Talking To Myself… Respectfully!

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Podcasts, Talking To Myself...
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“Like food is to the body, self-talk is to the mind. Don’t let any junk thoughts repeat in your head.” ― Maddy Malhotra

Though i live in a noisy world, i sometimes struggle with too much silence. it may be that i’m home alone, at the Onething Campus alone or around people who are involved and focused on their own thing.

So what do i do…? Why fill the silence of course? Television is usually just a click away, but if not i can get sound from my computer, ipad or mobile phone. But what happens if i’m really wanting a live person to talk to? Someone to bounce new ideas or thoughts off of? Someone to appreciate me?

It could be that when i’m feeling lonely, i’m neglecting to give or get enough attention from a special person. One who is always there with me. Who’s that? Why, me, of course. So, i talk to myself. Now, before someone gets rambunctious and says, “” can talk to God or i can pray, let me say that for me, i put those two things in a higher category than these general discussions i have with myself.

So talk to myself? Doesn’t that mean i’m becoming goofy or unbalanced? Losing it? Ready for the funny farm?

Not at all says PH.D Linda Sapadin

She says that talking with myself not only relieves the loneliness, it may also make me smarter. It can help me clarify my thoughts, focus on what’s important and firm up any decisions i’m contemplating. There’s just one catch: i become smarter only if i speak wisely and respectfully to myself.

There are people,  sane, nice, good people, who are not so nice or good to themselves. Their self-talk is a testament to everything they have done wrong. “You idiot!” is their hallmark headline, followed with a complete dressing down. “You should have done it this way; you should have been aware of that; you should have thought of it sooner.” That kind of self-talk is worse than no talk at all. So if my style or yours is like that, cut it out, STOP IT! Right now.

i can begin talking to myself like i’m my own best friend. Which i am! Here are s a few more tips about how i should talk to myself and become wiser in the process.

  1. Compliment myself. i don’t need to wait to get compliments from others? If i deserve them, i can give them to myself. Besides, most people aren’t going to have the foggiest notion about the little actions i take that serve me well. Like the time i was tempted but decided to bypass the ice cream shop because i honored my commitment to myself to lose five pounds. That deserves a compliment such as, “I’m proud of me”? Or what about the time i finally accomplished a bunch of things that i’ve been meaning to do — again doesn’t that deserve a “good job!”?
  2. Motivate myself. i may not feel like doing boring or difficult tasks. Do life with others and they’ll give you a swift kick in the pants as a reminder to clean up my mess or tend to this or that task. But, i can motivate myself to get going with a gentler but firm voice. “Hey, nice-guy (that’s you/me i’m talking to). You’ve got time this morning use it, do this or that; right now, how about it?” Or, “Hey, big guy, it’s time to take care of that drip in the sink before it becomes more serious.
  3. Personal dialogue. How about if i’m having trouble with making a decision? Should i stay or should i go? Should i buy or not buy? Speak up or stay silent? Buy this gift or that gift? Choices aren’t easy. Often, because they’re so difficult, i often don’t really make a choice; i respond impulsively from habit or a desire to get it over with. It’s much more effective, however, to create a dialogue with myself so that i can hear what i actually think. “i want to stay because of —- but i want to go because of —-. i should buy because —— or i should wait because ——- Regardless, i need to figure out which decision to make. It’s time to have an intentional and focused dialogue with myself and see not which way the wind is blowing but what’s the wise thing for me to do.” Having such a dialogue can help me balance my wants, with what are my actual needs.
  4. Goal-setting. Let’s say i’m trying to be better organized. Setting a goal and making a plan (what to do, when to do it, how to do it) can be a big help. Yes, i can just make a list, but saying it out loud can help focus my attention, reinforce the message, and assist with controlling my often runaway emotions. Top athletes do this all the time by telling themselves to “keep your head down. Keep your eye on the ball. Breathe.” It works well for them, why not for me?

In closing… “The most influential and frequent voice you hear is your inner-voice. It can work in your favor or against you, depending on what you listen to and act upon.” ― Maddy Malhotra

So let me share my hope from James 3:2 says, “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.”

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