Talking to yourself out loud is simply having a conversation…with yourself, that is. This activity is very common among children. You would see and hear them explaining to themselves what they are doing, mumbling words only they can hear or sometimes, even having a question and answer session, with no one but themselves.
Adults are not alarmed when children do this and some of them even find this cute. However, when other adults do this “phenomenon” of talking out loud to themselves, different reactions could be elicited. Some would find it funny while others might find it disturbing or strange. All things being equal, talking to yourself out loud does not mean that you are crazy. On the contrary, sometimes, it’s what keeps people sane.
Talking to yourself out loud has been proven to be therapeutic to oneself. In fact, some medical professionals would even encourage you to do it. Here are some reasons why talking to yourself out loud could be advantageous for you.
Benefits Of Talking To Yourself Out Loud
It makes you understand yourself better
Studies have been made linking self-talk and better understanding of oneself. Sometimes, when you hear yourself explaining why you did that or why you chose that, the intent and motive becomes clearer. During a course of making a hard decision, talking to yourself out loud could clarify some confusions, leading to the selection of wiser options. As they say, it is a must that you know yourself. To achieve this, having a daily dialogue with yourself seems like a rational idea.
It can boost your confidence and self-esteem
Hearing your own self compliment and give you appreciation could increase your confidence and self-esteem the same way when you hear those praises from your loved ones and close friends.
Daily doses of positive self-talk have been found to increase the person’s self-worth.
Therefore, one becomes more courageous to accept new challenges and to excel in their chosen fields. It also affects their social life, as they become more approachable and friendly towards others.
It helps calm your inner spirit
During turbulent times, giving yourself pep talks can actually soothe your frayed nerves. When the ears receive comforting words coming from your own mouth, the brain cooperates by releasing hormones and enzymes equivalent to those of tranquilizers. One feels relaxed, therefore. One can face his or her situations more calmly.
It helps manage your anger
Many things or people can cause you to lose patience and become angry. When you cannot personally talk to this person to settle the issue, these negative feelings could add up and cause you to be bitter and angrier.
Blowing off steam or irritation through talking to yourself out loud can save you from the negative effects of harboring hatred for others. It releases the pent up emotions and helps you to move forward. Plus, it removes the possibility of saying things you just might regret later on. When you encounter the same person or situation afterwards, you would be more in control of yourself and your words.
It improves your memory
An experiment was conducted where people would say out loud where they would place a special thing. For instance, when putting the key inside the bag, they need to mutter audibly to themselves that the key is in the bag. Results showed that the incidence of remembering the location of the said item is higher compared to when nothing is said. This technique is also found useful among students.
Reading aloud is proven to cause higher memory retention than reading silently.
It gives you focus
Another experiment was conducted and this time, the participants were asked to mutter audibly to themselves the item that they were searching. In the previous example, they would need to say out loud “keys, keys, keys” while searching for the key. Again, the result yielded a positive link between spoken words and accomplishment of task in a faster timeframe. This is attributed to the acquisition of focus while conducting the search because of the words spoken to oneself.
It helps organize your thoughts and activities
Saying out loud the things you need to do and accomplish for the day has been proven to have higher results of success. The secret lies on the audible self-talk that arranges the activities and your brain following the verbal self-instructions.
These are just some of the up sides of talking to yourself out loud. On the other side, there are some disadvantages, too. Here are some of its downsides.
Downsides Of Talking To Yourself Out Loud
You may appear weird, bizarre or odd to others
It can be embarrassing to be heard by others while you are talking to yourself out loud in public. Not everybody would welcome the audible self-talks. They may put a label on you or shun away from your presence. Others may make fun of you.
You can appear weird, bizarre or odd to your own self, too
This is especially true if none of your friends do self-talking. You could end up wondering if you are normal or not. You yourself may even be alarmed when you hear yourself talking out loud.
It can bring you down instead of lift you up
Negative self-talk is detrimental to oneself. When you keep on hearing insulting and hurtful words being spoken against you by your own mouth, your brain would accept those words as the truth. Loudly depreciating yourself would produce a weak and doubtful personality.
Many medical professionals would rather advise that you keep your mouth shut if you cannot say anything good about yourself. That is actually more helpful than constantly hearing derogatory remarks about yourself, from yourself at that.
It adds to one’s confusions
When there are many voices shouting to be heard, adding your own voice could only worsen the scenario. At this point one would benefit more by keeping mum and allowing the environment to be quiet, too.
Talking to yourself out loud can both be helpful and detrimental, depending on the words that you say and the location where you do it. Use it to your advantage by speaking positive words about yourself. Limit this activity also within the privacy of your home or when you are alone, to avoid feeling embarrassed.
Photo: Jonathan Powell