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LostInParadise's avatar

Do you tend to miss seeing the forest for the trees, or the other way around?

Asked by LostInParadise (27689points) January 1st, 2009

I think most people tend not to see the forest for the trees, which is how the expression goes. They get caught up in the immediate and do not bother with abstract patterns.

My problem is the opposite. I tend to miss the trees for the forest. I am more interested in the abstract than the concrete.

Sometimes I am amazed by my lack of observational skills. I used to take the train to work. There was a sign on the station that said that the train was wheelchair accessible. I found it rather funny that it took me several weeks before I noticed the elevated ramp at the end of the platform. When this kind of thing happens, my immediate reaction is to sit back and try to take in as much of my surroundings as possible to see what else I may have been missing.

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13 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Nope, I notice stuff like that all the time. My friends usually tell me to shut the hell up when I start pointing out every little thing I see that’s wrong, or right, or tell me they don’t care what the cloud looks like, etc.

It’s all good. I’ll keep noticing the clouds. :)

tyrantxseries's avatar

I am the complete opposite, and I hate it
I see too much
how many floor tiles in my apt, how many signs I pass going to work(how many same signs), how many links in the gate in front of work, how something moved since the last time I saw it, new cracks in the sidewalk(often small ones),how many times someone blinks when near/talking to me, and on and on and on and on….
way too much (how many trees around my apt)

wundayatta's avatar

I’m a forest guy. I figure that’s a bipolar trait.

Tree people seem to be OCD, or ADD (oddly enough—their attention deficit is actually too much of a focus on a small thing). Now it appears I could add Schizophrenics to that list.

I figure if you put a bipolar person to work with an ADD person you’ve got a perfect combination. The bipolar keeps the add focused on where they are going as they do all those discrete interesting things, and the ADD person actually figures out how to operationalize the bipolar’s vision.

Caveat emptor: Obviously, I’m talking about extreme behavior here. Also, it’s based on my personal experience, and may not reflect trends in the real world.

boffin's avatar

I live in the forest….All I see are trees!

St.George's avatar

I am a “big picture” conceptual type of person. The details are tedious to me and I’d like someone else to do them, thankyouverymuch.

Although I love both forests and trees equally.

augustlan's avatar

I live so much inside my head, I miss both the forest and the trees. I am too busy pondering the ‘everything and nothing’ that flows between them.

Seriously though, everything I see and hear seems to carry equal weight, pulling my attention this way and that.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I notice everything, all the time. I’ve had conversations with people I’m close to and I’m fairly positive that I see the world in a different way. It’s extremely overwhelming sometimes, because the most “mundane” things always capture my attention.

cak's avatar

I notice everything, like ^^^DrasticDreamer. Sometimes to the point of not being able to move. I take in the big picture, first – then start looking at the details. I want to see all of it, there is so much to see.

Perchik's avatar

I tend to be the person who does the work while everyone is standing around in the woods. :)

But in reality, I work on details a lot more than the big picture. I think I do a decent job of trying to keep the big picture in mind while working on the details.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I tend to see the big picture before noticing the details, but I don’t find myself focused on either one. I think I definitely consciously pay attention to detail because I’m an artist, so I almost feel like I have to.

90s_kid's avatar

Well, if I get the expression fully, I am extremely obsevant and…see the forest for the trees.

Trustinglife's avatar

Is it possible to do both? I’m a details guy, but when I open my vision, I can usually see the bigger picture pretty well. If I do say so myself.

pathfinder's avatar

There is the invisible energie.Where is the forest there is a rest.Where is the forest there is an air.All together is gives an harmony for a brain…......

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