Self Talk: How Do You Talk to Yourself? By Oliver J R Cooper

ID-100212478While we talk to other people in the external world, we are also talking to ourselves in what could be described as the internal world. And this is a dialogue that takes place from the moment one wakes up and until they go to sleep at night.But in many ways it doesn’t stop there, as one can carry this on when they are asleep. Here, one can have dreams and these can play out the same scenarios and make one feel as they did during the day. So this process can’t be stopped, but fortunately it can be changed.

And although self talk and positive thinking can appear to be the same thing, they are two different things. Positive thinking is something one generally does consciously, where as self talk is something that goes on automatically and without one having to think about it.

This could be something one notices during most moments in their life, or something they only become aware of during certain situations. In is during these situations that one knows exactly what self talk is and if it’s nurturing and kind it won’t be a problem. But if this talk is critical or abusive, it will cause all kinds of problems.Invisible

One of the reasons why it is hard to even notice this voice is because it could have been in full force for so long. And so it is not seen as an intruder and as something that doesn’t belong there, it is taken as normal.

It is the only thing one knows and therefore one has nothing to compare it with, in order to see how unhealthy this voice is. Without something to compare it with, one has no way of realising that it is not normal or healthy, it is abnormal and unhealthy.

Different Experiences

Now, for someone people, their self talk could be fine and only bring them down on the odd occasion. And there will be others who are fine in some contexts and then ‘beat themselves up’ in others. One could also be in a position where their self talk is disempowering no matter where they are or what they are doing.

So there are many different types of self talk and these can be ones that uplift someone and make them feel relaxed, calm and at peace with themselves on one side of the spectrum. And on the other side, they could lead to one feeling worthless, useless and failure for instance.

Triggers

While the voices in one’s head can create one set of problems, what adds to this are the feelings that appear as a result. One can then talk themselves into feeling a certain way. And when this process goes on out of one’s awareness, they could just end up feeling down and subdued without having any idea why.

It could something that happens so fast that one thinks it is due to an external reason. And while there could well be an external influence, it is often through how one talks to themselves as a result of what happened that made them feel as they do.

Consequences

The impact of self talk is far and wide and something that could stop someone from doing many things. One could talk themselves out of going after their dream job or career. And when it comes to talking to some they are attracted to, they could end up talking themselves out of it and not once, but on every occasion.

One could have the desire to buy something or to treat themselves and end up going without what they both need and deserve. To get things wrong form time to time and to make mistakes is part of being human, but this can cause someone to see themselves as a failure.

Outer Reflection

It has been said that we won’t let others treat us any worse than we treat ourselves. While one can’t know how someone talks to themselves, they can see what they put up with and what they don’t.

So how they let others treat them and how they treat others, is one way of seeing how someone talks to themselves. And how one is spoken to by others can gradually be internalised and become a part of them. If this is positive and empowering it won’t be a problem, but if it’s not, then one could suffer if they are around this person for too long.

Causes

This then leads to the reasons why one would talk to themselves in this way in the first place. The kind of people one has spent their time with in their adult life can lead to a healthy inner voice and to an unhealthy one. But the primary influences will be how ones caregivers responded to them and to each other when they were younger.

During ones childhood they will have many, many moments of hearing their caregiver’s voices and come to accept their reactions and responses as normal. And if these early moments were filled with love, support and encouragement on most occasions, then one is likely to be fine.

But if one was around caregivers who were critical, judgmental or shaming in most cases or at certain moments, then one could have grown up to speak to themselves in the same way.

Awareness

One of the main things here will be to notice what is going on in one’s mind and to start to observe what is taking place. This is the first stage and from here, change can take place. Fortunately self talk is not fixed and can be changed over time.

One way of doing this is to spend time with people who are supportive or loving and through being around them, one can internalise these new ways. And this could be a friend, coach, therapist or through listening to an audio book.

Another thing that might be necessary is to deal with the emotions and feelings that have been trapped in one’s body. Because even though one’s self talk can be trigger how they feel, it could be the other way around. So as one lets go of the feelings and emotions, the mind will also settle down as a result.

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include “A Dialogue With The Heart” and “Communication Made Easy.”

To find out more go to – http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

Feel free to join the Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/OliverJRCooper

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I’m OK and You Are OK: Effective and Ineffective Modes of Communication

Transactional Analysis is still one of the main corner stones of and updated by many modern communication and personality models (I am a certified coach of one of those, but not eager to write professional texts in English myself).

You can read the whole article here: Transactional Analysis /www.businessballs.com

Effective and ineffective modes of communication

Definition of ‘Effective’

By effective, we mean that:

  • a communication is likely to achieve the intended response or result. Information is received, necessary action(s) follow and good relationships are maintained or developed
  • communication will (if necessary and desired) be able to continue – either now or later
  • each party to the communication, whether they agree with each other (or not) or like each other (or not) maintains an I’m OK, You’re OK position.

Definition of ‘Ineffective’

By ineffective, we mean that any/all of the following apply:

  • the intended communication is not understood the person receiving the communication is themselves invited into a “not OK” position or invited to make someone else “not OK”
  • communication may be broken in some way and so does not continue, or it escalates to even more discomfort or misunderstanding for those involved. In extreme cases the rift may be permanent
  • what needs to be done is less likely to be done – or may be done incorrectly.

 Effective modesTA-modes-model-mountain

To help you understand the TA OK Modes Model and to avoid having to keep scrolling back up the page, the diagram is repeated alongside the explanation below. It’s the same diagram.

Note that the ineffective Modes are quite logical and easy to understand when seen as negative or unhelpful extremes of the correlating effective Modes. For example, being overly Supportive quite naturally equates to Interfering; Being overly Playful quite naturally equates to Recklessness.

Mindful Process – Not a Mode, this is a requirement or condition enabling effective Modes to be accessed/used. When we are operating mindfully, we communicate ‘OK to OK’ messages. We operate appropriately in the here-and-now and have access to the positive aspects of the care and structure we have received in the past and the experiences we had in childhood (Deelia: referring to the the parent, adult and child themes also explained in the article). As this Mindful process is here-and-now, we are able to choose which of the effective Modes of behaviour to draw from, dependent on the situation. When we are stable in this Mindful process we respond appropriately rather than ‘flipping’ or switching (generally unconsciously) into an Ineffective Mode.

Each of the effective Modes, dependent on the Mindful Process, communicate “I’m OK and You’re OK”.

Structuring Mode – This is the boundary setting Mode, offering constructive criticism. In this Mode we are caring whilst firm.

Supporting Mode – When in this Mode we are affirming and considerate.

Co-creating Mode – From this Mode we develop ways to help us live and work with others.

Playful Mode – This is the creative, fun loving, curious and energetic Mode. We can confront people playfully as a way of dealing with a difficult situation. This can diffuse a potential problem and get the message across.

When working with others we can choose where we come from (communicate from).

Effective communication happens when we are in a Mindful Process.

If someone else invites us, because of how he/she communicates to us, to go into an ineffective (red) Mode, importantly, we don’t have to go there, we can instead ‘cross the transaction’ and come from (respond from) one of the green Modes.

Ineffective modes

The ineffective (red) Modes all emanate from outdated experiences, which are not relevant or appropriate in the present.

Criticizing Mode – communicates a “You’re not OK” message. When in this Mode you will believe that others cannot do things as well as you can, or perhaps only certain chosen people can. If you lead from this position you are unlikely to develop a loyal supportive team or culture.

Inconsistent Mode – As a leader we might be inconsistent in our style – changing our behaviour in unpredictable and apparently random ways. This is not helpful for followers (or leaders).

Interfering Mode – communicates a “You’re not OK” message. When in this Mode the person will often do things for others which they are capable of doing for themselves. People who find it difficult to delegate might be in this Mode.

Over-adapted Mode – This expresses an “I’m not OK” or “I’m not OK and You’re Not OK” message. When in this Mode we over-adapt to others and tend to experience such emotions as depression or unrealistic fear and anxiety. When in this Mode we are unlikely to make good team members and will be highly stressed if we have to manage others.

Oppositional Mode – Even when opposing others, we are not actually free to think for ourselves as we are reacting to them in the belief that we need to ‘resist’ them. It is important to be clear that this is not simply about being in disagreement, but a style of going against whatever others put forward.

Reckless Mode – In this Mode we run wild with no boundaries. Here we express a “You’re not OK” message. At work we tend not to take responsibility for our actions and are unlikely to progress as we need a great deal of management in order to focus our energy and keep boundaries.

© Chris Davidson, Anita Mountain (Mountain Associates) original content and diagrams other than where stated, Alan Chapman edit and contextual material, 2000-13. Transactional Analysis theory was developed by Dr Eric Berne in the 1950s. The Blame Model was developed by Jim Davis TSTA. The OK Corral model was developed by Franklin Ernst. The 2011 Transactional Analysis OK Modes Model and diagram is © Mountain Associates, 2010-13. Please retain this notice on all copies.

Other links:

The Official ITAA Website

Transactional-Analysis, The Personality Tests of T.A. (link corrected)

Wikipedia