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kn98 , (edited ) avatar

I’m convinced that a great part of the people that claim to not have an inner voice are either:

  1. lying to come off as interesting
  2. unaware of their inner voice
  3. not understanding what ‘inner voice’ means. It’s not exactly like someone is talking to you, right? But it does come close.
LostWanderer ,

My own inner monologue is a mix of movie and voice, I often see the real life/animated equivalent of what thought/idea is trending within my monologue. Years after a thought experiment on the concept of creating a Tulpa, that artificial inner presence still exists. It tends to influence the monologue direction for at least a few hours at a time; then it fades from my awareness for weeks or months at a time.

Raglesnarf ,

maybe my brains broken but when I read stuff my “inner voice” is what I hear in my head. so do you guys not do that too? do the people without inner voices not hear anything when they read stuff?

Cratermaker ,

You can read without using your inner voice if you practice. It supposedly lets you read a lot faster, though I have my doubts about how well you retain the information. One way to do it is to think “lalalala” while reading something!

Alpha71 ,
tamal3 ,

When i need to think something through to myself i often start a recording app on my phone and literally talk it out. It helps narrow down the swirling and distracting thoughts, even if i never go back to the recording later. Is that adhd or a failing inner voice?

I never really understand what people are taking about when they say they have an inner monologue or don’t. Sometimes i think in words, sometimes i think in swirls and images, sometimes i don’t think…

realitista OP ,

I think if you think in words you have one. I also think in different modalities, not exclusively in words.

Crack0n7uesday ,

The FBI did a study and most serial killers don’t have an inner monologue… You can add that to the TIL.

SeattleRain ,

I can do both, ask me anything.

boeman ,

Why, can’t you ask yourself? 😁

Threeme2189 ,

Can your inner voice be quiet? I’m trying to have a conversation with mine!

niktemadur ,


DAMunzy ,

I can change what my inner monologue sounds like. It can go from Morgan Freeman to Pete Holmes’ Batman trying to figure out his voice.

boeman ,

The worst is when you start to have conversations in your head in multiple voices. It gets crowded sometimes.

civylw ,

You should get a dog

boeman ,

And add to the voices? Nuh uh.

realitista OP ,

Ooh, I don’t really do that. I just tried it and it kind of works, but I think I’m much better with impressions in my real voice. I’d have to practice more.

FryHyde ,

TIL some people have an inner voice. What is for you folks, like imaginary sounds?

Gaspar , avatar

Do you remember the last time you were talking to someone for more than a couple minutes? Maybe they were explaining something to you, or telling you a story. You might try to remember what they said later - you can’t hear it, but your brain kind of recreates the sensation of having been spoken to even though your ears aren’t receiving those sounds.

That’s what having an inner voice is like (to me, anyway) - it’s remembering a conversation that you never actually had.

realitista OP ,

It’s just a voice inside your head that says what you’re thinking. Like when I’m typing this out it says the words as I type them or as I think ahead as to what to type.

nickwitha_k ,

What does it do when you’re not actively thinking about text or conversation. Is it still verbal then?

MataVatnik , avatar

Yeah it’s constantly saying shit, a lot of the time its negative and I can’t get it to shut the fuck up.

realitista OP ,

Mines pretty positive. I tell myself how awesome I am a lot when I accomplish something. But I am pretty full of myself. Usually when it’s being snarky it’s about annoying situations or people.

MataVatnik , avatar

Huh interesting

realitista OP ,

There are times that it is quiet. If I’m thinking about music or something visual then my inner voice isn’t saying much. If I’m watching tv or listening to something it’s quiet, unless I think of something I have to do, like “fuck I’ve gotta send that email”. It’s generally pretty quiet if I’m doing something like drawing, but I may make little comments to myself in my head like “oh I need some more stuff over here” or something like that. If I meditate, I can keep it mostly quiet.

dezmd , avatar

My inner voice is my voice as I hear it, and is more obviously there when I’m contemplative or reflective on ideas and concepts, but it doesn’t seem to actively dictate or narrate most of my actions as I go through the day, except perhaps in anxiety or adrenaline peaking situations. It does seem more likely to flip to the forefront when there’s an ‘emergency’ sort of moment to help stay calm and rational where others may panic. I do have some ‘imagery’ thoughts but only when I’m on more of an autopilot with an activity.

Interestingly, I can have very vivid and detailed dreams filled with unique imagery and events that can seem very real and my inner voice kicks on sometimes during dreams, and I recognize it as a dream. I have at times been able to influence the direction of a dream that my subconscious usually seems to be running. These dreams can be expansive, I’m talking deep backstory, knowing things and languages I do not know, knowing details about history or science or math that I do not know, and having a strange hyper awareness of existence around me that I do not have when awake. The only really ‘scary’ dreams I’ve had since I was a kid are ones where I can’t find my kids, or where my dad is still alive and shows back up at home like he was just living somewhere else for a while (and it’s not so much scary as just hyper-confusing and stressful). The dad dreams are also some of the best dreams to have that inner voice of awareness happen.

jupiter_jazz ,

An asshole mostly, but that’s another issue. Helps you think through problems because you think about it before doing it. When I read fiction I try to imagine other voices. I read a lot when I was younger.

cordlesslamp , (edited )

Try thinking some sentences (like a song lyrics or a conversation) while holding your lips and tongue completely still, I mean not moving them even a tiny bit.

meliaesc ,

Is this supposed to be difficult?

cordlesslamp ,

Well it’s supposed to be impossible.

Kayday ,

Easy, don’t know what to tell you

mechoman444 ,

Ya… I just sang most Hurt in my inner voice with our moving my lips or tongue. 🤷

cordlesslamp ,
TedZanzibar ,

My inner monologue is an asshole that literally never shuts up unless I’m asleep. If I’m not actively thinking about something and conversing with him or keeping him otherwise distracted, he’s singing a snippet of the last catchy song he heard, over and over, until a new one takes its place. Sometimes it’s the same song for days on end.

aceshigh , avatar

That’s awesome. Mine just criticizes me over and over and over and over and over again. I’m working on our relationship.

ICastFist , avatar

I do wish I could shut up my inner voice a bit more often, especially when I go to sleep.

aceshigh , avatar

Meditating will help you.

MonkderDritte ,

The world where chaotic inner mind is the norm.

Bobmighty ,

I have both an inner voice and strong imagery. I cannot imagine any other way. I assume that people on the opposite end would see my mind as massive chaos though.


I have that, too, I think. And I see my mind as massive chaos.

ndupont ,

I think I have an inner voice, but that’s clearly not a voice I hear at all, that’s the speech part not resulting in mouthing anything. It’s mostly true for foreign languages (like english) but less so for my native french.

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