What it’s like to live with prosopagnosia

Face blindness affects me in the least helpful moments – like when my boss’es boss greets me, or someone I serve with on a local board says, “Hello”. It usually takes me at least a second or two, to make the connections – sometimes longer. I’ve gotten so used to it, I guess, that my compensatory techniques cover it up pretty well. So, who would believe me, when I tell them that I often don’t recognize even the people closest to me, on sight? Funny, how that goes.

My coping mechanism, of just being friendly and cordial with everyone, as though I do know them, comes in handy. It’s disarming. And it helps in other situations, where a bunch of people are standing uncomfortably around each other. I have no idea if I know them or not, for at least a few minutes, so I just assume I already do, and I greet them as such.

It helps everyone feel at ease. And no one has an idea that I don’t recognize people at first. They never guess 🙂

Blinkie Frustrations

Prosopagnosia is just a fancy word for face blindness.

While prosopagnosia is usually mentioned and discussed only as part of Asperger syndrome or autism spectrum issues, and only when occurring in sighted individuals, it affects more than just those selected few. It affects people with varying forms of blindness (I’ll skip those for the simplicity here), low vision (like your grandma with cataracts, or an infant – as children’s sight is not very developed when they are young, or that clumsy kid that just seems to always get on the way of the flying sportsballs in school PE lessons even if he has thick glasses), various forms of neurodiversity – and those that just significantly different from the others around them, but who can’t identify that one person of millions around them, perhaps looking unlike them.

I’ve had prosopagnosia for a long time. Does the cause really matter? I…

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3 thoughts on “What it’s like to live with prosopagnosia

  1. I had no idea, before I learned that I was on the spectrum, that I’m mildly faceblind. Or that such a thing even existed. I just thought I needed to pay more attention. And that tied in with my discomfort in looking directly at people’s faces when in a conversation. Two aspie traits right there in a neat bundle, and I didn’t have a clue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Sounds familiar. With me, face-blindness is so much a part of me, I almost don’t even notice it. Except, when I’m clearly drawing a big ol’ blank on who’s standing right in front of me. Then… yeah. Sorry – I DO know you, after all!


  2. I had to have my youngest pointed out to me in a kindergarten play because they had put a hat on her and I could not pick her out of the class. I was only two feet from her at the time. But I can recognise other features, especially hair.

    Liked by 1 person

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