First Sign of Madness

talking to yourselfWhen I typed ‘talking to yourself’ into the search engine the first thing on the list was ‘schizophrenia symptoms’. Apparently talking to yourself is, according to the old saying, the first sign of madness. I disagree. I think if more people talked to themselves there might be less madness in the world.

Think about it, you can tell yourself anything and unless you’re a complete moron, what you say will remain confidential. You can admit your faults, likes and dislikes, fantasies, hopes, desires, plans…everything.

We have the opportunity to be completely honest with ourselves which is wonderful because the truth is, if we can’t be honest with ourselves, we can’t be honest with anyone else.

Most – if not all of us – are full of crap in one way or another. We’re experts at calling out other people’s faults while glossing over our own. I’m not religious but ‘Let he without sin cast the first stone’ seems like good advice to me. This isn’t to say that we can’t be outraged, angry and/or disappointed when others do things we dislike, but rather than launching in to a venomous rage and lauding our perceived superiority over others, we should instead examine what it is exactly that we are objecting to and why. This is where talking to ourselves comes into play.

Recently someone close to me did something which I consider mouthstupid, hypocritical and selfish. I was furious. I also didn’t have anyone to talk to about how I was feeling because I had, once again, been sworn to secrecy. So I had a few chats with myself. The first chat was me really just expressing my rage at the whole situation. I was pissed off and I shared that with myself. Later I had a chat with myself about why exactly I was pissed off. Sure there were things that I was angry about but why? Why did these things make me angry? Why was it proving so difficult to just let it go? Shit happens right? A few chats later and I got to the bottom of my feelings and, whilst I still disagree with the person’s actions, I can handle it, and myself in a more mature and honest way. I’ve accepted the situation as far as possible without compromising my own views and opinions, dealt with my own anger and the reasons behind it and managed to maintain a relationship – albeit an altered one – with the person in question.

Always at the root of my chats was honesty. If you lie to yourself the whole exercise is just one giant ego trip: you telling yourself what you want yourself to hear in a bid to convince yourself that you’re right and thus need not question yourself (your motives, issues etc) at all. Honesty is key and as I said earlier, unless you’re a complete moron or Google have finally found a way to access our private thoughts, these thoughts will remain confidential for you to do with them as you please.

D’you know when you finally decide to go on a diet and people say you should tell as many people as possible so that they can help you? Well, I’ve always hated that. It makes perfect sense of course, but brings with it the added pressure of having everyone in your business which, depending on your personality can make you feel judged and like a complete failure if you slip up. If you keep your plans to yourself, again depending on your thinkingpersonality, you may feel more empowered and more in control. It’s your thing: you can figure things out in your own way and in your own time without being under the gaze of everyone around you. The same can be said of having chats with yourself. Everyone doesn’t need to know all of your thoughts, feelings etc. There are some things that you just need to work out by yourself without the input of others.

It’s up to the individual what you chose to do with your truths. As a huge fan of personal development, I find it useful to use what I have learned to try and change myself for the better. This is an ongoing challenge and not everyone will notice the changes along the way but they don’t have to, I notice them and on the occasions when I know that I have handled myself or a situation in a more enlightened way as a result of things I have learned and been honest about in my chats with myself, I feel very proud.

Some people may choose to do nothing with their new found personal knowledge which is fine as long as they refrain from lecturing or scorning others about their issues and their behaviour while purposely refusing to acknowledge their own. Hypocrisy is one of the ugliest – not to mention dangerous – forms of human behaviour and make those who practice it look ridiculous at best and damn right evil at worst.

So, if it sounds appealing why not have a good old natter with homeryourself the next time you have some time to spare. If you’re not a talker then maybe keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings but either way, take some time out now and then to connect with yourself and in so doing connect with others. If talking to yourself is the first sign of madness then let us all be a little mad!

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