Hey! Are You Actually Talking to Yourself?

June 5, 2010 by
Filed under: Helpful Insights 

TalkToYourself Hey! Are You Actually Talking to Yourself?Do you ever find your­self talk­ing to your­self? Either out loud or qui­etly in your mind? A lot of peo­ple asso­ciate talk­ing to your­self as more than a lit­tle strange. Some even say that if you talk to your­self, you’re just a lonely per­son with no real friends and that you may need to seek psy­chi­atric coun­sel­ing. But I don’t agree with that. I don’t even agree with any­one who has really any­thing neg­a­tive to say about talk­ing to your­self. The rea­son being that any­one who has a healthy mind will find them­selves talk­ing to them­selves more often than not. But what does that really say about a person?

It’s been dis­cov­ered that talk­ing to your­self is not only nor­mal, but may in fact help a per­son to become a bet­ter prob­lem solver as well as have a more enjoy­able life.  The very tac­tic of talk­ing to your­self has been seen by sci­en­tist to help peo­ple find solace amid life’s pain points when­ever they occur.  Instead of call­ing it “talk­ing to your­self”, I pre­fer call­ing it “Think­ing Out Loud” because it is really much more accu­rate of a statement.  

One of the ear­lier stud­ies that involved the sig­nif­i­cance of talk­ing to your­self (or think­ing out loud simple smile Hey! Are You Actually Talking to Yourself? ) was done by Dr. Paul Hor­ton, psy­cho­an­a­lyst and co-author of “The Solace Par­a­digm”. His study, which was done by sur­vey­ing 160 adults between the ages of 22 and 78, showed that “being with some­one” was ranked num­ber one on the list of things peo­ple needed and wanted in order to feel solace. The very act of talk­ing to your­self give peo­ple the feel­ing that they are not really alone in fac­ing an issue. That same study showed “going for a walk” as tenth in rank­ing. Below is the full rank­ing from that study:


1. Being with some­one else.

2. Lis­ten­ing to music.

3. Watch­ing TV.

4. Eat­ing.

5. Read­ing.

6. Talk­ing to oneself.

7. Prayer.

8. A spe­cial book, such as the Bible.

9. Recall­ing pleas­ant memories.

10. Going for a walk.

The study showed that pri­vate behav­iors, such as talk­ing to your­self, actu­ally lifted peo­ple out of many states of depres­sion. TalkToYourself4 300x225 Hey! Are You Actually Talking to Yourself?Dr. Hor­ton, who was also a psy­chi­a­trist at Child Guid­ance Cen­ter in Meri­den, CT when the study was con­ducted, said “psy­cho­analy­sis has focused too much on sex­u­al­ity and aggres­sion, but the abil­ity to give solace to one­self is the basis of such major pos­i­tive feel­ings as joy, awe, for­give­ness, and gen­eros­ity.” (New York Times arti­cle from Feb­ru­ary 4, 1988)

In another study pub­lished in Early Child­hood Research Quar­terly by Pro­fes­sor Adam Winsler, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy at George Mason Uni­ver­sity, 5 year olds were noted to do bet­ter on motor tasks when they talk to them­selves out loud than when they were silent.  The same study showed that 78% of chil­dren per­formed either the same or bet­ter on a rou­tine task when talk­ing to them­selves than when they were silent.

So What Does It All Mean?

When I read these stud­ies, I’m not really sur­prised. When I ask a ques­tion out loud, it sounds dif­fer­ently and reg­is­ters dif­fer­ently in my mind than when I sim­ply “think” the same ques­tion inter­nally. Have you ever heard your­self ask­ing a friend or col­league a ques­tion only to find out that you fig­ured out the answer to your ques­tion once you fin­ish ask­ing it? Many times, the very act of say­ing it out loud is what causes the mind to think in a dif­fer­ent way.

So when was the last time you talked to yourself?


5 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours on Hey! Are You Actually Talking to Yourself?

  1. SamG on Wed, 11th Aug 2010 11:21 am
  2. I read your posts and i think you got tal­ent in writ­ing. Thank you for sharing!

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Jens P. Berget on Fri, 5th Nov 2010 2:59 pm
  4. I talk a lot to myself, but never out loud. It’s always inside me, all though it feels like I am say­ing it out loud (I am sure that nobody else is hear­ing what I am say­ing). To me, this is a great way to deal with things. When I am going to do a speak, I usu­ally talk to myself first.

    The only prob­lem is that many of the things that I talk to myself about are things that I am frus­trated about. I think it’s a way to deal with frus­tra­tion, a way for me to get it out of my system.

    I also read books to myself. When I read a book, I say the words inside of me (but it feels like I am say­ing them out loud).

    Peo­ple talk­ing to them­selves are awe­some :)
    Jens P. Berget recently posted..Dis­count on the Problog­ger eBooksMy Profile

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Gil Pizano on Fri, 5th Nov 2010 8:20 pm
  6. Thanks Jens for shar­ing your thoughts on the “inner voice” that talks to most of us! Yes, I agree, talk­ing to your­self is awesome. :)

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Walter Chaugnlish on Wed, 22nd Jun 2011 10:17 am
  8. You’re a genius. Keep up the crazy good work!!!!

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. dee on Wed, 27th Jun 2012 8:37 am
  10. very very help full to me

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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