Self

What It Means If You're In The 30% Of People With A Very Unique Mind Quirk

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woman thinking to herself

The mind works in mysterious ways, and not all of them are created equal. People process information in their own unique manner based on their mental state and what people experience throughout life.

There was a time when talking to yourself or hearing voices in your head might have been considered a mental health issue. We now know that this is a healthy and positive inner monologue.

What is an inner monologue?

Your inner monologue is private speech within your mind that narrates your life. What you think, feel, and your actions are verbalized in your head, using a voice only you can hear.

TikToker Bella Avila explains in a video how to tell if you have an inner monologue by reading a sentence in your head. "Some people have an inner speech that narrates everything they do, see, think and feel," Avila says.

   

   

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The inner monologue is partially controlled by corollary discharge, a signal the brain gives off. This differentiates between varying sensory experiences, internal and external.

The inner monologue can allow you to focus on your own voice, muting external stimulation. It is used to organize your thoughts in situations where you are unable to speak audibly.

Your inner monologue is developed during adolescence. It is an internal dialogue that you use to work independently and take specific actions. In childhood this might have shown up as an imaginary friend.

As an adult, your inner speech helps with your working memory and cognition. Both are associated with problem-solving and processing critical thoughts.

An inner monologue is important for sensory awareness and positive self-talk. Knowing how to inspire and uplift yourself from within can make all the difference when striving for success in life.

How do you know if you have an inner monologue?

To find out if you have an internal monologue, TikToker Nick Diller asks his viewers to think of an apple and select the image that fits what they envision.

He presents five images ranging from a 3D, crystal clear version of an apple to nothing at all. This test reveals how your mind reflects what you see and hear:

   

   

Aside from the test above, you have an inner monologue if you are able to have an internal conversation with yourself, hear your voice when reading a book, or even frequently get songs stuck in your head!

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Does everyone have an inner monologue?

You might be surprised to hear that all people don’t have an inner monologue. As a matter of fact, University of Nevada professor and renowned psychologist, Russell Hurlburt, believes that just 30-50% of the population does.

Though there are studies on the topic, researchers are still trying to understand exactly why most of us do not have an inner monologue.

The belief is that your internal voice is influenced by your dorsal stream (language tracts in your brain) development. This may never have fully matured in people with no inner monologue.

What does it mean if you don’t have an inner monologue?

Just because you cannot "hear" your inner voice does not mean that you don’t have an inner monologue that you can use to process thoughts and actions.

Some people use visualization instead of auditory cues as their inner monologue. Rather than hearing themselves think about steps to take, they might see a list with the steps listed.

Those who are hearing impaired can experience an inner monologue in other ways. Signs and images help them to process and organize information.

Still, there are people who have difficulty calling up images in their heads. This impairment is known as aphantasia.

A 2021 study showed that those same people may also have anaduralia, a condition where one lacks auditory images and the inner voice is silent.

But inner speech is only one of the five ways that people think. They also utilize inner seeing (imagination), unsymbolized thinking (going through the motions), feeling (conscious consideration), or sensory awareness (focusing on one aspect of the environment at a time).

Whether having an inner monologue is a good thing depends on how it is used.

On one hand, it can serve as reminders to act and move you forward in your goals. That inner voice can also motivate you, talk you out of negative feelings and emotions, and help you to work through problems when you don’t have external resources to turn to.

Planning, solving issues, self-reflection and regulation, management of emotions, perception, instruction, and reinforcement are some of the many benefits of having an inner monologue.

But there is a downside to it. Your inner voice is impacted by energy, both positive and negative. If you are internalizing bad things and providing yourself with negative self-talk, it can be detrimental to your mental health.

Criticism of oneself is linked to low self-esteem, resulting in even more negative statements. So, if you know that you have that inner voice, make sure it is pushing you in the right direction.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.

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