Calendar: Saturday 14 January 2023

Kindly internal dialogues

We have, by all accounts, around 70,000 thoughts a day. What do we do with them? How might we sieve through this information and decide which nuggets are important, worthy of our attention, and need acting upon?

One way to do the sorting out is to have the capacity for an internal dialogue. In its simplest form, this is about two different voices in our head silently and cooperatively discussing the merits of something that has come to the forefront of our brain.

The hope is that by having another part of us to spar with, it can help us to formulate plans, make decisions, find solutions, develop ideas, and gain new insights.

If we are not having these conversations we run the risk of being thoughtless. Yes, we are still having thoughts but, because we aren’t mulling over them, we aren’t truly engaging with them.

Take this scenario: Sanya spills her drink on the carpet at a friend’s house party on her way from one room to another. No one else sees her do it. Without an internal dialogue she doesn’t think twice about what happened. With an internal dialogue she works through a plan of action that involves apologising to the host and asking where she can find a cloth.

Many people talk to themselves internally already – yet there is not harm in actively developing these conversations to get the most out of them. If anyone has a hostile, unfriendly voice inside them, that is prone to criticism and put-downs, please consider the idea of getting rid of this voice as soon as possible and replacing it with a kindly voice, perhaps based on a kindly role model.