Social challenges with memory/recollection

I probably mentioned it at least some bits before, but, quite comes to my attention again. So, yeah, my memory is mostly pretty good, even relatively excellent, … certainly not superb nor some genius or anything like that, but for the most part pretty darn good, if not excellent. But …

My memory is also relatively selective and also not good at remembering some things. And some of those things are or can be rather to quite challenging socially. E.g. …

Names, … I rather/quite suck at remembering names. As far as I’m aware, I think that’s always been the case with me. E.g. someone will introduce themselves or I’ll be introduced to someone, and … 2, 3 minutes later (if not some mere tens of seconds or less), I can’t remember their name – at all. I particularly suck at remembering common first names. I’m typically much better at remembering last names. I’m more likely to remember the person’s name, if I’m introduced with or get their first and last names. Often in recalling their name, if I’m able to, I recall their last name first then from there I will generally be able to recall their first name. (Yeah, remember serial numbers of locks from over 35 years ago, but forget a common first name within seconds, yet regularly memorize complex random strings or series of digits, without much difficulty). Ah well, forgetting names like that rather to quite sucks for social interaction. Ugh. I’ll remember what we talked about, typically in great detail, and typically even where, and approximately when. But remember their name? Yeah, typically not, and especially if it was just first name, and a common first name – almost always I won’t remember that – at all. I suppose I could put a whole lot ‘o effort on remembering their name, repeating it over and over to myself, etc., and otherwise working to remember it, as they’re talking to me, and, … might stand a fair chance of remembering it that way, … but, … that tends to go over quite poorly, as, if/when I’m doing that, I’m hardly paying attention to them, so I might remember their name, but the conversation/talk generally bombs out pretty quickly, as it becomes quite apparent I’m not paying attention. So, … either way, social fail. Ugh.

Remembering what “we” talked about. Another really hard part. I do quite well remember the conversations – what was said to me, or what I said. But I highly suck at the whom. I don’t remember who said it to me, or who I said it too. So, … that can have major downsides. E.g. awkwardly recalling – yes, sure, I recall the what was said to me and the conversation had, but I can’t, e.g. tell the person who it was that told me that – I mostly just won’t remember at all – though sometimes logically I can reduce it to one possible source – but not most of the time. Usually I just don’t remember who said it to me, and that can be quite awkward, as person might ask, or may be rather glaring omission as I can’t fill in at all the who told me that or who I heard it from. And, worse yet, sometimes it’s even the person I’m talking with or relating it to, that told me, and I don’t even remember that it was they who told me. Ugh. More social fail. Likewise, my telling someone else. I’ll remember that I told someone, what I related, etc. But, I won’t remember who I did (and didn’t) tell that particular whatever too. So, … that also creates lots of odd awkwardness. As in repeating myself. Deal with more than exactly one person, I don’t remember who I did and didn’t say something to, so, … I say that something again, and … oops, same person again – fail. Or, likewise, should say to someone, said to someone else, but erroneously guess that I already told the person, so I completely fail to mention that particular something – and can end up being rather to quite significant, or problematic, that I didn’t mention it to them, when I very much ought to have or that would’ve been highly appropriate, if not very much expected – but I don’t mention it because I already did talk about it … but to someone else, but I mistakenly presume/guess that it was that person in front of me that I told it to before. Ugh.

Damn near never more than one “friend” (or relationship) ever, at a time. Yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons, of perhaps many, that I’ve pretty much never had more than one friend (or relationship, where that essentially took place of any friendship) at any given time. With only and exactly one, I don’t have to remember who I told, or who told me – as there’s only one possibility. That seems to work quite well … except for the limitation of there being only and exactly one. Two or more – and even among casual friends, or fairly good friends that may not be all that close, heck, even acquaintances, … and, … buggers, I fail to remember who I did and didn’t say something to, and who told me whatever. Ugh. Don’t know that there’s any way I can “fix” that, or even more-or-less reasonably compensate for it. Seems my head has always worked like that. Pretty much just takes in and organizes the information itself – not so much source, nor target – and likewise puts out the information. Does negligible tracking of where the information came from or went to. Yes, does access and correlate credibility of sources, and likewise trustworthiness of person(s) told, but doesn’t cross-correlate that with particularly what was heard from a particular someone, or said to a particular someone.

So, … yeah, among other things, it’s socially problematic. E.g. quite recent conversation … I really can’t remember what I had and had not told that person. I can remember whether or not I’d related such … and maybe sometimes even remember if I might have related such relatively recently or not, but whether or not I’d ever told them before, or not – even if I’ve only known them a relatively short while … I really cannot recall if I’d told them before, or not. Ugh.

Lack of eye contact? Yeah, not sure how much mostly lacking in eye contact contributes to not associating what was said/heard with who to/from. But I’ve got major challenges with eye contact, especially as I’m talking or attempting to, but also quite significantly as I listen to someone – though not as severely so on the listening side. Yep, look at someone as I talk or attempt to, and I mostly completely and totally lose my train of thought … even mid-sentence. And it’s not like some kind of anxiety thing or anything like that. Not like I feel anxious about it – though do tend to feel increasingly awkward as that happens repeatedly in conversation or attempts thereof. But, no, much more like they react or move in the slightest, and some big chunk of my brain goes, “Huh?”, and attempts to determine what the hell that motion or reaction indicates (not that it necessarily gets it right, or even close, but it’s like it at least is interested, grabs the attention, and it attempts to figure/puzzle it out). And, well, it’s quite like, whatever chunk of my brain jumps to that task, is also highly responsible for me managing to talk or attempt to think and talk about what I’m attempting to say or relate, so, … yeah, train of though gets totally derailed, and my talking stops. Oops. I’m definitely not finding any easy solutions. Okay, not really any solutions I’ve found for all that … not even hard solutions, or effective work-arounds … other than the bit of only and exactly one friend or relationship at a time, … ever, … and forever. That kind’a sucks and is quite limiting. But seems it’s mostly been the “practical” consequence of much of all that. Really don’t seem to effectively navigate and handle/manage more than one. Really don’t think I ever have, … my entire life. Don’t see a “fix” for that. Oh well, … I more-or-less muddle my way through it, … or attempt to do so, and … well, … guess it goes how it goes.


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