When I was about 14 years old I heard my mother’s friend say, “I guess I should be worried when I start talking to myself.”

I really thought she was cool, but I was conflicted about what she’d said because it felt weird to me to not have some internal communication and trust about what I thought and felt.

Years later I wondered where she’d gotten this idea about not talking to herself? Did she think that talking to herself implied there was something “wrong” with her?

I believe clear, honest internal communication is a sign of emotional health. The fact that we can think through a situation, sort through the related information and then label what we know is really quite miraculous.

And when we actually do this emotional exercise we tend to take action sooner than if we’d labeled a feeling as just being good – which can just gloss over what we really felt.

We need to use real descriptions of what we feel beyond the basic good, bad and okay (of course sometimes you just have to say “good” and move on). But what about trying to use a broader description like perplexed, annoyed, giddy, curious, funky, uncomfortable, joyful, inadequate or lonely?

If we listen to ourselves when we say to ourselves that our current relationship feels uncomfortable, untrusting and hurtful, maybe we’d get out sooner than if we just said it was okay.