Do You Have an Internal Monologue?

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Do You Have an Internal Monologue?


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Orion Balls

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Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day.
Posted on3 Days Ago by InsideMyMind

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My day was completely ruined yesterday when I stumbled upon a fun fact that absolutely obliterated my mind. I saw this tweet yesterday that said that not everyone has an internal monologue in their head. All my life, I could hear my voice in my head and speak in full sentences as if I was talking out loud. I thought everyone experienced this, so I did not believe that it could be true at that time.
Literally the first person I asked was a classmate of mine who said that she can not “hear” her voice in her mind. I asked her if she could have a conversation with herself in her head and she looked at me funny like I was the weird one in this situation. So I began to become more intrigued. Most people I asked said that they have this internal monologue that is running rampant throughout the day. However, every once in a while, someone would say that they don’t experience this.
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My life began to slowly spiral out of control with millions of questions. How do they get through the day? How do they read? How do they make decisions between choice A and choice B? My friend described it as “concept maps” that she sees in her brain. Another friend says that she literally sees the words in her head if she is trying to think about something. I was taking ibuprofen at this point in the day because my brain was literally unable to comprehend this revelation. How have I made it 25 years in life without realizing that people don’t think like me?
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I posted a poll on instagram to get a more accurate assessment of the situation. Currently 91 people have responded that they have an internal monologue and 18 people reported that they do not have this. I began asking those people questions about the things that they experience and it is quite different from the majority.
I would tell them that I could look at myself in the mirror and have a full blown telepathic conversation with myself without opening my mouth and they responded as if I had schizophrenia. One person even mentioned that when they do voice overs in movies of people’s thoughts, they “wished that it was real.”
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And to their surprise, they did not know that the majority of people do in fact experience that echoey voice in their head that is portrayed in TV and film. Another person said that if they tried to have a conversation with themselves in the mirror, they would have to speak out loud because they can’t physically do it inside of their mind.
I started posting screenshots of these conversations on my instagram and my inbox started
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to flood with people responding to my “investigation.” Many people were reassuring me that I was not crazy for having an internal monologue, while others were as absolutely mind blown as I was. People were telling me that I ruined their day and that they now do not understand anything about life. Maybe you are all just a figment of my imagination, but regardless, yesterday made reality seem even more skewed.
How do they think? How does this affect their relationships, jobs, experiences, education? How has this not been mentioned to me before? All of these questions started flooding my mind. Can those people without the internal monologue even formulate these questions in their mind? If they can, how does it happen if they don’t “hear” their voice? I mentioned earlier that I was spiraling out of control. Well, as I write this and as I hear my own voice in my head, I am continuing to fall down the rabbit hole.
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Whether people just have different definitions of their thoughts, or if people literally don’t have an internal monologue, there is one thing that we do know… you will definitely get a headache if you keep thinking about this. Just trying to wrap my head around it is causing irreversible brain damage. I suggest asking people around you what they experience. If you are one of the few that do not have this internal monologue, please enlighten me, because I still do not understand life anymore. Send help.
@RyanLangdon_

A slightly more scientific look...

So, like the title says, do you have an internal monlogue?
 

Kari Kamiya

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My internal monologue keeps going off-topic on a lot of stuff, just can't ever think about one thing at one time.

Yeah, but the weird part is that it's all in text.

Funny thing about that, ever since middle school, I always thought it was "odd" that apparently people can just "think" words in their heads and nothing more, yet I could envision entire scenarios down to the last blade of grass and the hitch in someone's voice. My mom once randomly asked me that on the way back home from school and she thought it was interesting I could do that, but there was never a follow-up discussion about it. Honestly, I forgot that was somewhat of a big deal back then until the NPC meme showed up a few years ago.
 

Exigent Circumcisions

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My internal monologue keeps going off-topic on a lot of stuff, just can't ever think about one thing at one time.



Funny thing about that, ever since middle school, I always thought it was "odd" that apparently people can just "think" words in their heads and nothing more, yet I could envision entire scenarios down to the last blade of grass and the hitch in someone's voice. My mom once randomly asked me that on the way back home from school and she thought it was interesting I could do that, but there was never a follow-up discussion about it. Honestly, I forgot that was somewhat of a big deal back then until the NPC meme showed up a few years ago.
I think most people are capable of visualizing things in their "mind's eye", hence why we have a term for it. There's varying degrees of that ability but I only once met a woman who said she lacked it due to a brain injury and I honestly can't fathom it.

Changing topics slightly, one thing I've been quite stumped by lately is that if I imagine a light shining in my eyes it will cause an after-image in my vision as if the light had actually existed. Maybe it would help if I knew why after-images occur in the first place.

Eta: a quick Google turned this up


I guess that's what I'm talking about and the TLDR seems to be "Eh, we're not sure." they seem to be implying that our brains expect to see the after image so they conjure one up, which was about what I thought.
 
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thinking with a mixture of sights, sounds, all other senses and words is much more efficient than with nothing but words. your brain is powerful enough to conjure up photorealistic dreams far more detailed than any video game or simulation that modern computers are capable of processing. you can use some of that processing power while awake too. I don't doubt that some people can only think with words, it would explain why they are so "slow". there's a boomer I know who can only count things one at a time, out loud. "one, two, three, four, five..." she also constantly whispers to herself. maybe some people really aren't capable of having an inner monologue.
 

Kari Kamiya

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I think most people are capable of visualizing things in their "mind's eye", hence why we have a term for it. There's varying degrees of that ability but I only once met a woman once who said she lacked it due to a brain injury and I honestly can't fathom it.
thinking with a mixture of sights, sounds, all other senses and words is much more efficient than with nothing but words. your brain is powerful enough to conjure up photorealistic dreams far more detailed than any video game or simulation that modern computers are capable of processing. you can use some of that processing power while awake too.

I wonder if being able to just play out scenarios like a movie/video game/simulator in one's head (memories, "what ifs" or anything) including the audio is something most people can't even do. I don't know why that was a topic Mom brought up to 12/13-year-old me, and I don't know if that was of anything significant or what, but it wasn't something I had ever thought about before then. Sometimes I wonder if that's just how you know someone's a daydreamer because they just randomly come up with worlds in their imagination and it's just as real as the physical plane. And yet apparently being a daydreamer is actually really dangerous or a sign of some mental fuckery going on.

I dunno, but maybe that might be why some people go insane in isolation. Having no one to talk to, even a tiny person in your head, sounds like legit hell for a lot of folks.
 

Mender Bug

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As funny as the article is... who cares?

We’re incapable of seeing into the minds of others anyways
 

The Fool

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I live somewhere off the Jersey turnpike in some shitty house. My name is The Fool. I'm 27 years old. I believe in drinking myself to sleep, through beer and vodka and definitely no exercise. In the afternoon, if my bowls are irritated, I'll sit on the toilet while not doing stomach crunches. I can't even do one. After I'm done suffering, I use whatever dollar store shampoo I have in my grimy tub while I'm in the shower. Then I apply a splash of cold water while I sit and stare at myself in the mirror for 10 minutes. I always use an after shave lotion with plenty of alcohol, because I love alcohol. There is an idea of The Fool, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity. Something illusory. And although I can hide my hollow gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense my lifestyle is outright depressing, I simply am not there.

But for real, I read shit in a voice but it's often not the same voice. I don't often think in a voice, but I read in a voice. It's usually whatever voice I was last listening to that I don't hate, like if I was listening to a talk or one of those explanation/science videos. Or I might have a voice assigned to whoever's text I'm reading, especially if I know their voice. If I'm reading some documentation, instructions or a compsci blogpost and I haven't recently listened to some informative voice, I'll usually use the Announcer's voice from Portal 2.

Other than that, yeah, I don't see the big deal here. Everyone thinks in a different way, if anything this should be considering a good thing.
 

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I bet the author would trip out if somebody asked him how we know we experience sounds, colours and other sensory inputs the same way. If somebody asked me to describe what red looked like I'd only be able to point to things that are red, or make a list of things that aren't red.

Of course, I assume these are things most fourteen year olds have already thought about.
 

Your Weird Fetish

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I bet the author would trip out if somebody asked him how we know we experience sounds, colours and other sensory inputs the same way. If somebody asked me to describe what red looked like I'd only be able to point to things that are red, or make a list of things that aren't red.

Of course, I assume these are things most fourteen year olds have already thought about.
We need a bunch of psychologists to go around with an 8 year old in the "ask stupid yet profound questions incessantly" phase and have them take a survey of adults to get answers to these fundamental things we never even think to ask.
 

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