Who Is Speaking to You?

By Michael Abrahams, LCSW-C

When you are thinking and addressing yourself, observe how you are "speaking" (or thinking) to yourself.

Are you saying (thinking) "you", or are you saying (thinking) "I"

As in:

"You should", "you need to", "you have to", "If you don’t do —, then — will happen"


"I should", "I need to (or "I want to"), "If I don’t do —, then — will happen"

It doesn’t play out like this for everyone, but I have found that very often people use a "you" voice in their self-talk, and that the "you" voice is inflexible, harsh, and never-satisfied-with-good enough. And, contrarily, that self-talk in the "I" voice is more likely to be associated with realistic and self-affirming statements and thoughts.

I encourage you to observe your self-talk for this. If you notice frequent "You" language in your self-talk, you might experiment with deliberately changing to "I" language, and see how that feels and works.

-Michael Abrahams