F Simple and Serene Living: i have that...or it's me and you Brad Pitt 09 10
Monday, February 24, 2014

i have that...or it's me and you Brad Pitt

I have this weird thing. I often don't recognize people's faces. It can be really embarrassing and in many cases hurtful to the person whose face I don't recognize. 


For example, I had a neighbor who I talked to across our yards on a regular basis. I saw her at the grocery store one day and had no idea who she was. OUCH!!!

Or how about the time when I was working at the counseling center in grad school. A client came in for an appointment. I walked out into the waiting room, smiled and said "are you here waiting for someone". She got a very perplexed look on her face and said "you".  BIG OUCH!!!! I was her therapist, but I didn't recognize her face from the week before. Didn't help my credibility. 


You would think that someone in the Counseling Psychology department would have recognized my glitch, but maybe it wasn't well known then. I just found out on BlogHer that there is a name for what I have. It is Prosopagnosia also called face blindness. 

I have never had a severe case of it, and I seem to have gotten better over the years. Maybe I have learned to compensate. There are some people who don't even recognize their own children. My sister has it. There was one time she didn't recognize her ex husband (that might be a good thing) and another time she didn't recognize our younger sister (not so good). One of my daughters also has a mild form of it. 

I have never liked big social gatherings. I thought I was social phobic or just shy, but in reality I always feared I would embarrass myself by not recognizing someone I know. That has happened. Now I know that I can just say, "I'm sorry, I have face blindness" and possibly that will serve as a conversation starter. 


So to anyone whose face I didn't recognize in the past, "Please accept my humble apology. I am prosopagnosic." 

Oh and about Brad Pitt. He said last year that he believes he is prosopagnosic. He will have a conversation with someone at a party and a few minutes later he has no recognition of their face. (I do that too, Brad) It causes him to stay at home a lot. Maybe Brad and I should get together and discuss our mutual problem. I promise you, Brad, I would never forget your face. 

ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


SIGH!!!




 

28 comments:

  1. LOL about the Brad Pitt comment but I am sure it is NOT funny in real life. I have heard of this disorder. I think MyHero might have a real mild form of it, too. Either that or he is getting senile....I'll opt for the Face Blindness instead. They say that most people that have it don't even realize they have it until someone else recognizes it in them. Interesting disorder, as you well know!~ xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've known I had the problem my whole life. I just didn't know there was a name for it. Maybe there are people your hero just doesn't want to remember :)

      Delete
  2. Have you always had it? If it's something new, I'd talk to a doctor. Having it your whole life is one thing; it suddenly popping up in middle age when you haven't had it before...could be an early sign of dementia. You seem to indicate you've had it all along, though, so I hope so. (but sorry about even that.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a hard one to live with I'm sure. Keep up a good attitude, it's all you can do! I think I'd remember Brads face also!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really worry about it, Linda. It is just one of those glitches.

      Delete
  4. I have never heard of this. It must be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. I can always remember a face but names not so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be embarrassing, but now that I know I am in such good company I am feeling much better about it.

      Delete
  5. Some times I think we have a hard time seeing other's out of their "area"....such as seeing the dental hygienist at the grocery, or the baseball coach at a restaurant . We get used to seeing them in their work area. I know yours isn't the same...just saying, for some of us. xoxo,Susie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to blame it on the out of context thing, but then I realized I wouldn't remember someone's face I had seen just moments before. I really am much better now. I just try and concentrate more when I meet someone. Unless they are really boring. He! He!

      Delete
  6. I have selective memory which comes in handy now and then.

    I have no trouble remembering faces, it is the names I forget! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's a good picture of him...he's been looking pretty shaggy lately! Ha! I never heard of face blindness until I read that he had it. That is something. Worse than forgetting a name I would think. Are there any ways to deal with it?

    XO,
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have learned to pay closer attention and if I don't remember someone I am just honest about it. He does look pretty good in that photo.

      Delete
  8. Oh, that's WHY Bard Pitt doesn't recognise me!!! I tend to forget names... And I'm a teacher, supposed to call her pupils by names all day. So on Monday I can call a pupil by his name and on Tuesday I can be unable to tell his name! It's very embarrassing! I have no pupils called Brad, though, I'd remember that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!! Not remembering names is bad when you are a teacher.

      Delete
  9. LOL! I'm with Magali...I tend to forget names, but only of past students.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What an interesting condition. One that could really be a pain, I am sure!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am better with remembering faces and not names..Well we can't have it all..lol!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well I learned something new today. I've never heard of that condition. I have the opposite problem. I recognize faces easily, but can't remember their name. LOL! I told my husband that if I ever run into someone while we are together and I don't introduce you, it's because I can't remember their name so he should introduce himself. It's like our little code. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good plan. We have to learn to compensate. :)

      Delete
  13. My name is Mum and I'm prosopagnostic! I also am very bad at putting names to faces. I wonder if that is the name of a condition too!
    Love from Mum
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mum, Forgetting names seems to be very common. I wonder if it is because we have so much input in our lives these days :)

      Delete
  14. I didn't know there was an actual condition like that. I certainly understand how that might cause a person's anxiety in social situations. I'm the opposite. I never (although, never say never, right??) forget a face. I'm not very good with names, but I remember faces. And not remembering names I think is just because I don't pay enough attention when I'm introduced. I'm trying to do better on that. Have a great rest of the week, Laura!

    ReplyDelete

All verbal donations to my comment box are gratefully accepted. It is free for you and priceless to me.