Now, let me clarify for those of you who might be concerned: No, I am not insane (my mother had me tested). I don’t have schizophrenia. I do not hear voices. I don’t have conversations with dead people or deities.
Yes, I talk to myself. I don’t think that I am the only person that does it. I do notice others doing it from time-to-time out in public. It’s weird. It just feels hypocritical in a way that it makes me feel a little weird to notice it in others (especially when they become aware that I am watching).
From my point-of-view, it’s more like “thinking out loud”. I sort out design problems, talk through schedules, and work out to-do lists. I’m sure my wife has heard me do it around the house. Even though I’ve been doing it for a long time, it still makes me feel like someone who has lost their marbles (a bag lady or homeless person).
For the life of me, I can’t remember when it started. I remember as a child I kept to myself quite a bit. I enjoyed spending time “playing pretend”. This would usually manifest itself with usual kid behaviors: playing with toys like action figures or mattel hot wheels cars, “cops & robbers”, stuffed animals, etc. Growing up into the adolescent years, I’m sure it helped keep me sane dealing with being a teenager with raging hormones and coping with major life changes. Now, I find myself doing it whenever I am trying to work out a problem of some sort…whether physical, mental, emotional, or social. I tend to hold these conversations when others are not watching or listening in an effort to not embarrass myself, make others feel uncomfortable, or keep my conversations private.
So that all being said, I still ask myself “Is this normal?” According to psychologists, their observations suggest that it could be a symptom of schizophrenia but the concern is more towards what effects these conditions possess. Are they positive or negative? A negative example would be If you are experiencing symptoms including interpreting reality in an abnormal way such as hallucinations or delusions, isolating one’s self, and dropping out of life in general. If you or someone you know are exhibiting these symptoms, it’s highly suggested to seek professional help. On the other hand, talking to yourself can have positive connotations such as “pumping yourself up with a pep talk” or coaching yourself through a challenge.
Recently, I found an interesting article that points out talking to yourself is not a manifestation of insanity, but more a mental exercise.
Does Talking To Yourself Make You A Genius?
Odds are you’ve been told to avoid people that talk to themselves. They are considered crazy. Well, a study published in 2012 hypothesizes that in fact those that talk to themselves might actually be in good company alongside Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla.
Presented by psychologists Daniel Swigley and Gary Lupyan, the study claims that talking to yourself holds many benefits including improving brain efficiency, helping to organize your thoughts, and helping to achieve your goals.
The Supermarket Experiment
One experiment had 2 groups of people remembering the name of a generic grocery item. The first group was asked to find the item in a store without speaking while the second group was asked to find the item while repeating its name aloud.
The study found that test subjects were quicker at locating the grocery item when they spoke to themselves while searching as apposed to keeping their dialogue internal. Researchers posit that saying things out loud sparks memory.
Interestingly enough, Swigley and Lupyan also found that if the participants don’t actually know what an object looks like then repeating its name out loud can actually hamper, and in some cases slow, the participants ability to find the objects.
Clarity Of Mind
Another theory states that when faced with difficult decisions, having the ability to weigh your options out loud can help solidify your ideas and outcomes.
According to psychologist Linda Sapadin, talking out loud to yourself helps you validate important and difficult decisions. ”It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you’re contemplating.“
Having clarity of mind is an important thing when setting goals and trying to find the best possible route to achieve those goals. As Sapadin puts it, “Saying [your goals] out loud focuses your attention, reinforces the message, controls your runaway emotions and screens out distractions.”
~ Kingslayer, http://darkmatternews.com/talking-make-genius/
I hope I’m not the only one out there. If there is anyone else who feels the same way or would like to chime in, please comment!