Why do autistic people talk to themselves?

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BillyTree
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01 Dec 2023, 3:25 pm

When I talk to myself I don't actually talk to myself. Sometimes I go back to a conversation I have had with someone else and clarify things I said, getting it right. I think it's a way for me to process conversations I have had and then move on. It's not like I actually think I am talking to someone else.


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lostonearth35
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01 Dec 2023, 3:45 pm

I don't know about other autistic people. but I have no one else to talk to and even if I did, they'd find me too annoying and boring. I'd find them annoying and boring too, but it's only wrong for me to feel that way and not them.



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01 Dec 2023, 6:16 pm

There are two more reasons auties talk to themselves that are not mentioned here. 1) Rehearse an anticipated conversation; rehearse the script or how they think the conversation will go, and 2) Echolalia.

What bothers me is when NTs yap loudly into their wireless at the gym to show everyone how busy they are, how needed and important they are, to make people think they're some high-faluting corporate executive, or for some other pathetic need to get attention. And THEY look like they're talking to themselves, until I notice those damn little white ear pieces. These clowns will even talk LITERALLY while lifting weights. Who are they speaking to that they can't wait till the end of their gym session or have the call before going to the gym?

If the call comes in while they're already at the gym, why can't they tell that person to call back in an hour or vice versa?

What person's self-worth is SO LOW that they're willing to wait on the other end while the clown tells them, "Hold on, gotta do another set"? I've seen people doing this: Talking only when they're done with the set. The other person has to keep waiting on "pause" every time the gym person does set. Unless, of course, the gym person wants everyone to think he's a super busy, highly important person and thus loudly talks WHILE HE IS LIFTING WEIGHTS OVER HIS HEAD.

If anyone here uses a gym, you know precisely who these clowns are.



MatchboxVagabond
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01 Dec 2023, 6:33 pm

Personally, I tend to forget when I'm thinking versus talking and vice versa. I also find that when things are spoken outloud the same though often is very different from what I thought it was when just thinking the same words.

Also, it's a lot harder to say two things at once than it is to think two things at once. If two ideas are being spoken at once, it's very clear to me that it's happening and it doesn't pollute my brain the way that more than one thought happening at the same time does.



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01 Dec 2023, 6:57 pm

I do that when I'm alone. I think it's because when I speak my thoughts it seems to make them more clear. There could be an element of loneliness-alleviation in it too. It might fool the brain into thinking it's got company.

Yes one downside is that some people will think you weird if they notice you doing it. I keep getting caught out, and I'm thinking of getting an earpiece so that people will think I'm having an audiocall with somebody. It's a shame people judge talking to yourself like that, but even if they didn't I think I'd still feel embarrassed if people heard me, though I don't myself judge people for talking to themselves. That would be irrational, because I talk to myself and there's nothing much wrong with me. It's not as if I seriously think I'm talking to a real other person, that would be delusional. Mind you, the majority of the human race has traditionally talked to spirits and deities, and some of that was very likely a misapprehension. I guess the difference is that there's safety in number - if everybody's delusional about the same thing, it doesn't count as being weird or mad, although objectively perhaps it ought to.

Another possible downside is that if you do it a lot, you might get used to doing all the talking, and Aspies are notorious for hogging conversations as it is, without doing anything to make it worse. I've noticed that the conversations I have with others are more reciprocal if the other person interrupts me when I'm going on too long, whereas if I talk to a "good listener," it's hard for me to avoid talking too much. There's a saying about talking to yourself - "you'll never find a better listener." I think it's very true, so I think it may be easy to get spoiled if it's overindulged.



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01 Dec 2023, 6:58 pm

All the same reasons as everyone else, I'd presume. :nerdy:


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naturalplastic
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01 Dec 2023, 7:26 pm

We autistics do it for the same reason that drama major in college do it. To rehearse lines. But in our case not in scripted plays but to redo past real conversations with people ...to figure out a better outcome.



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01 Dec 2023, 7:34 pm

I don't talk to myself.
I talk to invisible pixie unicorns.


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ToughDiamond
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01 Dec 2023, 9:10 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
To rehearse lines. But in our case not in scripted plays but to redo past real conversations with people ...to figure out a better outcome.

Ah, there is that. I've certainly rehearsed lines with the intention of making them sound more palatable, but I've never done much rehearsal of past situations, at least not out loud or with verbatim details. I tend to think that history doesn't repeat itself very accurately, so if there is a next time, I'll probably need different words anyway. But I do quite a bit of reviewing past mistakes, i.e. just pondering whether or not I had better options that I didn't take.

I wish they'd find another word for rehearsing past events, such as "retrohearsal."



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01 Dec 2023, 9:19 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm the only person who will listen to me apart from my psychiatrist.

you took the words right outta my mouth! for most of my life nobody would listen to me or they would misconstrue me to the point where i wished they just didn't hear me at all.



ToughDiamond
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01 Dec 2023, 9:44 pm

auntblabby wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm the only person who will listen to me apart from my psychiatrist.

you took the words right outta my mouth! for most of my life nobody would listen to me or they would misconstrue me to the point where i wished they just didn't hear me at all.

Good communication is hard, I think. And even when it's done right, it turns out the listener didn't want to hear it. But it's much easier with oneself. To me, most things I say are interesting, at the time at least, and I usually understand what I've said to myself very well.



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02 Dec 2023, 1:48 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm the only person who will listen to me apart from my psychiatrist.

you took the words right outta my mouth! for most of my life nobody would listen to me or they would misconstrue me to the point where i wished they just didn't hear me at all.

Good communication is hard, I think. And even when it's done right, it turns out the listener didn't want to hear it. But it's much easier with oneself. To me, most things I say are interesting, at the time at least, and I usually understand what I've said to myself very well.

my problem is that i get crossed wires fairly often and will substitute the most wrong word [usually something i just heard somebody say] for the right word in a sentence, often that ends up very awkwardly.



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02 Dec 2023, 1:57 am

I don't talk to myself. I don't know why this is, but I don't think in words.



ToughDiamond
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02 Dec 2023, 9:51 am

auntblabby wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm the only person who will listen to me apart from my psychiatrist.

you took the words right outta my mouth! for most of my life nobody would listen to me or they would misconstrue me to the point where i wished they just didn't hear me at all.

Good communication is hard, I think. And even when it's done right, it turns out the listener didn't want to hear it. But it's much easier with oneself. To me, most things I say are interesting, at the time at least, and I usually understand what I've said to myself very well.

my problem is that i get crossed wires fairly often and will substitute the most wrong word [usually something i just heard somebody say] for the right word in a sentence, often that ends up very awkwardly.

Mrs. ToughDiamond does that a lot.
Me, I just forget the word I need, and grind to a halt.



Elgee
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02 Dec 2023, 11:28 am

naturalplastic wrote:
We autistics do it for the same reason that drama major in college do it. To rehearse lines. But in our case not in scripted plays but to redo past real conversations with people ...to figure out a better outcome.


I'm probably the biggest re-doer out there; been doing it for many many years without realizing it was a sign of autism. Except that I do it inside my head rather than out loud. I used to think most people did it.



colliegrace
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02 Dec 2023, 11:33 am

I do vocal stimming sometimes. I guess that's talking to myself. I do it at work, less when there are people in earshot.


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