By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Talking to yourself, especially out loud has some benefits.
People who talk to themselves out loud can make people around them very nervous. When we think about somebody who is talking out loud many people are likely to think of the psychotic person who was speaking to the voices or the disturbed person who is rambling on and on for no particular reason. There can be some very definite positive benefits to talking to yourself.
Children are particularly likely to be talking to themselves out loud. They have not yet developed the skills to self-monitoring and only speaking out loud when they are alone. If you find that you are still talking out loud to yourself, this does not necessarily mean that are losing your mind. But it may mean is that you have something very important on your mind and are forgetting to self-monitoring for other people around. Below are some reasons that speaking to yourself out loud may be helpful.
You become a better public speaker.
Many famous public speakers began by practicing their speeches out loud. If you know that you’re going to need to make a presentation, it can really improve your performance to practice that speech out loud.
Talking to yourself out loud reinforces memories.
If you just heard something and you need to remember it, saying it over and over again to yourself can help. Going over a chain of events A happened and then B can help you to remember those events in sequence.
Talking allows you to practice what you are going to say.
Sometimes we know we’re going to have to have one of those difficult talks with someone. It’s important to get the words just right. Practicing what you’re going to say can help you identify things that may come out other than the way you want them to. Listening to what you have to say can help you find just the right way to a convey that information.
Talking to yourself helps you learn the step of a process.
When you’re trying to learn a new procedure and there are several steps, it can help you to remember this process if you repeat each step as you do it. In skills training, the trainer may initially repeat the steps out loud to the client. They will then have the client do the process while repeating the steps out loud. Finally, the client repeats the process while saying the steps silently in their head.
Talking aloud helps to clear a crowded mind.
People with very active, busy minds find that it can be helpful to clear that mind by going ahead and saying the things that are bothering them. Sometimes this can be an automatic unconscious behavior. While this is helpful to the person with a busy crowded mind it can be upsetting to others who might accidentally overhear.
You develop storytelling skills.
Good storytellers practice telling their story over and over. If you’re going to be telling that story out loud to others it’s best to practice the story out loud. Highly creative people often tell themselves stories. Sometimes when they’re alone they tell them out loud. As you develop your storytelling and your self-monitoring skills you are likely to learn to tell the stories with your mouth closed and the words retained in your head.
You develop a supportive of relationship with yourself.
You’re going to spend a lot of time with yourself. Work of becoming your own best friend. One way of becoming supportive of yourself is to have those self-talks that you wish you could have with other people. The more you practice these self-talks the better you will be able to contain them within your head instead of having them leak out and others hear them.
It helps you to focus on a task or conversation at hand.
Sometimes we repeat things out loud during a conversation with another person. It can help to confirm that we’ve heard things accurately. You can also use talking aloud to help you focus your attention on what is being discussed or what you need to do.
It improves self-monitoring skills.
People who are working on their self-monitoring skills may find it useful to comment on their activities as they do them.
Self-talk helps you self-sooth.
When you’re feeling upset or on edge talking to yourself can be helpful. Remind yourself that you are safe.
You improve your creativity by exploring possibilities.
Creative people may find it useful to have these conversations out loud to explore possible conversations.
So if you or someone in your life makes a habit of talking out loud consider whether this is a helpful skill or a lack of self-monitoring.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
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Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.