Do you like your inner voice?

Or more generally - what is your relationship with your inner voice?

I am assuming you’ve got one. I vaguely recall reading about some people not having an internal monologue. Or maybe it was a joke. I can’t recall exactly. If you don’t have an inner voice, uh, good for you, I guess?

The usual caveat here goes that my account is going to be biased and erroneous because there is no ‘objective proof’. However, I have been a lucky sod who externalised his internal monologue in the form of blog entries. So that serves as a somewhat objective proof in my case. I have maintained a semi-regular blog since about 2009. Though the exact form of a ‘pensieve’ emerged in April 2013 when I quit all social media and switched to a dumb Nokia phone for a few weeks.


It’ll be ten years this year since I started college. I have had quite an experience with my internal chatter in this time. It has pushed me to do better at various moments. And it has also pushed me further down into a sinking hole in my bed at other moments.

I am not much of a “visual” thinker as they call it, but if I had to give my inner voice a physical form, it’d probably look like this –


It always dons this character of a muted warning light that seems to say - “You sure about that?”

All the time.

I remember (and my blog entries are proof) of the time when I was a lonely boy in Zurich. My inner voice (IV) would push me to make plans, and then convince me to cancel them at the last minute. Or if I did see them through and seemed to be having fun, it’d suddenly whisper - “Having fun? Shouldn’t you be studying?” At other times, like when I was training for a half marathon and was running a 5k in 20 minutes (humble brag), it would tell me that I was doing myself and my future selves a huge favour by staying physically fit.

I don’t think I have ever come at odds with my IV. Like, how they show in the movies, no? The main character fighting with the voices in his/her head. I haven’t had that. Or at least I don’t recall it. It does get loud or seem incessant at times but I have always seen it as a part of me. Remember, Pinky and the Brain? My IV and I keep switching roles like Pinky and the Brain in our bid for world dominance – which is me trying to self-actualise and achieve my goals and desires.

Thankfully, of late, like the last year and a half or so, my relationship with it has become quite healthy. I get swayed into doing things and I’ll get a polite * bing * sound in my head warning me or reminding me of something that I’d been ignoring. Let me try to give you some examples –

  1. I’d be working on my laptop. Really engrossed in whatever it is that I am doing (I tend to do that quite often I have realised). And sometimes an hour, even two, or in the night, even three hours pass and I haven’t changed my posture. Or drank any water. My IV will send me quiet reminders for it. And then I’ll get up, walk around a bit, drink water, stretch my limbs, and do some exercises before resuming.
  2. I’d be having a lazy “unproductive” day and feeling bad about it. My IV will tell me to continue to watch some more useless YouTube videos or scroll through Instagram and Twitter some more. And then suddenly it’ll remind me that if I did just one “productive” task today, I’d feel a hundred times less bad about myself. And that’s how I end up doing laundry or cooking a meal or finishing off a pending work item.
  3. I’d just be going through my day. And then randomly, in the middle of a meeting, I’ll get a reminder from my IV saying – “You haven’t called Mom in 3 days.” And I’ll quickly clear up my schedule for the evening to call home.
  4. I’ll get engrossed in “life”. Going to office, cooking, looking at memes, chatting with friends, video calling with family – and days would pass of doing just this. But my IV will invariably bing at a random moment in the day and say - “Hey man, you’ve got some goals in life. You haven’t checked on them in a while. You might want to schedule some time out for yourself to take stock of your progress there.” And I’ll ignore it for another few days until my IV brings out the big guns and starts making me feel guilty. Then I’ll do it.
  5. I’ll get a few calls, some emails, some unanswered texts, and I’ll start to feel anxious about the piling items. But my IV will quietly remind me that I have always handled this successfully and I’ll do it again this time. I just need to spend a few minutes taking stock of the situation and plan my actions. That’ll give me some breathing room and then I do as told and things solve themselves.

You get what I mean?

I am conveniently calling it all my inner voice. I recognise that some of it is affirmations, some are my anxieties and others are just me figuring out my programming. But it’s all IV to me because it all happens inside my head.

The reason I am sharing this with you is because I felt like expressing some gratitude. I remember how debilitating the internal monologue can be. And I seemed to have gotten over it, and in fact, come to a mutually beneficial arrangement with it. I am incredibly grateful for this.

What’s your relationship with your inner voice like? Does it bother you too much? Do you have a similar friendly arrangement with it? Has it changed greatly over the years? I only have about ten years of adulthood in my experience, so I’d love to learn from your experiences.

Tell me! Email / text as always.

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Cheers! See you soon.

Last modified: Mar 27, 2022