Wednesday, August 23, 2006

4 + 5 = Green. Naturally.

Do you ever suddenly realize that you view the world in a way that is altogether not ... normal? I'm not asking if you march to the beat of a different drummer; we all do, to some extent, some of us more than others. But do you ever realize that a behavior or a thought process that you thought was normal ... isn't normal after all? That maybe there's even a DSM-IV-TR write-up on it?

Or this: you think you're unique, and then you learn about personality types or right-brain/left-brain studies and learn that your unique way of thinking actually fits into a defined pattern that you share with any number of other human beings. It's humbling, but it's also a bit of a relief, isn't it, to find out that there are others like you. That's how I felt when I learned I was an INFP.

I'm writing today to find out how many of you share a strange quirk that I have, one I was never actually aware of until I thought about it. What prompted the old noggin into thinking about it was a segment of Primetime's "Medical Mysteries" on the neurological condition of synaesthesia. (Wikipedia entry here).

A person with synaesthesia basically couples two senses together. I'd heard of this condition before, but only in the context of music: for some people, an A-major chord will have a yellow quality, while a B-flat note will be imbued with blue-green sense of longing. Weird, I know. I've always thought it a strange but interesting condition, one that I definitely didn't have.

Primetime did a story on the musical synaesthesia (actually called "music-color synaesthesia"), but they also did one on grapheme-lexical synaesthesia, where a person sees letters and numbers as having different colors. There's also something called "ordinal linguistic personification," where numbers, days of the week, and days of the month seem to possess specific personalities.

OK. The music-color thing is weird. But I have always associated numbers and letters with specific colors and personalities. And days of the week with particular personalities and mind-symbols. I don't know if I'm a true "synaesthete," but the grapheme-lexical thinking patterns, as explained on Primetime, sounded very familiar.

I think it's part of why I'm so good at memorizing dates and number-sequences, and why I've always been so horrible at math. If you combine a green number with a yellow number, then you get a greenish-yellow number. Add some red, and you end up with something mottled or something greenish-orange, depending on which numbers are involved. That's how I remember numbers and dates. I associate them with their colors. Letters have colors and personalities, too. It's a little jarring to see the red "J"-looking symbol on a Jiffy Lube sign because the J in my head has always been deep royal purple.

Please, if you also do this, let me know. I've brought the subject up with several friends and family members, and they just shake their heads and look at me like I'm a creature from outer space. Or the local mental hospital.

So, do you associate numbers and letters with colors? Musical notes with colors? Words with taste? Do you find Monday to be a rather flippant youngster, and Thursday to be an overprotective mom-type? Or do those days evoke other personalities for you? Do tell!


Sprice said...

I do the personification thing, and always have. Numbers, letters, words, months--ever since I can remember. I also have always associated letters with numbers that are based on their position, but which are reduced to a single number; for instance, "E" is a 5, but "S" is a 1 (19th letter, and 9+1 = 10, 1 +0 = 1). This has always been for me, even before I could do math.

Also, I've always personified inanimate objects, and as a child used to apologize to a table I would bump into, or perhaps feel sorry for the pen I didn't choose between two available. I had to finally train myself to let go of it because it became emotionally straining; however, I'm always aware on a deeper level that I feel this.

Sarah said...

I have always done that too. I first heard about this on the discovery channel show 'brain man'. I was amazed that other people did not do this. With me, letters, numbers, and days of the week have personalities and sometimes colors. I think this has influenced my favorite numbers and colors over the years.. and of course my good spelling and awful math abilities (of lack there-of).

Anonymous said...

I thought I was crazy!!! No one I knew ever talked about numbers or colors, as well as the days of the week, being male or female, but they have always been to me. For example, one is a boy, but two and three are girls. Four and five - boys, six - girl. This continues up through double and triple digit numbers and beyond. Colors too - red is female, yellow is male. I remember lying in bed as a child and thinking about these numbers and colors as boys and girls - and there is a definite pattern to male/femaleness in the numbers. Probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me, but wow! it's a relief to know that there are other people out there that have an idea of what I'm saying.

Simplexion said...

WOW. For as long as I can remember, I've assigned personalities to letters, numbers, days of the week and months! As sprice mentioned, I as well frequently tend to personify inanimate objects. A few Examples:
Orange = female, Yellow = female, Orange is the elder of the two. 0,1,4,7 are male and 2,3,5,8,9 are female. I often feel sorry for things like loose change I drop or spend, as if I'm "abandoning" a helpless charge to an unknown fate. Other tendencies:
I talk to myself frequently and have a constant sort of inner dialogue. I am a habitual pacer to the annoyance of those around me. My memory for numbered sequences is uncanny despite my difficulties with mathematics. Oddly enough, I found Calculus a good deal easier to comprehend than Algebra, so have hope! I am an abstract thinker.
I hope others of our "kind" find this and post as well. I plan to check back. Maybe we can collectivley unravel this strange mystery of our unique brain power.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I have ordinal linguistic personification. I always wondered if people other than me gave numbers, letters, days and months gender. For example 1,4,5,7,9 are male and 2,3,6,8,10 are female and I do the same thing for days of the week and other things. Monday and Wednesday are female but Sunday, Tuesday,Thursday, Friday and Saturday are male. Glad to know that other people do this too!

Anonymous said...

woah! i never knew that this many people thought this way too! at first when i asked what 7 was to my family when i was younger they would just look at me like a was crazy! the only family members that have it as well are my twin aunts. and recently i found a friend who thinks the same way! 1, 3,4, and 7 are male and 2, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are female. me and my friend always argue over if 9 is male or female! it's awesome to know im not a total freak after all! :)

thnstilaafl said...

I've always felt this way too! To me 1 is a boy, and I associate him with bright red. 2 is female, sensible, and is good friends with 4. 4 is quite silly, and likes ducks. 3, 7, 8, and 5 are male, while 2,4,6, and 9 are female to me. Isn't this weird?
I didn't know that so many people had this as well.

Anonymous said...

I do similar things with letters and numbers. Certain letters feel "nice" or "mean". Some have other descriptors and genders like J is "a cool guy" and S is "a happy girl." I'm the same way with numbers; I prefer even numbers because they usually feel nicer than odd numbers (by the way, the word "odd" is more pleasant than "even"). I wonder if personification is behind my pack rat tendencies?

Anonymous said...

I associate numbers, letters, days of the week, months, musical notes, and colors with genders.
For example:
1,3,4,7,10 are male, 2,5,6,8,9 are female
January is female, October is male
Wednesday is female, Saturday is male
A,P,U,V are female, B,D,F,Z are male
I didn't realize how many people there were who did the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I just found out about this condition today; I always thought I was weird for doing the gender thing to numbers especially, and days of the week:
1,3,5,6,8,9 and 10 are male
2,4 and 7 are female
all of the days of the week are male except sunday and wednesday, and all months are male save february and april


Betsey said...

Someone mentioned synesthesia to me years and years ago in connection with autism, so I was kind of afraid of it...but now that I'm a bit older, I'm reading more and more and more and I enjoy what I'm learning. We have the exactly same experiences with math - how am I supposed to solve this problem when none of the numbers they want me to put together look, feel, or blend well together? I

I remember telephone numbers through their personalities and I actually will go as far as to tell somebody if I do think their cell phone number matches their personality.

I can't wrap my mind around doing certain activities on certain days of the week because truthfully, some activities are better suited for specific days.

I spell very well and remember patterns in words because of my associations with the personifications and color associations the letters have.

It's really exciting to read about people who experience the same things that I do - I wish everyone did!

Anonymous said...

I have OLP for sure. I give personalities to nearly everything. I even have whole stories made up for each number.

For example: (all my single diget numbers are children) 3 is the childish trouble maker of the group, but she is mostly silly. 4 for is sillier and wears hear hair in pig tails (how numbers have hair I don't know). 4 is 3's partner in crime.

Often times things do bother me, like when a person's favorite number doesn't fit their personality. I'm prone to like numbers that have similer personalities as me.

It also goes with things other than numbers, like letters. S is a quiet adult girl, while T is adult male who is slightly more talkive and has a thing for S.

As I think about I attach personalities to things times of the day, colors, shapes, flavors, food, and more.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only weird one out there!

Sandii said...

I just found out the name for what i do recently, but it looks like is more common than other kinds of synesthesia.
Thrilled with my discovery i told a few of my friends, which might have been a bad idea because now i have to explain to them how::
3's always mean to 4 so 2 has to stick up for him even though she's a girl. 6 has a thing for 7 and tries to look her best for him. but 8 (7's mom) won't let him have anything to do with her (she's a bit of a snobb)
oddly enough, i don't have the horrible math skill that are associated with synesthesia

JohnB said...

Just leaving another comment saying it's nice to hear I'm not the only one who does this. My friends and family just stared at me dumbfounded when I rattled off the genders of the numbers and letters in my head :)

2, 5, 8, and 9 are girls, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, are boys. but the weird thing is, I can sometimes picture 2 as a blue male. I don't do the color association much though, and I think the little I do is more related to similar sounds. 2-blue, 3-green. Though, 5-yellow/gold comes from the 5-golden-rings refrain from '12 days of christmas'. I don't think that truly counts as synesthesia, although the reaction is pretty automatic.

Sean said...

Ever since I could remember my numbers have had colours, except 3 and 9, and they all evoke personalities. Besides seeing coloured numbers each with a different story, I can smell, feel and taste words. Not every word in the English dictionary creates a taste or smell or feeling, only a few. So far the word hooping - actually it's not really a word as far as I know but a sport - smells like tobacco sometimes marijuana. Suicide (I know, I know) is yellow, tastes sweet and is very smooth. Swear words aren't always vulgar except for 'Fuck' it's black and sharp.

Now I know this sounds ridiculous but I can see people's auras. It's a light shade of colour sprouting from the tops of people's heads. Some individuals can see it around the entire body, I cannot. Once I asked my mom if she too could see the colours but she said it was all in my head and I assumed the colour association with words and numbers were also in my head. So a few years pass and one pretty day I was in the library reading a book on psychics. I read a text where it said that few people can see another person's aura which is the energy field that surrounds every living, breathing creature on this planet. That's when I found out that the crown of colour I can see around people's heads wasn't just my imagination. But I continued to assume that the number personality was just in my head, or that other obscure people such as I thought like me. Fast forward to the present day: I read this book called 'The Beautiful Miscellaneous' which is about a boy who gets in a car crash and developes synesthesia. The main character explains how he can see colour when hearing a sound, or that some words and names created a taste in his mouth. What really caught my attention was that his numbers weren't just digits but people. 9 was a stoic tall man in a suit, 1 was a scarerd number etc. I thought to myself "Hey, I do that too!" and the rest is history.

Sorry this was really long, if I bored you I apologize.

Waterfall said...

Thanks, all, for leaving your comments. Please, new visitors to this blog, keep the comments coming. It's neat to read about so many others who share these experiences.

TannerHillary said...

My numbers, letters, colors, months, days, shapes, fingers, and toes all have a gender and a personality. They're like people to me. They've never had colors though.
Capital letters and lowercase letters sometimes have different personalities. And in words and names the letters that make up the word or name react to each other and have feelings about each other. In the name Mary, a looks up to M and M is fond of a. a hates r and y, but y and r are trouble makers, and they are friends. M tries to like r and y, but she can't put up with them.
I've always hated math. In numbers that have two or more digits, I see them as seperate numbers and they also have certain feelings for each other. Like in 73, 3 doesn't really care for 7, and 7 thinks that 3 is stuck up, but he still wishes she would give him a chance. And when I do a math problem, the numbers either hate it because they don't get along, or they don't mind because they like each other.
I first heard about synesthesia when I read a book called A Mango- Shaped Space about a girl with syesthesia. She saw colors when she heard a sound and letters and words had colors. I knew I wasn't like that. But in the book, she goes to a sort of support group for people who have synesthesia. One of the people in the group starts talking about her numbers having personalities. That got my attention, because as far back as I can remember, my numbers have had personalities. Then I got to thinking, and I realized that all sorts of other things have always had their own gender and personality. I tried to explain it to my mother and my brother, but they just laughed and gave me strange looks. I don't think they believed me. I told a couple of my close friends about it, and they were more accepting, and I think they actually believed me.
I don't see this as a bad thing. It doen't really effect my life that much. The way I see it, ordinal linguistic personification just makes my world more enjoyable.

TannerHillary said...

I left a comment(a very long one, sorry about that) before I read other people's comments. Like Sprice and Simplexion were saying, I often feel sorry for things I don't pick when I have to choose things. And like Simplexion said, I also talk to myself all the time. I didn't put everything in my other comment because it would have been even longer that it already is. I'm turning 15 this month, and I'm not that excited about it because 14 has a 4 and I absolutely love the nuber 4 ,but 5 (4's father) is in 15 and I really don't like him very much. Coins have personalities. Pennies get on my nerves, and dimes bully nickels. When I'm writing on a lined peiece of paper and I have to go to the next line to write just one word, I hate it and it makes me feel really guilty because I feel so sorry for the last word because it's all alone. Fruits and vegetable and different types of bread along with other foods have personalities. I'm sure there are other things that I'm leaving out. It's juat that I'm so used to it, that I don't even realize I'm doing it.

Anonymous said...

I know this blog was posted nearly two years ago, but since people are still replying, I feel okay replying as well...
It's so exciting to see that so many other people are like me! I just read about ordinal linguistic personification on wikipedia, when I looked up synesthesia. Ever since I heard of synesthesia years ago, I felt like I must have some unknown form, since I didn't "hear colors" or "taste words", etc, but rather sensed personalities in numbers.
1,4,7,9 are female. 1 and 9 are more tomboy-type females who are strong leaders and very popular. 4 is cute and girly. 7 is a bit girly, but looks up to 9 and wants to be like her.
2,3,5,6,8 are male. 2 and six are the "toughest" and coolest ones, 3 is good friends with two, and looks up to him. 5 looks up to 6. 8 is a bit of a wimp.
I do the same with letters.

I also think I have another form of sybesthesia, where I mix time words with spatial "feelings". What I mean is, when I hear the word "Sunday", I "feel" Sunday spatially. I'm placed on the "Sunday spot" in my mind's spatial perception, rather than the "Tuesday" or "Friday" spots...
I don't know if that makes any sense, but if anyone has anything similar, it would be cool to hear.
I do the same thing with months and hours and minutes, etc.

Jo said...

I knew about synesthesia and also that the way I see numbers, minutes, weeks, days of the week, months, years etc as having a distinct 3D pattern and position, was part of it. But today I went looking to see if my life-long issue with feeling that inanimate objects have feelings was also part of it. Finding that it, SUCH a relief to know I'm not crazy. Now I can say thank you to shopping trolleys and worry about the coins in my purse being separated from their friends without thinking I need locking up!

chikzrkul said...

I'd heard of synesthesia from past TV programs, but knew what I had was different. I personify numbers, but not all have a specific sex. I suppose if I actually sat down and thought about it, I could do it beyond the first ten numbers. 4, 6, and 9 are female, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8 are male. 0 is neutral. (I find it interesting that most of us feel 7 is male. I also equate him with a vaguely negative personality.) I don't usually personify many things that require numbers, but realized about 10 years ago that I do personify card games I play on the computer. Each game has it's own particular "feel" -- one game of Solitare, for example, may have a Western feel, the next may have a modern one, one may be contentious, the next mellow. I also have personified objects since I was about 8. It's not all things, only certain ones, and not always for reasons I comprehend. I don't feel bad about the table, like Sprice said, but I'll feel bad if I have to use all but one chair, because it's being left out. Weird stuff like that, that if you tried to explain it to someone, they'd think you were nuts.

Reading that others are horrible with math too is surprising. I've always had this fantastic mental block when it comes to doing higher math or figuring up something in my head quickly. Most of the time I choke up and people look at me like I'm an idiot, but if I take the time to actually write the numbers down, I do better. In first grade, I used to wad up my assignments and stick them in my desk and never turn them in, or fake answers to the problems-- math was disgusting. I didn't learn how to divide until third grade, and fractions were a mess. I don't know how I managed to pass Algebra I & II in high school. Oddly, I excelled in geometry. I can visualize the shapes in 3-D perfectly. I do very well with word and card games.

Sometimes colors have a personality too, but it depends on the situation or the object

Howdy said...

T Thought it was it was a game I made up when I was a kid but the feelings are still strong. The letter A is male. B is female and uppity C is female D is female and an underacheiver. E is full of himself. F is in his shadow. g is male wimpy. H is a fat woman.

K is a stuck up kinda well maintained woman. L is the real thing Class. M is kinda domninant and female. N is a nice wimpy pleaser. Q is a gay older man.

1,2 are male 7,8,9 are female. 5 is a self important wanna be.

I liked getting a 98 instead of a 99 on tests, It just seemed nicer.

All of the other posters personifications are so interesting. It is funny how our own brains can combine these things.

I also had to kiss all my stuffed animals before bed. I couldn't sleep unless I gave everyone of them a kiss goodnight.

Don't even let me get into how I talk to plants and flowers!!

Anonymous said...

I just found out I had synesthesia a few days ago. I was so relieved that i wasnt crazy XD. Everything has a personality to me: months, days of the week, letters, words, numbers and a lot of inanimate objects.

Like Howdy I have to kiss all my stuffed animals before bed otherwise they would feel left out and unwanted. An i like to get 98's because 99 is one of my "bad numbers" (im still in school - 8th grade).

My colors all have personalities too. Green, Yellow, Red, Navy Blue, White, Gold and purpl are boys. Pink, Peach, Black, Every other shade of Blue, Silver and Orange are girls. No one likes yellow because he is a stuck up jerk who likes to make people miserable, I dont have any yellow shirts becaus of that.

I also feel bad for the things that i dont buy- i feel like ive left them to die or something.

My numbers have personalities too,Double digits and beyond i see as individual numbers. In kindergarten I tried to convince my teacher that 23 wasnt a good number because 3 always wanted to be 1st and it didnt get along with 2.
In kindergarten i also re-wrote my numbers and alphabet even though i knew the right way i rearranged them so it would be better.
#s: 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 10 8 9 (7 and 9always fought)
alphabet: A B C D F H I J K L O P R S T U W Y Z (i took out all the letters that i dont like)
my teacher though i was crazy.

Also for silver ware i have to have the knife on the left and the spoon and fork on the right because the knife doesnt get along with the spoon or fork.

Woah this comment is getting pretty long so im gonig to stop here ;)

Hola said...

My fingers and toes have personalities to! Woah I thought i was crazy for a while. To me the days of the week have the most distinct personalities.

Monday - monday is sad b/c no one likes him, but is a good person when you get to know him.

Tuesday - Tuesday is kind of bratty. She always is fighting with her sister thursday

Wednesday - Wednesday is sour because he's stuck in the middle of the Tuesday Thursday fight. He also has a little bit of a temper

Thursday - Thursday is a snob. She Hates Friday because everyone likes him. She also fights with her little sister tuesday 24/7.

Friday - Friday is calm, cool and fun to be with. Everyone loves him (except Thursday)

Saturday - Saturday is the party animal. He's Fridays Twin and they are alot alike. Everyone loves him too.

Sunday - Sunday is the Mother of all of them - Monday - Saturday are all kids.She is wise and the peace maker when they fight.

If I drop change on the ground I have to pick it up otherwise later that day I'll feel like i left a helpless soul on the streets.

Lindsey said...

This is so awesome! I'm excited to read all of these comments. My comment isn't much different than the others, but I wanted to be cool and write one too.
The more prominent branch of synesthesia that I have is ordinal linguistic personification. I first saw numbers as being masculine or feminine, but didn't realize that the other feelings I felt were, in fact, personalities. I too am terrible at math, but have recently started using this to memorize dates, phone numbers etc. Days of the week, months, colors, letters, and seasons as have these qualities as well. I also see letters in different colors.
Something I didn't really think too deeply about until I read some of these comments was that, I also feel sorry for inanimate objects. When I read that I was like "Holy crap, I do that too!" (And to the one guy's comment up there: Pennies also get on my nerves :)
I often wonder why all of our experiences are so closely related. I believe it is the similarity in the way that we have learned things such as, the alphabet and counting I believe that feeling sorry for inanimate objects has something to do with playing with toys when we were young. They are inanimate objects too, yet we gave them personalities. So, maybe some of that stays with us as we grow up.
I only recently discovered all of this when I was talking to a friend about seeing numbers as masculine or feminine. Little did I know that it was a strange phenomenon that very few are aware of!
So, I'm thinking we should all get together and hang out sometime :)

Anonymous said...

Hi again, HOWDY here again. I talked to my sister about this OPL and she kinda freaked out at me. I guess we don't always get good feedback about this kinda of stuff even as intelligent adults.

I told her I thought Forks were knaves, Spoons were Queens and Knives were kings. She said our Grandma must have taught me that. I said Nope!. I told her it could run in families so if one day one of her daughters say.. " Hey Mommy why is 9 Pink?" She shouldn't take her to a therapist. Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

I've always done the same thing. Everything of order (days, months, decades, furniture, numbers, letters, son on) always had personalities to me. I thought I was just strange. I didn't know that there were people like me.
At first I thought everybody did it. But then I realized they didn't...and I thought I was unusual. To me, OLP just makes the world more fun. You just see more life in everything.

Jo said...

I had no idea there were so many of us! I realised a few years ago that I thought about things a bit differently from other people, and then more recently found out that this is a form of synaesthesia.

I have personality (often including gender) associations for everything. They're stronger for ordinal things like numbers, days of the week, and so on, but I've yet to come across something without a personality. Objects, colours, abstract concepts... I regularly find I dislike things I like the look of, like a pair of trousers I bought and hated wearing, despite loving how they looked.

And it's so nice to hear people saying they feel bad for objects! Sometimes I feel bad for turning electronic things off, and throwing something out can be horrendous. Interestingly, I know some people who feel this way even though they don't consciously experience objects having personalities - I have to wonder if it's linked, and they're just not aware of feelings that actually are there.

From time to time I'll pick up colours on letters or numbers (usually when I'm very tired), but I'm not sure if I'm just linking them due to similar personalities. I saw 'C' as bright, pure yellow the other day for instance, but when I thought about it, they're such similar 'people' that I can't be sure my brain didn't just make an extra jump, because I don't normally instantly associated letters and colours.

Aubrey said...

Yeah I'm 13 and my letters, numbers, etc. all have color and personalities, as well as other stuff. Like my phone is stuck-up and my ipod is a guy. Oh, and my pencils are smart, quite guards of my desk. I thought everyone could do it until I was like nine years old. My friends are disbelieving, but I treat it as a gift. No one else in my blood family has synesthesia, but my uncle by marriage does. I wonder if my baby sister has it...

Anonymous said...

I always considered that a normal thing, I didn't think of myself as someone insane or weird. It just happened, and I thought everyone else did the same thing. Only recently I found out that I might have synesthesia. I don't only think of numbers and letters this way, but also of names, seasons, months, brands, things, etc.
I'm not sure if anyone in my family has it, I've never talked about this to anyone before.
Other than that, I also talk to myself (I know this is weird). I don't care if there is no one next to me, I can go like this forever talking to myself, sometimes even aloud. I can also think of things as people, like I know that my T-shirt has a personality. I only have that with certain things that are especially meaningful to me. I couldn't do that with some electronics, they seem sort of 'fake' to me.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize I was 1 in 100 until 2nd grade. And then I thought every one could see the personalities at one point in their lives. I just thought they lost the ability so it would be more polite not to talk about it. I didn't find out the truth of the matter till around 6 years later. I couldn't tell genders yet I heard the voices and could tell the personalities. 1 gets all the attention. 2 is a little jealous of 1's popularity and fame, yet refuses to admit it. 3 is a evil attention hog. 4 is sickeningly nice, helpful and honest. is annoyingly in the center spotlight and is athletic. 6 is shy and jealous of 8. 7 gets allot of attention yet deserves it. 7 also some times abuses 8. 8 and 9 are lovers. 8 wants to grow up yet is allays held back. 9 is a bit pompous yet nice. 13 is a nice number in a bad situation. I don't remember the rest as well. OLP gave me the ability to look at a problem and know the answer. It allowed me to get skip 3rd grade math, yet as the equations got more complex the numbers argued more. 7 and 3 couldn't stand each other. So it distracted me allot up till the point that in third grade I told the numbers to be quiet and that a couldn't talk to them anymore because the answer wouldn't agree with its parent solution. Yet, before that point I loved chatting with them. In second grade I would write down numbers just to listen to them talk to each other. And sometimes when they fought I would stick up for the under dog. And after 6 years of no numbers I really miss them, and I'm starting to let my self hear again.

Anonymous said...

This is so cool!

Some of the things mentioned here seem just so familiar. But I always thought it'd be normal. Or that it was just a character thing sort of. Or just a way of associating things. After all, everybody has a different way of thinking of things.

I didn't know this way of thinking had a name. Well, whatever people call it or however they classify it, I find myself in many of the things you mentioned.


-I pat and kiss all my stuffed animals, so none of them feel left out. I'm 34 and I always thought "Well, it's a girl's thing and everyone's just too embarrassed to talk about it".

-I "talk" to things too and feel sorry for them if I can't give them the attention they "need"

-I see the year in a sort of a circle or oval that goes up and august is in the middle (or on top). Only recently I became aware that june actually is the middle of the year.

-The months have colors too. Like january is white (ok, snow), april is red-orange, november a darkish-red brown.

-numbers stand behind each other in a line going upwards so it's easier for me to deal with lower-case numbers, because they're closer to me, easier to see. Like "1000" is really far away from me. But the numbers 1-10 I can see from the side also. Not the higher ones, though.

-I'm bad at maths, although maybe sometimes I was too lazy to study, but geometry always worked well, although I lack this 3-D-thing.

-sometimes the numbers have colours; the "decenniums" (I don't know the English word for it -I'm German, so please excuse my mistakes) are definetly coloured. The 20s have a greenish background. I like the twenty-numbers. 70 is blueish and I like those less. 40s are yellow. I don't gender them, though.

-when I think about it, they have a personality too. Like 1 is boring. 4 friendly. 7 is kind of mean. And even numbers are way better than the uneven ones.

Oops, now I wrote a lot. I just like to see how many different ways there are that obviously form this OLP.

rebecca said...

Hey, this is Rebecca.
I just discovered I have OLP, and its blowing my mind to see that I actually have a condition that many people share. I get really excited when I see that other people associate different days, letter, and numbers with similar personalities as I do. And I found an excuse for my poor math skills!! It’s crazy! I see different periods during the year with specific personalities. Like the beginning of the year is older and wiser, seems to know everything that is going to happen throughout the year. March to April, is a very confused and ADD teenage boy...and very self centered. May is a calm and beautiful, and accepting of all the other months. May and January are good friends, even lovers. is so weird to actually be writing this down. The summer is very lazy, accept august seems to be more athletic and up for mountain climbing or surfing. Etc. etc.
I also associate pieces of clothing, jewelry and other accessories with different personalities. Anyone else have that trait?

Evie said...

0: male, very wise, very somber, knows the secrets of existence but will never reveal them
1: male, two years old, very focused on himself, but only because he's young, part of the royal family
2: female, four years old, very calm, takes care of 1, part of the royal family
3: female, five years old, bossy, short-tempered, has put herself in charge of watching out for 1, 2, and 4, part of the royal family
4: female, three years old, painfully shy, afraid of new situations, part of the royal family
5: male, around thirty, socially inept but very friendly, makes bad jokes, exceptionally clumsy, has a crush on 6
6: female, around twenty-five, a pushover, lets people walk all over her, pessimistic, has a resigned attitude toward her boring life, doesn't return 5's feelings but she doesn't have the heart to tell him
7: female, late twenties, 6's cousin, always pulling pranks on people and talking 6 into helping her with her schemes, malicious, selfish, a con artist
8: male, early twenties, well-rounded person, smart, healthy, almost a celebrity among the numbers, secretly very insecure, not comfortable with being the center of attention
9: female, around 19, a spoiled brat, extremely egotistical, her only friend is 7, but even they don't get along very well, part of the royal family
10: male, late fifties, king of the single digits, a little bit clueless but very kind and generous, always willing to help those in need, thoroughly enjoys life

january: pale blue-grey, androgynous, giddy and giggly, likes to gossip but doesn't do it to be mean, always talking to february
february: dark pinkish red, male, grumpy, curmudgeonly, pretends to hate january but is actually glad to have a friend
march: sky blue, female, tomboyish, possibly lesbian, loves being athletic
april: yellow, female, shy, quiet, demure, may's daughter
may: pale turquoise, female, middle-aged, very kind and understanding, gives good advice
june: yellow-gold, female, very nice, good sense of humor, but not much of a personality beyond that
july: tomato red, male, jokester, loud, outgoing, hangs out with june a lot
august: deep rust red, female, calm, quiet, hardworking, doesn't show much emotion
september: dull red, prim and proper, very focused on etiquette and propriety, but still kind
october: burnt umber, androgynous, young (maybe 15), but wise beyond its years, doesn't talk much, slightly mischievous
november: dull burnt sienna, female, twitchy, self-centered, high pitched voice, always nagging, married to december
december: deep navy blue, male, always smiling, rarely speaks, rarely listens to november, has some sort of ancient knowledge of the world

i definitely have OLP, but it doesn't stop with numbers and months. like Jo said in one of the comments, EVERYTHING has a personality to me. some personalities are stronger than others, but there isn't a single thing in this world that is completely without a personality. i hadn't really thought about it until maybe three years ago, then i realized that it wasn't something that everyone experiences. it's nice to know that there's at least one other person like that, though. haha

i also have the music-color type of synesthesia, but it only noticeably occurs with about 60% of the music i listen to. in addition, i get impressions of physical spaces when i listen to music. one song might feel like being against the wall of a long hallway, another song could feel like a round, cozy, den-like space.

Anonymous said...

My little sister (12) has synesthesia, i had heard about it in anatomy class which is how I could recognize it. She agrees with a lot of the things mentioned, 1 is male, 2 is female, 3 is friends with 2 and has a son who is 4, 4 is married to 5 but 5 is older than he is so she's kind of a "cougar", 4 is smart, 3 doesn't like 4 being married to 5, 5 has a son... its fascinating and she also links colors and personalities with the alphabet and days of the week. I am studying as much as I can because I think it's so interesting and I see it as a gift... I'm kind of jealous of her. :)

Carmen Rosales said...

I was just discussing this with my son and decided to look it up. I seem to have a form of OLP, too. For me colors, letters, numbers, days and months have genders. Isn't that weird? ha-ha. I remember as a girl, I could never understand why pink was for a girl baby and blue for a boy because in my mind, pink was a male color like its red relation and blue was female. I remember playing with my crayons like they were people--putting them in couples or sorting them by gender.
Funny thing is, as I was relaying this to my son, I realized that silverware have a gender, too. Wonder what other things in my world have genders that I've just gotten used to or forgotten about. After 46 years, I don't think much about it any more.
One thing I read is that if you have to think about it, you probably don't have OLP or synesthesia. Like, I could think about it and make letters have colors, but it's not automatic. I can quickly tell you which ones are which gender.

Anonymous said...

I was reading a mango shaped space and the main character met other people with synesthesia. The people started saying they gave numbers personalities. I was so shocked so I started asking everyone if they did and they all gave me looks and say no.
My letters are like one big drama. a is bf with b but c and a hate each other and b is bf with c and b is to shy to tell a. Also a is so arrogant and conceited that she thinks everyone loves her and she LOVES e but he is not interested but she wont take no for an answer. F and G are getting married but only e knows because F is bf with e .Also I ALWAYS say thank you to automatic doors and apologize if I hurt an object in any way. One time my friend asked me why i kept using the same pen and i said because it was my favorite in front of all my other pens. I began to aplogize to them like crazy, and she looked at me like i was a psycho. The world is so much better with OLP.

Anonymous said...

This is an old post but I'll reply anyway.

0 = clear/translucent, formless
1 = black, formless
2 = navy/dark blue, formless
3 = lime green, wet
4 = hard, dry and dark red
5 = hard, dry and grey blue
6 = yellow and bright
7 = dark green and glossy
8 = apricot pink and fluffy
9 = dark yellow/orange and 'concentrated' like honey, syrup etc, but it can be bright purple and 'electric' when it wants to be.

The numbers are organised so 1 is right down the bottom, then you climb up to 10, 11-13 are level, then you climb down to a shaded area to 20, then it's uphill from there to 100...

The months are organised with Jan on top and Dec down the bottom on a steep ladder.

Jan - Blue and in the sun
Feb - Light blue and opaque
Mar - Dark green and hard/crumbly texture
Apr - Yellow and bright like 6
May - Shaded and green-ish
Jun - Blue and shaded
Jul - Same
Aug - Apricot pink and bright
Sep - Yellow/orange and hard but not as crumbly as Mar
Oct - Hard and colourless, I think it's sort of reddish
Nov - Dark blue
Dec - Blue

The days of the week are on a curved ramp with Sat and Sun at the top level. It's not very steep.

Mon - Green
Tue - Blue
Wed - Yellow/apricot pink and fluffy like #8
Thurs - Blue but more navy/grey and with a harder/dryer texture
Fri - Yellow and dry
Sat - Light yellow and bright
Sun - Yellow and in the shade

The years are also on a very complex ramp and the numbers correspond to the numbers above, for instance, 2000 is black, 1999 is very bright orange, 1994 is 'stable' and dark, subdued yellow, and 2006 is yellow but not as coloured as 1999. I was born in 1989, so this year is on a step where the years in front aren't very steep but years behind to 1950 are really steep. Before 1950 the years are in the dark and have a brown tinge until 1900, and til 1700 they are very very dim. The 1600s are in the sun, the 1500s are in shallow water, and the 1400s and below are basic and dim, this is hard to descirbe!

The alphabet is down a completely fictional hilly street, where the top of a street is a doorstep of a house, and Z is down the bottom of a hill.

A - on the doorstep
B - red and strong and also on the step
C - soft and yellow, on the step.
D - off the step but still in the yard of the house, red and strong. (red is generally a 'strong' colour)
E - in the yard and pale
F - in the yard and pale blue. Sister or close female friend of E.
G - in the yard
H - yellow/white and fluffy, down the street further
I - colourless and next to H
J - under a large shady tree which is blocking the shade. J us green and wet.
K - red/brown, under the tree
L - wet and under the tree
M - under the tree and green. Female
N - Male friend or partner of M. Blue/green
O - in the darkest shade and colourless
P - pink, solid, under the tree
Q - colourless, under the tree but with a few sun specks. Female.
R - strong yellow/red. in the sun on the other side of the tree, but it's now afternoon
S - Next to R and yellow, in the sun, friends with R
T - down the street, for some reason near a train/bus station. Strong, analytical minded male, metallic/black/grey in colour. The leader of the group RSTUV. It's cold on the street now because the sun is going down.
U - standing in a gutter/on pavement, grey
V - same
W - standing further down the hill, grey
X - male and grey/red
Y - female and Z's friend
Z - right down the bottom of the hill, looking down.

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