Have you ever gotten weird looks after someone asked you, "Who are you talking to?" And you responded, "Myself." Well, fret no more, because you're not actually going crazy. Good news for your social stature, because according to a recent study, talking to yourself may indicate a higher level of intelligence.
According to scientists at Bangor University, speaking out loud to yourself was found to be a trait of higher cognitive function. During the UK-based school's study, 28 participants were given instructions that they were told to either read out loud or quietly to themselves. The researchers then measured how the participants performed the tasks.
It was found that the participants who read the instructions out loud were more concentrated and performed the task more efficiently. So, no, it's not a sign of mental illness if you're seen mumbling under your breath.
What did the researchers of the study conclude?
Psychologist and co-author of the study, Dr. Paloma Mari-Beffa, found that the benefits of talking to yourself may come from "simply hearing oneself, as auditory commands seem to be better controllers of behavior than written ones." She added: "Even if we talk to ourselves to gain control during challenging tasks, performance substantially improves when we do it out loud."
Dr. Mari-Beffa sited sports players as people who regularly talk to themselves for performance improvement. For example, she wrote how tennis players are typically found saying to themselves, "Come on," out loud to help with their focus. She explained: "Our ability to generate explicit self-instructions is actually one of the best tools we have for cognitive control, and it simply works better when said aloud."
Psychology Living also recently tweeted about the topic, writing, "Generally, talking to yourself is a sign of higher intelligence. In fact, those who talk to themselves tend to achieve more in life." Unsurprisingly, Twitter users were happy to find out that speaking to yourself is normal.
This person was excited to learn that after 40 years, he was in fact, not crazy...
Not only does speaking out loud to yourself reportedly help with cognitive function, it also helps with self-esteem.
She basically tweets what all of us are thinking.
Good news, you're not.
So, when you go out into the world and find yourself having a conversation with ... well, yourself — just keep thinking that you're actually the smart one. You'll end up valedictorian or the first up for that promotion, and you'll certainly get the last laugh.
Everyone around you just doesn't understand you because their intellect is not on your level.