Did you know that some people have an internal narrative and some don't?
Some people's thoughts are like sentences that they 'hear', and others have abstract non-verbal thoughts that they have to make a conscious effort to verbalise. (I'm the latter, which might explain why I can get to the middle of a sentence and blank on the next word.)
What's it like in your brain? Do you think in sentences or in abstract?
And a bonus question for those who think in sentences: do you ever get a break from the voice?
(This post was edited by Ataahua on Jul 24, 1:52am)
And I wonder if it also depends on where you are in life? When I was a teenager, for example, I could grasp abstract concepts in calculus without too much problem, but turning my thoughts into questions or even statements about what I was learning was a herculean struggle. So based on that and other experiences, I devoted a lot more energy to turning the churn in my head into sentences that could be spoken and understood. And I'm not sure I deal with many abstract issues these days, which leaves me a sentence guy.
What stirs up the soup even more for me is something completely involuntary that happens when I'm in doubt and trying to think through an issue, and then sentences I've read from literature just pop into my head with heavy duty symbolism. So for example, if I become privy to sensitive information about Person A and I have an internal debate about telling Person B, who will be affected by that information, but it of course feels like a violation of privacy to Person A, then, totally without me looking for it, up pops the line from Galadriel to Frodo about how she's kept one of the Three hidden: ‘Yes,’ she said, divining his thought, ‘it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so." That was an impactful scene on my first read, so somehow its significance about keeping secrets got burned into my inner hard drive. Other ethical dilemmas, and other quotes from other impactful book moments pop into my head. I definitely never set out to do that! It just happens.
Anyway, cool topic--thanks for the poll! Or should I say symbolically .
(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jul 24, 4:37pm)
wonders if that's once reason why music is so popular - as well as being fun and asking searching questions from time to time, perhaps it helps those with the inner voice to silence it for a while (which is why he listens to music at work).
It might also explain why I'm not much into music. I prefer silence around my home so that I can hear the wind and the birds (there's sod-all traffic around here).
It's an intriguing question. Do you think there might be something to that?
That's probably why I'm in the Grammar Police and Spelling Police. I really rein myself in, though, so I'm not constantly correcting people. But you folks are messing with my head!! Right now, as I type, I'm saying the words in my head, along with the song "Mr. Brightside", by The Killers. There is no actual music playing in the room, though.
And it hasn't changed over the years. I've often struggled with putting my nonverbal thoughts and ideas into words. (For my high school yearbook I quoted from Kahlil Gibran, "You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.")
Then at other times I can't get my brain to shut up and stop talking - usually when I'm riled up about something! My brain argues with other people. But maybe that's just how I let off steam.
Don't you love it when those little quotes pop into your mind? They help to confirm an action - or non-action. It's as if you've gone straight to the author for advice!
I guess after a lifetime of it, I have learned to cope. I think it also helps me to be very organized. Someone on the outside of my head might not believe that previous statement, but, really, you should see my mental lists! The only time I have ever had to write things down was when I was planning my wedding and made two appointments at the same time on the same day. I finally got a planner to keep track of it all. Nowadays, it's still all in my head, but I have a paper backup.
I think in partial sentences most of the time, unless I concentrate, but usually to make sense of what I'm thinking, I have to write it out or talk it out with someone! I love "morning pages" for that reason; I call them the "brain drain" that helps me stop circling around my incomplete thoughts and GET THEM OUT.
I also often have a soundtrack going. Almost anything can trigger a song. Usually this is silent but when I'm feeling good it overflows and I walk around singing.
And I also get images. I've learned that the best thing to do with images, like from dreams, is to NOT tell myself a story about them, but instead let them just float there until I have an insight into what they mean.
I rarely get a break from this. If I can get into a deep state of meditation, then yes. But that's rare. Sometimes when I'm out in the mountains I can get into a state of simply "being there" which is lovely.
I got hypnotized for fear of flying once (it worked) and I don't remember anything about it. What I remember is a strong experience of swimming through kelp fronds in a sunlight watery environment. Didn't have to breathe. So restful.
(This post was edited by Annael on Aug 30, 6:29pm)
My sister has to have noise on all the time - the television, music, the radio. She is not an introspective person. I wonder: is she avoiding thinking about things? Do her own thoughts make her uncomfortable? When when she's in company she tends to monologue on and on, usually retelling incidents from her life that she didn't like, but if you ask her "how did you feel about that?" she looks at you like you are speaking gibberish and keeps on going.
I, on the other hand, prefer my own thoughts most of the time. I'm highly self-reflective: in fact, on the "multiple intelligences" test I come out highest on intrapersonal. I don't like background voices - I hate it when the TV is on in the other room. When I do watch TV, I'm totally focused on it. I can have classical music on in the background but not music with lyrics.