14 votes

What are you naturally gifted at? Conversely, what is particularly difficult for you?

Starting with childhood, there are always some things that come naturally to us, and others that don't.

Some are great at physical activities but have a hard time with numbers. Some are great at telling jokes, but terrible at writing. Some have a wonderful memory for paths and locations but cannot remember faces. Some can easily navigate social situations, but have terrible grades.

What about you? What has always been easier for you? Conversely, what has always been your Achilles' heel?

12 comments

  1. [2]
    multubunu
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't think there are any innate abilities, just preferences. In my case it's music, I've always been interested in music, to the point that my parents were nervous in letting me near the family...

    I don't think there are any innate abilities, just preferences. In my case it's music, I've always been interested in music, to the point that my parents were nervous in letting me near the family radio when I was two. This preference motivated me in developing musical skills, although I never perceived it as an effort.

    I was good in the school choir, then in the high school choir (won national awards with both), then in the student rock bands I played and sang in (I am not a professional musician though). But it wasn't a "gift" and I can still recall doing my scales with a tuning fork, which somehow was... fun? anyway, nowhere near "work". I was maybe ten.

    Drawing was a different thing, I was selected for the student club (around age ten as well), but I didn't really care, and that was work, I did my homework, but never actually enjoyed it, it was just ambition. Never got too far with it either, and essentially abandoned drawing during highschool.

    So yeah, the "gift" is the interest, not some innate capability; that you still must develop, and it will be an effort, although it won't feel like it.

    6 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I'd say that being gifted at something does not entail being automatically good at it, but rather having a natural inclination that facilitates certain kinds of learning. Exercising this...

      I'd say that being gifted at something does not entail being automatically good at it, but rather having a natural inclination that facilitates certain kinds of learning. Exercising this inclination can be pleasurable indeed. Being good at something is rewarding.

      If I was talking in RPG terms, I could say that your character gains experience in certain skills faster than others (like 1.5x), but you still gotta put in the effort to acquire them.

      8 votes
  2. [3]
    papasquat
    Link
    Public speaking. I have no problem at all going up in front of a crowd of dozens or hundreds of people and talking about whatever. I don't really get nervous about it in the way other people do....

    Public speaking. I have no problem at all going up in front of a crowd of dozens or hundreds of people and talking about whatever. I don't really get nervous about it in the way other people do.

    It's kind of weird because I DO get nervous in lots of other social situations; flirting with women, first dates, making new friends. That stuff all terrifies me, but put hundreds of them together in a room and I can just bullshit about whatever for 20 minutes if need be.

    Hasn't really come in handy because I've never worked in any kind of job where I've needed to do it much, and I'm not particularly funny in front of a crowd, so it's not like I could do standup, so it hasn't really helped me out a ton.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      I'm like bizzaro you. I used to freak out whenever I had to speak in front of a classroom. I broke into a cold sweat when everyone in the room introduced themselves round robin style. So naturally...

      I'm like bizzaro you.

      I used to freak out whenever I had to speak in front of a classroom.

      I broke into a cold sweat when everyone in the room introduced themselves round robin style.

      So naturally I got a job that involves a lot of presentations to hundreds of people, C suite executives etc.

      5 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Over preparing usually helps. I had to give lots of presentations at university. Knowing the subject in depth, really mastering it, gave me great security. Realizing there's probably no one else...

        Over preparing usually helps. I had to give lots of presentations at university. Knowing the subject in depth, really mastering it, gave me great security. Realizing there's probably no one else in the room that knows the subject better than you is very reassuring.

        I gave a talk at school about film with no preparation once. I don't recommend doing that, but I knew the subject very well. There was probably more than 200 kids in the auditorium. They loved it!

        I also celebrated a wedding!

        I'm very much an introvert, but for some reason speaking in public is not an issue for me. I find it easier than regular conversation. A formal presentation has very clear rules that you must follow, expectations are way more explicit. Talking with acquaintances and meeting new people in a bar or a party is way more stressful for me, since those situations require a lot of intuition in order to understand what can and cannot be spoken, and how.

        1 vote
  3. [3]
    kfwyre
    Link
    I don't know how much this comes through in my Tildes persona, but IRL I'm known for being able to get along with pretty much everybody. I'm a very "come as you are" kind of person and try to meet...

    I don't know how much this comes through in my Tildes persona, but IRL I'm known for being able to get along with pretty much everybody. I'm a very "come as you are" kind of person and try to meet everyone with kindness and without judgment. Harmony is very important to me.

    Correspondingly, I'm really bad with conflict. It's taken me a long time to be okay with social friction, and it's also taken me a long time to be able to assert myself. Too often I create harmony by simply being the hyper-flexible one in the pair/group, and while that can be useful at times, it can also mean I let myself get walked over.

    6 votes
    1. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm kinda the opposite. Like yourself, I am kind (I think), and try not to judge. But I often fail to communicate that -- a serious case of resting bitch face. I'm quite economical in my tone and...

      I'm kinda the opposite. Like yourself, I am kind (I think), and try not to judge. But I often fail to communicate that -- a serious case of resting bitch face. I'm quite economical in my tone and facial expressions.

      Interestingly, I'm pretty good at conflict. I have no trouble saying no. When I want or need something, I ask for it. I'm able to be assertive, communicating my needs in a polite and logical fashion, without being aggressive. Most people actually want us to be happy, and will be thankful for the opportunity to help us achieve that. If those around someone are not like that, maybe it is time to find new people...

      3 votes
    2. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      In my opinion, comments of yours like the ones on Intellectual discourse for us vs personal attacks for the ones being discussed about, about how right-wingers are just as often often misinformed...

      I don't know how much this comes through in my Tildes persona, but IRL I'm known for being able to get along with pretty much everybody.

      In my opinion, comments of yours like the ones on Intellectual discourse for us vs personal attacks for the ones being discussed about, about how right-wingers are just as often often misinformed as opposed to evil and about your parents asking you why are the other conservatives she knows so 'evil' definitely show you have more sympathy to give to others than most.

      2 votes
  4. Omnicrola
    Link
    I'm good at trusting people. This is also a negative. If I decide to trust someone, it is often unconditional and (here's the negative) unquestioning. This has bitten me in major ways several...

    I'm good at trusting people. This is also a negative. If I decide to trust someone, it is often unconditional and (here's the negative) unquestioning. This has bitten me in major ways several times in my life. I don't trust everyone though. Some people are very clearly untrustworthy.

    Identifying voices. Usually scifi actors. Scifi in particular recycles actors a lot even within the same show since prosthetic makeup is often used. Picking up on someone's vocal style (and sometimes body language) and matching it to another character is a fun meta game to me.

    I do not do well with politics (small "p"), the kind you find in offices and other social circles. The number of layers that can be contained in a statement like "Karen hates Dave" overwhelms my brain. Why does she hate him? Is the person telling me this because they also hate Dave? Maybe they hate Karen and know people like Dave and are trying to alienate her? Etc. Trying to remember the connections of who likes who this week and why and who switched allegiances and who owes who favors and who is intimidated by who feels exhausting just describing it. Which is why I appreciate and surrounded myself with people who are straightforward (but also kind, you don't need to be rude to be free of drama).

    5 votes
  5. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Languages come naturally to me. I learned to read pretty quickly. In fact, even before being taught at school, I was already reading signs on the street. One day I just opened the newspaper and...

    Languages come naturally to me. I learned to read pretty quickly. In fact, even before being taught at school, I was already reading signs on the street. One day I just opened the newspaper and started reading it out loud. My parents are both journalists, so they were obviously elated.

    The way I talk in my mother tongue is peculiar -- easily transitioning between formal constructions, colloquial regionalisms, slang, and curse words. They are all the same to me, and it's not hard to adapt my speech pattern to different contexts.

    This inclination also showed in how I learned English. I had classes at school, sure, but they were few and not that good. I learned mostly through television, videogames, Rock'N Roll music, and, later, the Internet.

    Writing is certainly my greatest strength. I've written screenplays, short stories, crônicas, film reviews, poetry, etc. Won a few awards for that. I have an active imagination, but more often than not I can't follow through. Soon comes another "fantastic" idea, taking the place of the one that came before.

    I'm not good at social cues. I concentrate on the rhetoric and logic of what is being said, but it is hard to interpret tone, facial expressions, and body language. My tone, facial expressions, and body language are hard for some people to read as well. This leads to all kinds of conflicts, misunderstandings, and relationship issues. It doesn't help that my humor is often dry and sarcastic. I'm actively trying to curb this behavior right now, but during most of my life people around me had to have very thick skin.

    4 votes
  6. Octofox
    Link
    I know people are quick to dismiss this topic but I feel it even if there isn't a logical explanation. I tried for about 2 years and sunk about 100 hours in to trying to learn music. I tried...

    I know people are quick to dismiss this topic but I feel it even if there isn't a logical explanation.

    I tried for about 2 years and sunk about 100 hours in to trying to learn music. I tried learning to play an instrument (guitar, ukulele, and piano), I tried learning to make music with computer software, I tried to learn the theory and read books. And I was never able to progress past the absolute beginner level. Nothing about it felt intuitive and by the end I felt I was not even close to understanding how you make a song and what makes something sound good, what makes something sound bad, and what makes something sound basic.

    I feel I am particularly ungifted in this area. Then I decided if I can't do music I should try art. Started drawing on a cheap wacom tablet I had around and very quickly I felt like things were ok. Drawing feels intuitive because its just making what I picture exist on the page. Every attempt felt like an improvement over the last and it was very satisfying. Now about 8 months in I feel I am actually pretty good and I have made some amount of money drawing things for other people.

    I'm glad I decided to switch from music to drawing because I feel like I actually have another skill I do well at now and it is very satisfying.

    4 votes
  7. petrichor
    Link
    I'm gifted at working within constraints. Whether that be time restraints, a writing prompt, standardized testing, or a tactical game, I am able to propel off of them and use them to the best of...

    I'm gifted at working within constraints. Whether that be time restraints, a writing prompt, standardized testing, or a tactical game, I am able to propel off of them and use them to the best of my ability.

    Conversely, I have always struggled with broadly-creative activities. Like music. And freehand drawing. Some part of me knows that I just don't put in enough effort, but it doesn't change that I find those things particularly difficult.

    3 votes