Living with silence is challenging. Humans are wired and often compelled to speak in the absence of noise. Our current society further conditions us to expect frenetic environments where silence is virtually absent.
While verbal communication is a primary foundation for human interaction, incorporating silence as a common practice enhances our quality of life and provides a much-needed opportunity to process the world around us. Without silence, we lack the ability to think thoroughly, reflect deeply, and grow immeasurably.
Silence, at times, can be negatively associated with being alone or being reprimanded in a relationship by the silent treatment.
Silence often gets a bad rap when its value is immensely influential. It does not necessarily equate to being alone, nor are we mistreating others if we remain quiet. Even extroverts who derive energy from others require periods of quiet time and could yield valuable insights from the tranquility introverts require. We all need silence for time to reflect, process, and accordingly grow.
An ability to listen effectively. Many of us engage in listening only as a way of waiting until it is our turn to speak. If you cannot resist thinking about what you want to say when listening, focus instead specifically on being silent. You will be surprised how much your ability to concentrate will improve. If you can stop focusing on what you want to say when listening and instead concentrate entirely on what is being said to you, then silence will not just bring you a new skill, it will bring you new knowledge.
A clear view into the hearts of others. As the saying goes, “It is not what you say; it is how you say it.” Silence gives us the ability to listen to not only what is said, but how it is said. This how provides a glimpse into the personality and character of the person which you may not have experienced. With years of interacting and observing nuances in human behavior, expression, and tone, our intuition becomes more accurate… Silence increases the power of this ability.
Attractiveness. As humans fight constant noise, more than anything we strongly desire to be heard and understood. Those who fulfill that role are left viewed as… powerfully charismatic.
Self-Control. When seeing or hearing something that sparks a strong reaction, the expected response is one containing emotion. Responding with silence, or after you can process what is experienced is practicing self control.
Wisdom. When facing a new challenge, making silence your first response gives you a chance to reflect before you speak, increasing the likelihood that what you say and do will be on target, intelligent, and useful. Using silence as a response when facing a new challenge, you provide yourself with the opportunity to reflect before you speak increasing the quality of your response.
Embrace silence and its influence: ponder, process, and reflect.
Silence IS golden!