While the blog provoked controversy between the haves and the have-nots, experts agree that everyone has an internal monologue. Those who, like Muldowney, do not often engage in self-talk may just have a different experience of their inner life. Self-talk is an essential part of thinking and learning; without it, we would be unable to process information or make decisions.
People of all ages, cultures, and abilities engage in self-talk. It is a natural by-product of thinking. We talk to ourselves to make sense of what we see and hear, to plan future actions, to feel better about ourselves or our situations. The more we practice self-talk, the more efficient we become at it.
It starts early in life. Children as young as four or five years old use self-talk to deal with social situations. As they get older, students too learn how to self-talk to succeed in school. Young adults move out into the world and look for jobs, which they need to think about before they can apply for them. By talking to themselves about these issues, they are able to determine if this is the right job for them.
Internal monologue is likely to emerge in various degrees of abstraction—-some people may just employ the most abstract form that does not "sound" like speech...--->others may give voice to every thought that crosses their minds.
Psychologists use the term "mind-wandering" to describe this process. It is a natural part of thinking about anything from where we are going next week to what we are going to cook for dinner today. We think about something and then build up our understanding of it by connecting it with other things we know about or have experienced before. This activity is called "exploring memory networks."
The only way to be aware of everything that goes on inside your mind is to listen to some of the thoughts that pop into your head. You might call these "inner conversations." Most people notice them when they occur and can then report them later when asked about their day. In fact, psychologists use interviews like this one to study mental processes.
Is it true, however, that everyone has an interior monologue? For a long time, it was considered that having an inner voice was just a natural aspect of being human. However, it turns out that this is not the case—not everyone analyzes their lives in words and phrases. In fact, research shows that about half of all people do not think deeply about their lives, while the other half does.
If you are one of the individuals who has an internal narrator, then you are hearing voices in your head. These voices are called "stream of consciousness" thoughts because they flow continuously like a stream. You can tell when you are listening to your own stream of consciousness thoughts because there is only one voice speaking at a time. This voice is called the "inner speaker" or the "narrator."
Your job as a narrator is to talk yourself through life. The more you do this the better you become at judging what information is important and what information is not so important. This is how you make decisions. Without thinking things through internally, you would be unable to plan or act.
Intrusion is the opposite of introspection. Having intrusive thoughts is when you notice something but cannot stop yourself from thinking about it.