Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

A Strange Experience

60 Comments

I don’t want to call it an out-of-body experience because I didn’t feel like I’d floated out of myself, nor was I looking at myself from a distance. What happened was, I was sitting in the small audience of fifty people at the writer’s Masterclass last weekend, and had finally gathered the courage to ask a question. I was shaking in my boots. (Not literally: I was a bit nervous and I was wearing running shoes.) About half way through my question, I noticed I could hear myself as other people might. I actually remember thinking to myself as I spoke that I could hear my voice, and I had time to wonder in amazement that I didn’t stutter or screw up what I was saying as I was saying it. It was kind of surreal. Like mentally multitasking.

Has this happened to you? If so, what were the circumstances?

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

60 thoughts on “A Strange Experience

  1. Yes, it has! But I don’t remember the exact circumstances. I just recall hearing myself and was slightly amazed, as you were, that although I had thoughts of “Wow, I can hear myself. This is strange” as I was talking, that I never lost track of my words. Isn’t it neat how we can multi-task?

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  2. I have experienced a similar feeling when talking to a class at the University… I think I know what you mean … it is a sort of dissociative effect somehow, as you were speaker and part of the audience somehow…
    I am now thinking that it could be sort of a consequence related to the fact of feeling nervous but proud or excited at the same time…
    It is probably a kind of challenge, I guess..
    Best wishes to you. Aquileana πŸ’« –

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    • Thanks, Aquileana. I think I was far too afraid of screwing up to be proud – more like “am I really worthy of speaking aloud?” πŸ˜› The funny thing is, I have many times stood at the front and led a discussion. Then I’m okay. But being in the audience and at the centre of attention – perhaps I just wasn’t prepared enough.
      Thank you for sharing your experience. πŸ™‚

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  3. It used to happened all the time I was at school… nowadays it happens when I see a hospital Dr !

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  4. Yes, it often happens when lecturing in front of a class. It’s as if I’m listening to someone else speaking.

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  5. Yes, I have! Fortunately very rarely and in similar situations! Must have something to do with adrenalin I’d guess:)

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  6. I have had this and the other kinds of our of body experiences you mentioned. I think or is a temporal lobe thing.

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  7. I have tried this too, specially in the beginning in my practize to be a teacher. When I needed to stand up in front of a lot of people like parents I tried this.

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  8. I’ve had those experiences quite frequently in the past as I have DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) AKA “Sybil”. It was a result from my abuse as a child but now only happens occasionally since therapy. πŸ™‚

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  9. Pretty much every single time I speak in public in front of more than just a couple of people.

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  10. I can’t say I’ve had the “pleasure” of that experience.

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  11. I haven’t had that particular experience but I really like the fact that you have opened up this discussion. It would be great if people talked about their more unusual experiences more openly. It could be a good SOC topic. btw – I’m so glad I found your blog. It is very stimulating.

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  12. I actually haven’t had that particular affect happen to me,. likely because i so rarely do any public speaking – even the asking of questions. That said though Linda I have known without a doubt for some time that we can feel the emotions of others and see ourselves in their eyes. In fact we can actually affect those emotions with our own if they are in flux -it is a two way connection. I recall clearly flying from Houston to Newark and feeling very nervous and upset. I love flying and have never felt that way in a plane before. It was a clear day, I was cheerful as I was going to see my girlfriend, and I was well rested, with a full tummy. I found myself terrified of the plane crashing. Knowing my own feelings from experience, I could only surmise that I was picking up someone else’s concerns. I looked around and sure enough there was an older woman sitting two seats over (empty seats between us) who had a death grip on her seat arms and looked like she was going to die of fright at any moment. Inquiry found that this was her first time flying and she was petrified. I explained all that was happening and talked to her and she calmed down. The fear went away. We really are all hooked to each other very literally Linda. I’ve had similar experiences involving knowing the thoughts of others under certain circumstances as well. It cannot be created – it happens or it doesn’t and the degree is uncontrollable – it may be a hint , a mere whiff, or it may be full knowledge. Ha! As an epilogue to the lady from Houston story, I looked over when we were landing and saw her with both feet up on the back of the empty seat ahead of her. She looked over at me with an embarrassed grin and said: “Just helping the pilot stop the plane. I figure he needs all the help he can get and it can’t hurt.”

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    • Haha! Kind of like you do as a passenger in a car, eh? My best friend was a driving instructor and he had a brake on the passenger side of the car. I had to travel with my feet tucked as far under the seat as they could go just in case.
      I’ve had such instances of connection with people as well. Thanks for sharing that, Paul. πŸ™‚

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  13. Yep, had it happen every so often…it’s surreal, then I forget what it was I was talking about. πŸ™‚

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    • That’s what I was afraid of! That I’d get distracted by my own voice and lose track of what I was saying – but I didn’t. That’s what made it so weird. Thanks for sharing, my dear. πŸ™‚

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  14. Happens to me, too. And I think I start speaking in tongues. Which explains all the odd looks people give me when I’m finished.

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  15. I have. It was usually when I spoke while deep in thought.

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  16. I’m glad that so many of your readers have commented that it’s a perfectly normal experience, because I’ve had it happen, too – more than once. I just figured I was losing my mind.

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  17. Perfectly normal. I have had it happen in a situation like yours and also when I have not had enough sleep (coupled with one margarita too many)

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  18. Oh yes, this comes quite often with my anxiety. Dissociation. Like your brain is mic’ed up or somethin! Eerie.

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  19. Oh yes, that is the oddest thing ever! I call it “not being present.” It is a bit like being disembodied and sitting out in the audience listening to yourself.

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  20. I’ve had exactly that happen under the same circumstance. Really odd, isn’t it?

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