Why Do I Talk To Myself: The Surprising Science Behind This Common Habit

Why Do I Talk To Myself: The Surprising Science Behind This Common Habit
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Do you talk to yourself? You’re not alone.

Many people engage in self-talk, whether it’s saying their thoughts out loud or silently in their heads. Some might feel embarrassed about it, but there’s actually a scientific reason why we talk to ourselves.

Researchers have coined the term “private speech” to describe self-talk that’s not intended for anyone else to hear. It starts in childhood, as children begin to regulate their own behavior using verbal cues. Over time, private speech becomes more internalized and automatic, helping us to organize our thoughts, memories, and actions.

But talking to ourselves isn’t just about organization and regulation. Recent studies have found that self-talk can have a range of benefits, from boosting performance on cognitive tasks to reducing anxiety and stress levels. In some cases, it may even help us improve our social skills and make better decisions.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind why we talk to ourselves, and the many ways it can impact our lives.

The Reasons Behind Self-Talk

Self-talk is a common habit that is often associated with madness or weirdness. However, research has shown that self-talk can actually be beneficial for mental health and wellbeing. Below are some reasons why people engage in self-talk:

  • Self-motivation: Self-talk is a way to encourage and motivate oneself. By using positive affirmations and encouragement, individuals can boost their self-esteem and achieve personal goals.
  • Self-soothing: Self-talk can help individuals calm themselves down and reduce stress. By using comforting and nurturing language, people can ease anxious thoughts and regulate their emotions.
  • Problem-solving: Self-talk can be a way to work through problems and find solutions. By talking through difficult situations, individuals can gain perspective and come up with creative solutions.
  • Memory retention: Self-talk can aid in memory retention and recall. By repeating important information, individuals can better remember and understand it.

Overall, self-talk is a natural and beneficial habit that many people engage in. Instead of being seen as a sign of madness, it should be viewed as a tool that individuals can use to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

The Effects of Self-Talk on Our Lives

Self-talk, or the practice of speaking to oneself silently or aloud, has both positive and negative effects on our lives. On one hand, self-talk can serve as a form of motivation, with individuals using it to encourage or calm themselves in times of stress or anxiety.

However, if self-talk is consistently negative or critical, it can have detrimental effects on an individual’s self-esteem and mental health. Negative self-talk can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, and can even be a precursor to disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders.

In addition to its effects on mental health, self-talk can also impact an individual’s physical performance. Research has shown that positive self-talk can improve athletic performance, with athletes who engage in positive self-talk experiencing greater levels of confidence and focus.

Overall, the effects of self-talk on our lives are complex and multifaceted. While it can be a powerful tool for motivation and self-improvement, it is important to be mindful of the ways in which it can also contribute to negative self-perception and mental health issues. By using self-talk in a positive and constructive manner, we can harness its benefits and improve our overall well-being.

Questions and Answers:

What are some common reasons why people talk to themselves?

People often talk to themselves as a way to organize their thoughts, work out problems, or reinforce their memory. Some may also do it as a way to cope with stress or boost their mood.

Is talking to oneself a sign of mental illness?

While talking to oneself can be a symptom of certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, it is generally not considered abnormal behavior. In fact, many people engage in self-talk without any negative consequences for their wellbeing.

Can talking to oneself actually be beneficial?

Yes, there are many potential benefits to self-talk. It can help with problem-solving, goal-setting, and decision-making. It can also serve as a form of self-motivation, helping individuals stay focused and on-task. Additionally, self-talk can provide a sense of comfort and validation in challenging situations.



I found this article very interesting and relatable. It’s comforting to know that talking to yourself is actually a common habit.


Reading this article was truly eye-opening for me. I’ve always been a bit ashamed of the fact that I talk to myself, especially in public or around other people. But after learning about the different reasons why we engage in this behavior, I’m more accepting of it and even proud of the benefits it can have.

One thing that stood out to me in particular was the idea that talking to ourselves can actually be a form of problem-solving. As someone who often struggles with making decisions, I can already think of instances where having a conversation with myself has helped clarify my thoughts and lead me to a solution. It’s not just a weird quirk – it can be a legitimate tool for mental clarity.

I also appreciated the science behind the different types of self-talk, like instructional and motivational. This made me realize that not all self-talk is created equal – sometimes you need to be more encouraging and other times you need to give yourself specific instructions. Learning how to tailor my self-talk to my specific needs is something I’ll definitely be working on moving forward.

If I had one critique of the article, it would be that I personally would have liked to see some examples of positive self-talk. The article emphasizes the importance of changing our internal narrative to be more optimistic and productive, but it doesn’t provide concrete examples of how to do this. I know that this is a personal journey and everyone’s self-talk is different, but I think it would have been helpful to have some starting points.

Overall, I found this article to be fascinating and incredibly helpful in understanding my own behavior. I can face the world knowing that talking to myself is a normal and legitimate way to navigate my thoughts and emotions.


This article really hit home for me. I’ve always talked to myself, especially when I’m feeling anxious or stressed. It’s comforting to know that it’s a normal behavior and that it can actually have some benefits, like improving focus and problem-solving skills. I’ll definitely be more mindful of my internal monologue from now on!

One thing I would have liked to see in this article is some tips on how to talk to yourself in a more positive and productive way. Sometimes my self-talk can be really negative and I know it’s not helping me in the long run. Overall though, I found this to be a really informative and thought-provoking read.


This article was a fascinating read for me. As someone who has talked to themselves for as long as I can remember, it was really eye-opening to learn about the various reasons why people engage in this behavior. I was particularly interested in the section about how self-talk can help with decision-making and problem-solving. That’s definitely something I’ve experienced firsthand – sometimes I need to sort through my thoughts out loud in order to come to a conclusion. One thing I appreciated about the article was how it didn’t present talking to yourself as inherently abnormal or bizarre. While it’s true that some people may consider it strange, the article emphasized that it’s a fairly common habit and can be a helpful tool in certain situations. Overall, I think this article could be really beneficial for people who struggle with the stigma surrounding talking to themselves. It provides a lot of interesting information and illustrates that there’s nothing wrong or shameful about engaging in this behavior.


As someone who talks to themselves constantly, I was very intrigued by this article. I never really thought about the reasons behind my habit, but the explanations provided in the article make a lot of sense. It’s relieving to know that I’m not alone in this behavior and that it can actually be beneficial in some situations.


I talk to myself all the time and I never really thought about why. This article was interesting and gave me some insight into what might be happening in my brain when I have those conversations with myself!