Sunday, December 7, 2008

Talking to yourself

A skill, an art, a game, a sign of craziness.

I'm not sure why, but I've been thinking about the idea of talking to oneself (or is it one's self...). Possibly because when I was trying to think of what to write, I debated with myself.

Me: I know, I could write about talking to myself!
Me: I don't know, do you really want people to know you talk to me?
Me: Hmmm might seem a little weird, but...not that much weirder than other things I've written. I could just write about it in a subtle manner so people don't know I'm talking from experience.
Me: I don't know...in my experiences you're not very subtle.
Me: Hey, what are you talking about??!! You take that back.

"So I've got this great idea, what do you guys think?" (By the way, if you're worried someone will think you're crazy if they catch you talking to yourself...that's nothing like the fear that a roommate will think you're crazy if he sees you taking multiple pictures of yourself on the couch...)

Obviously I won the argument and decided to write about talking to myself. Also obvious is the fact that I was right and I'm not very subtle. But seriously, talking to yourself is great for many things, not just debating an idea. Sometimes, if you're struggling with something, who better to give you a pep talk than yourself? You know exactly what the problem is, and you always know just what to say. Here's another example...of what a friend might do, not me though...

My "friend": I don't know, I just don't think I can do it...
"Friend": Are you serious? Why not, come on, you're great, you just got to pull yourself together.
"Friend": You think so? ...No, no, you're wrong, I can't do this.
"Friend": Hey, yes you can. Look at me. In the eyes, not at my shoes. Ok, now, I want you to stop all this crazy bad talk about yourself and say "This is me, this is what I was born for. I can do this!" You know you can, you've got to stop tearing yourself down. Now, keep your head up high and go out there, and just do it!

Remember, common courtesy to roommates says that you should wash hand prints off mirror after any high fives given during motivational self talks. (Also remember, this is a picture of a friend of mine. We look similar, but I stress the fact that we are friends, not the same person)

I'm not sure why, but I also like to justify myself out loud. Especially when I'm about to do something dumb and I know it, but I want to do it anyways. I'm not sure why I do this...maybe just in case people in the next life can get together and watch tapes of people's lives, I want them to know I recognized that it was a bad idea. Usually just one quick statement out loud to myself covers this, like this one:

Me: Well...this is a really dumb idea. I probably won't live through this...but hey, you can't let fear govern your life, right? Sometimes you've got to do dumb things to learn. I mean, I just want to live a little.

Then I jump on the sled with my friends, heading towards an intersection, where either a car will come and hit us, or we will hit the giant wall of ice on the other side. Had we died, I was covered, I had proclaimed to myself that I knew this was a dumb idea, but I wasn't going to let knowledge ruin my life!

"So, I've got to maneuver between the cars, hope no more cars come, dodge the parked cars on the other side, and watch out for the guy shoveling the walk. This may not be a good idea..."

So, I know what you're asking yourself right now. Probably something like this:

You: Man, he's right, talking to yourself is useful and fun. Why do people think it's crazy?
You: I have no idea. Maybe people who don't talk to themselves are crazy.
You: Yeah, I bet you're right.

I think the problem comes if either half of you in the conversation forgets you're talking to yourself. I mean, think of how confusing and crazy it could sound.

You: So yeah, then I asked her/him if she/he wanted to go watch a movie together, and he/she totally shot me down. It sucked.
You: Ha, man, what a loser you are.
You: Hey, you're supposed to build me up.
You: Why would I do that, you suck, you should try being more like me.
You: ...I am you, what are you talking about.
You: What? What on earth are you talking about? You are me? What, are you living two lives or something? That's crazy talk.
You: No, really, we're the same person, we're talking to ourselves right now.
You: Oh man, you really are crazy.

Then you would run around yelling hey, this guy/girl is crazy, watch out. He/She thinks he/she is me. People would look at you, and probably think you were crazy. At least that's my theory of why people think you're crazy if you talk to yourself. A few crazy people ruin it for the rest of us.

5 comments:

Elizabeth Downie said...

Mike, you are one of the most unpredictable guys I know. This post had me laughing out loud. I love the picture of you, you, and you on the couch!

Katherine said...

Way to work Paint! I for one NEVER talk to myself. Well, I do, but I only ever talk to myself when other people are around so it LOOKS like I'm talking to THEM... Makes for some tricky conversations and often ends in confusion. (On their part. I know exactly what's going on!)

Dan Ritter said...

So, I was going to complain about how your blog posts tell me nothing about what you are doing in Michigan, but then I realized that it tells me about the mental toll nuclear engineering must be having on you. Also, you left out one of the biggest advantages of being a person who talks to yourself...when you insult someone under your breath, you can just say "I was talking to myself" and they believe you.

Kelly said...

wow mike....i think i'm gonna have to get help for you when you come down to texas!!!

Trent & Emma said...

Thanks for letting us all into your mind, it was quite a trip. After thinking about your post, and note that I say thinking, not arguing with myself incessantly about things you said, anyway, I realized your blog reminds me of a mix between the work of Strong Bad from homestarrunner.com and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The Russian guy who wrote Crime and Punishment, but it's his writing in Notes from the Underground that reminded me of your post. Making this comment longer than it should be, here is a quote from the book:

"What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage."

So anyway, I thought it was interesting and thought I'd share. Don't ask why I was reading Dostoyevsky's work for fun. By the way, I don't mind if you remove my comment like last time, I just hope you give the good guy in your head a chance to get his word in first. By the way, not even Emmaly made much sense of my comment here so you're with the majority if you don't either--Thanks for the entertaining blog made for readin'.