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Talking To Yourself Like Someone Else Can Make You More Motivated

Talking To Yourself Like Someone Else Can Make You More Motivated

“Why don’t I have anything to say at parties?” That’s probably one of the most frequent questions asked by introverts. Look across the dance floor and you see Mister Suave chatting up quite a sophisticated lady at the bar and the next question comes, “Why can’t I be like that guy over there?” As a result, you start hating parties.

Self-talk among introverts is common but it can get unhealthy once you allow your inner voice to belittle you and based on that, form your own negative perception of reality that might not be true. That said, what if there was a way to use self-talk to help introverts feel more confident, help them chase their dreams, and be more successful?

From The Outside Looking In

A recent study conducted at the University of Michigan discovered that by using a subtle linguistic shift of “you” (or your own name) instead of using “I”, we are able to change the way we feel and behave. The research added that by talking to yourself in a first person view, using the word “I” all the time can actually stress us out instead of bringing on self-love and acceptance.

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If we take the introvert as mentioned in the opening paragraph as an example, and they use the third person view when talking to themselves silently, not only will it be a confidence booster, it will also be an internal remodeling of their perspectives on their surroundings. Instead of saying, “Why can’t I be like that guy over there?”, our introvert could use his own name and say, “Come on Charlie, you interact differently and prefer to interact in more intimate settings”.

By doing so, our protagonist is tricking his mind to think that he is another person. By being an outsider looking in, it can bring about real benefits in terms of confidence and positive thinking.

First Person vs Third Person Views

A further study was conducted to determine the performance of participants using contrasting mental approaches to a speech they are required to make on “why they are qualified for their dream jobs”.

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Before they were given a 5-minute preparation for their speech, they were also given additional instructions on how to prepare. One group was given instructions to analyse their feelings before giving their speech in the first person view, using the pronouns “I” and “my”. For the second group, they were given instructions to analyse their feelings using a non-first-person view, using the pronouns “you”, or “he/she”.

Before and after giving their speeches, the participants were led into a quiet room to complete a mood assessment form. Two coders then watched the videotaped speeches to rate them on confidence, nervousness, and overall performance.

The result? The first person group felt significantly worse before and after the speech, while the non-first-person view group recorded stable moods and felt more positive after giving the speech, also recording lesser rumination. More importantly, the non-first-person view group gave better speeches with more confidence as compared to the first-person group.

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Time for Change

In overall, studies have shown that by using pronouns such as “you” or your own name instead of “I” in our self talk will result in lesser anxiety, better performances, and better confidence.

To provide more practical examples, look below for excerpts that represent the contrasting mental approaches:

1. First Person View

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I am a lousy employee. Why can’t I always get things right the first time? Why am I always caught up with so much firefighting at work while the others seem so nonchalant and are able to leave on the dot? Why can’t I be like them?

2. Third Person View

You need to focus on the task at hand. Even if you do make mistakes, you can learn from them and never repeat them again. You are different and you are better than what you think you are. Even if you lack the experience, you can become the hardest worker in the office. 

Featured photo credit: thinking man via pexels.com

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Lim Kairen

Content Writer

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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