Social Question

glenjamin's avatar

What if everyone could hear your inner monologue?

Asked by glenjamin (2481 points ) February 10th, 2011

So what if everyone could hear your inner-most thoughts all the time? Would you be embarassed?

If you knew this would happen in the future, assuming you couldn’t police your thoughts, what situations would cause you to be the most concerned about people hearing?

Have fun with this, guys and gals, answers don’t have to be well thought out or serious (but are still welcome if they are) And don’t say you wouldn’t be nervous about any situation, nobody’s brain is so immaculate that they do not have a single embarrasing thought lol

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44 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

They’d be confused and most probably bored. I rarely think in complete sentences and I don’t think anyone would want to hear how I really need to scratch something that shouldn’t be scratched in public…

poofandmook's avatar

I would be most definitely hated.

wundayatta's avatar

Jesus Christ, you asshole. How can you ask a question like this? You want everyone to turn into a pool of jelly on the floor. Oh. There’s @JilltheTooth crafting an answer. I wonder if she’ll get done before me. Probably. I always say way too much. My back hurts. I wonder what I should have for lunch. Oh. Yeah. But I don’t want to tell them that. Why not, you’ve said it before? But having all those women know how I think about them… their bosoms and butts and legs and faces and what I’d like to do…. No. Let’s not think about that. Not give him the satisfaction. And now @poofandmook. Wow. That was fast. Is this enough? Oh well. Let’s let it be enough. But why are you referring to yourself in the second person? Will they think you think you have multiple personalities? LOL. it’s just a convenience, although it is awkward. I wish I could be both me and other me at the same time. Whatever that means. Stop, already. Just fucking stop!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, Wundy, you thought about ME! That’s my takeaway from ^ ^ ^ that… ;-)

iamthemob's avatar

Everyone’s about to hear some pretty messed up stuff…

wundayatta's avatar

@JilltheTooth I do have some boundaries. Can’t divulge all my thoughts. But, yeah. Rest assured you have appeared on the stage more than once. Not gonna talk about the costume, though. ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

People often can’t believe some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth, and I have one hell of a filter working already. I probably would get committed, sued, shot,kicked in the groin, etc if everything that goes on in my head got out.

Mat74UK's avatar

I’d be fine at home (most of the time) but at work I don’t think I’d last long!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

They’d know what a burden mental illness can be.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Alot of people would run away screaming. XD

JilltheTooth's avatar

Obviously, I need to work to cultivate a more interesting inner dialogue.

iphigeneia's avatar

They would hear an awful lot of “Stop reading my mind! Stop reading my mind! Stop reading my mind!”

ilana's avatar

I can barely handle my own inner dialogue, let alone subject others to it. Let’s just hope they carry ear muffs with them when I’m in a crap mood, or angry mood, or opinionative mood, or…hell they should have them glued to their ears permanently.

Ladymia69's avatar

…you can’t hear me….can you???

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

They’d think I’m arrogant and don’t think much of them. They’d be right. Mostly at work, though.

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ucme's avatar

They’d think a boisterous children’s party were going down nearby. A rowdy rabble of rampant roustabouts :¬)

flutherother's avatar

I would be in danger of being locked up in a secure ward.

wundayatta's avatar

If everybody’s weird, then no one is.

I wonder if they’d put you all in the same cell.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’d be so lonely, me and my boring inner monologue. Hay, Wundy, wanna give me some pointers to spice it up?

aprilsimnel's avatar

They’d need earplugs. It’s voice on top of vice sometimes; “Blue Meanies” against the “Shiny Happy People” while the characters of stories try to talk with a radio on and “My Former Guardian” in different disguises trying to sneak in and whisper awful, negative things.

wundayatta's avatar

@JilltheTooth I know you’re joking, but I’m serious about my answer. What you have to do is to pay attention. It also helps if you become aware of your inner editor. Then you can also watch what she is doing (that’s where things start getting complex as to how you can have more than one point of view at the same time).

The thing is, when you watch, you start to anticipate. You see something happen, and you expect this next thing to happen, and usually it does, and if you follow along, ignoring the inner editor (who is often also a censor), you can ratchet up your interest in your inner monologue.

The next thing is a bit trickier. That is—writing it down. So you kind of end up being three people. You are the thought track, and you are the editor, and then you are the recorder. The recorder is always saying, ‘Hold on. Wait a minute. Let me write this down.’

The editor is saying, ‘You can’t say that! What will people think? Let’s just pretend it’s too weird for publication or too boring. Yeah. That’s the ticket!’

Then the actual monologue you is ignoring all that (hopefully) and following it’s own train of thought as it winds endlessly forward. If the editor gets control, then the trip gets truncated and changed as the editor thinks necessary. The recorder can’t really get control, but she can slow things down, asking the other two to keep on repeating what they just thought.

In addition, try to notice the quieter aspects of your mind. Like when you shift in your chair. Why do you do this? Oh, your back is hurting. Or for a moment you notice the heater thingy humming along. And the filing cabinets are always in the corner of your eye, and this all has an impact on your thoughts—often in ways you don’t catch because paying attention to the traveler is hard enough, without seeing the side tracks your mind takes all the time.

But one thought always leads to another. Sometimes they might seem circular, but as soon as you notice this, it seems to break out of the circularity. But it’s always there. Always traveling and being edited and being noticed. Although sometimes the second two parts aren’t there and you are fully in the moment, being whatever it is that you are without criticizing yourself and without watching yourself.

That’s the best. Although it’s a pain if you want to remember what happened. You can’t do that without the recorder. But sometimes it is possible to allow the recorder just enough attention to catch some things while being the traveler (with no editor). Then you can recall it later and write it down, or however you record it.

It’s always there, if you pay attention. In fact, often it becomes too much and you can’t stop, and then you have to somehow grab yourself and bring the thought to an end. That’s what story tellers do. They define the beginning and the end of something that is continuous forever—or from the moment of first consciousness to the moment of last consciousness. But for all practical purposes, we experience that as forever.

I’ll shut up now.

And turn you over to @WillWorkForChocolate‘s reporter, who seems to be paying close attention…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Did you hear that? Did anyone hear that? I swear I heard something. Oh well. I’m hungry. Do I want something with protein or something crunchy? Oooh chips and dip. No I want chocolate. Where’s my chocolate? Son of a biscuit eater, my husband ate my chocolate! That bastard! Ooh I haven’t called him today to see how his day is going, I think I’ll call him. I’ll call him after I get the laundry out of the dryer. Fuck I hate laundry. I wish I could pay someone else to do our laundry. Oh crap and I have a whole basket full of socks that need to be matched today. Wait, my cat’s asleep in the sock basket. I dont’ want to bother him so I’ll wait to do the socks until he wakes up. Where’s my other cat? i bet she’s snuggled under my robe again. Lucky brats, I wish I were a cat. Eat sleep poop eat sleep poop get rubbed eat sleep get rubbed poop, what a hassle free life. If I were a cat, I wouldn’t have to worry about my kids doing their homework or getting involved with drugs. I wouldn’t have to worry about my kids having enough friends at school. Ooh I wonder how Jade’s day is going today. I wonder if she’s having fun and getting her classwork done on time. I wonder what she ate for lunch today. When she gets home she needs to clean her room, before I trip over her pillow pets again and kill myself. Damn I’m getting tired, I need another 5 hour energy shot. That’ll help me get more laundry done and cook dinner. What should I cook for dinner? Maybe I should do spaghetti since I know the kids’ll eat it without a fuss. I need something to munch on while I cook. I think I want chocolate. Where’s my chocolate? Son of a biscuit eater, my husband ate my chocolate…

Pattijo's avatar

I’d most likely be put away ! lol

JilltheTooth's avatar

You guys are making me tired.
Actually, @wundayatta , I definitely get what you’re saying and I’ve done a lot of work (mostly with my therapist) learning techniques to filter and control my inner monologue. In the last few years, family issues were literally pushing me over the edge, so I learned to isolate, analyze and eliminate the worst offenders. I learned to stop “looping” on harmful exchanges, and go to the quiet place to sort it out. My inner dialogue (although I joke about it being boring) is a much more restful thing, now. This is a good thing. There are a few Jellies that can get things roiled up on occasion, but mostly it’s better. Now if only I could silence the soundtrack of “Mamma Mia” which always seems to start up in my head just before bed. “Dancing Queen” is not soothing!

wundayatta's avatar

Dancing Queen??? You bitch! Now look what you’ve done! ..... how the hell do you indicate that you are humming inside? Fuck it. I’ll just humm and stop….. Dancing Queeeeeeeen….

wundayatta's avatar

Dancing Queeeeeeee… I’ve got to stab myself in the palm of my hand with a… a… letter operner won’t do—wrong shape it’s pretty werid and the scissors have a kind of blunt end…. I hope they won’t mod that post… I didn’t really mean @JilltheTooth is a bitch. I love her to pieces. It’s just… oh. There she is..

JilltheTooth's avatar

Gee, I really didn’t mean for that to be the takeaway from my post…oh, well, the pesky inner dialogues are taking over!

SmashTheState's avatar

This isn’t a hypothetical question for me. This is an actual log from IRC about me (with my name on IRC replaced with my name here):

<Urizen> imagine if everytime you thought “you shithead…you fucking asshole…you goddamned moron” you had actually said it…
<Lemon_Aid> Urizen: You’d have a name… it’d be ”[SmashTheState]”.

I have a… reputation for sharing my candid thoughts rather more openly than others would prefer.

Sunny2's avatar

Talk about cacaphony! I think it would be like eavesdropping on a very boring monolog of a conversation, if you could tune in on only one at a time. I mean, if you could hear mine, it would be very dull . . . with occasionally spicy bits and a lot of repetition of reminders to do this or that. On the other hand, how could you ride a bus, or sit in a theater with all those thoughts going on? Do we get to block out what we don’t want to bother to listen to?
I think probably I’d be embarrassed if you could hear what I think in the bathroom.

wundayatta's avatar

Why do people judge themselves so harshly? Why do so many people tell everyone else they would be bored if they heard the inner monologue? Would I really? For some reason, I highly doubt it.Just the fact of it being someone else’s self talk would make it interesting. Fascinating, even.

DancingMind's avatar

They’d hear a lot of rehearsals, a lot of wording things out and no that’s not it as I translate thoughts into words. Of course, if I know they’re listening, I won’t translate for them. It’ll be images and movement and feelings. I wonder how that translates into sound?
Maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe they’ll be trying to listen in, and brush up against me by accident and I’ll be icy hot anger.

What I would say, or think, they wouldn’t find all that different from how I write. Except it wouldn’t be as neat or tidy, and there would be a lot of scritching-out sounds. I think I may have more than one inner editor…

I’m reading The Sound and the Fury in school right now, it’s the hardest book I’ve ever read—I usually don’t have problems, or at least they’re little hurdles I can climb over. I guess people think like the characters in the book, but I don’t. It makes me feel odd, that I feel so much like I’m reading a foreign language. What’s wrong with my thoughts? I have those scattered, semi-subconscious thoughts but those aren’t in words, so I don’t know what to do with them when they are in words. They’re missing… I guess I’d call layers, and they’re out of context..

They, who are hearing me, would also hear a lot of me telling myself what to do. I’ll do that a lot, put to-do lists together in my head. That I’m going to do this, then this, then this. That would be very annoying when I’m trying to avoid them, if I’m trying to avoid them.

As for my thoughts about people that are in words… some would hate me because I’m not very nice in my head, and some would think I’m creepy, not in a perverted way, just in always worrying about them, and how I’m affecting them, too shy to talk to them so trying to read their body language to see if they want to talk to me, etc.

They’d probably be surprised to hear me curse, since I don’t aloud.

A lot of songs getting suck in my head and me singing them over and over again, except the voice would actually be good because it would be the singer’s.
And good scenes from movies and TV shows and books, even. I guess they’d only get to hear the dialogue: sucks for them, I’ve got it playing in color in my mind.

(Since you can’t really hear my thoughts, though, I’m keeping the embarassing—I guess the “interesting”—stuff to myself… : )

filmfann's avatar

That would be hell.
I make some pretty awful comments to myself when I am out and about.
If others heard it, I would be in jail.

Blondesjon's avatar

They would laugh their asses off.

there is no difference between how i talk to myself privately and talk to the rest of the world publicly.

cak's avatar

Someone would need a Motrin after listening to me. I have a problem with finishing thoughts because I have too many balls in the air. Lately, it’s the juggle of doctor appointments for my son. Then it’s the deadline that I am facing and this thingy with my son has really thrown a major wrench into that time line. You’d hear me mumble about wanting cheesecake, but then debate the need for cheesecake. There will be an argument with the GPS system, currently the voice of Homer Simpson. I don’t like him telling me I am a genius. You may hear me singing, sorry…that can’t be prevented; besides, you entered my brain. Then there is the laundry, mean planning and trying to reason out why I don’t need to walk the dog tonight.

There is a lot more, I just left the whole husband side out. There just isn’t enough time for that issue, right now.

ETpro's avatar

I would definitely lay aside any further thoughts of supporting myself playing high-stakes poker. I would also probably have to take some advanced classes in martial arts. My thoughts about some guy’s girls friends could definitely end up requiring top-notch self defense skills.

SABOTEUR's avatar

They’d be bored to tears.

I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to master the art of “simply noticing” random thoughts and mind chatter, which has the effect of slowing the thought stream or silencing it completely.

A good book on this technique is Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson.

Haleth's avatar

This question is one of my biggest and silliest fears.

flutherother's avatar

You can read a lot of it here.

VS's avatar

Inner dialogue: shit shit shit shit shit shit!!!!
(this is in direct response to the constant static shock I get everytime I f*cking touch something!!!!!!!)

sarahjane90's avatar

If this were the case, I don’t believe my Mom would be too pleased with me any longer.

Nullo's avatar

They’d get bored. My inner monologue tends to loop if I get distracted.

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