Monday, July 5, 2010

What is the Typical ASMR Personality Type?

We know that not everybody experiences ASMR, or at least not to the extent that some of us do. I don’t know the numbers exactly either, but synaesthesia, a theory that some suggest could be ASMR, or related to it, apparently has about 1 in 2000 people who possess it.

But what sort of people experience ASMR in general?

I’ve come across some threads discussing this, and there are a few qualities that ASMR experiencers seem to have in common, either deducted by just reading their posts, or because they agreed and admitted that this applied to them.

The common belief is that most if not all of us are intelligent, civilised, observant, perceptive, sensitive, spiritual, artistic, empathic, lonely, non-conformists, and gullible or innocent.

Somewhat more negative qualities that we might possess include being obsessive-compulsive or suffering from OCD (which I do to an extent), perfectionism; that we might have difficulty relating, and also be absent minded.

Not all of these traits, positive or negative, may apply to all of us. For one I’ll talk about myself if I may.

I said above that I’ve had bouts of OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder over the course of my life which has usually come and gone but isn’t as bad as it used to be – or so it seems. Maybe I just got used to doing the things I do which others perceive as weird.

Tying in to this is bacteriaphobia which some commonly, and quite incorrectly, refer to as germophobia: the fear of germs. I might also have a bit of a perfectionist spirit at times which I have learnt to perhaps overcome, seeing as I know nothing and nobody is perfect. But I do like to try my best though. I’m also quite concerned with having good spelling and grammar in my writing efforts. I think it shows a bit of professionalism, and that you’re also computer-literate and know how to use the spellchecker.

I would consider myself to be more observant, perceptive, smart, perhaps artistic too. I’ve done a few good paintings in my time, but that was years ago in school, and I’ve been interested in music, but just never really followed through with it. Writing and blogging is my real creative outlet, I would think.

As for being lonely. Well, I’m alone, and I like it that way most of the time. Large groups of people, and crowds usually make me cringe. I don’t mind small groups with say four people including me, but any more than that and I start to feel uncomfortable.

I do regard myself as a rebel or non-conformist. I’ve never really fit in anywhere in my life with groups, gangs and so on, seeing as I like to do my own thing, and go my own way.

I am somewhat sensitive, quite quick to anger sometimes particularly when people don’t respect me or my personal space or belongings. You can imagine I was bullied a lot at school, mainly emotionally or psychologically more than physically. I think this was mainly because I was bigger or taller than most of the other kids anyway. And when I did get into fights I could get quite aggressive seeing as like I said I get mad quickly sometimes.

People also used to take advantage of me because of that sensitivity and naiveté, which made me bitter, angry, and hateful over the years. I don’t trust so easily anymore. I think that throws the empathetic trait out the window too, seeing as I became so cynical over the years that I don’t much care for others any more. But I do have that sort of quality when it comes to animals – which is what others at a discussion thread such as As It Normal, have said too. Some said they despise most people. I can’t say I don’t agree.

I also think I’m more civilised than a lot of these people out in the world today. I was raised right and was taught how to behave and act properly, but it’s a shame when you realise that a lot of people out there maybe weren’t so fortunate or educated, and you end up having to unlearn a lot of these good habits, or at least adopt some bad ones to hold your own out there in a world full of sick people.

So, I’ve ranted for quite a bit, but you perhaps know more about me, and rest assured that I have more empathy for people who experience ASMR and its supporters, seeing as we all seem to be in the same boat; we’ve all been through bad experiences, perhaps with other people.

They don’t experience ASMR, they don’t have the gift, and in our world at least, they are the outsiders, who will perhaps never learn, understand, or experience what we do.

Maybe they’re not meant to.


  1. hi, how are you? I've been reading your post because i think i have ASMR i don't know how to explain myself but i feel this tingling in my head when i watch whisper videos and other things, usually i feel it when somebody has a soft spoken, but recently a have been looking for videos with that specified purpose and since I've been watching it i have headaches and tiredness, and i found this post that it's great, but i want to know if this is kind of wrong or is like a disease? i hope you can help me, 'cause i'm kind of worry, i thought it was more common.

  2. of coarse its not a disease!! its a "Phenomenon" Its just... there. Its amazing if you have it because only you and some of us understand it. Not only that but it feels great! Its like a natural high for us. I have it too and i have always appreciated music a lot! My ASMR is usually triggered by soft spoken voices, or gentle hand movements like rubbing on something, watching people caress someone's hair or pet, or watching back rubbing, massages things like that. Weird, i know. But great at the same time. Its not sexual its.. pure and relaxing is all.

  3. wow... I've stumbled upon an eating video on youtube recently and realised I experience this ASMR thingy too, and the reason I'm saying wow is that you have the exact personality "type" as me...

    I don't want to quote because I can relate to every single word you wrote here, nice knowing there's someone like me out there :)

  4. I really thought experiencing ASMR was more common and perhaps was just something people did not notice (I've always been one to be quite concious of her sensations. This was until I decided telling my sister about it (I consider her sensation-concious too) and I even gave her the videos that I consider gave me the best ASMR, and she felt nothing, and was even annoyed by some.

    I'm glad to know there are people around who do get them too and know more about it, gets the questionmarks out of my brain.

  5. I also have ASMR, and I can relate to everything you've written there. I'm sort of a weird nerd at school, because I always get high grades, but I never act intelligent with anyone around. I don't really have any close friends and don't mind this at all. I also have some kind of germophobia+OCD (I wash my hands about 12 times a day) and I'm extremely creative. People don't think of me as naive, but just very random and hilarious. I don't often get angry, but when I do , it can get pretty bad (I cut my wrist by punching a window, and also hit someone in the face with an algebra book because he kept hitting me during the class). I also learn words pretty quickly and never forget their spelling...

  6. Very interesting blog post, because I recognise a lot of my personality there.

    I, too, have a fear of germs.

    I have often been described as a very "meticulous" person, and I think this has a lot to do with being receptive to ASMR.

    I also wonder if being introvert is relevant, too. Introvert tends to be overstimulated by the outside world, whereas extroverts tend to be understimulated.

  7. i have it,i thought i was the only one

  8. I seem to have it. I've only just found out about the term ASMR. It's not a massive thing in my life, just sometimes I notice things like the sound of crumpling paper, or flicking through magazines gives me a relaxed feeling.

    Since the two days I've found out about it, I've been looking at various videos on YouTube and can say whispering and nail tapping give me the ASMR effect. For me it feels like I've taken a strong pain killer, like being wrapped in cotton wool. Not experienced the head tingles very. much so far. I'm still looking through YouTube vids to see what else may work for me!

    As for for personality type, I can relate to a lot of which you wrote.

    I know it's totally harmless but I do feel quite odd admitting and talking about it - but why? I don't really see a reason why anyone should. I suppose it's maybe similar to someone admitting they're psychic or such!

  9. Hopefully I'm not alone... I think asmr has to do with perfectionism cause the strongest asmr I ever felt is when someone perform tasks that are appearing normal to that individual but very odd to me, or when someone start explaining what is obvious in a minute manner, I think being perfectionistic is stressful and seeing imperfection getting someone's full-attention make us release the stress in an ASMR way, I think that's why OCD is very relevant.

  10. Hmm I thought it was more common, I have it and can bring the sensation back by remembering back to the last time it was triggered, like my niece playing hairdressers with me. She nearly put me into a trance with the tingling. I was curious and looking up the name for it and why we would get it, a reason why a human has this trigger.

    So surprised not more people have it, but glad I'm one of the lucky few...still get my mum to scratch the back of my neck even though I'm in my 30s. I am the artistic type, painting/knitwear design but day job computer programmer.


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