I started out writing this post to those who already talk to themselves, either in private or whenever they damn well please (like me). However, it’s come to my attention that this is basically EVERYONE, and if you aren’t inclined to do it, there are strong benefits to trying.
Basically, I grew up talking to myself, and getting scolded for it. For much of my life, when I would get caught talking to myself, I’d feel a lot of shame… which really is a shame, because as it turns out, talking to yourself is healthy. Shame… not so much.
This all went on until I was a truck driver. At first, I was what they call a “team driver”. That meant I had to share a truck with another driver. I slept while he drove, and he slept while I drove. There were a lot of downsides to this arrangements and very few upsides. Granted, you had some company, but you didn’t always want it, especially depending on the type of co-driver you had.
There’s an old joke in the trucking business – What’s the difference between a prison cell and the cab of a big-rig? Answer: There’s a toilet in your prison cell.
There’s another difference as well – prison cells are roomier. Sharing those cramped quarters with someone is just no good. I had to get out of it.
So, I found myself in a solo driving position – just me in the truck, but no one to talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I talked to at least 1 friend on the phone a day. I had satellite radio, so there was almost always plenty to choose from in entertainment. I often chose the talk shows – particularly the funny ones. Stand-up, if nothing was on. And then there was always the CB radio – if anyone had their ears on.
And I’d catch myself talking to myself – sometimes someone else would – another trucker, passing me. I’d realize he could see me and, well, you know, try to pretend that I was singing, or something. Somehow, I don’t think they were fooled.
At some point, I got tired of worrying about it. Hell, the 4-wheelers couldn’t see me (that would be most of you – the people who drive, but not tractor-trailers), and my fellow truckers couldn’t see me unless they were passing me, or vice-versa.
And I’d occasionally get caught at a truck stop, or while picking up/dropping my load at the docks. In fact, that’s a big part of the reason I started using bluetooth. Anytime someone saw me talking to myself, and gave me the weird look, I’d just point at my earpiece! I think a few were probably unconvinced, but I didn’t give a damn.
That let me talk to myself wherever I was. At times, I’d carry on a conversation with myself, no matter how many people were around. They couldn’t tell that I wasn’t on the phone – it was FUN!
Anyway, I’ve been out of trucking for four years, and I gave up the earpiece. Not sure if it’s because there are so many more people around me, or because I readily tell people that I’m just talking to myself. If they don’t like it, tough.
Perhaps you’re wondering why it is so important to me, why I’ve made it such a big part of my life. There are a number of reasons – for one: I can use a self-convo to rehearse a conversation I’m going to have with someone – that helps me to be better prepared. I can use it to remind myself of things I need to do. It helps me to focus and keeps things fresh in my mind.
I can also explore ideas this way. When listening to stand-up, or a talk show, I’d often turn down the volume and begin conversating with myself regarding a point that I found interesting in the show I was listening to. Sometimes, just for a semi-external point of view, I’d imitate one of the people from the show, trying to come at it from his or her perspective.
This is just scratching the surface, and it may sound a bit crazy, so I thought I’d see if any research has been done to illustrate my points. Turns out, there is quite a bit, and it’s been making news! Here’s a sampling of what I found:
Another good one, points out the advantage this habit provides when learning something new: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-05-29/news/31890815_1_new-skill-learning-darts
Remember, it DOESN’T mean that you’re crazy: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120417221613.htm
And even Time Magazine says that talking to yourself is a GOOD idea: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/25/talking-to-yourself-may-actually-be-a-good-idea/
If you’re wondering what this has to do with weight loss – being prepared, more focus… it all plays in. I find that I end up exercising a lot more when I actually tell myself, OUT LOUD, that I’m going to exercise, when, and what I will do. Same goes for eating well. Not only do I tell myself what I will eat, but I also tell myself what I won’t eat. It really does seem to make a difference!
So, there you go! I intend to be back here next week, with AT LEAST one new blog post for you!