Talking to yourself might seem like a strange, albeit regular habit.
If you catch yourself talking to yourself during daily chores, or even during random times during the day, it’s important to know that this is, indeed, a very normal habit.
In fact, talking to oneself might even be seen as healthy and a good way to cope with difficult situations and emotions.
Why is it then, that we associate evil villains that monologue to themselves or people talking to themselves as a negative thing?
And of those people that we deem evil, such as narcissists, are they the only ones that talk to themselves?
The truth is that talking to oneself is quite normal. It is normal for even people that are deemed difficult to deal with – such as narcissists – to talk to themselves as well.
It’s also important to know that talking to yourself isn’t a sign of going crazy unless there are other symptoms that are also present along with talking to yourself.
Why Do We Talk to Ourselves?
Why might think that scientists have found the answer to this question; however, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Although people talk to themselves often – a phenomenon known as “self-talk” – there still isn’t a concrete answer as to why this happens.
However, studies have shown that it might originate from our communication as children.
When our caregivers communicated with us as children, we internalized their communication and converted it into our own self-talk.
According to studies, this self-talk has been able to help us regulate emotions as well as address behavioral issues.
And yet, there are still many unanswered questions as to how self-talk came to be and whether it serves any real function in communication.
For instance, since we are not communicating with anyone else while talking to ourselves, why then do we continue to do it?
Benefits of Self-Talk
There are actually many proven benefits to talking to oneself that anyone can enjoy (including people who are narcissistic and people who are not).
These include being able to have better emotional regulation, planning, and even remembering.
Self-Talk to Improve Memory
There are actually studies that showed self-talk helped people improve their memory, especially visual performance.
This type of memory can help people remember things that were said to them, events, or anything else that requires the use of the visual cortex in the brain.
This means that talking to yourself to remember directions, such as saying street names out loud when you find yourself lost driving through the city, can actually help you find your way back home.
It’s no wonder many of us find ourselves talking out loud when in an unfamiliar situation.
Self-Talk to Regulate Emotions and Problem Solve
Self-talk is also an excellent way to regulate emotions and even problem solve.
Let’s say you’re coming face to face with a dilemma, such as whether or not to tell your best friend you found her boyfriend cheating on her.
This might seem like a difficult decision to make.
However, with the power of self-talk, you can help reduce stress about a situation, improve your focus, and also help boost your self-esteem.
If you ever caught yourself talking out loud saying things such as, “Well what would my mom do?”
“I don’t know, I’m not her but this is what I would do.” or “Pull yourself together, you got this, you’ve done this before.” These are all examples of talking to oneself in order to reduce stress.
Self-Talk to Soothe Oneself
In addition, there is a common grounding technique that can actually help people with anxiety reduce their symptoms and begin to feel free of disassociation.
This type of disassociation might be difficult to break free from without any sort of techniques by your side.
However, naming objects around you, such as “yellow chair,” or “blue vase,” can help calm the nerves and even bring you back down to reality in case you’re feeling overwhelming anxiety.
What Is a Narcissist?
Now that you know all the benefits of talking to yourself, it’s time to find out how a narcissist might talk to themselves for their own personal gain.
Narcissists are people that have a personality disorder known as narcissistic personality disorder or NPD.
People with NPD have a tendency to feel superior to others and will go so far as to seek to hurt others in order to boost their own egos.
As difficult as it is to come to terms with this, it’s important to know the signs of a narcissist. People that are narcissistic can show signs such as:
- Talking over others
- Bragging about themselves
- Hurting others to get what they need
- Manipulative behavior, which can include behaviors such as gaslighting and pathological lying
- Anger when others try to lash out at them and inform them that they are indeed fallible
Why Would a Narcissist Talk to Themselves?
Just like regular people, people who are narcissistic talk to themselves in order to plan out situations, find ways to solve problems, or even soothe themselves.
However, the media has made famous the monologue of the villain, who constantly talks to themselves and shares their diabolical plans before completing them or hurting other people.
However, although narcissists do have many negative traits associated with them, talking to themselves isn’t necessarily one of them.
Does Talking to Myself Mean I’m a Narcissist?
Absolutely not. Talking to yourself does not mean you are a narcissist.
It simply means you found a good coping mechanism, to help ease your anxiety, problem-solve, and get a better view of whatever situation you are currently facing!
In addition, some very famous geniuses such as Albert Einstein, poets, and writers all talk to themselves as a regular part of their work.
Unless you have a hyper-inflated ego, need validation and put others down to get it, or believe you are superior to the rest of humanity, chances are you are not currently a narcissist.
Does Talking to Myself Mean I’m Going Crazy?
Talking to yourself also doesn’t mean you’re going crazy.
Many people in psychosis might talk to themselves to respond to internal stimuli.
If you or someone you know is hearing voices and actively responding to them, this might be a sign of schizophrenia.
However, keep in mind this is a fairly rare condition and one that doesn’t affect everyone.
If you or someone you know believe that they need mental health help for schizophrenia, there will be other signs to look out for, such as:
- Hallucinations that are visual, such as seeing things
- Audible hallucinations, such as hearing your name called or hearing voices that don’t belong to anyone
- Paranoid thoughts
- Changes in personality
Talking to yourself does not mean you are going crazy, or that you are in need of mental health treatment.
In fact, talking to yourself is a sign of good health, and a sign that you are well on your way toward being able to solve problems and different situations, as well as coordinate with your inner thoughts to do so.
Narcissistic people can also use the power of self-talk, whether for good or bad. However, this is not the defining trait of a narcissistic person.