Silence comes naturally to some people. These fortunate individuals understand the power of silence and are at ease in it. There are a lot of us who need to learn how to practice silence. Continue reading for more reasons to experiment with silence in your daily communications.
1. Silence attracts people's attention
If you've ever been in a classroom or a group situation, you've probably noticed how silence often draws everyone's attention. If the teacher or presenter is talking too much, the listeners' minds may wander. When the speaker stops speaking, the brain receives a signal that something has occurred. You suddenly pay attention to try to figure out why communication has ceased. The same holds true in our everyday conversations. People take notice when we are silent, and we gain their attention.
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2. Silence can be an obvious solution
When we communicate, we sometimes say too much. We exaggerate. When a question is met with silence, there is almost always an answer in that silence. We can also soften the blow of a negative response by responding with silence. There is an implied “no” without any harsh words or overuse of words that could cause more harm than good. Another example is when someone says something with which we disagree or find offensive. When we remain silent, we send a strong message that we disagree or do not agree with what someone is saying.
3. Silence employs nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is frequently more powerful than verbal communication.
4. Silence allows others to empathize with you
There are times when silence can provide empathy and understanding to others. Sometimes we don't know what to say to someone who is going through a difficult or painful situation. We can show someone we care and are there for them without saying much. We can provide comfort through our calming silence.
5. It is polite to remain silent
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with noise and messages. From radio broadcasts and news channels to music in elevators, stores, and most businesses, to phone rings and the constant chatter of people around us. We frequently believe that because there is so much going on, we do not have enough time to communicate what we need to communicate. We're up against a slew of other distractions. When we do have the opportunity to speak, we usually feel compelled to cram every thought into a limited amount of time. However, when we remain silent, we allow others to speak. We demonstrate to them that they are important.
Finally, we can be effective communicators by making use of our ability to be silent. Silence contains a great deal of power. Now all we have to do is keep practicing. Practice makes perfect, as the old adage goes, and silence is golden.
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