Is It Normal to Talk to Yourself? Let’s Find Out!

Ever been caught talking to yourself and felt a bit embarrassed? Sometimes people might think it’s strange or even a sign of a mental problem. But guess what? It’s completely normal. In fact, we all do it! Let’s dive into this and learn why we talk to ourselves and how it can affect us.

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What is Self-Talk?

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Credit: TED-ED

Self-talk is what we call the conversations we have inside our heads. It’s not the same as thinking of a picture in your mind or remembering a fact for a test. Self-talk is when we speak to ourselves about our lives.

Here are some examples:

  • Telling yourself: “I need to work on my free throw.”

  • Noticing: “The gym is packed. I’ll come back tomorrow.”

And yes, speaking out loud to yourself counts too!

Where Does Self-Talk Come From?

Children often talk to themselves out loud while playing. This helps them learn to manage their feelings and actions by themselves. As we grow older, this talking becomes quiet and stays in our heads, but it continues to help us.

talk to yourself
Credit: TED-ED

Why is Self-Talk Important?

talk to yourself
Credit: TED-ED

Self-talk helps us plan things, work through hard situations, and keep ourselves motivated during the day. But scientists still have a lot of questions about self-talk, like why some people do it more than others, or what parts of the brain are working when we do it.

How Can Self-Talk Affect Us?

What we say to ourselves can really make a difference in how we feel and act. Positive self-talk can help us focus, feel better about ourselves, and get things done.

Here are some benefits:

talk to yourself
Credit: TED-ED

Instructional self-talk

  • This is when we give ourselves instructions or advice. For example, a study found that when tennis players told themselves how to play better during practice, they were able to focus more and make fewer mistakes.

Motivational self-talk

  • This is when we cheer ourselves on. Like when we say, “You can do this!” before a big test.
talk to yourself
Credit: TED-ED
talk to yourself
Credit: TED-ED

Distanced self-talk

  • This is when we talk to ourselves like we’re another person. So, instead of saying, “I can ace this test,” you might say, “You’ve got this, [Your Name]!” This kind of self-talk can be really helpful for calming down when we’re nervous.

But watch out for negative self-talk. This is when we’re too hard on ourselves. If we do this a lot, it can make us feel anxious or depressed. Some people even go to therapy to learn how to replace negative self-talk with kinder thoughts.


So the next time you catch yourself talking to yourself, remember it’s totally normal. And make sure to be kind to yourself in those conversations. After all, you’re going to be talking to yourself for a long time!

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