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Do you have inner speech?

DiscussionsCategory: QuestionsDo you have inner speech?
Jennifer McDougall asked 6 months ago

Much of what we say is never said aloud; it occurs silently in the privacy of our minds. We chastise, congratulate, joke, and generate endless commentary, all without making a sound. This is a distinctively human ability to have conversations in the privacy of our minds and in a sense, "hear" ourselves talking.

Many aphants say they have inner speech, they just can’t "hear" themselves talking.

Do you have inner speech? What’s your experience like?

Rachel C replied 6 months ago

I have inner speech but I don’t actually hear it. I never have. It took me a long time to realize I was also “inner ear blind” as well as being blind in the mind’s eye. Don’t get me wrong, I still do have racing thoughts that go through my mind, it’s just silent. It’s akin to a very, very low drone, like I can almost feel the words vibrating my vocal chords very slightly as I think them. It’s very weird to try to explain.
Blake Ross, the co-creator of Firefox, has aphantasia, and no inner speech either. He describe the voice in his head as his “milk voice”. It is the voice that “reminds you to get milk” when you need it. That’s been the best description of my lack of inner speech that I have seen.

Gwen Rhys replied 2 months ago

Yes, l talk to myself all the time. But l don’t “hear” thecwirds even though I’m saying them.

15 Answers
Jorge De La CerdaJorge De La Cerda answered 5 months ago

I have inner speech and I do "hear" it. When I am planning what I am going to write, type, or say out loud, the words and sentences form in my head and I know how they will sound when spoken. My inner speech is so robust that when I recall spoken quotes the speaker’s voice is firmly attached to the words. It is especially vivid with jokes and humorous turns of phrase and I will burst out laughing at random if one such phrase comes to mind, much to the confusion of those around me. However, I do not subvocalize when I read. I see the words on the page and understand them without an inner voice or mental imagery.

Fenella KennedyFenella Kennedy answered 5 months ago

I have inner speech but no, I don’t hear it. How fascinating!

Iblis BaneIblis Bane answered 4 months ago

I have it, but I don’t "hear" it, I just "know" it. I have several levels of it in fact, ranging from "spoken word" speed to near-instant "conceptualisation" of a concept, if that makes sense. 😀

Tamra SpeakmanTamra Speakman answered 2 months ago

I’d say I have an extremely active inner speach life. No sound. I feel it, understand it, and have what I’d consider actual inner dialogue. Yes I talk to myself both internal and outloud. Like silent reading. I also feel or conceive concepts but do not hear them.

Gwen Rhys replied 2 months ago

Likewise. I’m a creative thinker, quite futuristic in how how envisage concepts, way of living. I’ve used this as an asset in my working life. I’m a disrupter of how things are always done! I “get” how you perceive / feel concepts.

Tamra SpeakmanTamra Speakman replied 2 months ago

” I’m a disrupter of how things are always done! ” [Love this!] “I “get” how you perceive / feel concepts.” [Great to hear that others get it, thanks!]

Stephen AdamsStephen Adams answered 2 months ago

There are no ‘sounds’ in my head but I have a full, fruitful and often distracting headful of thoughts, ideas, inner monologues and monkey’s (silently) clapping.

Cat MacleodCat Macleod answered 2 months ago

I don’t have ‘conversations’ that are back and forth or in third person. I think in sentances and monologue, get lost in thought like that. I find it hard to describe it in any other way than ‘thinking’!

phoebe kearnsphoebe kearns answered 1 month ago

I usually don’t hear myself speak inside my head. It’s more as if i just can feel what is being thought rather than coherent words.

However, can anyone else relate that their reading voice in their heads is super boring? When I read I find it’s easier to clearly ‘hear’ my inner voice, but it’s completely monotone and super quiet.

phoebe kearnsphoebe kearns answered 1 month ago

I usually don’t hear myself speak inside my head. It’s more as if i just can feel what is being thought rather than coherent words.

However, can anyone else relate that their reading voice in their heads is super boring? When I read I find it’s easier to clearly ‘hear’ my inner voice, but it’s completely monotone and super quiet.

Dianna MoylanDianna Moylan answered 1 month ago

I find myself ‘rehearsing’ what i will say and i hear it. But it is more a feeling than out loud.

Dianna MoylanDianna Moylan answered 1 month ago

I find myself ‘rehearsing’ what i will say and i hear it. But it is more a feeling than out loud.

Roberto RojasRoberto Rojas answered 1 month ago

Inner speach yes but no sound, in fact I often people I know kinda "interject", about my thoughts with what I think they would say, which sometimes make actually talking to the real person boring when the actually think just like my "projected/simulated" version.

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