Do You Talk to Yourself? You Might Just be a Genius
I talk to myself in quite a number of situations. Sometimes when I am cooking or driving, I replay conversations, saying out loud all of the things I wish I had said. Other times I rehearse conversations that I know I am going to have and I do that out loud. But lots of time I just say things like, “Now, where did I put my keys?” or “I wonder if I call Bill, will he want to grab some dinner with me tonight?” or “I wonder where I can find the best price on towels? Guess I can just get online and check out a couple of places. That will save me from running around.”
I have always tried not to talk to myself while others are around. When I was a kid, I used to hear my mom talk to herself, and it embarrassed me, if I had friends over. Surely, they would think she was a bit crazy. And I certainly didn’t want people to think I was crazy. Now, however, I am so over that, because I found some research that says I actually could be way smarter than the average person if I talk to myself.
A Research Study
Two psychologist-researchers, Gary Lupyan from the University of Wisconsin and Daniel Swingley from the University of Pennsylvania, conducted several studies a few years back. They tested subjects on their ability to find things in stores. One group was told to continue to say the word of the item while they searched for it; others were to remain silent as they looked. Those who “talked to themselves” found the items faster.
While no research was done on the geniuses of the past, it is reported that Albert Einstein talked to himself a lot, as well as many other inventors and research scientists. So, if you talk to yourself, you are in very good company!
The Benefits of Talking to Yourself
- Memory is Stimulated
If you are missing your keys, saying the word out loud can actually activate some memory, and you may then remember where you put them last. The other side of this whole talking out loud is that by saying things you want to remember in the future, you may find that you do remember them better. Many students, for example, when they study for tests, talk to themselves and they claim it helps.
- You Will Stay More focused
Saying things out loud to yourself puts more senses in play. You may be seeing something, reading something, thinking about something. When you talk to yourself about, your ears are focused too. This activates one ore part of your brain, and the more brain activity when you are thinking and talking to yourself, the more focused you will be on the task. Children do this a lot. They talk themselves through steps of a task. Somehow, that practice becomes “frowned upon” later, and they learn not to do it. Too bad.
- Talking to Yourself Helps you Think More Clearly and Make Better Decisions
When we are struggling with making a decision or when we need to solve a problem, we think about it a lot. Many self-talkers find that they are able to clarify the pros and cons and sometimes come up with better solutions if they talk it through with themselves – out loud.
- Talking to Yourself Can Calm You Down
If you become angry or upset about something or with someone, it is easy to lash out right there in the moment. Impulsivity can cause a lot of damage. People who talk to themselves have another option. They can get off by themselves ad talk themselves through their anger, calming themselves down before taking any action.
So, the next time someone catches you talking to yourself and chides or makes fun of you, just tell them it’s just the Einstein in you coming out.