Silence: how to turn it into an ally for communication

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Joe Dispenza

Silence: how to turn it into an ally for communication

Last update: Augusts 29, 2016

Generally we think that the silence of others during a discussion gives us reason, in reality that silence allows us to reflect and listen to each other, especially if our speech is full of reproaches. You must keep in mind that those who are silent do not always consent, but that sometimes with his silence he teaches you to understand the damage that your words inflict in leaving your mouth without control in the exaltation of the discussion.

Keeping quiet and listening shouldn't be a sign of weakness, but rather of intelligence, respect and understanding towards the other, because if we all shout, no one listens and learns. If we all shout, probably reason and words will end up flying uncontrolled without landing in the ears of the other to be picked up, consequently losing their meaning, or worse, turning into bullets full of criticisms that do nothing, but only hurt. .

"The road to all great things passes through silence"

-Friedrich Nietzsche-

We are slaves of our words

On many occasions the words are not blown away by the wind, rather they are planted like daggers in the heart of the listener.

When discussions always return to the same theme without reaching an agreement - that is, they become circular - it is very common that the so-called "emotional climb" is generated. This climb consists in reproaching the motive of your anger several times without stopping to listen to the point of view of the other; coming to raise the tone of voice in front of your "counterpart", who will respond in the same way, making effective communication impossible.

Think that if you have only words already used, it will be very difficult to combine them so that they convey something new. This happens because they condemn you to express the same message in the same register, and doing so is a sign that you are not listening and that your words ignore what the other is saying.

If a person is silent, he listens, but does not show submission, reflects and tries to put himself in the other's shoeswill succeed to follow all the necessary steps to improve communication. To do this, silence can be a great ally. Think that a good communicator uses silence to see what he did wrong and how he can improve in his next response.

"Silence is the loudest noise, perhaps the loudest of noises"

-Miles Davis-

In silence, words acquire the value they deserve

After silence, and when this is not misinterpreted, calm usually comes. There was time to reflect and a meeting point was sought with the other, which leads us to communicate the things that bother us. It is the moment when we understand that our point of view is not similar to that of our "counterpart" and that we do not feel the same feelings because we are not the same person.

For this reason, we must explain ourselves in the best possible way, expressing our emotions without hurting the other. A very useful tool to achieve this are the "me messages".

The "I messages" are those in which reproaches are not inserted, but which depart from what we (I) feel, think, believe or desire. Thus we eliminate the guilt of the other without ceasing to manifest what we feel.

An example of these messages will consist of saying: “I think / I feel that / I believe that…” instead of the typical “because you did / you said / you made me feel…”. These massages allow you to make complete communications: we begin by describing the situation or what the other is doing, without going into the merits of evaluations, we then introduce the message me and close with a possible alternative version of what happened.

A complete example could be the following:

  • Description of the situation: Last night, when we were having dinner at home with our friends and you didn't help me serve at the table.
  • Message me: You made me feel like I was your servant, like I was at your service instead of being your wife.
  • Alternative to what happened: I wish you had helped me serve the dishes.

Speaking in this way is a matter of education in this habit. Listening, reflecting in a moment of silence and answering will not come automatically if we have never practiced it.

It is normal that if we have communicated in a certain way all our life, it will be difficult at first and we will feel a little awkward in doing so. We may also feel that we are losing some strength, but in the long run it will serve us to build much more open and fluid relationships.

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