People who talk to themselves are the recipient of ominous stares and occasional smirks. But we all talk to ourselves, whether it’s aloud or silent inner talk. While it does make one look insane, a psychologist at Bangor University published a report indicating that talking to one's self is no way a precursor to losing one’s sanity – it’s actually a sign of intelligence. External monologs, according to Paloma Mari-Beffa, enhance one’s focus and in turn, will help a person easily achieve his goals.


Talking out loud promotes total control

Inner talks are common for most people. At one point, you might have asked yourself where your keys are, not just in your head, but you’ve unknowingly spoken the words out loud. Verbalizing your inner monolog happens “when a motor command is triggered involuntarily.” It helps one establish control over self and is a way for most people to plan, organize and carry out certain tasks.

While Mari-Beffa’s article on The Conversation was published just a week ago, she had actually published a study via Acta Psychologica in 2011 along with fellow researchers Alexander James Kirkham and Julian Michael Breeze.

The researchers had 28 individuals take part in research testing. All of them were given written instructions and asked to read them out loud or do it silently. All three researchers concluded that those who chose to talk out loud had more control over a task compared to those who simply remained quiet. Apparently, a person’s tendency is to perform better with auditory commands and they believe that hearing oneself is the cause of this benefit.

Talking to yourself means self-reliance

Similarly, psychologist Linda Sapadin echoes the conclusion of Mari-Beffa and her colleagues in a 2012 study over at Psych Central.

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According to Sapadin, talking out loud to yourself helps validate difficult and important decisions and is a sign of self-reliance. People who talk to themselves are highly proficient and count on only themselves to figure out what they need.

Albert Einstein, the stereotype of the mad scientist did the same thing. He talked to himself, and according to Mari-Beffa “used all the means at his disposal to increase Brain Power.”

The experiments demonstrate that relevant verbal instructions boost sustained concentration on task goals when maintaining multiple tasks.

While some people may find it weird, it’s actually what most people prefer to do by default. These instances almost go unnoticed when alone, but do it in public and you get accusing stares. Yes, talking to yourself out loud may seem like madness, but science says it’s the mark of a genius.