We all have an inner voice with which we have conversations about our deepest feelings and desires. It is known as the inner dialogue. Due to the mechanisms in the brain, we tend to have inner conversations or engage in self-talking.
Do you talk with yourself? When we hear people talking aloud with themselves, we consider this to be weird. This, of course, refers to talking aloud. However, almost all people conduct an automatic inner dialogue, inner conversation in their mind, of which, other people are mostly unaware.
People talk silently with themselves, in their minds. This, we do not consider as odd or weird, but as natural.
It is the habit of the mind to keep thinking, keep conducting internal dialogues.
- Do you sometimes ask yourself, “Does he love me?”, and then start discussing this matter in your mind?
- Do you keep wondering and thinking, “Will I get the promotion?”
- Do you sometimes, keep torturing yourself with the questions, “Why did he say that? Why did she do that?”
- Just think of all the times you tried to convince yourself to do something or avoid doing it. You kept searching in your mind for reasons and excuses, why you need to do to something or avoid doing it.
- How many times you have commented, analyzed or expressed your opinion about various matters in your mind?
As you see, this is a natural and common activity.
There is a continuous conversation going on in everyone’s head.
A lot of energy, time and attention is wasted on discussing meaningless, unimportant matters. This conversation goes on from the moment of waking until falling asleep.
If someone hurts you in some way or says something you do not like, what do you do?
You enact a whole scene of anger in your mind. You envision yourself talking angrily, shouting, and saying not so nice things.
If you are seeking a new job, do you repeatedly tell yourself that you are not going to get this job or that you are not skilled enough? This is a discouraging process that leads to unnecessary worrying and mental exhaustion.
Do you spend hours in such negative, destructive inner dialogues? Do you really need this kind of internal dialogue?
Actually, it happens by itself. It is a habit of the mind, but this does not mean that we have to leave it as such and accept it.
The Internal Dialogue Definition
The explanations above have certainly made it clear what does internal dialogue means.
Here are a few short definitions:
- The process of asking yourself questions and answering them.
- The process of repeating words and thoughts in the mind.
- It is the little voice in your head that comments on your life, circumstances and situations, and on other people.
- Wikipedia defines it as, “An internal monologue, also called self-talk, inner speech, inner discourse or internal discourse, is a person’s inner voice which provides a running verbal monologue of thoughts while they are conscious.”
Sometimes, it is a dialogue with ourselves, and sometimes, it is just a monologue.
The Nonstop Inner Dialogue
The inner dialogue continues while working, studying, reading, watching TV, talking, walking and eating.
There is a constant activity of judging people, commenting on what is going on, planning, gossiping, and conducting mental conversations with people you know or don’t know.
These inner talks create a snowball effect. The more you conduct them, the more you become chained to them, unable to stop them. When the emotions are also evoked, more power, energy and attachment are added. This has an adverse effect on the behavior, judgment and general performance.