Sunday, 25 September 2011

My Thinking in Pictures (and Videos)

Wow.  What a week.  A lot of drama.  And hence, a lot of thinking and reflecting.  I spent quite a good portion of my week explaining to the drama inducers how my brain works.  And since I was thinking about it and talking about it, I thought... why not write about it?

I think in pictures and videos.  These pictures and videos are snapshots of things I've seen with my own eyes.  The more things I experience and see, the more pictures and videos collect in my brain.  All these pictures and videos make up my thoughts.  And boy, do I do a lot of thinking. 

Unfortunately, the pictures and videos don't just collect in my brain and stay there.  They connect and link to each other. Kinda like hyperlinks on the Internet. If I stop to think about it, for you database people, it's a many to many relationship. 

All day I'm thinking. And by thinking, I mean the pictures and videos are constantly connecting to each other in new and interesting ways.  I see a car. It links to another car. Which links to a movie and a TV series. The TV series links to a video of the neighbor boy doing a funny dance. And that's just a couple seconds of thought while I sit here on the bus, gazing out the window, writing this blog post.  My mind is constantly in motion.

Mostly my pictures and videos are my observations of people's behavior. The most vivid pictures/videos are those that experiences I associate with a feeling. The stronger and more intense the feeling, the more vivid and detailed the video.

So, all day long, I'm observing others behavior, storing it and then making connections to all the other behaviors I've stored. I've been caught many times consumed by this process.  I usually come out of it when someone says, "What are you staring at?" or "Penny for your thoughts" or "You seem deep in thought".  When I was younger it was more along the lines of "Pay attention!"

All the connecting of the pictures leads to different outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes are good and sometimes they are frustrating. I have many different data points that I process simultaneously. This skill helps me understand and predict how a person will behave. The frustrating part is waiting for the person to exhibit the behavior. Sometimes I know in advance what a person is going to do. I've learned the hard way that I need to wait for them to exhibit the behavior.  They have to work through their emotions on their own.  That's very frustrating for me when I already know the outcome.

That's how it works folks. It's difficult to process all that data in real time, so I'm not very good thinking on my feet.  I need to time to formulate my thoughts.  Especially, when the topic is new to me.  Essentially, when I am in a conversation with someone, I'm trying to translate the pictures into words in real time.  And when someone needs an immediate response, that's where I tend to fail. 

In general, people want an immediate response to their question.  Hesitations or pauses in normal conversation indicate that I'm thinking (see above).  To the person I'm conversing with, it means something entirely different.

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