Every so often I start talking out loud to myself and it can bring stares from those around me. I’ve been so loud at times that some people think I’m talking to them.
When that happens, I usually say it is “nothing,” as I continue on with the business at hand. It is usually something on my mind or a brain toot of some sort that gets me going.
I’ve heard it said that it is OK to talk to yourself, just don’t answer. I don’t know about all that. If you are going to have a conversation, might as well have a question and answer session and get whatever it is on your mind worked out.
Experts on the subject say it is more common for people to talk to themselves than to not. According to one study I found on the Internet, 96 percent of adults say they have an internal dialogue (the voice inside their head). While self-talk out loud is less common, 25 percent of adults say they talk to themselves, mainly due to everyday situations they encounter.
There are 329.5 million people living in America as of 2020. That works out to 316.5 million people who commonly talk to themselves or have some sort of internal dialogue. I guess I am in good company.
In another study I found on the subject, talking to yourself out loud is perfectly normal. In some cases – such as when you’re trying to increase focus – it may even be more beneficial to jabber away than keep whatever it is giving you an itch bottled up. However, the study did caution those who talk out loud to always be mindful of their settings. That is something I need to work on a bit more.
Another study I found on the subject indicated that talking to yourself may indicate a higher level of intelligence. The study noted that according to scientists at Bangor University, speaking out lout to yourself was “found to be a trait of higher cognitive function.”
I don’t know if talking out loud makes me smarter, but I do know that hard work, diligence, not giving up and keeping on when the odds are against you will go a long ways in helping you have a successful life. So will praying.
Sometime I pray out loud. It’s not that God can’t hear me when I pray silently, I just prefer to talk out loud. Praying, in my thoughts, is not the same as jabbering away to one’s self while working out a problem.
I remember some years ago while attending the University of Missouri-Columbia. It was my 36thbirthday in September 1995, and I was preparing to take the grammar test to get into the MU School of Journalism for a third time. I needed to score 80 points out of 100 questions, all grammar and sentence structure related, such as he, she, who, whom, they, them and the likes.
I had taken the test twice before and failed it with scores of 73 and 68. The idea that I was taking the test at one of the top journalism schools in the nation was a feat in itself. I barely passed high school English nearly 20-years earlier and to be there on that day was quite an accomplishment on my part.
Anyway, I had spent hours studying and attending tutoring sessions with editorial professionals at the journalism school. On test day, a large group of test-takers had gathered on the lawn and steps outside of the test center at the journalism school. Many were talking and others were complaining as to the purpose of the test.
I left that gathering and went down the hall to an outside door and found a place of solace, where I began to pray out loud.
I didn’t ask God if it was Ok for me to be there, I told God that I was going to pass that test because I believed that I belonged there. I was saying these words out loud while walking up and down the sidewalk. Every so often someone would leave the building and I would stop for a moment, greet them and continue on.
I finished the test on time and passed with a score of 82. I went on to have a great experience in journalism school, outside of a class in advertising. I didn’t do so well in that class.
Even though I have shared this and other stories about my time at MU in this column, it’s good reminder of where I’ve been and where I’m going. It gives me time to reflect on the good things in life and to remember that success is available to all.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.