I had an interesting experience this week. A couple of days ago, I was in my bedroom, getting ready to leave the house (fixing my hair and make up, putting on shoes and a coat and other various accessories, finding things I needed to take with me). Then I left my bedroom, and had a conversation with my mother that went like this:
Mom: “Who was that?”
Mom: “Who was that?”
Katie: “Who was what?”
Mom: “Weren’t you just on the phone?”
Mom: “Oh…You were talking. Were you talking to yourself?”
Katie: “…I don’t think so…”
*Cue my father’s laughter
How is this possible? How could I be talking to myself and not even know? Here’s the kicker–in the past couple of days, I have caught myself having a solo conversation–out loud–in my car (multiple times, actually) and walking through the aisles of Walmart. I can’t help thinking, How long have I been doing this? How many people have heard me talking to myself without me even knowing?
Concerned I might be losing my mind, I did a little online research.
The first link I want to share is a study that found that people who talk to themselves when trying to find something actually find it faster (which explains why I would talk out loud when gathering things in my bedroom and also probably why I was talking in Walmart while finding items from my Christmas shopping list). The article says, “It was found that speaking to themselves helped people find the objects more quickly.”
The second link is a hilarious blog from a lady who had an experience similar to mine. She said, “Apparently, using a more concrete (and audible) means of conducting an inner monologue can enhance understanding and reinforce learning. This makes sense if you consider the various ways people learn. For example, a lot of people have difficulty absorbing information while sitting in one place or by reading a book — they need to be moving around or doing something with their hands. Some people need to hear the information spoken aloud; and when they are studying they have to read the material aloud because their brains otherwise won’t process the information effectively.”
Still concerned about my mental health? Don’t be. If you listen carefully, chances are you’ll hear yourself having the occasional solo conversation, too. I do hope you teach yourself something interesting.
After all, we’re all a little crazy, right? Wouldn’t life be boring if everyone were the same?
“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.”
– Franklin P. Jones