Interior monologue, externalized.
December 22, 2003 7:04 AM Subscribe
How many of you frequently talk to yourself? Why do you do it? Do you do it more when you're completely alone or do you do it when people are around? Are you halfway talking to yourself and halfway talking to the other people? [more inside.]
posted by grumblebee to human relations (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, after offending people with my classist comment about spitting, I'm going to jump headfirst into the fire and offend even more people with
(what some may perceive as) a racist comment: where I live (NYC), it's almost exclusively African Americans who consistently talk to themselves in public (I'm excluding crazy people from this discussion). This must be a normal part of black culture (at least in this part of the country). I don't understand it.
I have a couple of questions about it:
(1) Do you think this is natural human behavior? Have I just been trained out of it by my upbringing? (I know, it's the same question I asked about spitting...) The few times I have talked to myself in public (usually at times of high emotion), I'm gotten embarrassed and glanced around to see if anyone heard.
(2) Is talking to yourself 100% talking to YOURSELF? Sometimes I'm in an elevator with a self-talker, and I hear him say something like, "Man! What a DAY!" or "Damn this elevator is SLOW!" Although the talker is not looking at me, I always get the feeling that the talk is partly for my benefit. And I wonder a couple of things: (a) am I being rude by not responding (I never do). Should I "talk to myself" too ("yeah, this IS a slow elevator!?!") Should I talk directly to the self-talker? Should I ignore it? If two of these self-talkers are in the elevator together, what do they do? (b) do self-talkers engage in self-talk when they are completely alone? I guess this is the heart of the question. I'm wondering whether it's really just for them, or if it's a social thing masquerading as a personal thing.
Again, I hope I don't offend anyone. I think a great thing about forums like this is that we can ask these questions. I could never go up to someone on the street and say, "excuse me, but why do you talk to yourself?"