Self-Talk


There are quite a number of similarities between learning to speak a foreign language and learning to hear and then change your inner language – your self-talk. Changing the way you talk to yourself will all seem very foreign at first, but it will eventually become automatic and you will, in time, become quite fluent.Suffice it to say, as you begin to take on this challenge, you will often encounter language barriers .

As you progress toward changing your inner language, you will often revert back to your old way of talking to yourself. If you stick with it, however, the task of developing a new inner language will be less burdensome. Your lingering challenge, however, will be living in a world where most people will want you to speak your old inner language. You will have to fight that urge and stay focused on your goal to improve your emotional intelligence through more effective self-talk.

For instance, you are in a convenience store and the cashier talks on her cell phone while she completes her transaction with you. She doesn’t acknowledge you. Your inner language may be, “She should care about me. She should not be rude to me. She should appreciate my patronage.” After having this inner discussion with yourself, you may find yourself expressing some form of anger. Why? Well, because you are telling yourself that people should behave according to your rules and regulations, and she obviously isn’t interested in following the generally accepted rules.  You will have to revert to your rational, logical language to creat a better emotional outcome for yourself.

By speaking to yourself in your old language, you may justify some sort of retort or action to compel the woman into compliance with your expectations of how YOU THINK she should behave. Improvement in your emotional intelligence, however, will be achieved when you begin to tell yourself, instead, that people have a perfect right to behave unprofessionally and unfriendly because they have a perfect right to make poor choices with their social behavior.  AND you can live happily in your life EVEN WHEN people interact with you in ways you don’t like.  (Maybe not as content as you COULD BE if everyone would just behave the way you demand. You will never like to be treated noxiously. You can, however, live your life happuily nonetheless.  What other choices do you have?)

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One response

  1. Pingback: Self-Talk | eitheory.com

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