Do you ever get so involved in what you’re doing that you don’t notice big things are happening around you (like the is house on fire, etc.?) Does your headspace sometimes become so narrow that you are consumed with thoughts on a single topic? Do you sometimes forget to eat (or sleep or go to the bathroom) because you’re soooo into what you’re doing? Hello, Hyperfocused!
Hyperfocused types have a tendency to fall into the vortex of what they are interested to the exclusion of all else. They can think so narrowly and deeply that they become swallowed by a black hole of tunnel vision. When they are in this state no one can reach them.
- Relentlessly pursues interests
- One-track minded
- Escapes to a private world
- Effectively shuts out all distractions
- Will unhealthily go on and on and on without breaks
A Happy Hyperfocused
The high levels of absorption that a Hyperfocused person feels when involved in his or her interest can be blissful indeed. One might ask, “What’s so wrong with this type?” Maybe nothing! Until it’s time to switch gears. The world keeps turning, miss out at your own risk.
The Nutty Professor (depicted in several films; in one, he forgets his own wedding because he’s so involved in his inventions), John Forbes Nash Jr. (the film, A Beautiful Mind, is based on his life)
The Hyperfocused can relate to the others in the Visionary family. Also, this type has been known to find balance through exercise, therefore the Athlete, Dancer and Cheerleader types can be helpful influences.
Hyperfocused in Love
Hyperfocused individuals must work extra hard at thinking of other people’s feelings and needs. They are essentially egocentric and do not have great wells of empathy or social awareness. Relationships can be hard for them. If the thing that has their focus is another person, their obsessive attention can be frightening for the other person. But more often than not, they don’t put enough energy into relationships and the connection atrophies from neglect.
Often Hyperfocused individuals shift between extremes of focus. They can be distracted and restless without taking much interest in anything at all and then suddenly something happens to arouse intense focus to the exclusion of all else. These extremes of under-focusing and over-focusing can be hard for others to understand and sync up with, which can take its toll on personal relationships.
How to Play It
If you see this tendency in yourself, consider building reminders into your world that will help you “snap out of it” when appropriate. For instance, set an alarm that tells you when to take a break from work. Put your schedule and obligations in writing and look at it frequently throughout the day to make sure you’re on track with what you’re supposed to be doing.