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Poll: how interacting with people affects you?

Discussion in 'Neurological/Cognitive: Brain Fog, Concentration' started by arewenearlythereyet, May 19, 2018.

?

do you find talking to people face to face more draining than other tasks

  1. Yes

    25 vote(s)
    59.5%
  2. No this is no worse than other cognitive tasks

    6 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. Yes this is more draining than talking on the telephone for the same time

    11 vote(s)
    26.2%
  4. Yes this is more draining than reading for the same time

    22 vote(s)
    52.4%
  5. Yes this is more draining than being in a noisy place on my own for the same time

    6 vote(s)
    14.3%
  6. Yes this is more draining than browsing the internet for the same time

    29 vote(s)
    69.0%
  7. Yes this is more draining than reading/ writing on an Internet forum for the same time

    26 vote(s)
    61.9%
  8. Yes this is more draining than watching TV for the same amount of time

    28 vote(s)
    66.7%
  9. Yes this is more draining than listening to music for the same amount of time

    22 vote(s)
    52.4%
  10. Yes this is more draining than writing an email or letter/blog for the same amount of time

    19 vote(s)
    45.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    we have had an interesting conversation on another thread about how some cognitive tasks are more challenging than others. It was suggested we do a poll.

    This is not very scientific just for interest ...I’ve left the amount of time up to you since we all vary in severity of symptoms
     
  2. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, but I'm an introvert so it's always been the case for me.
     
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Me too but sometimes these wretched people make you talk to them :)
     
  4. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My brain has just blown a gasket reading the poll, and I can't to do it. Does this mean that talking to people face to face is less draining than doing the poll? o_O I'll take this as a sign I need a rest
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    For me, it very much depends on what the conversation is and who I am talking to.

    I'm still able to teach twice a week at my martial arts club - yes, I realise that this sounds incredibly strenuous for someone with ME but I, regrettably, don't actually take part in any of the practice, I just talk, and even then I try to maximise my students practice time by keeping my talking to a minimum. Now, because I know my subject matter, I am in almost total control of the content and I have a small attentive audience then I am able to cope with each 90 min class, but put me in a situation where I had to be part of normal conversation with a similar number of people then I most likely wouldn't last 10 mins. Face to face with just one other person I might do better but it would depend on the other person, subject matter etc.

    And taking two examples from the poll, talking on the phone I now find hard, mainly an inability to absorb what the other person is saying, most of the time, which is ironic as most of my career was in telesales, and I listen to music almost all of the time, it seems to help more than it might hinder.

    So, I've not voted because it depends for me.
     
  6. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Drat!
     
  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I find talking less draining that doing a physical task for the same length of time, but more draining than most other mental tasks so I filled it in accordingly.

    One thing I've realised recently I'm going to have to change - I employ carers to help me with some physical tasks. If I'm not careful I end up chatting with them while they do the tasks, so although they have saved me the crash from doing too much physically, I'm in danger of setbacks from too much conversation.

    I think I find conversations with two other people participating less tiring than with one other person, because I can leave them talking to each other a lot of the time and just listen quietly, so I'm doing less of the actual physical talking, and I don't have to concentrate so hard. I quite like having 2 friends visiting together for this reason - I'm under less pressure to keep the conversation going and can take surreptitious breaks.
     
    Hipsman, alktipping, ukxmrv and 11 others like this.
  8. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think this is interesting. I’ve got some small workshops I’ve got to run for work in a few weeks time and I’m wondering how the hell im going to get through them when I can only do around 20 min of one to one before getting foggy. I wonder why it’s different when you are presenting to an audience of quiet people that are listening vs people who are interacting? I guess if you are presenting to a non receptive vs a receptive audience it makes a difference too?
     
  9. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I find 2 easier than one as well for the same reason. I often zone out when in a group and take a mental break...sometimes catches me out though. I think it also depends upon the people involved and how much they talk/how animated and inclusive they are
     
  10. Liv aka Mrs Sowester

    Liv aka Mrs Sowester Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It depends entirely who I'm talking to, where, for how long, what time of day and what about.

    A conversation where I'm having to recall and process information will have me floored within 5 minutes.
    A conversation with a 'difficult' character where I'm having to watch my words and second guess them will knock me out in under 10.
    Talking to a friendly new person I'll feel foggy within an hour, but can carry on for longer.
    A person I trust I can chat with for ages.

    In my own home I have more stamina because I have less information to process, but in a loud or harshly lit environment, very little.
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    When people are interacting then, in my opinion, the number of social interaction 'elements' (a term I've just made up) increases dramatically. At least for me, with a focused audience the prime element is delivering the information, followed by tracking the "do they look engaged/bored/enlightened" element and then probably a few other things, whereas in a conversation there is a need to process what the other person is saying, including how they are saying it, are they saying it just to you or to anybody else, do they mean what they say or is there a sub-text, followed by a need to formulate and deliver a reply taking all the previous elements of the interaction mentioned. Add an additional person(s) to the conversation and the elements that make up the conversation just multiply enormously.

    So delivering information to a group can potentially be easier than engaging in conversation with just one or two people.
     
  12. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've ended up selecting most of the options.

    It's easier for me to interact with people I know. As @Trish says 2 people can be easier than just one, but add in a 3rd and it's just too much stimulation. There are times when even communicating with my husband, who knows me better than anyone else, almost impossible.

    As @Andy says you are picking up all sorts of cues from facial expressions and body language.

    I find it difficult to cope with people who are very hyper or busy in their body language, people with certain pitch to their voices, who speak quickly, are very emotive or have strong & unfamiliar accents.

    On the phone I use little tricks to help - I make notes, bullet points of my objectives and questions I want to ask etc. If it's an official or complicated call I usually tell the other person I have a condition that slows my mental processes and that I am making notes as we go. i have found people surprisingly helpful when I need to do that. I don't think I could cope with a conference call.
     
  13. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    For me, the main reason talking face to face is how difficult it is to put information into words/sentences in real time.

    A secondary reason is that I don't absorb things verbally very well. I do much better with visual input, things written down.

    It's a bit easier to talk to my husband, because of short-cuts and the fact that he knows me so well. But talking is still draining and difficult. Much harder than thinking about something quietly.

    And talking on the phone is just as difficult as talking with someone in person!

    Writing an email or forum post is easier because it's not real time and it's visual. The mental activity is still is going to drain my battery at some point, because I'm using energy to think and write the words, but it drains more slowly than a real time conversation.

    Another issue for me is the differences between thinking while standing (nearly impossible!) vs. while sitting in a chair (better) vs. while reclined (best). Another big issue is trying to think while a crash (nearly impossible) vs. after a few days rest (much better).

    But even when I think I'm rested it's hard to know when I'll suddenly "fall off the cliff" mentally and not be able to come up with a word or a sentence. My husband has learned to keep any of our discussions down to 25-30 minutes max. Better to simply plan lots of short discussions with long breaks in between.

    Sometimes it's like the inner part of my brain is still working okay. I can think, and I know what I want to say, but I simply can't absorb new information nor can I make sentences that make any sense. I can picture a thing but not know the word.

    So, for example, let's say I'm feeling well enough to drive to a certain store. But if you asked me to let my husband drive, and have me give directions to him (turn left here, turn right at the light), then it would be impossible.

    You'd think it would be easier to have someone else drive, right? But the mental energy of having to give directions is much higher for me than the mental energy (and small physical energy) of driving. I may know exactly where to turn but I can't make the sentences for the instructions in real time. We would drive past the place where we should turn while I was still trying to make the right words for what he should do. And just pointing is often not enough info when giving directions (too much ambiguity, trust me, I've tried).

    Another example is the grocery store. If I'm sitting down on my folding cane/seat then I can usually make simple conversation with the checkout person. But when they ask me if I want help with the bags I always say no. When I'm upright - walking to the car, opening the trunk - I just can't think well. And the bagger usually chats on the way to the car which means I'm probably going to lose track of what I'm doing.

    One time I almost locked my keys in the trunk (opened the trunk, sat down on the edge, put the keys down without thinking) because I was so distracted by the helper who was loading the bags! Even though it takes a bit more physical energy to do it myself (I have a system which includes sitting on the edge of the car trunk, using leverage to transfer bags to trunk) it's better than getting so distracted. If I'm well enough to be in the grocery store in the first place then I'm probably well enough to push the cart and load the bags. If I'm not, then my husband gets the groceries.

    To give a computer example, there are many times when the main CPU is doing okay. It can add, subtract, and do whatever basic operations are needed. But the I/O (listening/talking) is badly broken. It's also operating at a greatly reduced speed.
     

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