Take that boyfriends, husbands, relatives and anyone else who's publicly shamed you for having a full blown in-depth one-way conversation with your dog.
As it turns out, talking to something that doesn't talk back to you is a completely natural part of the human experience. What's more, you can actually gain a tonne of psychological benefits from doing so.
Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, told Quartz that talking to animals is actually a sign of intelligence. He explained:
Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet. No other species that has this tendency.
"Recognizing the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognizing a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity."