One of my problems is that people think I am standoffish, or rather superior as I don’t talk to them when I see them out, or I blank them. I don’t do this deliberately, but I genuinely don’t recognise them. For years I thought I had a really bad people memory, as I just could not hold people’s faces or looks in my head. Then, I heard an amazing interview with Oliver Sacks and his discussion of Prosopagnosia and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. That was me! I recognize people by their mannerisms, walk, and sound. I could not describe someone to anyone fully, I see them, I just cannot hold their features in my head.
But, I have worked with people all my working life: Barmaid, retail clerk, sales clerk, pretty much my job depended on knowing people, and what they bought, drunk, ate etc. I developed many coping mechanisms, the main one is situational, if I saw you in the place I normally saw you with a CD or record, all the pieces fell into place. If I saw you in a loud, smokey club, and I heard or saw you walk, I could place you mostly..not always. but, if I saw you out side of a normal place I associated with you: grocery store, post office, or mall, pouf, no luck, you had to greet me and talk and then the pieces would click.
Some people – very few stick in my head, but mostly not at all. I hate watching movies with two brown haired people, or same colour haired people, as I am then confused who is who. I barely ever recognize famous people, as nothing to hold onto in my head. I have talked to: Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Black Crowes dudes, and many more without the slightest idea, which meant I really reacted to them – useful at work.
I am amazing at voices though, I hear how people speak, and how they move themselves. It is a weird thing to be, but actually knowing I am not rude or forgetful is a huge weight off my social interactions. Now when I meet people I warn them, I won’t remember your face, I will know you but have nothing to attach the knowledge too, and people are amazed and very understanding.