There seems to be this commonly held misconception that the power of the spoken word is something that is only meant to be used when there is an audience present. We all recognize how much it helps to verbalize ideas and talk things out, we just reserve this problem solving method for times when there is someone around to listen.
However... autobiographically-speaking-based-on-no-scientific-research I have found that when it comes to talking, similar to the written word, an audience is not really required to tap into the task's powerful potential.
Now, often times, an audience does help to ignite and nudge detail and creativity, but in many cases it is the audience allowing us to feel comfortable vocalizing, and not necessarily their contribution, that we benefit from.
Now the idea is that there are two general types of writing: fact listing and creating.
Creating can have an array of beneficial effects on our problem solving abilities, which is why many people choose to journal by writing “Dear Diary." This process creates an audience to write to, which helps encourage the creation process and not just regurgitation or fact listing.
This idea can be applied very similarly to the spoken word.
We've all seen examples of this in our daily lives. Often times though- for me anyway- I fail to recognize what is really happening. For instance...
Ever find yourself mid way through a conversation with a close friend, regarding something you had been thinking a lot about recently, only to find that you're presenting the idea in way that you hadn’t thought of before?
This fluid like flow of novel idea forming that often occurs simultaneously while you talk is a very potentially powerful resource. The conversation many times will end with a new light cast on the situation you had been mulling over in your head for weeks, a new found comfort toward a recent source of worry, or acceptance of a past event… despite the fact that the person you were talking "with" may have hardly said a word.
Or maybe halfway through a journal entry you notice your writing slowly shifts, from a regurgitation of facts, toward a more unique origin, folding and unfolding different understandings and slowly rotating the view you have on that moment’s topic of interest.
What name can be given to this intangible spark that seems to occur in these types of instances?
Is it just the fact that your friend is offering you perfect direction on your recent contemplative quest?
Is it some mystical force that spawns from a purposed pen touching a piece of blank paper?
What I am suggesting, is that their is a very unique benefit that comes from tangibilizing your thoughts, weather it be via writing or talking. And that by taking that simple step past thinking something in your head, and putting it into existence, the brain starts to problem solve and dissect situations in different ways…where there was once a possible block or cause of anxiousness, you may find obvious resolve.
These methods, as a tool to get over blocks, are not a new technique either, we’ve all heard the common psychologist suggestion of writing a letter to someone and never sending it.
The ironic thing is: the simultaneous lionizing of journaling to yourself and the bastardizing of talking to yourself- viewing the former as a powerful tool for self improvement and the latter as the habit of the mentally ill.
But is it really so crazy to think that it’s the verbalization of thoughts that helps you hurdle mental barriers, and that this action doesn't actually require the presence of another person?
After all…how many words does your friend really even say when you find yourself discussing an emotionally charged topic about your life?
Alright, I promise I'm about done, but before I go, let me make one suggestion:
TALK IT OUT... with yourself
Most of us are at least familiar, even if you don't personally practice, with written methods of this idea, such as journaling.
However, I strongly encourage you to set down the pen from time to time and try verbalizing ideas with yourself. It can be a unique way to hash out an idea, while also giving practice to potentially help you become a better public speaker. I especially find this ideal when driving in the car, I think this comes a bit more natural because when we drive with a passenger we talk toward the windshield anyway. If it seems uncomfortable at first, you can try the voicemail trick (I mean... leaving a voicemail is basically talking to yourself, right?).
Now maybe this process will help you achieve world domination, maybe you'll just decide I'm a weirdo. Whatever the case, what do you really have to lose?
Talk about your day...
Talk about your worries...
Reminisce a memory...
Just talk it out...