The Daily Ping

The original Ping was painfully written in Perl.

April 23rd, 2002

Talking to Myself

At the supermarket tonight I was picking up some tasty groceries and found myself doing something I swore I’d never do: talking to myself in public. Sure, we all talk to ourselves when we’re in the privacy of our apartment (right? … right?), but people that talk to themselves in public are just weird.

And now I’m one of them.

I wasn’t talking loud enough to make people from the other aisles peek around the corner, but if anyone else had been in the immediate proximity, I’m afraid that, in their eyes, I would have been “the crazy guy complaining to himself that they didn’t have the right kind of pasta.”

Have you ever found yourself talking to yourself in public?

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday April 23, 2002 -- 12:31:16 am
Ryan, hopefully it wasn't in the same manner as your satellite dish installer.

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 23, 2002 -- 8:48:25 am
Yes, I do this. At work I've been doing it, during intense filing sessions. But I usually reserve it for the occasional Really Impolite Person.

"An 'Excuse Me' would have been nice!", for example.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 23, 2002 -- 11:29:05 am
Talking to yourself is just fine. Arguing with yourself earns a one-way ticket to the macadamia mansion.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday April 23, 2002 -- 12:12:58 pm
Matt -- Good memory! :)

FROM: Hope
DATE: Friday April 26, 2002 -- 10:36:58 pm
I have talked to myself on many occasions, hell, im married with a 7 yr old son. I start the day off mumbling about the alarm clock. Then I talk to myself in the mirror about how my looks are affecting me. Then I talk to myself throught the day about why he just HAD to leave his dirty socks in the middle of the floor, and how my son just can't seem to spit IN the sink, but on it AND the mirror. Then when they get home, i swear it gets worse. I ask him, how was your day? then wait for a reply, get no answer from him, so i answer my own question myself,"it was fine dear, how was yours?" And I think we all know about the kid thing, we are always talking to ourselves unless it involves fun things.

FROM: steve
DATE: Sunday May 5, 2002 -- 1:04:21 am
i think talking to yourself in private is fine, it helps u to rationalise things easier. do u americans spell that word with a z? if not...sorry

FROM: Big Fat Lizard
DATE: Friday June 14, 2002 -- 6:18:09 am
I live in an area where "snowbirds" love to visit us in the - driving habits - change with the weather...everyone does 10 miles over in the summer and 10 miles under (the speedlimit) in the winter - and you have to get used to the in Florida...our roads are designed with "medians" everywhere - because most people don't know what they're doing when driving down of couse many times I'm swearing at many cases - I'll be gliding to the light - because it's RED...someone will pass me - get in my lane - stop for the light - and not take off quick enough - so therefore - I'm braking and dodging them literally 'gliding by' in another lane - while they're resuming take off...these are the type of "car beater" type people... you know the kind......and I'm just losing my mind over it! - Lizard

FROM: Meghan
DATE: Monday December 2, 2002 -- 7:19:14 pm
I think singing your car when you are alone is ok because I always sing when I am alone. I dont care who sees me. I also do it when I am with othe people.

DATE: Wednesday January 8, 2003 -- 1:05:29 pm
I talk to myself aloud all the time. Often it is used as reminders. At the grocery store "Do I have that at home? Man that looks gross. That's expensive..." and stuff like that. Other times I talk to myself it's kinda looking over my shoulder. Mostly reminders and orginizational things but also I am very critical of myself and I let my self know when I did something wrong or just plain stupid. "Way to go Jay!" Damn I talk to myself a lot. (That was me talking to me...)
Commenting on Hope's from April upthere, my mother does the same type of negative self talking and it has really put a strain on myself and my family. It's like the person talking to her or she's talking to is angry at the world. It tends to come out more with alcohol or stress but is far from limited to. Myself a self-talker and watching her has given me some insight on this type of self talking. A lot is blaming others for their problems. It's a lot easier than blaming themselves for being in that situation in the first place, whatever the current "problem" is. Someone leaving a glass on the sink is no reason to scream in anger.
Yikes. I've turned this into my own therapy session. Question for future posters... If you talk to yourself, does/did someone in your family also talk to themselves? Do you think that was an influence on your talking to yourself? I didn't at first, but am starting to think more and more so. I hope it's not a bloodline thing because I look at my mother and see how angry she is all the time and I really don't want to be like that.

FROM: vlm
DATE: Thursday January 9, 2003 -- 11:47:55 am
I've got a coworker who talks incessantly--both to himself and to others. It sounds the same either way. In fact, in more than six months' time sitting 10 feet from this guy, I still can't tell if he's on the phone with someone unless I look.

FROM: anonumous
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 7:11:32 pm
Yes, I talk to myself alot, espesially when I'm alone in my office, or around my parents. I can't stop sometimes i think there are people around me, and I talk to them, but really it's just me,and my cat, that hears me talk. It's so weired. And I do have a dissorder - depression, and me, and my mom think i have anerexia. My life is screwed badly.

FROM: Jill
DATE: Friday April 16, 2004 -- 10:38:01 pm
I talk to my self a lot to. Not just quietly but like I'm having a normal conversation...just with out the extra person lol. It's weird but I just do it?

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday April 17, 2004 -- 6:41:01 am
I talk to myself quite a bit while driving around for work..only half of it is cussing at other drivers, I swear.

FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Saturday April 17, 2004 -- 9:22:39 am
I talk to myself all the time but not aloud. I'm just a clam up, I guess. I feel weird talking to myself. Afraid someone will catch me talking to myself and think I should be in the loony bin.

FROM: Tom Pogson
DATE: Wednesday April 28, 2004 -- 11:16:22 am
Finally found something about this. I have been slammed by this neurosis since...what...the age of 5. I have taken so much heat for it, but I find not talking to myself to be a real challage. Whereas most people feel crazy when they DO I feel crazy when I DON'T.
I'm actually trying to stop...which scares me slightly because what if I'm just wired that way? What if not doing it will actually drive me fucking nuts?

DATE: Monday May 24, 2004 -- 1:56:54 am
i talk to myself and need to stop is there any profesonal person out there that can help

DATE: Monday July 12, 2004 -- 2:24:07 pm
Please people, i have "talked to myself" since I was 10! I can talk when alone, outloud for up to an hour at a time. I pretend that the person im talking to is right there. My mom, friend, therapist... whoever I would like to offer my feelings or opinions to! I just pour my heart out. The great thing is, I can go on and on and on, and feel the satisfaction of no interruptions, or the feeling that Im boring someone. I swear it helps me sort out so many things in my head. I know its about as goofy as can be, but I like it! I feel actually more SANE when I do it. If I didnt, I dont know how I would purge all the stuff going on in my head. I would LOVE to start an actual dialouge on this with others that do the same. Email me.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday July 12, 2004 -- 2:38:33 pm
Couldn't you just e-mail yourself?

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

FROM: mike
DATE: Friday July 30, 2004 -- 4:34:57 pm
Ryan Good one very funny.
Hey I now know I am not the only one who is concerned about this. It is a serious problem. Counselors are on so many different sides about it. It costed me too much. I just pray whenI think to, for God to take it away,(hows that working for ya?) Not happening just yet.

Journaling is the new popular remedy for the psychology crowd. It is recommended for everything.

I walk away and move on when they throw that at me.

FROM: jamieileana
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 9:13:02 am
i do this all the time too and it drives me crazy! ohhh to have some quietness would be so wonderful! once i took some celexa and it literally quieted the voices in my head only to return once i got use to that dosage. i loved it though and i wish i could find some meds to quiet it all the time. my neice takes heavy meds for this very thing cause she cannot handle it...there is nothing going on in her head but at the price she pays for it, i'lldeal with it...weight gain, health problems from long term use of the drug...any magic potion to clear it out? it helps not to hear this dialouge all the time, easier to make decisions without some outter voice ragging on you bout it.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 5:05:20 pm
Who doesn't talk to themself? You only voice your thoughts. What's the big deal? I'm talking to myself right now as I type this. I'm saying: "Who doesn't talk to themself? You only voice your thoughts. What's the big deal?"

FROM: stella
DATE: Tuesday November 2, 2004 -- 9:34:39 am
its all getting into a bit of a muddle. some people seem to be talking about talking to themselves through thought processes i.e not out loud, others about hearing voices i.e supposedly not their own in their head and the rest about talking to themselves out loud. i'm really interested in anyones comments/experiences about talking to yourself out loud (or quietly of couse). first question-do you do it the same amount regardless of being alone or with company?

FROM: stella
DATE: Tuesday November 2, 2004 -- 9:40:18 am
oh and what sort of things do you talk about? is it just reminding yourself to do stuff? speaking thoughts aloud?
or does anyone talk further about things...does anyone use their talking out loud to respond to a question in their head and almost begin a conversation or is it simply verbalising a thought..

FROM: irus
DATE: Tuesday January 11, 2005 -- 9:35:14 pm
hey, do you think this habit has anything to do with ADHD? I'm having the same problem and I'm dying to know how to ge rid of it?

FROM: marie
DATE: Tuesday February 1, 2005 -- 7:35:07 am
o i'm so glad i'm not the only one who does this. i've been talking to myself since i was a child and lately i've been trying to stop but am finding it difficult.
my mind just starts wandering and suddenly i'm having a conversation with myself or, more often, someone else. we talk about everything, not just what i should wear today or have for dinner, but other stuff too, like a film i just saw or a book i just read. sometimes i find my self discussing something i heard on the news.
it's very worrying because i do this alot. and i don't just have conversations with people i know. i talk to famous people, for instance, saying things like 'you really shouldn't have worn that dress to the oscars. did you see that article in the paper about global warming?'
i don't do it when there are other people around though, just when i'm on my own and there's no-one else to talk to.

FROM: marie
DATE: Tuesday February 1, 2005 -- 7:48:00 am
just in reaction to what Jay said back in 2003- yes my mum talks to herself all the time, out loud, even when i'm there.
sometimes i ask her who she's talking to and she says something like, she's arguing with the checkout girl at the supermarket because she gave her the wrong change.
i definitely think this has influenced my talking to myself.

DATE: Wednesday February 2, 2005 -- 10:28:00 am
I think I vent serious concerns of mine, out-loud, to some vague imagined critically sympathetic audience when I think what is concerns me would not be understood, appreciated or kept private by anyone in my life.
It's a "private" matter that I want to sort out by allowwing myself free reign to express it. I know it would be better to relate my feelings to a trusted friend--but when I talk to myself I am in effect saying this matter is too touchy, incomprehensable or just plain boring for others and I can only trust myself with the subject. Then I tend to go back and critique my own comments even playing devil advocate. I do not think it is unhealthy???? but it is also very good to be able to discuss important personal matters with a friend. Does anyone know of any professional opinions on this general subject matter of talking to one's self?

FROM: Josie bishop
DATE: Thursday February 17, 2005 -- 11:50:32 am
I am so glad I have found some like minded people, I no longer feel alone or so mad.


FROM: Dezi
DATE: Friday April 22, 2005 -- 4:20:35 am
I feel the same as Josie. It feels liberating to know there are people that share the same "paranoia" as I do. As long as I can remember, I've manage to conversate with myself. I'm an only child so I thought it was because I had no siblings I would talk to myself. But, I realized that I never stopped. It helps me collect my ideas, thoughts, fears, angers and really soothes alot of stress. I think everyone at some point has talk to themselves. It's not madness. Madness is engaging or acting towards your anger or feeling. Analyzing yourself builds a more tolerant human being and it also builds character. And I am just like Marie, I tend to reserve myself when others are around. But when I'm all alone, there I go back again...talking to myself. I think for all the panel above, it's not something to see a doctor for, your not killing anyone. I think if more people would just listen to themselves they will realized how rational or irrational they see themselves. It helps when you can fill that void in your life with a converstion with yourself. Who cares what others think. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday April 22, 2005 -- 9:16:00 am
I think a person tends to talk to one's self in stressful situations. The biggest thing I can think of saying to myself is, after some disaster such as getting a flat tire on the highway when I'm already late and dressed in the suit, something like, "Oh f--k! What the h--l are you going to do now?"

Or, say some sort of plan I've been working on just disintegrates into disaster, I'll say to myself, "Oh, that was just a f--king world class idea. You're a g----n genius."

Maybe I'm just cursing myself and not really talking to myself.

Though, I could be talking to myself here and then writing it down.

I think we need a definition of what constitutes talking to one's self.

FROM: Shanea
DATE: Tuesday May 17, 2005 -- 1:54:35 pm
I talk to myself as a matter of fact someone caught me doing it in public. I was in such deep thought and trying to round out what i was feeling that i never got to tell anyone i just did it unconsciously. Well someone saw me and said something but they were laughing. They said you talk to yourself and i said i sure do i need to get some sh*t off my mind. Especially when something has been weighing heavily on your mind. You need to make sense of it for yourself. And i totally agree with Dezi on April 22 2005. But in truth some people do need help and seeing a counselor is not a bad thing but a humbling thing. God bless to everyone and remember He is always there to hear your issues.

FROM: Jason
DATE: Thursday June 2, 2005 -- 7:15:18 pm
I'm 35 and this has been a lifelong thing. I talk about anything and everything to some annonymous audience. I even subvocalize when reading. It is very difficult for me to restrain thoughts to my mind and prevent them from mushrooming into spoken conversation. I usually give pause during a "good one" with stuff like, "yea, oh, I know, I know" as if the "other person" is making a point. But, there is never any voice in my head, or anything. Its just my style I guess. I've always wondered if I was an island unto myself. Guess not.

DATE: Friday June 10, 2005 -- 12:53:34 pm
I haven't told anyone about this but I have talked out loud to myself since I was as child. When I was a kid I talked to imaginary figures and day dreamed, but now I usually have a real person in mind when I'm speaking. My concern is that I am perpetuating a fantasy life in my head and not testing reality with real people. I have always found it very difficult to reach out and tell people what I'm really feeling and thinking, and don't have many close friends or family so I feel like I'm the only one around to listen to me. I feel ashamed of it and want to feel normal but I don't know how to reduce my feelings of anxiety any other way. I try to write things in a journal but it's not the same. I think I spend so much time being quiet during the day that when I get home I just need to speak and remind myself that I have a voice.

FROM: Anton
DATE: Monday June 20, 2005 -- 2:55:18 am
AP, I'm the same way you are. If you or anybody else want to talk about... well, self-talking and related stuff, send me an email. I just realized today how stupid it is to not talk aloud. I talk to myself constantly, it's just that usually I don't let it reach my vocal cords - I might as well say it aloud - that way I can bring that voice that won't shut up into the open and deal with it in the fresh air, not in the kind of foggy "gray zone"
"inside" the mind. One reason talking to oneself out loud is scary is that it makes the voice undeniably real. The thing is, the voice is already real - there's nothing you can do about it. You might as well verbalize the voice. It won't kill you or drive you insane. It's your own voice - it just feels detached. Just because something else that doesn't feel like it's really you breathes for you most of the time doesn't mean you're insane. Just because something else that doesn't feel like it's really you moves your legs in the precise way they need to move when you walk doesn't mean you're insane. And just because something else that doesn't feel like it's really you talks to you, or you talk to it, doesn't mean you're insane. It's alright.

FROM: flo
DATE: Sunday June 26, 2005 -- 11:29:08 am
wow! For the first time in a long while i don't feel so crazy, i use self-talk to process things that are going on in my life and the world! I usually talk to an imaginary audience and vent i don't hear replies or voices i just process things. I find it hard to talk to friends and family as i feel they don't really care or they interupt me with radom things they have no relation to what i was alking to them about, so self talk has become an ideal way to work through things un-interrupted!! I feel bad sometimes when i suddenly think F**k you're talking to yourself you fruitloop (but to tell myself that i have to talk to myself go figure!!?)

FROM: Gabrielle
DATE: Saturday July 2, 2005 -- 8:15:55 pm
Hello all, nice to hear your honesty about this me too all day every day since I've been a child. I do it alone sometimes I,m so engrossed in it and my pretend audience(usually someone i want to impress, bloke, employer etc) that I do it in the street. It is some sort of coping machanism i think that helped me through difficult times as a child. Now i wish i didin.t do it as i waste many hours talking about my life to phantasy people. Talking to God does seem a very good alternative. I feel i,ve outgrown this now and want to stop thinking is far faster than speaking. It seems like an addiction to me especially reading other peoples comments. What a releif to know i,m not the only one doing this as i thought. Went to doctor once and ashamedly told her she just said your lonely. That was true and as a child my emotional needs might not have been met in prehaps the way i needed. Before signing off i,d really like to say Thank you everybody.

FROM: snaily
DATE: Sunday July 3, 2005 -- 10:54:12 am
i always talk to myself. i really dont care wat people in public think of me. plus, its really entertaining when people look at you like your crazy. and for some reason people often do that to me;-)

FROM: Stinky
DATE: Friday October 28, 2005 -- 6:03:31 pm
I have talked to myself at least since I was a teenager, I am now 33. It is exactly as certain people above have described it, I am talking to an imaginary audience, it might be someone that I know but usually I don't really even identify the person I'm talking with, I'm more interested in verbally processing or working out something that I am thinking about. I agree that it is a coping mechanism and I agree that it isn't killing anybody. However, I have been caught doing it and it is very embarassing. I don't do it in public but, for example, I might be doing it in my office and somebody will walk in just as I'm about to launch into something. I don't know if they actually hear me talking but it doesn't matter because I have this particular look like I am about to say something, and I am staring intently at nobody in particular, and my office intruder might say "what the hell are you doing?" or "who are you talking to?" I live in New York so I don't drive but this used to happen to me A LOT in the car too, I'm just carrying away and I notice that somebody parked next to me at the light is totally staring. I am not a big social talker either, I'm not shy but not really a yapper, except when I am by myself. I have described this to people and nobody has ever understood it. They wonder if I hear voices (no) or if I say things like "what should I have for dinner?" (never). The one and only time I visited a therapist I described it to him and he was like "huh? well as long as you aren't hurting anybody." Yesterday I was caught in an embarassing situation so today I vowed not to talk to myself. Somehow I got through the shower (big talking place) and the day in the office. I am a FREAK. Finally I googled "stop talking to myself" and this page came up. I am really really relieved to see other people do this. I guess if you gotta have some weird problems, this one is pretty minor. Seriously it sometimes amazes me that people don't do it. Like, what do you do if you are by yourself for five hours, just shut up? I wish there was a name for this disorder so I could label myself and just be done with it.

FROM: Inner Drama
DATE: Thursday December 29, 2005 -- 10:55:08 pm
I completely relate to what people are saying. I'm 33 years old, and I've been talking to myself for as long as I remember. I, too, pretent to talk to famous people, make-believe therapists, even people I'm close to and know. Every once in awhile I have the actual conversation, but because I've had it with myself already, I can get to the point faster and not try the other parties patience. I've been keeping a journal since I was nine years old, so that suggestion doesn't work. I am very successful at public speaking, and my job as a telephone investigator requires me to talk to people under a fake name all the time. So, in a way, professionally, this odd coping mechanism has kind of worked for me. But, even with all these other outlets, friends, and support groups, I find myself escaping into talking to myself in the car, shower, at the office late at night. Sometimes its very helpful, but I'm worried that all this fantasy living is keeping me from doing great things in the world. Sometimes talking to myself gets really elaborate and it's more than just talking about my feelings or thoughts of the day, it involves me solving incredibly complex problems, rescuing scenarious or winning professional accolades. What is this about? Has anybody been able to channel this energy into something more productive? I know I'm not killing people, but I'm wondering if I'm killing off a bit of myself here. Like, I'm missing out on being more connected to life, the world, other people, etc. Like there's something I'm supposed to be doing instead of this, and if I were living a full like I could "live in the present" instead of in my imagination. Or maybe there's no difference.

FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Friday December 30, 2005 -- 12:44:43 am
To Inner Drama and other pingers: It has been quite awhile since I have replied on the Daily Ping. I had to look to see what I wrote on this. After a year later; I find that my answer was actually quite silly. I do talk to myself even now and know that talking to oneself is not so bad. There are some things that can be accomplished by talking to oneself like for example:
1. talk your self out of trouble
2. talk your self into trouble
3. talk your way around trouble
4. talk your self into convincing yourself that it's not a bad or good choice
5. pretend you are the drama queen in some high paying movie
6. convince yourself that you are better than your other half thinks you are
7. blame yourself when you spent too much money on some silly item
8. yell and talk to the charaters on tv like they were in the same room with you and that they can reply back
9. If you are doing the talking to yourself, you become the boss (when you know that you are not)
10. if someone sees you, you can always say that you are thinking out loud concerning some great invention
and of course, if someone thinks of you as an idiot, point your finger at them and tell them that you know (they talk to themselves too)

Have a great year!

FROM: mike
DATE: Friday December 30, 2005 -- 1:34:16 am
Well I haven't posted anything is over a year. Little progress so far on this effort to stop. I have concluded for my situation it is a habbit, formed in my very young ages. Nothing was ever seriously done about about the grooies of behavior were grooved deep and firm by adulthood. It will take work to overcome this.

I am getting slightly better I think I am more actively aware of it.

FROM: Michael
DATE: Friday January 6, 2006 -- 6:07:00 pm
I have received a few personal emails from others who read my original posting and wanted to communicate more about his.

Would anyone be interested in a email group to emaili one another for support and encouragement to overcome this thing we do?

click my name and send an email if you would want to. I understand I am boardline on soliciting. I am only proposing a connection building effort to add to the outlets to share.

FROM: ttalky
DATE: Friday January 20, 2006 -- 12:30:01 am
Here it is 2006 and I am among the bunch who does the talky thing out loud. I am 33 and I started at about 13-14. I have gotten busted by my ex boyfriend and my brother and my young son! My lie to my son is that I am praying. I can't let my son know I am talking to myself. Years ago when I was in high school I asked my counselor was I crazy because I talk to myself. He said "No" only when you talk back to yourself like carrying a conversation. Well sometimes it feels that way because I'll say something out loud and then I will reaffirm what I said and I think that is carrying a conversation. So now I am wondering what do the therapists say? Are you crazy, is it normal, what is the borderline? I keep thinking when I get married my husband will definitely find out one day and think I am a nut, maybe maybe not? Did anyone get help for this, if so please post any responses about this from therapists...Thanks!

FROM: Ashley
DATE: Monday January 23, 2006 -- 12:22:17 am
OMG! I have searched high and low for information on this...I have looked up every damn mental illness and disorder and couldn't find anything! I swear I thought I was the only one. There is a difference between talking to yourself and talking with yourself. Talking to yourself is like, "Oh, i need to go to the grocery store..." Talking with yourself is talking with an imaginary audience...that is exactly what I do. I just ramble on and on about anything and everything. I am 19 and have been doing it forever...I don't do it in public...just in my room when everyone is asleep. But I have been caught, and boy is that's worse than being caught having sex. My dad caught me and thought I was on the phone. My dad told me to tell my therapist (when I had one) about it...I think it was the first time she ever heard of such a thing, and at 13 it was hard to describe. She thought that I thought I could talk to the dead or something. Then she whipped that journal out...I promptly quit. But maybe they do need to research this and come up with some name for sucks doing something not everyone does and not knowing what it is. I feel so relieved to know I am not the only one. But they do need to do research on this...come up with something... it freaked my family out but they are used to it now!

FROM: Denny
DATE: Wednesday February 8, 2006 -- 8:31:24 pm
Okaaay ... just finished reading all these threads and, dare I say it?


Thanks to all of you brave people posting to this message board, I can accept this annoying little habit as normal, and also healthy, to a point. Never realized how much I talked to myself until recently, because of changing home situations. My two sons are growing up and living their lives (20 & 18 yrs.), and I'm finding lots more time alone. Which brings me to noticing this unnerving habit.

I see people at work talking to themselves, fairly regularly, and the first thing I'm thinking is "oh they're having a rough moment" or something like that. But after reading some of these comments, I can understand that they, (and myself, of course) are processing thoughts out loud. Which is okay in my book!

Keep up the good thoughts, and more importantly, be patient with yourselves!! What you put into this life comes back in bunches!

FROM: Jennifer
DATE: Friday February 17, 2006 -- 9:20:53 pm
how incredible is this? I posted here as J.C. not wanting to tell my first name, but what the heck. I am actually feeling actually some exhiliration regarding my "little secret" knowing that others (I wonder exactly how many are out there???) have the same exact compulsion I have. Many of you have commented that you have told your therapist and that they don't seem to have a grip on what you mean by "talking with yourself." This is true for me as well. I told my therapist (who I went to a couple of times after 9/11) and she just shrugged and said it was alright. But I felt that she wasn't really understanding what I do. Once I read a letter written to Ann Landers by a girl who engages in "self talk" and Ann thought she was schizo and should get help immediately. I just shake my head because I know that this is not a condition where we actually believe we see people in our living rooms talking with us. We know full well that we are alone and what reality is from fantasy. We just feel relief being able to imagine people are listening to us while we rant our opinions and emotions about everything under the sun.

I do believe it has everything to do with childhood neglect or issues as my family was very dysfunctional and my parents were not there at all for me or my brother growing up. They had serious marriage problems and depression issues. My escape from the reality of my confusing childhood was to retreat to my basement and put records on our jukebox and dance and sing and pretend that adoring crowds of people were watching me. I would also pretend that my favorite rock group was in the halls of my school admiring me from afar. It somehow made me feel that I was not invisible but quite the contrary. I long ago stopped pretending that rock stars are admiring me, but I still carry with me this sense of a "presence" that is always with me. I just speak up any time I have something to say, and this "presence" just silently listens. It takes different forms whether it is my husband (if he is at work) my brother, a senator, Oprah, whomever I feel like. Sometimes "it" is even my therapist I am "talking to." This has saved me thousands of dollars!
I think a support group of sorts would be terrific, and I also think that psychiatry ought to get a clue that this is a phenomenon happening in American society (perhaps elsewhere too?)
Questions: What do you all do for a living? Your education? How are your real world relationships to other people? Are any of you somewhat recluse? How many of you have children? What areyour family backgrounds? Are any of you highly creative, talented?
How often do you "self-talk" and what are the main triggers?
Let's keep talking. :)

FROM: flo
DATE: Sunday February 19, 2006 -- 5:06:16 pm
I think you are right jennifer a support group of sorts would be a great idea. I would love to have a name for it or to find out that the psych field understand what this is. I myself am in the UK and am 23, i am currently doing my post grad in computing. My childhood was normal and i am from a typical 2.4 suburban family. Looking back i can first remeber doing the talk! from maybe 9 onwards. I am quite shy and would play alone as a child as i am a bit of a tomboy and the other girls didn't want to play in the mud! I have a younger brother who was much the same as the girls ha! i would play with other children so was not a total loner. I maintain healthy relationships with friends and yet still feel the need to self talk so who knows! But there are more of us out there i am sure of it!!

DATE: Thursday February 23, 2006 -- 10:55:07 pm
IT'S LIKE SLIPPING INTO DAYDREAMING OF A CONVERSATION...and it just gets a little too intense. There's an "audience" or a "presence" that isn't actually visualized, just like you don't "see" real people when you're dreaming, but you may twitch and talk and gesture at them...AND THEN YOU SNAP OUT OF IT. That's what happens to me, I constantly chatter aloud - sometimes I honestly think for a minute or so that I'm a radio talk show host in the midst of an angry diatribe, or sometimes I divulge embarrassing secrets or thoughts...I often include gestures in public. You want embarrassing? How about talking to your perceived ex-girlfriend about graphic details in your sex life, PUBLICLY! That takes the cake, right there...

THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO STOP THIS MEDICALLY... It can't be far removed from sleepwalking or sleeptalking. It's not's a consciousness neurosis. Maybe a sleep disorder or parasomnia of some kind (I think mine was induced by sleep deprivation). I wonder if it's an eye-brain coordination thing? Mild epilepsy? Mini- seizures or a mild amount of electrical excessivity? Sometimes I think it may be an extremely minor case of autism. When I constantly change my attention span - darting my eyes back and forth, keeping constantly distracted - it helps, but very little.

THE THING THAT SLIGHTLY HELPS FOR ME to CONSCIOUSLY talk aloud, constantly, but in an extremely quiet, ventriloquistic whisper between your teeth. So if you're in public, that way you get out some of the steam, and try to move your lips so little that no one notices... In other words, prepare for the eventual slip into the dream state with the "presence" or "audience" and preemptively begin a conscious conversation against your will. Even if it seems unnatural and tiring to address the "audience" when it's not really there, maybe by doing helps exorcise trapped inner dialogue. Just start chatting about random crap actively the way you anticipate you will soon start doing. Maybe this will help once in a while...although it's surely no cure.

This would be a great field for a psychologist to explore and upon which to capitalize. I've always self-talked a little, but it went full-bore in college, and now at 25, I am virtually unemployable because of this. I'm dying to get a normal job..but i'm scared of being considered a total freak. Thank you all for making me feel like I'm not alone.

FROM: Mike
DATE: Tuesday May 16, 2006 -- 2:35:10 pm
Someone asked if this situation is a habbit or something more.

For me I believe it is a habbit, behavioral pattern habbit that started as a child.

Anyone in psychology familiar the concept of tabula rasa?

I think thats what it is with me pattersn of behavior were mad and never corrected and so here I am 36 going to be 37 soon, and still doing it. Being keenly aware of this I have tried and still try to avoid doing it.

It has had limited results.

To the one who says eventually if you get married your husband will find out and think you are nuts, I have that wory too. That is what led me to seek "professional help"
I did meet with one person who did refer me to a specialist because he did understand there is a serious issue here.

I backed out though. I knew the guy would talk to me and perscribe some medicine. I don't trust medicine.

DATE: Tuesday May 16, 2006 -- 5:37:30 pm
I talk not only to myself in public but sometimes to my cat when she's at home and I'm out-n-about. The feline bits are obviously more embarassing than vocalizing, say, my to-do list. "No, Indy!" "Don't bite!". yeah. I have a feeling many people do this (talk to their pet when they're not around), but will never admit to it!

FROM: Wayne 2
DATE: Monday July 10, 2006 -- 4:21:57 am

FROM: Geoinline [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday July 24, 2006 -- 1:40:06 pm
What is crazy?
What is normal?
Is speaking to your self crazy if you are practising a speech?
Do humans have a certain amount of talking their brain is designed to do each day?
If our mind is designed for speech it might make sense for us to talk regardless of weather we have others with whom we talk too.
If a human was isolated from people their entire life would they speak to themselves?
If you find your self doing something you don't want to do shouldn't you ask yourself if you are capable of knowing if that action is indeed wrong?
If you want to change your action regardless of it being right or wrong, but simply because you want to change it you must think of things you can do differently. For by definition insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Once you have a list of things you can change that may help you achieve your goal you should try to calculate which of those items will have the highest probability of success. And then you should try it.
If you fail to change your action should you give up?
What is it that all people who have this problem seem to have in common?
Would it stand to reason if you could identify this commonality you would be better able to find the change which might help you?
It seems to me there is not one thing people here have in common. But it is also true that we have identified different problems.
What problems have we identified?
Do those who have a specific problem have something in common?
Is there a polar opposite to this commonality?
Can you incorporate this polar opposite in a change to your life, and what do you think the probability of success a change like this might have?

jackie cade September 12, 2006, 2:35 pm

hello, i’m glad i found this blog. you are all so very nice. i started talking to myself about 7 yrs ago during a very stressful time. i found this site this morning looking up the subject.i’m trying as of this morning to stop talking to myself. i do this alone at home, driving to work and at work. i feel very embarrassed when someone catches me. i agree with everyone that it’s a form of sorting things out, of being afraid or unable to give ones own input on things, so you say what you want to say to yourself instead of another person. for myself i would add nervousness or anxiety. for myself maybe i place too much importance on what i say, always worrying if it’ right or not.anyway i really am starting today to discontinue this practice of talking to myself, i think it’s slowing me down and i should be moving along with the day, not be stuck behind. now that i think about it, maybe i place too much importance on what others say too, and i feel the need to go back and replay things in my mind. it seems i’m always tired and maybe talking to oneself does make one tired. so now when i feel the urge to talk to myself i’m going to say silently to myself “move ahead” what do you think?

Brigzy January 19, 2007, 9:26 am

Dear All,
I found myself talking to myself after a traumatic and very unjust episode in my life, I can’t get the injustice out of my mind, I almost rant sometimes to myself.

I have been worried about it, but feel releived by your posts, and view it as normal human behaviour and more common if we are preoccupied or troubled.

Is there a link to spending allot of time on your own, I used to have a full time proffessiol job with lots of human interaction, and now I am on my own looking after my children, I wonder if having a fellow human to talk and share our thoughts it the normal behaviour after all its communication between humans that made us great.

But hey, I couldn’t find anyone nicer to talk too, I allways get full agreement with myself, and also find talking to myself quite entertaining and sometimes find myself laughing with great amusemnent by my own “acting” out voices and the like.

I would say this is normal intelligent human behaviour, and is simply the great human mind keeping itself entertained with our greatest skill – human thought.

Inspiration of thought is impossible to avoid – talking out load is a sign of an active brain.

Imagine this idea that just popped into my head :
“National talk out loud day”
If we all said what we thought without inhibition for a day!!

Not talking out loud is perhaps surpression of your own brilliance and wonderfull excentricity.

Keep on talking

L February 7, 2007, 1:48 pm

Really glad i have found this site

Work in a very solitary and rather stressful job

Been talking aloud to myself for a few years but in recent times has been getting more and more and harder to control and getting caught out in public.

Was beginning to wonder if i was developing some sort of mental illness but i shall now put it down to stress relief and snobbery……….only talking to someone smart enough to understand me πŸ™‚

denial for a happier life

Y.a May 2, 2007, 9:25 pm

Hey, I think I’ve got the same problem of some of you..
Im 14 and if I’m bored or got nothing to do, I shut myself in my room and I talk to myself, but as if i were a different person and I imagine all sorts of things like a story and I kind of like act it out but talking to myself?

It scares me and I don’t want to tell anybody I know in case they think I’m crazy?!

Please help!!

Marc May 30, 2007, 1:03 am

Hey Y.a,

I think I’m in the same boat as you. I’m 19 and spend a lot of time by myself, in my room either drawing, playing video games or reading /etc. For the past year or two I’ve started ‘voicing’ my thoughts, and even acting them out to a subtle degree. … I actually just uttered “degree” as I typed it just then. Haha. πŸ˜›

One thing I’ve found is that on the few occasions where I’ve been socially interactive with some mates, those things subside. I’m talking to them and doing events of some sort with them, and so I’m thinking externally rather than internally, if you get me. If you have some close friends at school or anything, I’d recommend doing stuff with them on a regular basis. I’m not a psychiatrist, but am certainly talking from experience.

Come to think of it, reading your post was like reading in a mirror (though with the added perk of the text not being back-to-front)… You might notice that when you talk to yourself, you even come across some self revelations that make you realise something about your life. So it’s not ALWAYS a bad thing, but it’s good to try and have control over it to an extent.

So, try being a little more social… If you’re not much of a social person like me, then that’s fine… Try and get some sort of event sorted for the… ‘socially inept’. An example of this is that I’m working on a mod for a video game at the moment, I’m doing said mod with a few mates and we have group gatherings every few days / every week or so. That’s some of my social activity, but it’s in the context of an anti-social project… get it? πŸ˜€

I’m also glad I found this site, to be honest. πŸ™‚

L June 21, 2007, 10:37 pm


I have been looking for information on this subject for adages, this is the first page I have came across containing any information on this condition. It great to know im not the only one out their dealing with this.

I am 18 and have been talking to myself from since I can remember, I do it all the time, on the bus, in class, at work and when im on my own in my room. I live in a fantasy world imaging people (who I know are not real) but hold conversations with them. I also hold conversations with people I know im my head, acting out situations. Its sort of takes over me as I do it sub consciously.

I don’t know what causes it, I grew up in a good home, was popular at school and have had no major incidents in my life thou I feel lonely and isolated I find it really hard to portray my feelings but I can to my imaginary friends.

I have considered going to the doctors but I feel they will just think im mad. This condition has never caused me any trouble until recently, I had my final exams and found it impossible to concentrate my head was just buzzing, I went into one of my exams and total screwed it up. I want to do something to stop it as now it is taking over my life, I have tried to stop it but I only lasted a day but even then it was so hard as I sub consciously started doing it again. The only way I can sort of stop doing it is by keeping busy but it is still their.

I have found this site very useful, thanks to everyone who have shared their story.

L πŸ˜‰ x

Kristina October 28, 2007, 9:11 am

It’s actually so funny that some people find ‘talking to themselves’ habit a very pleasant thing, while others want to get rid of it …!! I have started talking to myself yesterday and I did so the whole day.. at home.. and ALOUD.. saying all my thoughts aloud, talking to myself, then talking to an imaginary person, I prefer talking to myself first..

And you know what ?? It doesn’t feel crazy, even though many people would think it is. It not only improves my English talking skills (english is my third language) but it also works as a therapy !! I felt very pleased to get acquainted with Kristina better.. I finally developed my own accent and way to speak !! It’s like WOW !! What a discovery !!!

It would be so heart warming to hear other people talking to themselves in public. Who said that it is not normal or that it’s insane ??? A pope ?? Everyone goes with the flow.. If there were no such ‘what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s crazy and what’s not’ rules, I am sure people would start behaving so differently and they would feel AT LAST RELIEVED AND FREE !!!

boogaboo November 29, 2007, 2:23 pm

Hi all.

Not sure, if there would be a support group still going for this sort of thing, but I guess it would be nice (the support group was mentioned earlier but don’t know if it’s bee set up.)

I googled ‘talking to myself’ like many others, and found it was refreshing to find a good mixture of people who either revelled in talking to themselves or found themselves suffering from it.

I have to say I’m somewhat in between. I’ve been talking to myself since I was a teenager, and as much as it can be theraputic in the most lonliest of times, along with other problems it kind of manifests into borderline annoyance. I’ve only begun to notice this as I get older.
I couldn’t put it down to a traumatic childhood, though to say the least I was lonely as a teenager. Maybe it manifested from that? Maybe I get it from my Dad? He talks to himself too.
Though I don’t think as actively as me. And it depends on my mood. The problem is, along other problems such as depression (I’m an on and off sufferer) I end up fantasising scenarios, talking to myself as to how I could deal with them. Wether they be good or bad. Lol maybe it’s too much television, but it also feels out of control when I feel threatened or just feel so low. Like I’m trying to toughen myself up. So I’ll probably have to see someone to figure out what’s triggered this.

Trouble is, at home I can often be very vocal. My mum certainly isn’t used to it and has called me out a few times. It’s embarressing, and frankly, it’s what got me to google to see if I was truly alone.

And it’s just a relief I am not.
Perhaps in my opinion, talking isn’t a sign on your sanity. I suppose it depends on the level, but then I haven’t felt well recently, and it’s something I need to sort out. Course, given my lonlier times, talking to myself was what kept me sane in the first place.

Joe December 18, 2007, 7:09 pm

Someone had mentioned starting a support group, and I think that’s a great idea — I know that I feel that I could use one.
When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD. The therapist also diagnosed me with OCD, but then someone else later “un-diagnosed” me, whatever that means…

So, here’s my story:

Around the age of eight or 10, I started talking to myself. Not the normal, “Okay, I have to pick up groceries, go to the dry cleaner’s…” or “God that really pissed me off”, but the full-blown “crazy” talk like you see with a guy on the street (except I can tell the difference between that and reality, and I don’t hallucinate or anything).
I have a vivid memory of lying in bed one night, my mind wandering as I was drifting into a dream-like state, and was replaying some conversation in my head from that day. All of a sudden, I came completely awake, shocked and scared, because I realized I was whispering my part of the conversation out loud, changing how things had happened to how I’d wanted them to happen.

Another vivid memory — I believe this was after I started talking to myself, but I’m not sure — was going lying in bed at my dad’s house around 10:30 at night (I grew up with my parents divorced) and coming awake to hear him talking to himself in the living room, then shouting — I thought at first someone had broken into the house, because he sounded like he was pointing a gun at them. (He’s never owned a gun.) He told them to stay down, and they wouldn’t, and then he was quiet for a bit… Then he started “defending” himself, saying how he’d had to shoot them, because they wouldn’t stay down and tried to attack him, or something. When I realized it was just him in the house, and this was all in his head, that was one of the scariest moments in my childhood.

I’m 21 now, and I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to talk to him about this. I don’t think he’s crazy — I know I don’t hallucinate or anything, I know it’s not real, but I get into this sort of dream-like state and it gets away from me. I’m so embarrassed about this; it’s something I’ve learned to live with, but I’m far from being at peace with myself about it. I’ve never heard of any psychological condition like this — I mean, if someone walks into the room while I’m doing, I immediately become aware of it and snap out of it, and try to pretend it was nothing. It also happens a lot in the bathroom or in the shower (I take really long showers partly because I get so distracted inside my head). I’ve thought many times, how the hell am I ever going to share my life with a woman? I mean, I’m a fairly decent guy otherwise — compassionate, generally try to be respectful, good listener, good conversationalist, musician, computer savvy, smart… and anxious, over-analytical, and I talk to myself. Other people generally think I’m a decent guy, albeit one who could use more self-confidence. Me? I have a very large inner critic, who criticizes other people, systems, and most of all myself.

I’d love to hear back from any of you who have input on this or others who have experienced the same thing.

Maybe we could start a Facebook network? lol
I’m actually quite serious…

Thanks guys.


“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

Litany Against Fear, _Dune_

LostAngeles January 13, 2008, 4:16 am

Hi all,

I have struggled with the exact same issues described here on this board since childhood. I am now 33 years old, a single mother, and it is destroying my ability to be a proper parent to my child, and accomplish the many dreams and goals I have for myself; because my life and all its potential are wasted by this behavior. For me, it has become complusive, and seems impossible to control. It seems that it is a way of getting my needs met; for a kind of companionship, love, and acceptance that I am for some reason incapable of establishing with other people. Like others, it is very pacifying, and leaves me with a sense of pseudo ‘fufillment’ that I am not able to obtain from any other means, in the ‘real world’. I also agree with the other posters that at times it becomes so intense that I feel I am almost in a ‘trance’ state; and lose track of time, and become oblivious to the world going on around me. Maybe therein is the addictive aspect of this behavior – maybe perhaps we really do talk and fantasize ourselves into a hypnotic trance state, and the blissful and ecstatic feelings we derive from altering our brain waves and brain chemistry into this ‘trance’ state is like a ‘drug’ we feel addicted to, and feel we need more and more of. I have wondered at times if it is a kind of ADD, or a condition called Avoidant Personality Disorder. As for myself, I came from a very dysfuncational family, am highly creative and verbal; but intensely distrusting of other people and have difficulty making friends. I am intensely lonely and this compulsive behavior is sadly the only way I can have any sense of my needs for companionship and acceptance met. I am clueless as to how to really stop this behavior, and have been trying for years. I also would welcome any thoughts on how we can put an end to this ridiculous habit for once and for all, and live in reality the life we are imagining.

Best wishes to you all,


Frances February 8, 2008, 8:49 pm

I was going through the internet and I got to tell you something. I have this habit of talking to myself at thirty one years old. When I talk to myself, I talk as if I’m having whole conversations with a entire group of friends. I always do this when I’m all alone anywhere and when I was still living with my parents I would talk in my room with them in hearing view. I even talk to myself in my office when I’m all alone.

It all started when I was seven years old. I was in special education all my life with auditory processing learning disability. It is language related. The reason I started talking to myself was that I didn’t have any friends. It got worse in junior high school and no matter what life changes I have gone through I can’t kick the habit no matter what. I can’t explain what it really gives me except that it allows me to express emotions that I couldn’t talk with, with anybody else because sometimes I feel that nobody else understands how I feel. But then when I’m around people, I am so quiet and have such a difficult time having a conversation that people get nervous. It is almost as if I live in two worlds. I really don’t know what to do anymore because sometimes I will stop for a few days and then it will start all over again. It is like smoking or talking drugs or abusing food. Most people have ignored it but others have noticed. And one day someone will notice to a point that I could be put in an institution.

Joe February 14, 2008, 3:15 am

Hi guys,

I posted a while back on 12.18.07, just wanted to leave an anonymous email for anyone who wants to contact me.

I really agree that this is most likely stemming from a social anxiety issue of sorts (or something similar), and that the best way for us to reduce the habit is to involve ourselves socially as much as we can. Take classes, join a book group, Frisbee team, whatever. Just fill our lives with as much healthy, MEANINGFUL social contact as we can.

My email is jn.brown67 [AT] yahoo….com (done like that to avoid getting spam :P)
Please, email me!

Also, if I may make a shameless plug, a group that I’ve found amazing and wonderful and respectful is LoveTribe — google it, they’re worth checking out. A little bit hippie-ish, lol, but overall a very worthwhile community to be involved with.

Hope to hear from some of you. Even if this post is read ages afterward, feel free to drop me a line.


Lucy March 21, 2009, 11:40 pm

I’ve just read this entire site – very interesting!

I’m 30 and only have a mild version of “self talk”, but I’ve become more aware of it lately because I will soon be sharing an office, and will have a housemate from tomorrow!

I am a very good listener but I actually talk little to others, as I’m always anxious to make sure that I never say anything politically incorrect or that could spark gossip, or state any fact unless I’m not 100% sure. So a lot of censorship goes on in my head before I speak and the result is not very natural and maybe stops me from having as many close friends as I’d like. Although I think my diplomacy is also a good point in my job with journalists. And this does not occur with boyfriends (because they are on MY side of the ‘barrier’!), although my ‘artificial politeness’ kicks in when anyone else is present.

When alone, at home or at work, I have a very mild form of “self talk”, mainly for memory purposes, (e.g. “Right, if you do it like that, you’ll be able plug this one in next, look!”). This is a companiable, helpful and therefore I would assume healthy phenomena, although still embarrassing when overheard.

However, occasionally I will suddenly say to myself e.g. “Why don’t you just shut up, shut up!” and I’m then so surprised to suddenly HEAR this out loud, that I can’t even remember what I’d just been thinking! Probably some kind of self-criticism which touched a nerve.

And the most puzzling one: “I love him!”, defiant declaration which doesn’t actually seem to refer to any person in particular: it even happened at a time when I’d been single for a couple of years, with no attachment to any exboyfriends and absolutely no one on the horizon! It seems to function purely as a reassuring phrase to put a stop to particularly anxious or self-doubting thoughts.

Well, that’s my contribution for what it’s worth. I hope that it may help, enlighten or reassure others! Thanks for yours.

pillboxhouses October 8, 2009, 9:45 am

i sometimes think i am talking outload when i am really not. is that strange??

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