Growing up, I can remember anyone that was talking to themselves became a social outcast and suffered from sort of ‘mental condition’. Kids were taught to cross the road and walk on the sidewalk on the other side anytime they approached someone having a solo conversation. If it were a person of a different culture and they were talking to themselves you might as well pull up a lawn chair and crack open a Genny Cream Ale because it wouldn’t be long before they’d be making a spectacle and hauling this poor guy away in a straight jacket. Parents would then spend the rest of that week declaring ‘the streets aren’t safe for our kids!” That’s small town mentality for you and I never have regrets leaving.
On my new (yet enjoyable) commute from home to downtown to the office, I saw a guy standing on a corner. He looked to be having an argument….with himself. He was throwing punches into the air (not hurting or attempting to hurt anyone else), ducking as if to avoid someone punching him, and yelling at something…or nothing. As I got closer, I had to roll down the window (who are we kidding, I pushed the button and the window went down automatically) to try to hear the audio. THEN, and only then, did I see them. What were they? Well, they were tiny little wires hanging from this guy’s ears that led into one of his pockets. He wasn’t fighting with himself, he was singing along with his ipod. AND, he was really into it. Remember when hands-free devices first came out? People would be standing there having a conversation and it wasn’t until you saw the wire or the ear piece that you knew. Today, it’s the bluetooth. These are just ridiculous in my opinion.
I give this guy all the credit in the world for not caring what others were thinking at the time and truly enjoying himself on a busy, public street corner. He obviously was not a trained singer but today, that corner was like everyone else’s shower…it didn’t matter what he sounded like.
As I drove off, I got to thinking about when I talk to myself (or talk out loud when nobody else is around) and a few instances came to mind:
- When I’m trying to remember something before I have a chance to write it down. You know, when you are given a phone number but can’t get a hold of the pen and paper. I will verbally repeat the number until I have it secured on paper or in my BB.
- When I’m going through my daily to-do list. For some reason saying the items out loud helps me.
- Like my ‘friend’ this morning, when I am singing (for your sake, I hope you can’t hear me) a good song…usually in the car or just around the house.
- When I’m upset. I’ve found that actually counting to 10 or 100 or 1000 out loud relieves anger and tension.
- When I’m putting something together (think IKEA furniture). I often have to read “Put board A into slot B while tightening screw C” several times before I’m sure of what to do.
Wow, uhh there’s more than I thought anticipated. When do you talk to yourself? Does it help or are people rushing to the corner store for a 6 pack of that nasty nasty beer waiting for the spectacle?