Talk less, meditate more

I have recently been wondering whether chronically talking to my cat might be a sign of lack of self worth. Even if mine is in fact the Wizard of Oz appearing at odd moments during the day in guise of the Cheshire Cat.

“Buenas noches,” I smile at the Wizard. I can see he is not really in a talkative mood as he drifts around moodily. Maybe he has picked up on my doubts of having conversations with a disappearing cat and a wizard who isn’t really there.

Many people have the tendency to talk to themselves all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, talking to yourself is like a social rehearsal that keeps interactions between people polite. In that way it can be very helpful to go over a situation or a conversation that you plan to have sometime in the future. On the other hand, if we find ourselves talking to ourselves for everything and all the time, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to hear our own voice so often. Ultimately, talking to yourself or saying your thoughts out loud makes you responsible for something that has gone wrong in a given situation. It helps you put it out there in front of you and deal with it. Whether it’s negotiating a better compensation deal, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when you want to make sure you are going to say the right thing or come to the best win-win solution. But there are other times when silence is gold.

“My client yesterday was a doctor who spoke like a little girl,” I go on telling the Wizard about my recent tarot readings. “And my client last week was a woman working at the KUL university. These are the kind of clients I want to attract. So far it’s one or two clients per week. Again a gap filler. But you think it can be comfortable? We’ll see. In any case I like doing this.”

Sometimes talking to yourself is like pretending that the other person in the equation is right there in front of you. Of course, it’s true that talking to somebody who isn’t there can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension, especially if you are missing that person very much. However, if you find that you talk to this person all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.

“Also wondering how on earth you can get a foot in Blockchain,” I muse over my recent research into cryptocurrencies. “It all seems so geeky nerdy and only accessible to a few high tech elite.”

The first step is observing yourself each time you turn to talk to yourself or your imaginary friend, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you start talking into thin air. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune into what it is you are feeling right before you start talking. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to blurt your unfiltered thoughts out into the world.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

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