say basically the same thing PostTenebrasLux. Everyone's brain is different, and some centers work better than others. There can be anomalies in some, almost like a learning disability that makes it extremely hard to function in that area. I'm particularly bad with names, and like I have said, I am well know in my town and in other areas of the state as a musician. As a result, I constantly have people coming up to me and just talking like I remember them. I'm better with faces than names, but both can be a problem if I haven't seen the individual in several years. I've also been sitting in restaurants and heard other people discuss my name, and they haven't even seen me. This is because until recently, I played in a well know rock band located in Virginia. The band is locally well know, not nationally! But because I have functioned both as a classical musician and a rock musician, I have met a lot of people, and when you see them "out of context", not in the concert, it's easy to forget who they are.
 

Calico

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You might have a condition and it starts with a P but I don't know how to spell it. I also seem to have a form of it but I can recognize my own family and bf and his family and people from my work. You could have a form of it also.
 

PostTenebrasLux

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You might have a condition and it starts with a P but I don't know how to spell it. I also seem to have a form of it but I can recognize my own family and bf and his family and people from my work. You could have a form of it also.
Prosopagnosia.

Here's some Wikipedia about it:

Prosopagnosia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

bla bla bla...Wikipedia's full of nonsense. Whatever. What _isn't_ these days?

Based on a quick skim, it seems like we're still getting this one figured out, and don't have a very strong understanding of the brain stuff involved.
 
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Look at people when you interact with them.

I don't, and I easily forget what people look like, despite remembering their name quite well.
 

babysage

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Hmm, that has to be rough. I have the opposite problem. If I met someone once I know them in a crowded room. Tack that on I have this ability to make people talk. (reveal things about themselves they wouldn't normally share) It certainly makes things weird sometimes. Usually because they don't realize I know things about them.
 

Charlie

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Yeah I have this quite a lot.

I can see a face and think 'I've seen this before...' but I can rarely put a name to it or remember where I saw it.

I'd hate to witness a murder, because being a witness would be really awkward because even if I saw the murderer's face for ages, I still would be useless to the police. I can't describe faces at all.


I sometimes forget my friend's names whilst I'm talking to them which is really bad. Sometimes I'll want to refer to somebody and have to suddenly change my sentence so I don't have to say any names. :p

I think I'm a good faker though, if I was in your situation I would pretended to know Frank. Maybe probe him a bit for information to figure out why he knows me.
 

Jaiden

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I do this all the time as well. I just kind of forget people when I haven't had cause to see or think of them for a while. It's sounds really rude or inattentive, and I suppose it is, but I can't seem to help it. I'm fine with family and close friends but acquaintances and people I don't see fairly regularly are a different matter.

Tonight, for example, I'm going to a football match and I can't for the life of me think of the name of one of the people I'm going with. He's the boyfriend of a good friend of mine, I've met him two or three times and I remember him being perfectly nice but can't think of his name. I'm just as bad with faces and terrible at describing people as well.

I think I want to say 'Matt' or perhaps 'Mark'? Hm.
 
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