“The silence speaks; listen to what I didn’t say today.” Rachel Wolchin
Keep this in mind when you are trying to understand what silence is truly trying to say.
The reality is that silence often times speak for us whenever we do not have the words for a certain situation. The hard part about the silence is that we truly never know what the silence means on the surface.
For today’s inspiration, we will look at the following:
- What is silence?
- What goes wrong with silence?
- What is your silence trying to tell the world?
- What are the answers to silence?
Now that we have the questions, let’s find the answers!
What is silence?
Merriam-Webster has defined silence for us as:
- A lack of sound or noise.
- A situation, state, or period of time in which people do not talk.
- A situation or state in which someone does not talk about or answer questions about something.
With silence, it is total quietness from a person. When a person is silent, you will not get anything verbal out of them.
What goes wrong with using silence?
We all are capable of using our silence to our benefit, but two things go wrong with that:
- The silence is misunderstood or misinterpreted by others.
- People will try to assume and think that a person is saying something with the silence, but have no clue what the true meaning behind the silence may be.
- The silence is unwelcomed or unwanted by others.
- The silence comes at a time where people do not want or need the person to be quiet about their thoughts and feelings.
Both of these factors can cause a lot of miscommunication and anger among people.
What is your silence trying to tell the world?
Your silence is trying to tell the world something today. The world may not quite know what you mean, but we are going to try to help them out. Seth Ellsworth has a list of 20 possible things you may be saying to someone when your silence is speaking for you. I will list them below, but you can check out his article by click on the link below:
- I’m speechless. I’d rather stare at you because the depths of your beauty are infinite and the words that I would say wouldn’t even scratch the surface.
- The value of that which I am about to speak is not worth the time and effort associated with speaking it.
- I am not ready to tell you what I am actually dying to tell you.
- You are not ready to hear what I am actually dying to tell you.
- I’m too ignorant to explain it.
- You’re too ignorant to understand what I’m about to say.
- The timing isn’t right.
- The timing is too good and I’m a chicken liver.
- I don’t have enough time.
- I am thinking so many things that it’s a veritable impossibility to speak them all, so in silence I remain. The classic paralysis by analysis.
- I’m just not any good with words so I’d rather you guess what the heck I’m thinking and I’ll tell you if you’re hot or cold. (A silent invitation to play 20 questions).
- If you’re a girl, your silence is because you assume that the dude can and has read your subtle ‘signals’. He should know what you’re thinking anyways.
- I’m boring.
- You’re boring.
- I’m too tired and I don’t want to talk about it.
- You talk too much and I need a break.
- I’ve talked for the last hour straight. It’s your turn.
- You have something in your teeth and I’m too embarrassed to tell you.
- This date is over.
- I just passed some mean gas and I don’t want anyone to think it was me so I keep my mouth shut, or plug my nose and keep my mouth open so I can breathe.
I am sure there is more you can say through your silence, but when you think of just these 20 answers, it is amazing to see how a closed mouth can speak on your behalf.
What are the answers to silence?
In order to answer this question, we need to look at it two-fold:
How can you help someone find the answers to your silence?
To help someone find the answers to your silence, you will need to these two important things:
- Look at and understand your own silence.
- When you can see and understand your silence, you can begin the process of helping someone understand.
- Acknowledge whenever you give your silence to someone.
- Start looking at yourself when you give your silence to someone.
2. If you think that someone may misunderstand your silence, offer to translate it.
- Do not be afraid to give a verbal or physical answer to someone if you think that they are going to take your silence the wrong way.
- Allow them the opportunity to ask questions about your silence so that they can learn why you are silent in certain situations.
- When you are able to translate your silence through your words and actions, it will help people to understand your silence a lot better.
How can you find the answers to someone else’s silence?
In order for you to find the answers to someone else’s silence, you must do this one very important thing:
- Do not assume…research.
- It is easy to assume a blank stare or a frown, but it is important to find out the cause of the silence.
- You can do this through asking questions and looking at the situation that they are in.
- When you do your research, you will become prepared to understand the answers that come from the silence of another person.
The answers to the silence will amaze us, but we got to do what it takes to get the answers.
I encourage you to look at your own silence, and really think about what your silence is trying to tell the world. The answers are being given, but does the world know how to get the answers? It is up to you to help the world understand what your silence means, or else you will always be misunderstood and labeled as difficult or hard to understand. Let’s remember silence offers answers when words or actions do not, so take the time to gain understanding of the silence or else the answer will remain silent.
I have a few questions to ask you in which I would love for you to give some thought. Feel free to answer and comment below:
- Can you recall a moment where your silence spoke louder than your words or actions?
- What was the answer your silence gave to the world?
- How did your silence impacted the people in that moment?
- What advice would you give to someone who is trying to understand the answers that silence can offer?
Your answers and comments can help yourself or someone else understand this important question:
- What is your silence trying to tell the world?
-Michael J. Fite