So when we hear the words ‘silent’ and ‘silence’, we know it’s time to stop talking and be a quiet. We are taught this by our parents and teachers. However, as we get older, we learn that silence isn’t just about being quiet and not making a sound.
There are is number of ways to talk about what silence is. What I want to talk about is that silence can speak when words aren’t spoken; yep it’s true. If this is news to you, your not alone. There are people in the world who don’t realize that not saying a word to someone can actually be saying a lot to them.
Silence: What We Know and What We Are Taught
Silence is where you remain quiet whether that’s because someone else is talking to you or you just don’t want to be disturbed by any kind of sound. There are times where we just don’t want to talk to anyone and be alone with our thoughts. We want silence because we’re meditating, working on something, or reading a book.
How Silence Speaks
You may not say words to somebody, but body gestures, facial expressions, and our behaviors sometimes do the speaking for us. Putting your hand in front of someones face for example, can be interpreted as ‘don’t talk to me right now’. It can be translated into a harsh way like ‘shut up and get out of my face’.
Body gestures can be subtle and aggressive. The more aggressive they are, it can show that you could be coming off as saying ‘get away from me’. A subtle form could translate to ‘hold that thought’, ‘I’m not listening you’, even ‘I’m ignoring you’.
Facial expressions can say a lot. A small smile could be translated to ‘I’m happy right now’, ‘I like you’, and ‘I like what I’m hearing and seeing’. Someone with their head looking down could mean that the person is feeling sad or depressed. Someone who turns their head on their side with a weird look on her face could mean that the person is confused. A person who looks away from people or is looking down on the floor could indicate that the person is shy.
People’s actions do speak loudly at times. Someone who walks away from a person talking means that they’re done listening to that person. It can be translated as ‘I don’t want to hear anything from you anymore’, or ‘You’re annoying, I’m done’. Someone who waves at you is a sign of kindness and saying hello. A person who is away from a group of people, not interacting with them, or hiding could indicate that the person is shy.
There are many ways in which you can get a message across in silence. What I just described is only a small handful. People who prefer to stay silent may have a whole lot to say. You probably know someone you’ve known for some time that doesn’t say much, but really has a whole lot to say. Words may not be a person’s best way to get their message across. Some get their message across through those actions, facial expressions, gestures, and even through gift giving.
Here is a video that talks about 5 ways how silence is powerful. Some of these ways were new to me.
Now being silent isn’t for everyone, but there are times where being silent is better than speaking. Sometimes you may say something and other people may see you as being foolish. Being silent also allows you to be more open to what other people have to say. If someone is telling a story about their life for example, it would be respectful to be quiet so that you hear what they have to say. This way you won’t have to ask them a question about something they had already talked about.
Also being silent can spare you from saying something you may regret later. Your emotions could be running high and you may say some things that you wouldn’t normally say to people even your friends and family. There are things that I have said when my emotions were running high and even though it ‘felt good’ to say them, there was some regret that came afterwards and sometimes immediately. If you recall what I talked about in my post about regrets, they can have an effect on your mind and well being.
Normally I offer up tips or advice on the topic I discuss. There are so many reasons why people remain silent. They’re those people who don’t have a lot to say but when they do talk, it’s worth listening. Some people are just really shy and don’t talk. Then you have those people who don’t say anything because they are scared and afraid too. Then you also have those people who stay silent because they can’t get a word in around other people who are talking and you could say they are dominating the conversation.
You also have those people who remain silent because they are dealing with a lot of problems and struggles. They may not speak up because they believe their problems are stupid and not worth bothering anyone about them. A person can have a lot of friends, but they remain silent about their problems and struggles to most of them. They only speak up to those who they can truly trust and are very comfortable with.
So all I can say is that one person or people you know who are very quiet and rarely speak to you or other people, might just have a lot to speak about. You just have to pay attention to their facial expressions, gestures, and actions. Also just be nice and kind to them. They may be wanting someone that they can open up to and form a connection with. If you are someone who is silent, again you are not alone. You may have been hurt by someone and have trouble speaking to anyone because your trust was broken. Also you’re not weird for being very quiet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You may just have trouble coming out of your shell. Take care of yourself and remember you’re not alone and you have worth in this world.