I often speak to myself

Why ?

“Sometimes I feel like I am writing the subtitles of my own life,” confesses Sandra, 37, an account manager. I’m commenting on pretty much everything I’m about to do: “Okay, I’m going to put on my blue skirt, because it doesn’t look like it’s too cold today”, “I’m going to take off fifty euros should be enough ”, etc. When I do it in front of my boyfriend, who is used to it, it goes. But when this happens to me in public, people’s stares make me feel totally ridiculous! ”

I’m focusing
Far from serving communication, “these comments expressed aloud have the particularity of not addressing anyone other than ourselves”, assures psychiatrist Dominique Delmas. If they are so personal, then why not keep them inside? For psychologist and psychopractor Laurie Hawkes, it’s about confirming that we are fully dedicated to what we do. “It comes down to accompanying oneself; we talk to each other out loud when our action requires vigilance, precision. »No wonder, then, that the realization of a complicated cooking recipe or the assembly, not simpler, of a Swedish shelf often lend themselves to these soliloquies …

I pursue an inner dialogue
During their games or when falling asleep, children do not hesitate to talk to themselves. These may be words of encouragement, comfort, or rebuke. “But, at the time of pre-adolescence, when social rules are integrated, this dialogue with his“ inner twin ”tends to cease, observes Dominique Delmas. The child understands that “this cannot be done”, that it can even marginalize him. How to explain this resurgence in adulthood? “Too much anxious pressure can cause these barriers that we have erected to falter. Inhibitions fall. For the psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat, we must ask ourselves who, in these cases, speaks: “Our parents can come and pollute this internal dialogue:” You suck “,” You do anything “, etc. The use of the second person singular proves that we are on the periphery of ourselves. »And that these monologues dispense points of view which are not ours, but those anchored in us since childhood by others …

I feel I exist
“There is no typical profile of the individual who speaks out loud. However, it is not uncommon for people who are a little inhibited and who lack self-confidence, ”remarks Dominique Delmas. Elsa Cayat sees in them personalities who need to hear their own voices to legitimize their existence. “Not having been approached by his parents, never having heard himself ask: ‘What do you say?’, ‘What do you think?’ can lead to a negation of oneself which, if it is not made aware, is reflected in these addresses to oneself. “And the psychoanalyst to put this mode of functioning in parallel with that of people who need to” sniff themselves in order to “feel” to exist “. To hear oneself, to smell oneself: as if to prove to oneself, through the senses, a “tangibility” that, in childhood, others have never been able to convince us.

What to do ?

Who speaks when we speak to each other? Is it really us, or is it the resurgence of words used by our parents or other loved ones? In any case, we should analyze what we are told and reject disparaging views. And don’t hesitate to walk the talk: “When a critical discourse sets in, why not interfere by raising your hand and calling a ‘stop!’ good sound? Offers psychologist and psychopractor Laurie Hawkes.

Cultivate your voice
Talking out loud is nothing abnormal – psychiatrist Dominique Delmas and Laurie Hawkes willingly confide in doing so – and can even be enriching. Why not encourage the positive side of this expressed thought? To begin with, the psychologist suggests looking for the name with which you want to address yourself: “My chip”, “My darling”, “My pretty” … A very helpful game for people who lack confidence or self-esteem.

Make time to speak
This gushing soliloquy can mean an overflow of thoughts that begged to come out. To prevent them from appearing in a too incongruous manner, it is possible to set aside speaking time – for example five minutes during the day -, completely free and frank, aloud.

For further

To read

Fear of the other, overcoming social anxiety by Laurie Hawkes
There is nothing dramatic about speaking out loud. But it is often the way others look at this habit that bothers us. The book by Laurie Hawkes, who practices transactional analysis, can help us overcome this apprehension and in particular our fear of judgment (Eyrolles, 2011).


Aude, 41, English teacher
“I talked to myself for a long time, and not to compliment myself. One day, when I was reproaching myself in his office, my psychotherapist asked me: “Who told little Aude that she was a noodle?” This was the trigger. These words were not mine, but those of my CP teacher. I sent them away from me since they did not belong to me. Since then, I always speak out loud… but to sing! ”


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