I was contemplating doing some free writing for my research paper I have yet to do when something occurred to me. The goal of free writing is to just write whatever pops into you head, take a break, then come back and read it. You can gain insight into the subject just by examining what you know already, and sometimes just trying to arbitrarily pull up facts from your brain doesn’t do the trick. Hmm, just spouting out what you are thinking and then contemplating what that was. Why does that sound familiar?
Recently a friend of mine who will remain nameless admitted that he talks to himself. He takes long walks late at night and will talk to himself about whatever is on his mind. I would make fun of him if I didn’t do it too.
There are two types of conversations you can have with yourself. There is the one where you are really just talking to someone who isn’t there, and listening to what you say, and there is the one where you are actually holding a conversation with yourself. The latter is something that is best left for psychiatrists, so I’ll deal only with the former.
I read a statistic somewhere that talked about what you remember about a speaker. It said something along the lines that you remember 70% of what they look like, 20% of how they say it and 10% of what they say. If you take this idea to your brain it works along the same way. Compare what you remember thinking to what you remember seeing or hearing. Thoughts are so ethereal that they can vanish into thin air, and you have no idea that you even thought them unless something prompts you back.
It sounds silly, talking to yourself, as if it was only available to crazy people and those big black guys who walk down Euclid all the time. If I were religious I could say I was having a conversation with God, and that I was just telling him about my day. But for reasons that I won’t get into I’m not, so talking to myself has to be justified in another way.
I am the perfect listener for myself. I am always thinking about what’s being said, I think faster than the words come out, if I get bored listening the speaking stops, and I’m free to interrupt any time I have a question.
Knowing this, don’t be ashamed to talk to yourself. Socially it’s unacceptable, but so are many things that are commonly done. You read your papers aloud before turning them in, why not sometimes read your thoughts?