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Using My Inside Voice

February 10, 2020

Did you know there are some people who don’t have an inside voice? I hadn’t really thought about it. My inner monologue rarely stops. I have entire conversations. But, someone people don’t hear that voice in their head. I don’t know what they hear. Do their thoughts simply tumble on top of one another like lego blocks being poured out of a bag?

It sounds exhausting.

As longtime readers know, I have pretty severe ADHD. (Definitely helps when you try to find five topics per week!) But, ADHD has as many hinderences as it has helps.

Some people who suffer from ADHD have no filter. Thoughts fire in their brains at 1000 miles per hour and that’s what comes out of their mouth. Even before I knew ADHD was a problem for me, I had learned (mostly) to keep that inner voice, well. . .inside.

But, containing it is like a bottle of soda. You have to keep the cap on to prevent it from spraying all over. It’s especially volitile under pressure.

One of the family Holiday traditions we have is watching the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. A couple years ago, my son who was away at college brought his girlfriend specifically so that she could watch the movie with us.

I didn’t think much of it. But, he wanted her to get to experience the (apparently time honored) tradition of watching that movie with me providing trivia commentary. I didnt’ even realize it was a tradition. My kids have seen the movie with me enough that they know exactly when I’m going to offer bit of trivia.

Old man potter is played by Lionel Barrymore, Drew Barrymore’s grandfather.

The movie was a flop when it came out.

The “crash” when Uncle Billy says off camera “I’m O.K!” was unscripted. A production assistant dropped some trays and the actor went with it.

The snow was actually corn flakes.

Actually that last one isn’t true. In fact, It’s A Wonderful Life was one of the first films not to use cornflakes, because they were too noisy.

But, anyway, my kids will even wait for me to say the trivia at the right point in the movie. If I miss it, they are disappointed.

I never attributed my love of movie trivia, and bits of dialogue with an inner voice. Even now, I can quote entire sections of dialogue not just from It’s A Wonderful Life, but other movies as well. It’s because I have a voicetrack constantly running in my head. Sometimes it’s on record. Most often it’s on play.

Even writing these few scribbles, I write them, but the dialogue is playing in my head.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t “hear voices.” I hear “a” voice. And it’s my own. It’s just inside instead of outside.

I love to sing and I love to speak in public. My family is like that. We are all pretty comfortable behind a microphone. And yet, I dislike the sound of my recorded voice. Again, I never gave it much thought. As we were discussing the the idea of inner voice, a friend suggested that it was perhaps because the sound of my recorded voice didn’t match my inner voice.

I’ve listened to my inner voice for my entire life. In fact, until the recent discussion about some peopl enot having one, I didn’t even think of it as an inner voice. It was just how I organized my thoughts.

Now that I’ve recognized it, I can’t stop thinking about it. One thing I’m sure of, I’m grateful that long ago I learned when to use my inside voice. And when to keep it silent.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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