It’s awkward because we’re humans.
We’re always judging ourselves and our social standing. We evolved to be hyper-aware of our position in relation to others. Thousands of years ago, if you let yourself slip in the eyes of others, you could be out of the tribe. And that, potentially, could mean you’re on your own and your odds of survival plummet.
But we don’t live in that world anymore. Now, silence is golden. Here’s how to take advantage of this powerful technique in your life:
Use the 90% rule. I’ve written about this before. Talk for 10% of the time. Listen 90% of the time. You’ll be amazed by what you learn about other people. This is especially powerful when talking with children / youth.
Don’t plan what you’re going to say next. This sounds very strange to some people. But isn’t that the entire point of a conversation? No, not necessarily. Conversations should be organic. If you’re always planning what to say next, you’re going to miss out on key information that could change your perspective. You’ll miss out on opportunities to respond in new ways.
Have a conversation about silence. This move is torturous for some. But what if you actually acknowledged your feelings about the silence? Would the world end? Absolutely not. What will most likely happen is that you’ll make it safe to discuss what’s bothering your conversation partner as well. Any feeling you have in a conversation is most likely shared, in some shape or form, by the person you’re talking to. Acknowledging what’s in front of you decreases tension and builds trust.
So there you have it–3 powerful methods for using silence in your life.
Silence doesn’t have to be awkward.
And once you realize that, you realize that this extremely powerful technique has been hiding in plain sight all along.
Use this tool wisely, my friends. You now hold great power in your hands.