Every day we carry on conversations with ourselves. It’s all right. It doesn’t mean we’re odd or on the verge of spacing out. It’s normal to talk to oneself. But are you aware that:
- Most of our emotions – such as anger, depression, guilt, worry – are initiated and escalated by yourself talk?
- The way you behave toward your spouse is determined by your self-talk and not by his or her behavior (or thought life)?
- What you say, and how you say it, is a direct expression of what you say to yourself?
Self-talk is what you tell yourself – the words you say to your-self about yourself, your spouse, your experiences, the past, the future, God etc
Self-talk, or your inner conversation, is not an emotion or a feeling, and it not an attitude. However, repetitious self-talk turns into attitudes, values and beliefs.
Many of our thoughts are automatic. Thoughts slide into your consciousness so smoothly that you don’t sense their entrance. Many are from your past experience, attitudes, values and beliefs. You carry them into your marriage and they became the filters you use to communicate to your spouse. They are normally distorted and therefore will give a distorted feedback.
The word of God says in Mathew 15: 17-20; 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
We can see that what comes from the mouth is from the heart, and what is in the heart are the thoughts that are in the mind. The thoughts we have a self-talk we have had for so many years and that we need to sort out; what is good and beneficial and the bad and not beneficial.
So what is in your thoughts? Do you see the connection between what’s occurring inside you and what you say? It’s something to become very aware of for a healthy marriage.
There is an antidote to our thoughts that hold us captive; the word of God and its says this in Phil 4:8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Please work on your self-talk and your mind and what you say will be different.
Here is an example; Our self‑talk affects the way we act toward our mate. Here is an example for you: A husband and wife have planned a night out, but at the last-minute he calls and says, “Sorry, but the boss just gave me a project due tomorrow morning. That means I have to stay and work late tonight. What I would like to do is switch our plans to tomorrow night. OK?” The wife hangs up and if her thought life goes towards the negative, then her self-talk might sound like this.
“Didn’t he know I had looked forward to this night all week? I bet he did not even think about me when he accepted the project. He could have told his boss no, that he had an important engagement with his wife. I bet he likes being at work more than being with me and even volunteered to work late so he would not have to take me out tonight. If the truth were known he probably does not really care about me all that much. I guess I am not worthwhile enough to care about. In fact, a lot of people probably do not care about me. Oh, why did I marry that man in the first place?” Guess what ‑ in most cases those thoughts are not even close to being true.
By the time she finishes with her self‑talk, she could be mad at her husband because she believes he does not think being with her is worthwhile. So when he gets homes she lets him have it and he is wondering what did he do wrong. Since our self-talk has such a powerful influence on our life and marriage we need to make sure we aren’t stuck in the negative. So, what do you do you ask?