Personality

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

The Path To Your Goal Is Paved With 1000 Pebbles

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I woke up in the middle of the night and had an epiphany. As I’m coaching with clients, it’s common for them to say “I keep doing the things and nothing, I’m just not seeing the results that I want”. I’ve thought it many times myself.

By nature I’m what is referred to as a “quick start”. On the Kolbe index, it describes the instinctive way that a person deals with risk and uncertainty. A person that is not afraid to jump in and do the things. That’s me.

According to the Kolbe index, “these change makers add vision and risk to the mix. Always negotiable, they defy the odds and intuit pos­sibilities that would otherwise go untried. Because they instigate the unusual, people who operate in the initiating zone of Quick Start are natural promoters and entrepreneurs. Accommodating change is no problem for people who respond in Quick Start. For instance, they’ll go along if you change your mind at the last minute and want to see a different movie. “

I take action, I do things, and I adjust.

I take action, I do things, and I expect results.

What I realized the other night is that my expectations may be out of alignment. When I have a goal in mind, I envision where I want to end up, what it will take to get me there and what the obstacles may be. Often the obstacles appear in my mind as very, very large mountains or boulders that need to be scaled or overturned.

I think if they can’t be scaled or overturned then there must be a creative solution to get around them. (I love that one, problem solving is my favorite!)

On average, I imagine 3-6 very large obstacles at a time. Never more than that.

I had a belief that there are a few large obstacles in the way of our dreams, and if we feel afraid but still take action, and then creatively navigate the 3-6 very large obstacles, we would get to where we want to go.

Expectations.

It just made sense to me.

Expectations.

So many movies are based on this premise. The mission is in sight and yet there is one large obstacle in the way. One big problem to be solved.

I bought into the hype.

I want to solve the one very large problem!!

So when I woke up the other night, for some reason I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was an image of 1000 pebbles. No boulder. No mountain. Just 1000 pebbles.

They were small, and smooth, and light, and the same.

Where do I start?

It doesn’t matter, just pick one and flip it over.

Pick another one, and flip it over.

And another…

And another…

What if the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles? Am I willing to do it?

It sounds boring and uneventful.

Can I stick with it long enough?

What if I think the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles, and actually it’s more like 100,000 pebbles? Am I willing to do THAT?

I decided that night as I drifted off back to sleep, yes, yes I am willing.

The next morning I woke up and got to work.

Flipping pebbles.