Monday, March 31, 2014


Villains are well known for their absurd and narcissistic monologues towards heroes that are almost, but not quite, defeated.  They aren't the only ones that monologue for no particular reason though, as I maintain an internal monologue all the time.  There is a person who feels both part of and distinct from me who writes down everything I think and do as it happens.  It keeps track of everything that passes through my brain regardless of how realistic or fanciful it might be.

"Sky leaps up the steps two at a time."
"Sky ducks under the ninja's sword thrust and slams his dagger into the villain's throat."

Most of the time the narrator vanishes into the background and I don't pay much attention to it.  (It might be wrong, the narrator could be a he, but definitely isn't a she.)  However, there are times when I deliberately step into the narration and yell at the narrator for doing it wrong.  One is a bit of a lifelong thing where the narrator tells the story using imperial units and I deliberately tell them to do things in metric.  Usually this translates to me speaking in metric terms but not always as sometimes words come out faster than I can correct the thoughts in my head.  I don't know that this change will ever really happen given that there are so many imperial units still in common use around me.

Last night another interruption of the invisible flow came to the fore:  Val's name change.  I have been quite good about getting the new name out as part of my speech but my narrator just can't get it correct.  I have had to step in every single time to correct it.  I am sure it puts some hesitations and pauses into my speech that others detect as I work around the statement that the narrator wrote for me (it is regularly ahead of me in planning what I will say).  It is a struggle to get that correct and it makes me wonder how long it will take for the narrator to get that right, as I am sure they will at some point.

We talked a bit about this and it turns out that some people have a narrator and some do not.  My current pet theory is that possessing a narrator is linked to being an iNtuitive on the Meyers/Briggs personality test.  I suspect that the tendency to pull back from the world and from one's own thoughts to write them down is something that would be strongly correlated with iNtuitive thinking as they are very much about abstraction and big picture thinking rather than getting down into the gritty details.  That tendency to step back and look for connections, for a larger understanding, goes along very well with having a narrator talk about everything that happens in life.

If you happen to know your Myers/Briggs type in terms of the iNtuitive/Sensor binary I would be interested to know if you match my pet theory.


  1. Does counting every single thing I do and making sure it comes out to a multiple of four count as having a very boring narrator?

  2. I think you need a new theory. I definitely don't have a narrator in my head.

  3. I don't have a narrator but I do have an observer, which I think is a similar idea but it sounds like yours is significantly more interested in your life. Also, I don't know whether I should call it 'it' because a good deal of the time I would instead call it 'me' and think of the thing that engages in the world, feels things and does things as 'it.'

    But are we really just talking about having two processes that we perceive as distinct, one of which performs so sort of ceaseless operation (narrating events, counting to four, acknowledging phenomena)? This sounds less like iNtuitive and more like an Obsessive disorder with a tinge of Dissociation. Was your sample of people with narrators gender biased? Was it geek biased?

  4. My sample was very small and was full of geeks. It had multiple genders though. However, given that three intuitives just commented that they don't have the same thing I do I think my theory is junk.

  5. like that? I totally narrator in my head. All the time. Sometimes it's a girl. sometimes it's a guy..heck sometimes it's Dr. Phil and I've never watched his show! When I'm cooking it's Gordon Ramsay.