“It’s fine, Cynthia, you can do this.”

Cindy JobsHealth and Well-Being

I talk to myself a lot!  I tell people one of the reasons I feel so fortunate to have dogs is so I can pretend I’m talking to them and not myself.  🙂
What are the benefits of talking to yourself in third-person (illeism)?
According to Ethan Kross and Jason Moser:
“Does silently talking to yourself in the third-person constitute a relatively effortless form of self-control? We hypothesized that it does under the premise that third-person self-talk leads people to think about the self, similar to how they think about others, which provides them with the psychological distance needed to facilitate self-control.”
Referring to yourself in third-person helps keep distance between you and negative emotions like fear and anxiety.
Not only can referring to yourself in the third person help with emotional control, according to Igor Grossman, it may also make you wiser.
Compared to a control group that reflected on social conflicts from a first-person perspective, those in the third-person experimental group using distanced self-reflection, promoted wiser reasoning about personally challenging interactions. This increase in wise reasoning occurred because distanced self-reflection broadened people’s typically narrow self-focus.
When is it helpful to talk to yourself in third person?
  • Before a presentation or job interview.
  • Before going on a date.
  • Before having a difficult conversation.
  • To provide clarity about a confusing situation or interraction.
  • To provide distance from a private or public persona.
  • To help lose weight.  Dieters using the third-person dialog chose fewer unhealthy foods.

Dieters who viewed the health video chose fewer unhealthy foods when they used distanced self-talk than when they used first-person self-talk.

Where else might you use illeism to provide clarity, emotional control, or greater insight?
Cindy Jobs

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