Ever wondered what it’s like to live without an internal monologue? Here’s your answer

People have taken to Reddit to discuss what it is like to either live with or without an internal monologue. Incredibly interesting stuff.

Earlier this year, we discovered that not everyone has an internal monologue and, to this day, I am still freaking out about it.

Having only ever lived with an internal monologue, I was extremely curious to find out what it would be like to live without one. Apparently, curiosity has gotten the better of many other people as well. A Reddit thread has now started for people to share what it is like to live with or without this monologue and it is incredibly interesting.

internal monologue, brain, science

Apparently, there are some people out there who don’t have an internal monologue. Crazy, we know. Those who don’t have an internal monologue actually think in abstract, non-verbal patterns and have to consciously verbalise them, while others will very clearly “hear” their thoughts. While this is news to many of us out there, a Reddit thread has recently blown up to uncover this topic in more detail.

Kicking off the discussion, Reddit user Vadermaulkylo was asked by another participant, “So, if your boss asks you to do something right at the point you were planning to leave work you don’t think ‘oh f***ing s**t b*lls what a pain? in your head, while saying ‘No problem at all boss,’ out loud?”. 

He responded, “No. Never had that, if I’m asked to do something I don’t wanna do, I just get kinda frustrated but that’s about it. I don’t really think to myself.”

User GohanShmohan agreed, stating, “I’m the same way, I don’t have any conscious thought about what I’m feeling, or any stream of dialogue describing it to myself. I just feel it. It’s like the inner dialogue is the middle man in my head, who just isn’t there.” 

Another non-monologuer, BobbitWormJoe, confirmed that it was a little more complex than simply not having one. “I don’t have an inner monologue either. Any time I have to communicate outside my head with words, I have to “translate” what I’m thinking. That takes time and effort. It’s why I vastly prefer written communication over verbal, since you can take more time than the instant response a verbal conversation requires.

“When I know I will need to verbally communicate (such as if I need to make a phone call or bring up a topic at a meeting), I prepare mentally as much as possible so I know what words I actually need to say. On the other hand, if I’m in a conversation where I haven’t had time to organize and translate my thoughts ahead of time, I constantly have long pauses where I’m doing it in real time, which comes off as weird to people who notice it. This annoyed my wife for a long time until we both realized why it was happening.”

To the people who think alike to me, this is baffling news. “Thoughts are words, I can’t imagine a thought not as a verbal construction,” user merewautt wrote.

All my thoughts are coloured by the physical parts of different emotions, but they’re all words. I can imagine being physically angry for a moment without verbally thinking it (my heart would be racing, maybe my shoulders shake, muscles tense up, etc) but I can’t imagine being aware of any of my physical emotions without thoughts as language.

“My internal monologue while my body was having the physical anger response would be (inner monologue in parenthesis): (Oh f this b***h, she’s being such a hypocrite) -out loud- YOU’RE BEING A F***ING HYPOCRITE, (she’s gonna say it’s not the same because—-) IT’S NOT THE SAME AND YOU KNOW IT.”

This is incredible stuff and really goes to show that we are all so incredibly different, especially in the way we think.

Check out the full thread here.