Self-reflection plays an important role in one’s personal growth. It is deemed to be an effective way of introspection that is fundamental in learning more about the essence and nature of humans. Like what the famous philosopher, Socrates said, “Knowing thyself is the path to true acumen.” But is there a right and a wrong way of doing such reflection?

A new research has shown that a simple rumination often results in defective decision making. The more people work under pressure, the higher the risks of depression. Thus, the researchers suggested that people should adopt an old rhetorical way supported by Julius Caesar known as illeism, the act of referring to oneself in third-person instead of first-person.

After a series of experiments, Ethan Kross, a psychologist, found out that the way people do inner monologues has an effect on their success in life. If a person talks to himself with the pronoun “I”, that person is more likely to perform poorly. On the contrary, addressing oneself by his or her name has more chances of accomplishing tasks. Researchers think that this kind of third-person thinking can actually improve decision making.

For instance, adopting a third-person perspective while arguing with someone might help you understand the root of the problem. If you are planning to change your career, considering the distanced perspective could help you weigh up the advantages and the risks of the decision more dispassionately.

Indeed, humans are actually capable of making wiser reasonings and better decision making. In case you feel indecisive, try talking to yourself in the third person and who knows, you might get surprised by the result.