Do you ever talk to yourself? I think that we all do from time to time and maybe more than we realize. Do you find yourself saying things like “Come on, girl, you’ve got a deadline,” “Oh man, I’m really running late,” or “Why did I just say that,” throughout your day?
But have you ever had a conversation with yourself?
Color me crazy or color me weird, but I do it fairly often. If I am alone in the house, I will do it out loud; full volume. If Bernd is home, I will whisper. It’s not that I don’t want him to know that I am talking with myself because he’s heard me many times; I’m just not always ready to let him know exactly what it is that I am saying. Shoot, I’m not always ready to hear what I am saying. Regardless, breath moves past my vocal folds, and lips and tongue and teeth to form actual words.
Sometimes I will stand in front of the mirror and observe my expression as I try on this way of thinking about something or that way of feeling. My posture is also a good indicator of how I am affected by my words with myself. But sometimes my deepest insights come to me when I cannot see me at all, when I am soaking in a tub full of hot water. But at all times, I speak with myself out loud.
When I think a thought, it is informed by all the other thoughts that surround it and the issue at hand can become cloudy and ill defined. But when I say the words out loud, they are distinct and precise and clear. They stand on their own. Often a thought that is painful and bothersome will become simply silly when I hear myself say it to me out loud. But sometimes not. And then I know where my work is.
If you are uncomfortable talking with yourself, try imagining you are talking with a good friend or even a not so good friend, but do it out loud. Both sides of the conversation. Get outside of your head. Bring your thoughts, fears, concerns and feelings into the outside world. Yell at yourself. Praise yourself. Console yourself. Be frank with yourself and be honest. Tell yourself the things you think you would never tell anyone else. Say them out loud and it might not seem so hard anymore.
It can be difficult to let others know what is really going on in your mind. There may be embarrassment or fear that another will not understand; misconstrue things. Talking with yourself, hearing the words out loud, informing yourself about you, can make getting the support that you might need from others easier. If you have already heard it said, it becomes easier to say it again. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to rehearse.
In those times when you feel that no one is in your “corner,” put yourself there. Be your best friend. Talk with yourself.