Do You Talk To Yourself?

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

May 4, 2021

I am one of those people who talks to myself on a regular basis. Not full conversations, mind you, but simple pep-talks or reminders to myself. “Julie, don’t forget to send that email invite.” Or, “Julie, be sure to put the pot of water on to boil first.” So is this normal? Do people talk to themselves on a regular basis? Absolutely! It is very common to use self-talk techniques to communicate internally.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, we spend between one-third and one-half of our waking hours engaging in nonverbal reasoning, or talking to ourselves internally. Self-talk is a compressed form of communication, which allows words to flow at an extremely rapid pace in the brain. One study estimated that people can think to themselves at a rate equivalent to speaking 4,000 words per-minute out loud! Incredible!



With a global pandemic, political instability, civil unrest, unemployment, and a shaky economy, it’s not surprising that external sources can have a negative impact on our introspection. A destructive inner monologue becomes detrimental to our mindset, undermining our ability to think clearly and perform well. It can interfere with personal and business relationships because negative self-talk often leads us to withdraw from everyone. It may also influence our physical health by leading to drastic changes in our eating, exercise or mental health habits. It’s important to not let self-talk make us feel worse by constantly rehearsing negativity. Rather than being a positive tool, our self-talk then becomes self-sabotage.



There has been extensive research done on interpersonal relationships, and the conclusion is that we are generally better at advising other people than we are at advising ourselves. But have you ever told yourself to calm down?  To control your emotions and “get a grip?”  Or perhaps to focus and work the problem? We use this kind of self-talk in difficult times to mentally shift our energies away from disorderly feelings so that we can concentrate more clearly on finding a resolution. I tell myself in that moment, “Every problem has a solution.” I will work through each probability in my mind until I can come up with a solution to present to the public.  

As the research suggests, one way to give positive self-talk is to coach yourself as if you were advising a friend. As part of my job, I have to give presentations to large crowds, so my nerves can get the best of me.  It helps to give myself a pep-talk right before. “Julie, you’ve got this! You are an amazing communicator!” Many people do this intuitively without even knowing why. When I feel my stomach turning in knots before a big presentation, rather than interpreting that as a cue that I cannot perform and talking myself into that negative headspace, I think of it as a signal that I am rising to the occasion.  That internal affirmation propels me away from failure and into success.  Give it a shot next time you are faced with a daunting decision or public speaking engagement!  

The next time you find yourself talking to….yourself, just know that you are not alone! Now, if you start answering yourself, that’s a whole other blog.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Contact us today

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