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Talking to Yourself: A Sign of Sanity

Though we live in a noisy world, many people struggle with too much silence in their lives. They are either living alone or living with others who are engrossed in their own thing. (That’s easy to do in the digital age).

Sure, you can always click on the TV, the radio, or your latest digital gizmo. But what happens if you’re aching for a live person to talk to? To bounce ideas off of? To appreciate your accomplishments (big or small)?

When you’re feeling lonely, chances are you’re neglecting to give enough attention to a very special person. One who is always there with you. Who’s that? Why, you, of course. So, talk to yourself. Not just in your head. But out loud.

Talk to yourself out loud? Doesn’t that mean you’re becoming daft? Losing it? Ready for the funny farm?

Not at all.

50 Comments to
Talking to Yourself: A Sign of Sanity

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  1. But what if you actually consider the person you’re talking to is another person? There is me then there is the other me, who I actually consider a person or entity that I’m talking to?

    • Nah, I do it to. I find that these conversations I have with myself are just ways I analyze a situation through simple small talk. Having a conversation with myself. Yet, when I’m around other people, I can tell I’m just fine by the way I interact with them. It’s no big deal. It’s just a way some people handle things.

  2. What if your talk is anger and rage? Is that healthy? I guess better than violence. But…

  3. I knew there was a reason I’ve been doing that all of these years! :)

  4. I love this – thank you!

    I spend a lot of time alone, and got into the habit. i also find it helps me to keep on track, being a bit ADD, as I start off to do something and get distracted. And I do it sometimes as you mentioned – I have to make a decision – and in addition to maybe writing down alternatives, sometimes if a I verbalize them as well, I see/hear them differently.

    You know, there’s a reason that meditating with a mantra or phrase is often done out loud – it focuses your mind.

    The negatives of self talk are using this to automatically put yourself down, no more examples necessary, so the idea of replacing all that with an occasional – good going girl! makes sense.

    • Hello,
      I agree with you 100%. I also have ADD and I had found that when I look deeply into my eyes and talk to myself in the mirror, helps me to remember things and it does keep me focus through out the day. Psychologists should research about this subject.


  5. I can relate to most of you guys i guess, been talking to myself during times of stress since i dont know when. Reading articles like this really helps me to understand it, so it’s not so worrying

  6. I think it is good to talk well and kindly to yourself.After all a lot of people one meets will only see one in a negative light misjudging the person one really is. Perhaps they do this out of sheer jealousy and that’s their’ problem.So be the one person you can rely on to be good to you— yourself

  7. I’ve been talking to myself just about all my life and not because I’m lonely but because I have an urge to understand my own thoughts. And now that I’ve matured I understand the wonderful benefits of talking to yourself. You really have a better way of speaking to others about what you’re feeling instead of just saying whatever comes to mind. There are times when I don’t understand the way people communicate,It seems like their not making any real logical sense to me ! I want to tell them go talk it over with yourself first then talk to me.

  8. This article is great – an affirmation that i’m not going mad! I’ve always thought that expressing my thoughts vocally (ie talking to myself) helps me organise what’s going on in my head. It works well, and makes me much more productive as a result.

    It’s interesting though, that I would only talk to myself when i’m on my own and now when i’m in an office with other people. Why? Maybe it’s because of the stigma that talking to yourself is seen as a sign of madness, when in reality it is a sign of sanity!

  9. Hi, i have a concern husbands talks to himself specially when he is in the washroom at times when he is watching TV …he said he was thinking out loud..i feel this is not normal can this be a disorder .?do we have to see a can we get rid of such habit.

    • Does his talk make sense to you?
      Do you understand what he is saying?
      Next time he talks out loud jump into the conversation you might l reall learn what’s on his mind

  10. i talk to myself all the time (and not ashamed to admit it) and my mother almost sent me to the mental
    hospital, but what if your talking to your self and consider them REAL people and they got names and everything and they talk back to you? is my sanity in question?or is it normal?

  11. I too have always sort of talked out loud, as if talking to someone else. I think it is a good way to “step back, away from the frame”. To discuss something in an intelligent manner even if only with your own self. I do not consider this too abnormal.

    As far as the anger scenario goes, I think the only truly time I would have become dangerously angry I would not even talk at all. I’ve found myself in a few extremely bad situations where I had to seriously be in rage just to survive. The one thing I didn’t do was say anything to myself or anyone else. So for me, the only times I had become dangerous, you would not hear a sound out of me.

  12. Thanks..this helps a lot

  13. I’ve started developing,or rather noticed, this uncommen realization of mine,( speaking to yourself), but after reading this material I got much more insight on this specific subject.I truthfully agree with the information. Talking to youself during your daily activities,in your own space, dealing with solitude can be spiritually enhancing,rather than actually feeling,alone.

    Thanks,enjoyed it.

  14. I have recently started talking outlout to myself which is causing my family to worry about me. I have told them i am ok, but i know i am not. Things from my past are haunting me my childhood was not the happiest in my opinion. My parents are both deceased but for some reason i find myself talking outloud to them or shouting outloud to them about things i was not happy about in my childhood. I lost my mum in Feb. of this year and i am not sure if her loss is affecting me or not. I don,t know what to do.

    • Jeanie, I lost my dad in May. I found it has helped me tremendously to sit in the back yard and talk out loud to him. It really gives me peace of mind

  15. Thank you, I do this all the time and laugh at myself and some of the things I say lol. I think my neighbors must think I am crazy (thin walls, apartment complex).
    I am glad to see that this is considered a good thing or even encouraged. I originally clicked on this because I thought it was a joke, it was on wikiHow, “How to stop talking to yourself in 5 steps” lol. I know it wasn’t written as a joke but it sure cracked me up, like step 3 was, As soon as you find you are talking to yourself out loud, shut your mouth closed. This way, the conversation should continue on in your head. lmao. Sorry found that hilarious but it went on to say that talking to yourself could lead to mental illness which ticked me off but what can you do, right?
    Anyways, thanks again for your article!

  16. Lately, I’ve been facing my fears. And it’s aways a test. Scary, but when its over and you found out you passed, it is the greatest feeling there is. This was one of those tests for me, and I thank you very in much, as a person who understands psychology much deeper than I do, to affirm that I am of good, mental health!

  17. I talk to myself all the time but because i feel lonely and deppresed sometimes i think im crazy

  18. Very interesting read, thank ovens posting it. Ha, I can’t remember when I started talking to myself. I believe I was around 4, funny really. I live alone and most of the time I just feel isolated. Not only that. But my entire childhood I was an outcast, both at school and at home. Couple that with a vivid and innocent imagination and that’s me all over. Sometimes I day dream and sort of discuss with myself how I’d react if said events ever occurred. What can I say? Perhaps I’m preparing myself.

  19. I like this quote from the Lord of the Rings (Gandalf speaking): “— I was speaking to myself. It’s a habit of the old. They choose the wisest person present to speak to!”

  20. live alone and no friends so i befriended myself and keep myself company. so i talk to myself

  21. I talk to myself to plan conversations by taking what I know about a person and creating conversations by talking to myself.

  22. Ok, so I do this A LOT! I am not lonely, but I talk to myself like Its another person in full conversation. The kicker that I also verbalize by whisper and mumble in public- yikes! In a class room( I’m in college) I mumble and it isn’t loud, but my neighbor can hear me. I told my Psych professor and he told me to flick myself with a rubber band every time. It’s working so far that I am learning how to internalize my conversations ( not stop them) what do you all think about that?

    • May I suggest getting a new teacher.

  23. I have talked to myself as long as I can remember. My parents caught me once while I prepared for a conversation I would be having later that day. I am ( even though most people wouldn’t think so) fairly shy and anxious about conversations. I become tongue tied, and am afraid to interject my opinions.
    So when I’m able, I prepare for conversations that I will have. It helps me to feel more confidant. I’m sure people that would witness me talking to myself surely would not understand. Right now I spend a lot if time alone, so I find myself ” self-talking” often.
    To confirm some of the above personality traits, I am a bit ADD, maybe a lot, very creative, daydreamer, emotional.
    It feels great to read that I am probably not crazy.

  24. What about if you complement movie scenes or something like that? “Booya that was awesome!” Kinda stuff.

    • That’s where the hypocrisy lies in much of the bashing concerning this issue. Screaming expletives when you stub your toe, or complimenting your own cooking, is essentially the same thing: vocalizing your thoughts…. With no one around.

  25. is it crazy to talk to your self???

  26. I must say I’m very relieved to know That I’m not completely insane. Good write-up

  27. i have been talking to myself when m likely to sleep i just ask myself alots of question hunting my mind,more often i take my cell phone out and then have conversation with me i took sleeping pills on follow up with the psychiatrist but still i can’t have sleep and i go here and there for night stay i get afraid of myself when i m alone …… i m so worried of myself i know what i am doing but still i can’t help myself to get out of this .. i really don’t wanna get myself ruined …. i googled alot to get remedies but still i m helpless i really don’t wanna take pills to get sleep what i can do i m ready to do anything to get out of this ?????

    • It might be the right time to get yourself help

  28. i tried to get help with many attempts but still i couldn’t find any remedies i can’t tell anyone nor i can’t go for follow up family personals what shall i do ??

  29. I have ADD. Once in a while I do talk to my self.
    Some time I feel lonely that I talk out loud. I talk to my conscious out loud in conversation as though I am talking to a real person. To day people have cells phones. I will hear some one talking as though to one self out loud. Then realize they are talking to some one on their cell phone When I am around people I do not talk out loud. They will think I am nuts. It is ok to talk out loud you will learn things about your self and other things

  30. thanks a lot for this article, always had a habit of talking to myself when i was alone or stressed out. I had been thinking if it was abnormal.

  31. Good article. Interesting subject. I’ve always talked to myself. I lead my life mostly alone though I do have friends and do well in social situations from bowling to parties to meetings. I can’t imagine a person who does not talk to him or herself. I talk to myself to calm myself down, soothe myself from being upset, think things thru, express anger at another. Usually it works like a charm and brings clarity or relief from the situation…I avoid doing it in public but here and there find myself doing it; sometimes it is even acceptable in public–golfing, sports, etc. Or finding an exciting product or service, oh cool!

  32. I actually was looking for this exact kind of article. I have just started to talk out loud to myself in the last year or so. I have a chronic, painful disease that has no cure, noise causes me even more pain so I spend a lot of time alone. After reading the articles and the fine comments, I do realize I need to be more positive. When my pain is unmanageable I talk to my pain as separate from myself. I imagine it as a evil angry red monster attacking my face with red hot pokers. I curse at it and sometimes it actually makes me angry. I think under the circumstances it is normal, I have heard of other people who describe their disease as a monster of some kind. If anyone has any insight into this, I would appreciate a reply. Thanks all.

  33. I have been talking to myself ever sense i can remember but instead of talking about my life events i make up stories and say them out loud when im alone good and bad stories. My family knows about it but they think its really weird. As i have gotten older i don’t do it as much anymore. I dont know whats wrong with me or if i should get help or if its even normal. I have mild ADHD but nothing i cant control. I get some kind of relief from it i dont really know why because i dont talk about myself i just make up the situations.

    • I tend to do that sometimes as well. Haven’t told anyone though.

  34. Hi, I’m Elise.
    I’m in high school and you can imagine how talking to myself has effected me. I’ve spent nights crying my eyes out hoping and praying I wasn’t going crazy- just wanting to be normal. But this article has helped a lot. Sometimes I felt as though I had multiple personality disorder & other times I thought I was Schizophrenic. But I won’t make this too long, so thank you for this article! I will continue talking to myself to deal with everyday troubles (:

  35. Wow! I have to say that reading this article has made me feel much better and may help me to stop thinking that i am going crazy. I have talked to myself for so long that i have no idea how long its been. I know it started as a child. I grew up feeling very very very alone and still do to this day even though im married with three children. But having a spouse who is understanding helps soooo much. I have two younger sisters and my parents were always around but not really there for me. I was always made to feel like the outcast, like everything I did was wrong and nothing i did was good enough. So naturally, somewhere in there, i started to talk to the only person who was always present, MYSELF. Unfortunately, i’ve always used the anger and rage approach and talk terribly to myself in order to “get myself moving”. I didnt realize that I could potentially be doing myself more harm. I am pretty much using the only method that was displayed towards me, the criticizing and putting myself down method. What can I say? I don’t know any other way. I will have to try the positive talk to see what and how it will change things for me. But thank you so insanely much for this article. I pray that it helps me to overcome at least some of these obstacles in my life. Thank you and I hope this article helps many more people.

  36. good job Linda Sapadin! this is some of the best advice i have read in a while. my favorite part of the article was when you described your friend who only talked down on herself. that sounds like me all the way. from now on i will treat myself like I’m my own best friend!

  37. Hi Dr. Linda, thank you for your insight. It was so helpful and immediately your soothing words lifted my spirit. I was concerned, because lately, I have been doing just that, talking to myself… and when I caught myself, while preparing a cup of coffee, I immediately took chase to conduct investigation on my psyche. I am glad to know that this is a normal response for many individuals.

    thank you…

  38. I talk to myself semi-regularly. I will often talk to the TV while watching it like “Come on girl…get it together”…. I have noticed that it increased significantly when I got my first apartment by myself and actually lived alone for the first time (at the ripe old age of 33). I have a friend who I am now rooming with that has noticed it and he is trying to convince our other friends that I am crazy or something simply based on this. Literally anytime I ever do it it is to:
    Get my thoughts together on a certain issue
    Encourage myself to make certain (necessary) changes in my life

    I tend to be very frank and will sometimes say what I am thinking without really thinking about how it sounds so I will sometimes verbalize things to see how it would land. While it is often important to tell the truth, it is equally as important to understand what tone to use when describing something, to acknowledge the feelings of those around you and examine how that would impact them. Vocalizing these thoughts alone will sometimes let me know that I should or should not make said comment.
    Last thing: When I lived by myself, it was also in a new city where I knew no one. Not only was I by myself but I didn’t have anyone around me that I really knew… hence I was EXTREMELY lonely. Now with a roommate, living back in an area where my friends are close and am in a (now 1 yr old) relationship, there are people around me like crazy but I have had a hard time shaking the talking to myself habit.

  39. I have talked out loud to myself for a few years now. Thanks for all the comments; they have helped me!
    I am 52 and finally getting some self-awareness (it’s not like I knew what that was, or I was missing it before.) I’ve always had a fairly sociable, manageable life, although I do have high anxiety and mild (undiagnosed/untreated) ADHD.
    I used to think my thoughts and feelings were who I am, but they’re not. I didn’t pay much attention to what I was thinking, it was like I was on autopilot. I was driven by emotions and desires. I do know that I occasionally spoke to myself (inside my head) with my mother’s (usually chastising) words.
    I used to be a very angry, lonely, and hurt person deep inside myself, but I “acted ok” on the outside (if not drinking alcohol.) Sometimes I was very happy inside because I was getting what I wanted, or I was scheming to get what I wanted. I used to have only mean self-talking inside my head, like, “Are you happy? %#@&, no! I wish I were dead!”
    Now I totally abstain from mood altering substances (e.g. alcohol, drugs, energy drinks) and started sitting quiet for 15 minutes every morning with my eyes closed before doing *anything* else (except peeing, making coffee, and reading a positive affirmation before my quiet time). Then, when my life slowed down and I started to spend more time alone (less serial dating) my thoughts became kinder.
    Now, I am able to observe (as me!) what I am thinking, feeling, and doing! I don’t usually describe it out loud, but now I am aware of a worthy, lovable person (me!) whereas before, there was no self reflection.
    I now talk out loud, having short (+/- 30 second) conversations between me and myself, 3-6 times a day. It’s spontaneous, and only when I’m alone. I love myself now (usually). “We” talk out loud, making jokes, laughing, and kidding each other, often in funny voices.
    I still talk mean out loud to people I am mad at when I am alone, too.
    Talking to myself is reassuring and playful. I would like a “significant other” but…all I have right now is me. I am enough. I love myself. We watch out for each other.
    Thank you, peace be with you.

  40. If I talk to myself in my head (like just thoughts, nothing outloud) with full conversations (nothing too deep or profound) as a different person is that normal? Like say, I argue and discuss things with my conscience or if I argue and discuss a few ideological things with a woman named Kass? They are not voices in my head and are entirely made by me, like if I’m portraying different people in my boredom, and I have had no traumas, abuse, or mental illnesses. PS, I do not have any personality disorders.

  41. Hi All,
    I have been doing this from my college days, when my stress levels increase and powers to not take decisions come in my way. Its been 10 years and now I have started doing it more often , since I moved from India to France and dont have much of a social circle because of the Language issue. I had a growing concern until I read this post.

    When I could not find a solution in a difficult scenario in my Computer coding. I start talking about the issue and the where the error is to my collegues and then I end up get the solution as a matter of fact within minutes!! It has happened to me so many times. I always wonder how my mind works!!
    I understand it now.

    I talk about aspiring exams and certifications and challenging milestones to complete in my life as if they have already happened to myself. I talk to myself that I have finished the exam and actually I have not. But when I look back I have always completed them with in a year of talking to myself about them.
    I think my bluffy self talk motivates me and stream lines my though. May b “If you wanted to treated like a Queen act like one”!!

    I feel as if I have unburdened a load off me after reading this article.
    Thanks a ton… Mercccccccccciiiiiiiiiiiii

  42. Sometimes I find myself getting into discussions with myself, as though there are 2 opposite sides, and then I’ll come to a conclusion. This is either talking or just thinking. I never feel like it’s schizophrenic however, it’s like I’m reminding myself of something each time I come up with a new argument. Like “yeah but you’re forgetting…” “ah yes, if you look at it in that way. Sometimes it manifests itself as a negative thought spiral, it usually depends on my mood. It’s a little strange that I’m referring to myself as “you” or “we” or “us”, but I think it’s just something that happens automatically since I’m mimicing a conversation you would have with another person. The mind is conditioned to talk that way perhaps.



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