This is going to be one of those: “I’m SURE I’ve written about this before” posts. (Apparently I’ve already decided I’m posting this.)
There are two separate pieces of information that go to this idea:
- Someone posted a tumblr screenshot that I’ve got SOMEwhere around on a server someplace but can never find of a conversation where people described assigning identities to the negative voices in their head and how it helped them box up those impulses quite handily.
“You’re worthless. That art is shit. How could you ever think anyone else would want to see that?”
“Shut up Dave.” etc.
- Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich talked about how he ran an experiment where he’d imagine sitting in a room with a bunch of famous historical luminaries and talk out problems with them. I don’t recall the list of people, but there was a founding father or two, Lincoln, a scientist IIRC. But it got to the point quickly where they had their own mannerisms and he actually freaked himself out terribly by the practice because of the apparent reality they seemed to have in his own head. He abandoned the practice.
Now…I always thought both of those would be spectacular practices. Not…that they’re actually so different. But I never really got them to stick.
However, I do, with horrifying regularity, have arguments with people who aren’t there in my head. My parents, old bosses, ex girlfriends. They’re not replays of old arguments but me hashing through whatever. Usually something I’m frustrated about in one way or another.
And I realized a couple/few weeks ago that I was doing exactly the same thing. I just hadn’t categorized it the same. So, having not boxed these little phantom (fantasy) conversations and arguments as what they were, somewhere in my head I associated them with the people who were (not) involved.
And because they’re real people I didn’t quite realize what it was that I was doing. I never quite got the benefit of boxing up what it was I’d assigned those people to in my head.
It’s kinda fascinating really. I’ve got to do some more thinking about it. I figured I’d just post it here while I did.