How to Fake the Sensory
People sometimes mention the fact that I don’t discuss my struggles with the sensory very often. Well, that’s because these struggles happen often, are embarrassing, and don’t provide much of a conceptual lesson outside of; If you have Ni you will probably make a mess, and probably shouldn’t play with sharp objects.
As an INTJ it’s easier for me to communicate regarding my higher functions, because dealing with them is slightly more understandable (to me) and also… slightly less painful.
Seriously who wants to hear about how I accidentally smashed the 3rd bottle of my favorite salad dressing last week (that wasn’t even opened). Or how I sat down at 10 PM to finally eat the dinner I was really excited about, only to end up wearing it all over my body 30 second later and spend the following 30 mins with spray cleaner, a mop, and deep internal sadness?
However when it comes to the “Se” outside of being accident prone, I do have one major piece of advice that has served me exceptionally well.
Tracing AKA Copying
Do you remember being asked to trace something in art class as a kid? I do. I also remember hating it because I wanted to draw my own version of a hideous flower. However, the concept of tracing is a valuable one.
If I had actually practiced tracing flowers according to other peoples actually great drawings of flowers, at this point in my life, I could probably draw you a pretty great flower.
Do you know what I can’t do right now? Draw a pretty great flower.
People who have savior sensory often times just seem to naturally “get it” in sensory land faster than those with an intuitive function first. I remember having friends in college who were so naturally good at layout and design, styling clothes, having actually legible handwriting.
For me, the best way to learn these things has been to conceptually trace them.
Lets say tomorrow I wanted to become good at skateboarding (terrible idea but hang with me). What I would do is find someone who really great at skateboarding, and pick what I can foresee to be the 5 most important, yet attainable skateboard moves, and watch that person do them over and over again.
Now, I go into this fully prepared for the fact that learning these 5 moves may take me 2 years. But when you are copying the best version of the thing for the sake of your own practice, you already know you are starting with a high standard for what good should look like.
But Lindsay! That’s so unoriginal, that’s just copying.
Yes, I know. But that’s how you fake your way to being good at something and once you have reached the passable level through the help of someone else, then you can start to put your own spin on it. Or your own kick flip. Or whatever skateboard lingo I am totally butchering right now.
Now apply this concept of tracing to anything specific you want to do in the sensory world. If the person or thing you are learning from is “too good” for you to copy correctly, just break down the thing you are trying to do, into smaller and smaller parts until one seems attainable.
Want to get better at interior design? Watch someone who is actually great at interior design and try to recreate (in a plausible medium) what they are doing. Continue to do it until you understand the flow of how to get to great, passable, or whatever standard you set for yourself.
Like I said, this isn’t easy, and you certainly have to do a lot of the “figuring out” on your own without hand holding. But, it’s worked for me and has gotten me to appear good at a lot of the things I have no natural ability for.
Fake it till you create it.