Fairfield County Edition

Third-Person Self-Talk Aids in Emotional Control

Talking to Ourselves Helps

MaxFX/Shutterstock.com

As reported in Scientific Reports, two studies of 37 and 52 people at Michigan State University have discovered that talking to ourselves in the third person using statements like, “Why is John upset?” instead of, “Why am I upset?” can help improve our ability to control our emotions.

Everyone occasionally engages in internal monologue, an inner voice that guides our moment-to-moment reflections. Now, scientists believe that the language used in the process influences actions differently. The premise is that third-person self-talk leads us to think about ourselves similarly to how we think about others, which provides the psychological distance needed to facilitate self-control.


This article appears in the February 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bug Apocalypse

The number of invertebrates and insects such as moths, butterflies and bees has dropped worldwide by 45 percent in the last 35 years, raising alarm about the global ecosystem.

Fish Revival

Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam, shad have returned to New Jersey’s Millstone River for the first time since 1845.

Horse Sense

The wild horse herds on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived Hurricane Florence by huddling on high ground, hiding in maritime forests, and possibly by swimming.

Bat Cave Rescue

A fungus known as white-nose syndrome is decimating U.S. bat species, but scientists hope that genetic strategies and cave treatments will turn the situation around.

Mind Meld

Scientists are making progress toward using brain implants to help speech-paralyzed patients "voice" their thoughts.

Add your comment: