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Question
Posted by: Chelle | 2004/09/22

Memories

Hello Cybershrink

Something you said in response to memories made me curious - when I remember something I recall it as an outsider watching the event. In other words I see myself, I don't see what I saw during the event. It's as though I am watching. For some time I thought this was because I was imagining how things used to be. That perhaps I had false memories, but after some I realised that this is the way I recall even recent events. If I am thinking about the dinner we had, I see myself sitting at the table as though I have "zoomed" out.
I have talked to a few people and most don't seem to remember that way. Miost people remember what they were seeing at the time. I wonder if this is because I am generally removed from events or is this just a different way of remembering events.
I know its quite a strange question and people who I ask always seem to think I am an oddball. (Which I don't deny - but that makes like interesting :))
Have you come across this before?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Actually, Chelle, that's an extremely interesting observation, and one that doesn't get investigated often enough. Leaving aside special memories of awful events, one can investigate by examining ordinary memories of ordinary and recent events. One finds that memories are much less exact and accurate than we thought they were. I'm interested in the relationship betwen what we recall and the stories we tell ourselves about events, as it were, the running commentary we give ourselves. Do we say to ourselves, "Let's see --- then as I was sitting near the window, the waiter brought over the menu..." and then see what we're saying ? If we put recent events into words afterwards, do those words shape the way we "see" what happened ?
Certain;y, we know from much research, that memories are never the sort of videotape or DVD record we used to assume, ready to re-run whenever we choose. And maybe we don't remember everything in the same way. Maybe in some events we do sort of "remove" ourselves from it and remember it like a third party watching, and for other events we recall it as we saw it, in the first person, and not the third person.
Interesting.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chelle | 2004/09/22

I could be wrong - It's just that most people I have asked have indicated differently. Maybe they didn't understand the question. Shrink didn't seem to think one was more predominant than the other.

Reply to Chelle
Posted by: Keny | 2004/09/22

I can recall memories from both points from third view and as I so it at the time. Is that normal? And I think you mistaken most people see them self’s same way you do from out side I have read that somewhere.

Reply to Keny
Posted by: Chelle | 2004/09/22

I can relive without emotion or feeling or with intense emotion. It depends on my frame of mind at the time of recollection. I don't generally go numb - at least I don't think so. It's not apparent to me that I do.
There are some memories which I relive as what I saw, but they are very few, and mostly not the bad memories.

Reply to Chelle
Posted by: Beyond Tired | 2004/09/22

Hi Chelle,
I have experienced both, thus find it interesting what Cybershrink has said here. My memories are sometimes seen from a 3rd party point of view and other times as they happen, I'm not sure which is worse. Being outside the event makes it seem a bit unreal, going through the memory kills me, I relive it but without feeling, I go numb. Is this the case with you?

Reply to Beyond Tired

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