Lavon Hayes loves your outfit!
The Child and I recently started watching Heart of Dixie.
The 10 year old adores the television show.
One being sexy Wade Kinsella who appears incapable of wearing shirts and Mama likes it that way. But Mama digresses.
High up on Mama’s (finger quote) redeeming quality (unF.Q.) list is Lavon Hayes, Mayor of the show’s fictional town.
Lavon is charismatic, Lavon has many
tattoos layers. Lavon consistently refers to Lavon in the third person.
As in illeism:
When Mama first heard the stylistic tool used in the show’s dialogue (aforementioned cocktail reference) she laughed out loud.
This is a rip-off of Jimmy likes Elaine! she said to the Child who knew neither Jimmy nor Elaine.
You know who Flavor Flav is, right?? she continued. He does this third person stuff, too! It’s ridiculous.
And yet, as happens with trashy TV in Mama’s house, Mama still was drawn to the show.
Lavon Hayes did NOT see that coming.
I tell you what, Mama joked to the Child one night mid-episode. I’ll give you $10 if, for an entire day, you do what Lavon does and refer to yourself as (insert child’s first and last name here).
No way, the Child responded. And besides, I like George Tucker.
Later that night, when Mama was alone with her thoughts, she concluded she should give the idea a try.
Starting a new writing gig?
Carla Birnberg is an amazing writer!
Filling out an application to present at a conference?
Carla Birnberg is a fabulous orator!
Heading down an unfamiliar path toward things which could fill her with fear?
Carla Birnberg is brazen! Carla Birnberg has got this!
While it sounded silly at times, even as mental self-talk, by day’s end Carla Birnberg
converted to illeism Lavon Hayes’d herself and discovered confidence she’d forgotten she had.
Illeism/Lavon Hayes’ing is empowering for 3 distinct reasons.
#1. Third person feels bold.
Speaking of oneself in the third person is so quirky and so odd it sliiides right into feeling confident and unstoppable. Even when used as a line of internal chatter/positive self-talk it made Carla Birnberg feel brazen. It reminded Carla Birnberg she wasn’t asking permission–Carla Birnberg was taking what she’s entitled to and kicking ass along the way.
#2. Third person gave me perspective.
Carla Birnberg rocks with other people’s problems. Carla Birnberg is fantastic at reminding others they matter. We’ve all experienced feeling overwhelmed by a challenge which, if presented to us by a friend, would have an easy solution. Illeism offered Carla Birnberg distance and provided perspective. This new vantage point to her life facilitated Carla Birnberg giving herself fantastic advice. Carla Birnberg has never struggled with negative self-talk yet this still felt like positive-speak on steroids.
#3. Third person allowed me to disconnect.
While Lavon Hayes’ing herself Carla Birnberg felt a movie character. Carla Birnberg didn’t disconnect in a negative, on the outside looking in way, but in a manner which provided clarity. Instead of panicking (or allowing discouragement to reign) illeism allowed Carla Birnberg to pause and ask herself: What *would* the best version of Carla Birnberg do in this situation?!
Here’s where I’m supposed to add This is hyperbolic. I never really tried The Illeism Experiment. I was making a point.
I can’t say that because I actually did it.
I felt like Elmo for much of the 24 hour cycle, but that furry monster might be on to something…
- Have you heard of illeism? Would you try it as a self-talk pattern if it boosted your confidence?
- Have you watched Heart of Dixie? Are you a George or a Wade fan?