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Thread: IS this a known condition? : Unusual Unawareness

  1. #1 IS this a known condition? : Unusual Unawareness 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Symptoms: The person occasionally appears to have no awareness of people in proximity, not all the time but more often than usual and to a very unusual degree:

    Walking accidents, that is walking and crashing into someone. Sitting on someone else, or sitting steeping on a foot etc. Standing in a doorway, while other people blocked from passing wonder what is going on. Or at the supermarket stops with the carriage and steps beside it to look at products, thus completely blocking the alley, and can stand there even when someone comes to a stop and waits and eventually says 'excuse me'. In a crowded place many people can get pushed around because if they stand next to this person (you usually expect a close person to be aware and not hit you step on you or push you) but the person makes movements as if there were no one or if the people were much farther away, so appears to be unusually rude for people that dont know. Other data bit, the person is more likely to get burned from cooking or handling hot objects than what I consider to be average (as a reference, I might touch something too hot while cooking once per 8 years, but this person would accidentally touch something too hot 10 times a year or something.

    Is this simple absent-mindedness or below average awareness, or is there a name for this type of condition?

    (I can be absent minded myself, but I usually have an auto-pilot mechanism that allows me to avoid obstacles while walking etc)

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  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    I suppose it depends on a persons awareness. I myself am rarely clumsy when it comes to members of society. I am totally aware when I am in proximity to others, obstructing, passing close to another. Not only that but also aware of others behaviours such as that of children, being aware when they are going to fall etc. I rarely have a moment where I am inconsiderate to another human being.

    I believe that it is ignorance. I personally value the welfare of people very highly and treat it as such as I would my own. Now because of that I perhaps have a construct placed within me to preserve others as to preserve myself. I don't like being a nuisance in general, if I can resolve an issue by myself (even if it is incredibly difficult) then I will endeavour to do so without bothering another. I frequently encounter people though totally oblivious to themselves and their surroundings. Perhaps they are so enveloped in their own thinking that they miss out external stimuli much in the way that when driving you can become on auto pilot and drive without realising it... too much information thrown at the brain so it cuts it off. This is perhaps why people in cities are often quoted as 'cold' or 'ignorant'. Can't fault them really they just must have their brains switched off. I personally do not visit the city often so am always super aware and careful in the city and enclosed spaces because I live in a sparce rural area.

    Hence why 'polite' people live in suburbia.

    To conclude, the human brain doesn't process any information that isn't relevant in a situation. Often clumsiness then is just the autopilot function of the brain failing because it isn't adept at handling more complex situations for instance holding hot objects when cooking (there are lots of temperature varying objects), forgetting what needs cooking when and not. A human under intense stress is likely to become more clumsy and 'inconsiderate' in social situations for instance.

    I only call 'cock' when someone is blatently aware of you and chooses not to move. Their own bitter opinion at the time run by their ego is what causes the obstruction on purpose. So this in particular is not unusual unawarness. Its a shame that a lot of us can judge the innocent who do have unusual awareness for ignorant people who are aware but just who are ignorant and impolite. That's why I take every sitatuation with a grain of salt and am polite...

    What it takes to be of old English gentleman manners.

    I don't know if there is such a condition as you asked, if there is it is most probably described as:

    The temporary lapsing of the autononomous cognitive functions that are reuqired to control the societal induced conditioned behaviour of socially acceptable behaviour.... Something like that.

    Last edited by Quantime; September 11th, 2012 at 09:55 AM.
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  4. #3  
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    city of wine and roses
    It looks to me a bit like other sensory deficits. You can have very good vision, but be colour-blind in some way. You can have first class accurate hearing across the range, but be tone deaf when it comes to music.

    If you think of a person being competent at ordinary walking and sitting and quite capable of touching the end of the nose when eyes are closed, it doesn't necessarily follow that they're good at sensing their immediate surroundings. Looking at sports, there are plenty of athletes who are fantastic runners who really aren't very wonderful at team or ball games.

    Add in a bit of shortsightedness and/or marginal hearing loss (think about how many people wearing headphones make mistakes on footpaths) you're likely to get someone fairly oblivious to other people as well as their surroundings. They could also be ill-mannered and inconsiderate - but that can be a consequence of other problems, particularly hearing loss. A lot of elderly people can be quite bad-tempered and suspicious just because of hearing.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Interesting feed back guys, thanks.

    It just made me remember that my parents used to have a coo-coo clock that ran every half-hour, and every hour it was a circus with music and water mill wheel figurines turning. People that came to our house were annoyed to no end, and could not sleep, but our family, literally did not hear it anymore, both the coo-coo and the music did not register, our ears certainly received a complex structure of sounds loud and clear, but our brain did not signal to our consciousness this sound pattern was occurring, which means parts of the brain that decoded the pattern then recognized it as something that should be discarded and then shielded or muted it from other parts of the brain where consciousness happens.

    The mention about Big City made me think that when you see someone close by and theres absolutely no one near you are more likely to pay attention and sometimes smile or say hello to someone you don't know, but in a crowd you are not likely to say hello, nod, smile, hello, hi, 46 times a minute to people you dont know, maybe some of the people living in downtown of large cities have more of a filter than people that live in areas with less population density.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Hey icewendigo,

    Is this a thought that came to you, and you're now wondering about it? Or is this something you've found that has been documented and you're looking for additional information? I'm just curious because if the former, another factor could be being extremely introverted. It is already known that one of the key differences between introverts, and extroverts, is that introverts' brains are always stimulated to a greater degree - which makes a need for interaction less important, and therefore less sought after.

    Perhaps the type of people that you are describing have so much going on in their head that they, at times, will lose focus of their surroundings?
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