Talking about yourself in third person is often looked at as being narcissistic. I suppose it is in a way. Especially if you do it in regular conversations. But it also helps to take yourself out of a situation and re-evaluate what happened. Let me explain…

Have you ever been at work and kind of lose concentration on the task at hand and make a mistake? If you’re like me, you say your own name and something derogatory. “Josef, you’re such an idiot!” Of course it’s not the most pleasant way to talk to yourself. But it somehow feels as though you took the onus off of yourself and put it on someone else. A way to blame the “other” you.

I’ve always wondered why we put ourselves down when making mistakes. Mistakes are a way of learning- a chance to always improve. Perhaps the people who say their name in the third person aren’t being conceited, but rather trying to correct their behavior by remaining positive about who they are.

Most of us don’t speak in the third person on a regular basis. It’s kind of weird. But the next time you catch yourself berating yourself when a mistake is made- try saying something positive with your name in the sentence. You’d be surprised how the encouragement from within can change your entire outlook. Elmo has been teaching it for four decades now.

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