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Date Shared: 9 February 2016
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In a previous post on the Brilliant Blog, I wrote about the way we talk to ourselves—and the importance of engaging in effective “self-talk.” Today I came across a fascinating new finding in this field: By referring to ourselves in the third person when we talk to ourselves—as “she” or “he,” or by our first names—we can reduce anxiety and improve our performance in challenging situations like making a good first impression or giving a speech in public.
Why would this be? When we use our names or a third-person pronoun instead of the more intimate “I” or “me,” we engage in “self-distancing”: putting a little space between our observing, reflecting self and our anxiety-ridden performing self. We get more perspective on the situation, and we’re better able to see the task before us as a challenge rather than a threat. Importantly, this approach seems to work for everyone—not just people who are habitually anxious.
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What specific practices promote positive self talk?
9 February 2016
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