image facing down to someone's white shoes while they hold an iphone with headphones

How I Know That I’m an Auditory Person

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.






Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “How I Know That I’m an Auditory Person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Stuart! Oh yeah, like most other traits, I’m sure that it’s more of a tendency than an absolute, but it is interesting to see how different things affect us! I’m very interested to see after some soul searching and sitting with these observations if you notice you tend towards one of them 🤔

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  1. I think I’m a combination of visual and auditory. I remember visuals easier than just sound, but if I combine the two, then I look like a genius 🙂 I’m also easily distracted by sounds and cannot work when music with lyrics is playing or someone is talking because my brain wants to listen. I usually put on white noise or the like on when I’m working.

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    1. That’s so interesting! I feel like so many people use music when they work — I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone say they use white noise. I can have music with lyrics if I’m working on something that doesn’t involve reading, but if I need to focus on text, then I have to switch to non-lyrical. Thanks for sharing ☺️

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  2. I’m a tactile learner which I learned early on in my development. Being told to just sit and listen to a teacher speak from the chalkboard wasn’t doing me any good, but giving me homework/classwork where I was able to physically write out my thoughts/understandings made things make sense. That’s part of the reason public schools irk me; most teachers provide a one-size-fits-all approach, but even children have differing degrees of learning strengths and weaknesses.

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    1. Right? Children have all different ways of learning, and if they’re unsuccessful in learning using only that *one type* of teaching, they might feel like something is wrong with them, which is untrue and can be so damaging! I couldn’t imagine the struggle. I attribute much of my scholastic success to the fact that my learning style was combatable with what all of the teachers used and my great memory (also my willingness to absolutely destroy my mental health by overworking myself at school 😅).

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