In Self-talk, Address Yourself in the Third Person for Greater Success in Life

According to studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists have found that the way in which people talk to themselves has an enormous effect on their success in life. For example, if you use the pronoun “I” when you talk to yourself, you are more likely to perform poorly in stressful situations. But if you address yourself by your name or by the pronoun “you,” your chances of success greatly increase. These studies explored whether the language people use to refer to themselves during self-talk influences how they think, feel, and behave under social stress and how these effects extend to socially anxious people who are particularly vulnerable to such stress. By using non-first-person pronouns and one’s own name (rather than first-person pronouns) during self-talk, subjects were better at self-distancing, regulating stress surrounding making good first impressions, and public speaking, and also displayed less distress, engaged in less maladaptive postevent processing, and appraised future stressors in more challenging and less threatening terms. The researchers concluded that small shifts in the language people use to refer to themselves during self- talk influence their ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior under social stress, even for vulnerable individuals.

Source: Kross E, et al. Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: how you do it matters. J Person Soc Psychol. 2014;106(2):304–324.

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