Silence Suffering: When Quiet Makes You Uncomfortable

Day 5: Silence

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Today’s topic is one that I haven’t heard discussed very often.

I’ve decided to call it Silence Suffering. It sounds similar to silent suffering (when we suffer in silence.) That is when something is making us uncomfortable and we keep it to ourselves suffering in silence.

What I’m referring to is when the actual silence that can occur during a conversation makes you uncomfortable.

That feeling that you get while in the midst of a conversation and then suddenly the conversation runs dry…Often leaving an awkward pause or void to fill.

When you have adhd tendencies, it’s common to make the silence mean something something’s gone wrong.

Think about it, has this happened to you?

What is it that makes the silence so difficult to bear?

The next time it happens to you, here’s three tips to help you get through it.

1) Notice it - when you feel the quiet, welcome it. Notice the urge to fill the void. Pause. Allow the urge to talk to be there, but don’t talk. Let the other person say the next thing. (Unless of course they asked you a question! That would just be weird :-D)

2) Label it - Think to yourself “this is quiet.” Test it out like when you dip a toe into a pool to guage the temperature. See how you feel about it. What are you making the silence mean? Is it your job to manage the flow of the convo?

3) Listen - Use it as an opportunity to double down and build the skill of listening. Ask the other person a question, and allow them to speak for awhile. Be genuinely curious about them. Practice listening hard. A nice way to practice strengthening your focus muscle is to listen deliberately.

Tell me, have you experienced the discomfort of a quiet space in conversation. Do you rush in to fill it up by talking and talking and talking?

Why?

I’d love to hear more.

~Shaun