Non-expert Advice

The art of talking to yourself when you are alone

There are a few personal behaviours that are often stigmatized: eating dinner alone in a fancy restaurant without looking at your phone, crying in public, peeing in the streets when you really have got to go, and many others. But among the ones that are stigmatized more unjustly, I find, is talking to yourself.

And I don’t mean talking to yourself in a spiritual way. I mean literally having conversations with yourself. This is the reason why we back off slightly when we see someone having a conversation with the air on the subway, before noticing with a certain relief that he or she is actually wearing headphones. Pfiu, we think, he/she is talking to someone after all. But why, I ask, is this uncomfortableness a thing?

Some could say it’s because the ones who talk to themselves are often the crazy ones. Ok, fine. At the same time, whoever lives alone will understand this: talking to yourself happens. The need to express yourself is there, but there is no one to share it with. And this is not a bad thing: it’s a simple human/animal instinct, I guess. Like singing in the shower or while folding the laundry. Why do we do that? To entertain ourselves, to give ourselves a background music, whatever.

In the silence of my home, I talk to myself all the time. I talk to my oven when it won’t turn on properly; I insult my computer when it crashes because it’s from 2002 and doesn’t know better. I say sorry to my chair when I bump into it. Ok, the last one is a little weird; I am sure my chair doesn’t mind. But the rest?

In the silence of an empty home, I find it just natural to make some remarks. Sometimes it comes spontaneously. Just about half an hour ago, I told myself the chicken and peas cooking in the oven smelled delicious, and then I felt stupid. Why should I? They do smell delicious, and my own self is aware of this fact. I am congratulating myself for not burning my evening meal.

So, lone-speakers of the world, unite. Speaking to yourself is cool, and it doesn’t mean you are crazy. And I haven’t googled it yet, but I am fairly sure that some scientist agrees that it is, in fact, the opposite of a symptom of craziness. It keeps you sane, and it helps when you really need to know your meal is going to be fine.


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