A recent article in Aeon noted that "illeism" is a term for speaking about oneself in the third person. The article argues that adopting this rhetorical stance can aid in thinking through issues:

...The scientific research suggests that you should adopt an ancient rhetorical method favoured by the likes of Julius Caesar and known as ‘illeism’ – or speaking about yourself in the third person... If I was considering an argument that I’d had with a friend, for instance, I might start by silently thinking to myself: "David felt frustrated that…" The idea is that this small change in perspective can clear your emotional fog, allowing you to see past your biases.

Is there a similar term for talking through a problem with oneself in the second person? (Adapting the example above, "You are feeling frustrated that...")

1 Answer 1


This isn't as old a term as "illeism," as I understand, but this article and this article both use the phrase "self-talk" for self-directed second-person speech in a similar context as the Aeon article quoted above.

  • George Costanza says "George is getting thirsty!"
    – John Canon
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 2:06

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