People Who Talk To Themselves Aren’t Crazy, They’re Actually Geniuses

First proof: reports that Albert Einstein “used to repeat his sentences to himself softly.” Check out the five points below for even greater (and most extensive) truths which prove that people who talk to themselves are actually geniuses.

#1: Talking to yourself makes your brain more efficient and effective.

Research printed in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology reveals that psychologists Daniel Swigley and Gary Lupyan have found that talking to yourself really is beneficial. One experiment involved providing twenty different people with the name of an object (a banana, or a bottle of beer, for instance) and then instructing them to locate that object in a grocery store. During the first run, these people were not permitted to speak while conducting their searches, but the second time they conducted a similar search they were told to repeat the name of the object out loud while they were looking for it. As per Live Science, these people were able to locate their objects much easier when they articulated the name while searching. So talking to yourself both enhance your ability to remember things and your ability to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.

#2: Talking to yourself is especially helpful when you know your needs and goals.

It’s not especially helpful to speak to yourself aloud if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or trying to achieve. In fact, talking to yourself when you’re uncertain often leads to greater confusion; if you want to find something, speaking the object’s name out loud is helpful only when you’re familiar with its appearance. You have to know what it is you’re looking for; otherwise, you’ll just confuse yourself. Gary Lupyan (a cognitive psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) argues that “Speaking to yourself isn’t always helpful—if you don’t really know what an object looks like, saying its name can have no effect or actually slow you down. If on the other hand, you know that bananas are yellow and have a particular shape, by saying banana, you’re activating these visual properties in the brain to help you find them.” So, talking to yourself can be extremely valuable, but sometimes you do need to do a little research or possess enough knowledge to fully utilize the practice.

#3: Children learn by talking to themselves.

It’s no secret that babies learn to speak by listening to adults and attempting to replicate their speech. However, this type of learning doesn’t have to stop once we grow up. Practice is a key aspect of this phenomenon: we need to form our own voice and hear our own voice before we can properly utilize it. As per Live Science, “self-directed speech can help guide children’s behavior, with kids often taking themselves step-by-step through tasks such as tying their shoelaces, as if reminding themselves to focus on the job at hand.” Children learn by talking as they act, or, more specifically, by remembering how they are solving problems at the same time they are trying to solve them. Adults can learn the same types of things (new tasks or procedures at work, for instance) by talking to themselves as they do them.

#4: Talking to yourself aids in organizing thoughts.

Psychologist Linda Sapadin argues that articulating a thought aloud actually helps to validate its importance and make focusing on a solution easier: “It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you’re contemplating.” Again, it’s no secret that a great way to solve a problem is to talk about it—it just might be a little surprising to learn that talking about it with yourself out loud is so beneficial and productive.

#5: Talking to yourself aids in achieving your aspirations.

We’ve all probably heard that making a list of goals can help you achieve said goals, but many of us still neglect to do this (at least over the long-term). With this being said (and known), talking to yourself about your goals can be a much better way to go. What’s more, talking to yourself through every step of the process which will be needed to realize your goal will enable you to achieve things more efficiently in addition to more effectively. Ph.D. Linda Sapadin argues that “Saying [your goals] out loud focuses your attention, reinforces the message, controls your runaway emotions and screens out distractions.”

Talking to yourself makes you more self-reliant—kind of like Albert Einstein, who “was highly gifted and acquired early in his life the ability to exploit his talents.