Skip to main content

The Power of Silence in a World of Distractions

         For years, I’ve encouraged people to speak up and speak out regarding matters important to them.  I’m a big proponent of talking through problems, resolving conflicts through meaningful dialogue, and speaking frankly to bring people to greater self-awareness.  But with all this talk about, well, talk, there are also important times when silence is essential.

          In communications, silence is as important as trying to find the right words to gain buy-in or being cognizant of our body language and even listening attentively.  There are times when choosing to save our words for ourselves is far more effective for our growth than saying what we feel.  Self-talk—though largely practiced negatively by most of us (think:  “I can’t do this” or “He must be out of his mind”)—can be self-motivating when done correctly.  Thinking deeply about an issue and walking through all sides of it in an internal dialog can address those areas that one might feel uncomfortable sharing out loud with someone else.  Provided you’re willing to be honest with yourself, these conversations can be life-changing.
          Silence creates the space for focused problem-solving, goal-setting, and soul-searching.  Too often, we act uncomfortable with silence.  We tend to fill up those spaces with chatter that might otherwise be meaningless.  Why?  Is it that we don’t want to deal with the answers that we’ll have to face when the truth emerges?  Are we shutting out those issues that keep cropping up but that we don’t want to address?  Silence forces us to come face-to-face with hard truths, with reality.
          Silence also helps us to sort through complex problems.  It helps us to arrive at important answers.  It helps us to create plans for our futures.  It helps us to find calm and peace when life gets too hectic.  Silence is not a way to avoid conflict.  It’s not about giving the cold shoulder or being quiet because we don’t have anything kind to say.  Silence is a powerful tool to get in touch with ourselves, to rise above distractions, and to find answers to questions we might not otherwise have thought to ask.  So do this:  Challenge yourself.  Carve out a few minutes every day for a week to be silent.  Listen openly and intently for the answers that lie within.  Ask the hard questions.  Then plan to act on what you hear.  No matter how hard, if it’s the right thing for you, take the plunge.  Face the truth and take the steps to make a difference in your own life.  Here’s wishing you the best in silence and self-discovery.

Popular posts from this blog

He Said, She Said

It seems like everywhere we turn today in the news, there are accusations being made between men and women.  Those accusations are of a serious nature and are costing people on both sides in life-altering ways.  Sexual misconduct and abuse, physical abuse, and gender bias are among the many claims being made mostly by women against men.  These men are usually in positions of power.  Therefore, they are in a prime position to commit the crimes and bad behavior they are accused of without a lot of resistance initially from their victims.
     But something has happened lately.  What was once too shameful to speak about out loud is now front and center for all the world to see.  What was perpetrated behind closed doors has now been shoved out in the open by a chorus of voices saying it happened to #MeToo.  One of the difficult angles in these revelations is how the rest of us receives these stories.  Many people without hesitation take sides with the women who are accusing the men.…

Taming the Tongue

I was studying the Bible today because part of my life is spent as a Bible student and Sunday School teacher.  I enjoy reading it because of the many life lessons it holds.  Today's scripture has everything to do with communications.  And since this is a communications blog, I will refer to the verses I read in it just like I would in any book where I find something worth repeating.  In the book of James, chapter three, James is talking about talking--specifically cursing, lying, gossiping, boasting, and a bunch of other things we say that we shouldn't.  These behaviors are born out of one small part of our bodies that we all lose control of along with our brains at varying points in our lives.  But when we lose control, we amass large amounts of grief for ourselves and others.

     Beginning at verse three, he describes this failure of ours.  "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. …

What Your Face is Saying About Your Attitude

I once coached a front office person on the importance of customer service excellence.  She was the greeter of new and established clients when they walked through the front door.  Bottom line, she was not suited for that portion of the job.  Though she was organized, diligent, detail-oriented, and punctual, she lacked skills on the people side of her job.  She struggled with making clients feel warm and welcome in the business.  Her phone skills were also lacking because the tone of her voice, though calm, was not pleasant.  I talked to her about the simple act of smiling.  Of course it shows up on the face, but it's also heard in the voice.  With a blank look and absolutely no inflection in her voice, she said, "But I am smiling."  Insert emoji with the surprised look here.      I thought she was joking at first, but she was serious--about smiling.  One of her greatest challenges was that of so many of us--a lack of self-awareness.  She had no idea what she looke…