You may be thinking “do introverts talk to themselves” is a very strange question, and I’d agree. It’s here as it’s a question I’ve been asked.
Talking to yourself
Who doesn’t talk to themselves? We all do, at times. Not the classic horror movie style talking to yourself, maybe it’s just practicing a tough conversation in your head, maybe that little voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something and holding you back from the success you deserve. Those silly doubts just as you’re about to go and present to your team, or pitch for new business – we all get those from time to time, why not doubt the doubts?
Introverts tend to be more reflective than extroverts which can be good or overdone. But do introverts talk to themselves? No, not in any way that’s different to everybody else.
Are introverts too reflective?
Introverts, according to Jung, will look inwards before looking outwards, where extraverts will work the other way round.
Self-reflection, thinking about oneself and perhaps asking questions like “Who am I?” and “What’s my purpose in life” is not a bad thing. Again, we all do it from time to time. But is it possible to be too reflective? If constantly asking yourself reflective questions leads to a lack of clarity on things like a clear sense of personal beliefs, values or goals, and purpose, maybe it can be an issue.
Looking inwards for answers can be positive as it reduces the need for external validation (being told you’re doing a great job) and thoughts like “listen to your own voice” are more likely to help introverts. However constantly questioning oneself could lead to reduced confidence and leave one always in the comfort zone.
Persistent self reflection , with little or no reference to the outside it could be unhelpful. Every compass needs to be calibrated if it’s to help you on your journey.
For example persistently asking why can be unhelpful as it’s always routed in the past, once some lessons have been learnt the question needs to become what shall I do about it.
Relevant self reflection
There is no test to say this is too much reflection and this isn’t. We can only judge that four ourselves, perhaps by applying a usefulness test.
Making the reflection work for us benefits from moving from “why” to “what”. “Why” is routed to the past and makes it hard to move on. Changing the question to “what” allows us to take ownership and move forwards.
Sometimes it’s important to doubt the doubts and simply take a couple of simple actions to move forwards.