Not really. And of course no offense to cat lovers, I’m a member of your club. Seriously though, I have written posts before about self-talk but I recently came across a different thought in the Psychology Today article The Voice Of Reason. This article sites research that shows that it is not just about using self-talk but about how we talk to ourselves that matters.
It turns out, that in terms of self-talk, we should throw those “I” statements out the window and switch to the third person. Instead of saying, “I am calm” or “I can do this” or “I will get through this.” We should try, “Paulette, what are you worried about” or “Paulette, you can do this.”
Why? By using our name rather than pronouns, we distance ourselves from our challenges or stress. In fact, we are actually distancing ourselves from ourselves. The third person is as if we are talking to a friend. And we are most often much more reasonable and encouraging when talking with others about their difficulties.
Research has shown that those who use their name in self-talk demonstrated greater confidence, less anxiety and rumination, and often actually performed better in stressful situations. It seems that such self-talk is empowering. So give it a whirl and see what a small shift in your language may achieve. And do not worry if your cats start looking at you strangely…mine already does.
“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.” Franklin P. Jones