Have you ever had the kind of friend where – whenever you were upset and didn’t know what to do, or your feelings were overwhelming you – this friend could always talk to you and calm you down, and make you feel better about whatever’s happening without judgement?
Well, for me? … that friend is me.
Right now I have a recording device in my hand – otherwise known as my phone – and I’m speaking to it. And I’m thinking to myself: somebody is going to listen to this eventually, so it’s not like I’m really talking to myself.
But even if I wasn’t holding this phone, I’m going to be honest: there have been times where I find myself talking to myself.
It’s always been a way for me to resolve a situation or inner conflict where I did not want to involve one of my friends – who may have been so tired of hearing about some issue that I’ve been trying to rectify in my own head compulsively.
And many times I would still call somebody even so – or write them or text them or whatever – about this particular situation. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a ruminator, and sometime obsessor about things.
The Dangers of Energetic Dumping
Its only fair to admit that this can be exhausting for our friends. We might not mean to deplete others with these kinds of problems, but this energetic dumping is actually a very serious thing.
If you call somebody to vent, you might transferring toxic negative energy or energy that can be poisonous in some ways, and in that way you are infecting other people with it. And that is not healthy behavior for ourselves or others.
So talking to myself is something I started to do when I became aware that I did not want to engage in the act of emotional or energetic dumping on my friends.
Consult Your Inner Genius!
The truth is that talking yourself and working something out with yourself, saying the issues out loud – is really a great tool. In fact, some famous geniuses are known for talking to themselves.
Once once upon a time, and probably still, there was a notion in our modern society that people who talk to themselves are crazy, and that talking to yourself is crazy-making.
But today you can feel much better about yourself, because research shows that most people talk to themselves at least every few days if not more, and some even talk to themselves on an hourly basis. That means if talking to yourself means you’re crazy, you are in good company!
So I am going to speak to the argument – and put it out there in the universe – that talking yourself is a healthy positive tool, and by talking to yourself you are helping yourself resolve an issue that you are having internally by speaking it out loud.
You are engaging in a kind of psychological warfare with yourself, and maybe trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do.
For example: should I invite my ex boyfriend to an event because we’re friends now?
On the one hand I might think that that would be positive and fun. But on the other hand, it might not be healthy, because I have already decided there should be no contact.
So I’m trying to figure out the answer in my own mind. And I don’t want to ask my friends, because my friends will give me the answer “No! Don’t invite him, what the hell you doing talking to him!?”.
Or perhaps I’m trying to dig a bit deeper into the issue, and I just want to speak the thought aloud.
Making Sense of Your Own Thoughts
So what this does – and why it’s a positive thing – is that many times you will have a million thoughts going on in your head.
But the truth is you can only speak one thought at a time. Talking it out to yourself forces you to slow down to speak each thought, and pay more attention to what those thoughts actually are.
You can also write them down – and depending on the circumstances, that might be an even better way to go about it.
But talking myself works well for me. And at the end of doing so I feel like I’ve really articulated my thoughts, and it seems they making more sense, and I have pulled apart things that were might have been a bit a illogical or even delusional.
And then I was able to kind of say: “..okay I’m more comfortable with that now” because now I didn’t dump on anybody else, so the energy was not transferred to somebody else, which always left me feeling worse later.
If you have a conscience or have any moral responsibility to yourself or others, by talking it out to yourself you avoid your friend telling you “thanks for dumping on me, now I feel terrible and have a headache because you just energetically drained me!”
In the end you can feel so much better about any conclusions you come to, because nobody knows you better than yourself anyway.
Go Ahead and Address Yourself by Name
Believe it or not, there is a big difference whether or not you talk to yourself in the first person (by saying ‘I’), or in the third person (by using your own name).
Some research by Dr. Ethan Kross of Columbia University revealed that when we talk to ourselves using our own name, we are more likely to:
- have less anxiety
- give better speeches and presentations
- complete tasks with higher performance results
- communicate more effectively, and
- maintain a deeper sense of self-advocacy
.. than those who use the first person ‘I.’”
It seems that when we use our own name out loud, this helps our mind ‘take a step back’ from the heavy emotions and sense of ego that we subconsciously attach to more closely when we talk to ourselves using the word ‘I’.
In other words, our brain is tricked into feeling like what we have to say to ourselves is more objective, like actually talking to a friend (a friend who is not us!)
Make a Date to Talk to Yourself!
So if you have the awareness of your thoughts, try speaking them into a voice recorder or a phone app.
You can also get them out onto a piece of paper or type it out, or whatever works best for you, everyone has their preference.
But it’s certainly takes the least amount of energy to simply talk to yourself.
Don’t be deterred hurt from talking to yourself because deep down you believe that “society says the crazy people talk to themselves”.
Because I’m living proof that talking to yourself is not symptomatic of being crazy!
Do you talk to yourself? Are you muttering under breath right now? Let us know what you are saying with a COMMENT below!