Do You Have an Inner Monologue?


Brianne Leber

Me holding a book I love because I discuss how my mind structures what I read in the article.

Brianne Leber, Chief Editor

Do you ever see someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?

There are a lot of jokes made about the voice inside our head but that little voice actually does have a name. Inner monologue is the running verbal commentary that exists in our minds. The funny thing is, some people don’t have one.

I would like to preface with the reminder that I am not a scientist, so please do not think of me as a reliable source. I am just a girl with an extreme fascination in the structure of thought. All of my information was gathered from other sources and my own discussions with family and friends about their inner thought process.

Inner thought structure is mostly three different forms. Verbal, visual, and pattern. People can do all three but most people have a primary thought.

Mine is verbal. I am constantly talking to myself every day. When I want to visualize I have to consciously make the choice to visualize.

When I was talking to a friend, she asked me what its like to read without visualizing the events, I didn’t know how to explain to her that when I want to see the scenes of the story, I can. But I don’t always see the scene when I’m not trying too. Reading in my head sounds like me having a story told to me.

Joke stemming from movie Inside Out. Taken from (original creator unknown)

My neighbor is bilingual so I asked her what its like inside of her head. Anissa Vallejo said, “I  think with words and I talk to myself in my head.” She also told me how when she “thinks in my head, its in Spanish. ”

I also talked to my father. I was curious if his way of thinking was similar to mine. Bobby Leber surprised me however by telling me that he “thinks in diagrams.” I have to be honest, his thinking in diagrams ruined my night. I still can not understand how someone thinks in diagrams because I could never do it. Even when I try, it just doesn’t work. He told me that his thoughts exists “on a timeline. Everything is centered around one thought and it expands from there.”

I am amazed by how much other peoples thoughts stray from mine. I assumed everyone was like me. One article I read explained how most people are completely unaware of the differences of thought, because they literally never thought about it.

I implore you to ask others how they think. It is so fascinating to try to imagine the way someone else’s mind works.