Have you ever heard the terms “auditory learner” or “visual learner” in school? While we often hear the terms “auditory,” “visual,” and “tactile” applied to learning styles, they apply to much more than just that. I, personally, am an auditory person, meaning that I respond best to and identify most with sounds. Not sure exactly which type you tend towards? Never fear, because I’m about to do what I do best: talk about myself! Here are some of the ways that I know that I’m an auditory person.
I need sound on in the background
Okay, so I think this one applies to a lot of people (especially overthinkers!) and I’ve written a bit about this one before, but everything is just more comfortable with background sound. I need music when I’m in the car, I need to listen to a Spiritfarer playthrough while I work, and I need to have the TV on at all times when in my living room. Background noise just makes everything more cozy.
Things I remember most are sounds
I have always had an excellent memory (I may even write about this someday!). I remember random things from life and media that no one around me seems to remember. There are several times when I’ll be watching a TV show and realize that a part that I remember well and love is coming up. Almost always, these are lines that someone said…but instead of just remembering a punchline of a joke, I remember the exact cadence and tone of someone’s voice when they said it. Those are the most memorable parts for me.
The most recent time I was reminded of this was while watching Brooklyn 99. Without giving too much away, in the episode “The Bank Job,” Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins says, “Dirty cops make me sick!” and I find the tone of voice and cadence to say it to be so memorable that I look forward to hearing it every time I watch that episode. I also find her tone of voice when she says this to be very attractive, but that’s besides the point…
Similarly, things that haunt me are primarily sounds
Have you ever dialed a wrong number and heard that awful tone followed by the “Your call cannot be completed as dialed.”? That sound haunted me as a child. I was always very very careful to dial a number that I knew was correct because I couldn’t stand the thought of hearing that tone and voice. They made my skin crawl. When I studied abroad in France, I had a similar experience with the sound that came over the loudspeaker in the trains and train station whenever an announcement was being made. One of my friends thought it was so funny that the little 4-tone sound freaked me out…to be fair, I agreed with her. It just felt like nails on a chalkboard hearing it.
Every Easter, when I was younger and used to go to church with my dad, we would see a play about the Easter story and I would have to steel myself for when they played the sounds of Jesus’ hands and feet being nailed to the cross. I remembered those loud banging sounds every year. This is similar to the sound of popping champagne bottles during the Be Our Guest portion of the Disney World show “Philharmagic.” I walk into that attraction preparing myself for those loud popping noises, because no matter how many times I hear it, it’s unsettling.
Long distance relationships are a breeze for me
Several of my past relationships were long-distance. I recognize that many people have trouble with long-distance relationships, however I actually really enjoyed my long-distance relationships. As an auditory person, I often felt that speaking to someone on the phone was similar to having them right next to me. Additionally, because I’m auditory, someone’s voice is one of the main things that attracts me to them (see above: Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins), so I thoroughly enjoyed phone calls with my long-distance partners. I even had phone calls with my partners where we would just be silent on the phone and just be together. Even that was nice. I will admit that I was poly when I had long-distance partners, but even when only dating one person, long-distance didn’t bother me.
Think this is very interesting but super unrelatable? I totally get that — everyone’s brain works differently. However, these points can still be applied even if you’re visual or tactile. While I said that sounds are what bring me comfort and haunt me, for visual people, images comfort and haunt them; for tactile people, it’s the same with textures. I’ve known several tactile people in my life, and I’ve seen them both rub something with a certain texture to comfort themselves and have a momentary breakdown from touching an unpleasant texture.
Thinking about things that give you comfort, things that haunt you, and things that you find most memorable can lead you to realize if you’re visual, auditory, or tactile (or another category, these are probably not the only three!). I should also mention that like any other personality trait, this is a tendency, not an absolute. Maybe you’re a visual learner but need something tactile like a fidget spinner for comfort.
If you’re anything like me, it’s just fun to learn something new about yourself, and once you recognize your tendencies, you’ll see more and more how they apply to your life.