How do you explain synesthesia to non-synesthetes?

Jan 12, 2018

so just today I tried explaining what synesthesia was like to my friends, and....well, it was kinda confusing for them. Actually everyone I've tried explaining synesthesia to has been confused lol.

So fyi, I have grapheme-colour synesthesia (higher, projected), and music has colours, textures, shapes, and place (high, low, left, right, etc.) relative to the other bits of the music (but this is mostly in my head and not projected...I think). General sounds (kinda...?) have textures but it's BARELY noticeable. But whatever. Let's just focus on the first one for now.

So anyways from my experience I'd describe grapheme-colour synesthesia as seeing a letter/number with a colour but also being able to see that it's printed in black. Which is pretty straightforward for those of you with the same type of synesthesia as me. But it's kinda weird explaining it since I see black and the colours at the same time sort of... I don't switch between seeing colours and seeing black (or else white letters such as 'i' would be flashing lol). So that's the confusing part. Like no one gets it. So, uh, any better explanations...?

I guess associated synesthesia would be a lot easier to explain but I have projected......

And just so you know: associated synesthesia is when you see everything in your mind's eye (so you'd see black letters on the page but have colours in your head I think) and projected synesthesia is when you literally see the letters on the page printed in colour


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