Do you talk to yourself?

Hands holding up colourful speech bubbles
Photo: © Rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

“No, because I’m not crazy!”

Of course I didn’t mean it in the being crazy way! But the social animals we are, we talk to people around us every day, every hour, and some of us every minute. Based on what work we do, we could be talking incessantly all day too even if we didn’t want to. While a large chunk of our conversations are transactional, i.e., they are a method of communicating our needs and wants to the world, and seeking ways to get them fulfilled; a lot of our talks shape our reality and influence our view of the world. And ourselves. 

Talking to yourself really means reflecting on your life, people within it and events that transpire inside of it. Self-talk is like a reappraisal that is so personal and unique to each one of us. Nobody can talk to us the way we can. And occasionally do. 

Think about it. Do you ever feel as if:

  • You’re different from others?
  • Nobody understands you? 
  • You aren’t accepted for who you are?
  • You can’t express what you feel? 
  • You’re punished for how you think?

You’ll be surprised to know how many teenagers think like you. And ponder over why nobody gets them. And why they just don’t fit. 

We’re each unique. 

And that’s what make us all the same!

It’s the sense of belongingness that connects us to the rest of the world. We feel comfortable when we belong. And when we’re certain that we’re cared for, loved, accepted and wanted. But who today can love unconditionally like that? Be it friends, classmates, teachers or even family, they all have opinions. We worry so much about what they think and whether they accept us enough, that in the bargain we lose focus of what we’re doing to gain that love and trust from them in the first place. 

And then our self-esteem? If we call it self-esteem how can we base it on how much regard outsiders gives us?

Self-talk is the answer. 

But it helps only when you ask yourself the right questions. And then of course give yourself appropriate answers. 

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Dr Shefali Batra
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Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Senior Psychiatrist and CBT Expert, and is the Founder of Mindframes. She posts and conducts regular ‘lives’ on Instagram @drshefalibatra.