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Who the heck are you, and where did you come from?

I’m Talking to Myself Now

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Ed Yourdon
Do you ever find yourself speaking your mind even though you’re the only one in the room?  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.

— Hermann Hesse

I find I’m talking to myself now, a lot.  Not as in “self – talk” but as in talking out loud to myself… You may have even noticed it in my recent posts – Ellie this and Ellie that!

Do I Know You?

Some people talk to their dogs or cats or birds, but me, I’m talking to an audience of one – me, myself and I.  Or does that make it an audience of three?  Or perhaps, an audience of none?  (BTW: NOT getting a dog or cat or bird.)

Jane Brody, Personal Health columnist for The New York Times recently wrote:

…a spouse’s death leaves an emptiness that is hard to fill. There’s no one in the house with whom to share the events of the day, discuss the broken pipes and rotten politics, relish the antics and achievements of the grandchildren.

Yeah, she’s got that right.  In some sense, talking out loud to an empty room is simply my way of keeping him close.  And, remembering that regardless of how insensible I seemed to me, he loved me, warts and all… so perhaps talking out loud to an empty room is, to paraphrase the lyrics of Oscar and Hammerstein, a way of:

Getting to know me, getting to know all about me, getting to hope I am precisely, my cup of tea.

Making Sense of My World

But there’s more to it than that.  For whatever reason, it seems to help when I say what I’m thinking out loud – even if I am the only one in the room.  It helps me make sense of my world – and I’m not the only one who thinks so – Senior Executive and Bloggist, Si Conroy, writes in his post, Why Talking to Yourself Might Be the Highest Form of Intelligence:

Now you may question why actually articulating something gives any different result to just sitting there unspeakingly struggling with the question.  Two things:

First, in giving words to (or writing onto paper) an issue and adding the clarity and clarifications required to make something understandable to someone else has the same impact on your other-than-conscious. You may think that you’re being clear about an issue in your head, but you rarely are. You’re more likely to be half articulating the issue and then immediately looping into the same consciously derived result you keep on getting which is failing to remove the problem or blocker.

And this is the second point.  By talking to yourself (again, words or paper is good – words may be better because of how unusual you may experience the sensation), your conscious brain gives a clear set of instructions to your other-than-conscious brain.

You ask yourself the question and often answer it very quickly yourself because the totality of your resources (conscious and unconscious) are now engaged to a common endeavour (and in most cases, you knew the answer to the problem: it just needed unlocking by you being clear with yourself.) [bolding is mine.]

Ah, there we go, talking out loud to myself unlocks answers I don’t know I already know… Which is, when all is said and done, just another way of getting to know me.

So here’s what I think: Talking out loud to myself is a good thing – for many, many reasons… not the least of which is:

One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.

— Franklin P. Jones

Now that you know where I stand, what do you think: Is speaking your mind even though you’re the only one in the room a good thing or a bad thing?

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