What basic or simple processes/functions are actually difficult for you?

Could be TMI. Sorry. Inspired by this thread - on a Poster that can’t burp - is there anything that is simple or even just instinctive for others that is either really difficult for you, or eludes you altogether?

I, for example, have an extremely difficult time throwing up. I never realized it was unusual, until my husband mentioned it sounded extraordinarily painful for me when I had a stomach bug or was hungover. My sisters are the same way, it takes a ton of effort, coughing and heaving to get the job done. I never realized that for others, it was much easier, until hubby said it.

Anyone else, other than burping and vomiting?

Obviously, walking unaided.

I have no natural sense of left and right. Or just directions at all. It’s embarrassing sometimes. At work customers have to describe locations of things to me a lot and every time they say left or right I panic a little. Not because I can’t figure it out of course, but it’s not automatic and I like to give the impression that I don’t have to stop and think about it like a 5-year-old.

I can’t sit cross-legged even though I am flexible in other ways. It just doesn’t work. It pissed me off all the way from Kindergarten up through college when new age types would have us sit in a circle that way. I am sorry. That is about the least comfortable thing I could attempt. How about I stand on my head the whole time instead? I can actually do that.

I apparently have very little sense of where my body is in the world - I bump into things constantly.

Parking straight. Or backing into a parking spot. I don’t have a good sense of “distance” between my car and other objects that a lot of other people have. (I know there’s a word for that but I can’t think of it right now.)

I can’t roll my R’s. I know I’m physically capable of it because I have copied other people doing it when I wasn’t paying attention, but I can’t do it on purpose. It was very frustrating when I was trying to learn Spanish.

Like you, barfing is a traumatic experience for me. Lots of violent dry heaves before and after, and wretching so bad I’m left with sore abs and petechiae afterwards.

A year ago I had the flu and at one point had a coughing fit so bad that I threw up afterwards - and it was so violent that I suffered a Mallory-Weiss tear, which left me spitting up alarming amounts of blood for a short time.

Thankfully I’m relatively healthy and so my body only finds a reason to barf very rarely, maybe once every five years or so.

OTOH, in high school I knew a kid who could bring up the contents of his stomach at will. Great entertainment at Boy Scout summer camp: you’d say “do it,” and he’d start spitting mouthfuls of Coke or ice cream sandwich out onto the ground, no special movements or wretching or trauma or anything like that. Bizarre.

We must be related. Nobody in my family has any sense of direction. We are so bad it’s a family joke. To get where I’m going, I have to memorize almost every landmark on the way.

Left and right? Put your thumb and forefinger out on each hand. Your left hand makes an “L” for left.

Can’t you just visualize this or do you actually have to go through the motions?

While I was good at upper level math I always use cues for counting. I learned to add in my head as a child by visualizing dots to count in nice little grid patterns. 4 dots plus 3 dots equals 7 dots. Usually I tap out the dots on the table in real life to help me visualize it (makes me look like a telegraph operator, haha). When there’s no table…yes, I will use my fingers to add. It’s marginally faster to tap my own fingers and register the physical feedback as a “count” than to only visualize the dots and count those. Times tables were always difficult (probably because of this method).

I can’t whistle. The best I can manage (and only occasionally at that) is maybe a second or two of the falling-bomb sound. I’ve pretty much contorted my lips and tongue every way I can, but nope. Not that I have any desire to be able to whistle, but the inability does sort of intrigue me as a minor medical mystery. Why can I not make those muscles behave the way so many other people seem to be able to?

I also can’t touch my toes. (Well, I can if I bend my legs, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what we usually mean by “touch your toes,” y’know?) I know lots of other people can’t either, but I think a lot of those people can at least get their fingertips in the general vicinity of their feet. When I say I can’t touch my toes, I mean I can’t get even close. I can barely get my wrists to my kneecaps. This has been true since childhood. It’s not a weight/obesity issue, as my build has always fallen between the slender side of average to weirdly skinny. It seems to be purely a spine (in)flexibility thing.

While whistling is the first thing I thought of, I would also add swimming (and similar aquatic activities).

I cannot produce any tuneful note whatsoever. Most people can at least passably sing a line of a song reasonably close to the right key, but I just don’t have the control over my vocal cords to do it.

I’m not tone deaf, so I know I’m not singing in key, but I simply cannot make what comes out of my mouth sound anything like what I want it to.

I also find blowing my nose quite hard. I’m quite envious of people who can give a big trumpeting blow and empty out their nasal passages (or, even more enviably, do a one-nostril “farmer’s blow” straight onto the ground!) If I actually feel the need to blow, my passages are usually so blocked up that I can’t do it without feeling like I’m going to rupture an eardrum.
Edit: Oh, and while I can happily swim breaststroke or backstroke for extended periods, I cannot and never have been able to do the front crawl. Supposedly the easiest and most natural stroke there is.

I am not the person who said this originally, but as someone else who needs the L for Left reminder, I must go through the motions. I visualize other things quite well, but for this particular thing, I must actually make the L and look at my hands.

I don’t recognize faces well. If I see my co-workers on a daily basis, I may recognize them if I run into them outside of work, but don’t bet on it.

If an actor in a favorite show has an unusual face, I may be able to pick him out when he appears in a different television show or movie, but I usually must resort to IMDB to help me get a clue.

Mr. brown doesn’t understand how this can be. He can see a generic-faced neighbor or actor once for a few seconds and instantly recognize him again five years later.

I have a hard time spelling words out loud. I can type them, or write them down, but if you asked me how to spell “astonishing” for example, I would start to get lost and confused somewhere the o or n.

Weird, huh?

I have issues with left and right too. It’s not that I don’t know the difference, but it isn’t intuitive and I have to stop and think about it.

If someone tells me to turn right, I can do it without much hesitation. But if I am giving directions, I have to actually think about it and I usually visually check in on my right hand to verify. It’s stupid because young children can do this but it’s just not intuitive for me.


I get a bit dyslexic with numbers rather than with letters. I have to repeat out loud when I am writing phone numbers and dates of birth and such.

I’m a dipshit and can’t remember which way an L faces. No joke. I have to visualize it as “which hand do you write with?”

I can only curl my lip (think Elvis) one way. The top right lip goes up and the bottom left lip goes down. I cannot do it where the top left goes up or the bottom right goes down. I have a feeling that most people are wired this way but I always forget to inquire with others about it.

Mark me down as another left/right dyslexic. Even with effort, I cannot get the perception? distinction? judgment? down as intuitively as many people seem to be able to. If someone tells me to turn left, I have to process the instruction discretely.