In this week’s podcast I wanted to talk about ‘silence’ and its impact on people. It’s a very powerful thing and can serve to produce inexplicable bonds between us, but can also make us uncomfortable and awkward.
I recently came across an article that Sophia Dembling referred to called 6 Things Every Extrovert Secretly Has to Deal With. One of the points in particular made me despair slightly:
“You’re expected to keep the conversation going. When there’s a lull in the conversation, do you know who starts it back up again? The extrovert does. However, being the engine and the fuel for social gatherings can be extremely tiring and feel like a lot of work, so sometimes it would be nice for us extroverts to be allowed a break and have other people take over (though, for some of us, not talking can be quite the challenge).”
Silence is OK
This is a fascinating insight, and what I imagine to be a great misunderstanding or difference in the way that introverts and extraverts see silence. For me and for many a lull in the conversation is welcome and can even serve as an opportunity to formulate thoughts and potentially speak up. Sometimes it can be hard to see where you can get a word in.
In this week’s episode I explore this issue and attempt to discuss ways we can better approach silence in order to make things more comfortable for people around us. As a highly sensitive person I know that silence can sometimes be bliss and at other times the loudest most over-stimulating thing to cope with. It all depends on how it makes the people I’m with feel.
I outline five effective ways to respond to silence, whether you are on your own or in a group:
1. Observe (inward and outward)
2. Be Self-Aware
3. Affirm your Silence
4. Acknowledge and Humour Silence
5. Be brave