n. Words or phrases said to oneself, especially for therapeutic or motivational reasons.
For any age, she said, self-talk represents a useful tool in staying focused. A positive statement to oneself during a game, said Jerry Stern, a Columbus psychologist certified as an Olympic sports therapist, spurs the participant to a peak state. Still, he doesn't "suggest talking to oneself out loud."
—Rosanne Rosen, “For Your Ears Only,” The Columbus Dispatch, January 04, 2002
1981 (earliest)
He mixes the scientistic latinisms of the old sociology (''participation framework,'' ''referent-response'') with the weird ungrammatical coinages of the new (''say-foring,'' ''commentarylike,'' ''self-talk'').
—Geoffrey Nunberg, “The Theatricality of Everyday Life,” The New York Times, May 10, 1981
The earliest media citation uses this phrase as a quotation from the book Forms of Talk, by Erving Goffman, which was published in 1981.
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