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Why do people talk to themselves?

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Quick Answer

People talk to themselves for the purposes of expressing thought, problem-solving and perception, according to LiveScience. People may mutter to themselves when searching for something. Psych Central mentions that people also talk openly when feeling lonely.

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Psych Central mentions that talking aloud is not irrational, and it is normal. Self-talk clears up the mind, and doing so makes a person smarter. There are four kinds of self-talk: motivational, complimentary, goal-setting and outer dialogue. Complimentary speak gives oneself self-satisfaction when resisting such temptations as sugary desserts. Motivational talk helps a person get through menial tasks. Outer-dialogue verbalizes what the mind is thinking and occurs when someone is having a hard time making a decision. Talking about goals helps organizational skills and dispels distracting emotions. All verbal speech must be positive in tone. Verbalizing negative thoughts can have a worse effect than not speaking at all.

LiveScience notes that people may talk to themselves every few days, and some talk every hour. Studies show that adults who speak out loud find lost objects faster than people who remain silent. By verbalizing an object, the brain is stimulated visually, which helps a person find the lost item. Children may talk when conducting step-by-step tasks, such as tying shoelaces, to stay focused on what they are doing.

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