Many people have a habit of talking to themselves but there is one particular way of talking to yourself to feel calmer and more confident, that is talking in the third person!
Watching someone talk to themselves in the third person could be embarrassing for some of you and imagining yourself doing the same could be even more awkward. But it can have some great implications for your state of mind.
According to a recent study by researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan that was published in ‘Nature journal Scientific Reports’, talking to yourself is a great way of calming your anxiety and is good for overall mental health too.
The researchers analyzed how the emotions of the volunteers were affected by the manner in which they conversed with themselves during negative encounters. During the experiment, volunteers looked at negative and neutral images while their brain activity was being recorded on an electroencephalograph (ECG) by the researchers.
While looking at the pictures, half of the volunteers talked to themselves in the third person while the other half in the first person. It turned out that the people who spoke to themselves in the third person had their brain’s emotional activity dropped much quicker than those who spoke in the first person. The brain area that is generally on high alert while running over negative memories showed lesser activity and used lesser power in case of third-person volunteers than their first-person counterparts.
Moreover, feeling calmer is not the only advantage of talking to yourself by taking your own name, it can do wonders for your confidence level as well. Ethan Kross, a co-author on the 2017 study wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review in which he described that participants who talked to themselves in the third person felt more confident and performed better.
The reason behind this is explained by co-author Jason Moser in a press release, which says,
Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain. That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions.