Talking to yourself

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I read an article in Psycologies Magazine about people talking to themselves. I think it was meant to be reassuring to the middle aged lady readership that it’s ok to talk to yourself, it doesn’t mean your mad.

I don’t talk to myself, apart from when I count. However, I would like to be able to sing in public when I’m by myself. There is too much social stigma attached to doing that, so I whistle instead. Whistling is a bit more socially acceptable but people still look at me – they don’t expect a girl my age to be whistling. Whistling is associated with older men and people who are scared.

I have noticed elderly people in public talking to themselves, more since I read the article a few days ago. People look at them funny, or just accept that they’re old people and that’s what old people do, they’re probably a bit mad, so don’t look.

But it’s not mad – it’s a natural thing to do to vocalise thoughts. Why is it not allowed in our society? What’s so wrong with it? Why have we been taught not to do it? Is it more acceptable in other societies?

If I want to, why shouldn’t I be allowed to sing to myself without people thinking badly of me? That reason – what other people think of me – stops me from doing what I feel is natural. I really care what strangers think of me – at least in the respect that I don’t want them to think I’m mad.

Perhaps old people have stopped caring what other people think of them, or perhaps the need to vocalise their thoughts is stronger than that care.

What’s it like elsewhere in the world?

Is it possible to move our culture towards accepting people talking to themselves and accepting it as sane? What would be the repercussions?

Who cares about this issue apart from me?


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