The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

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

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
Richard

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

Hey,

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.

Joe


“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,

LA

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.

Peace,
Joe

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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