Being Silent is About More than Just Not Speaking
Staying silent doesn’t just mean being quiet. This seemingly passive action goes much farther. The absence of words doesn’t mean that they disappear. Sometimes, you might think that you stop communicating when you’re silent. However, in reality, you are transmitting much more than you realize.
You’re probably not aware of the amount of time you spend talking about things that don’t make much sense. This typically is for one thing: to escape from various fears and insecurities. Being silent doesn’t only mean not only not speaking, but also it means reflecting and thinking.
Staying silent makes you feel alone
Are you afraid of loneliness? Being silent is difficult because it might make you feel alone. You might be used to being surrounded by noise or other people. You have been taught to fear not having a family that supports you, people who love you, or friends who want to be with you.
That’s why just thinking about the simple fact of being alone and disappearing into silence can lead to a spiral of terror. Talking is how you distract yourself from this. You spend time talking about the things you’ve done, what you’re planning to do, or what you’d like to do. Then, you communicate desires and frustrations.
You manifest everything through your words, but you never think about just being silent. Remaining silent invites you to reflect and look inward. As attractive as this idea is, however, it is also frightening. As frightening as it may be, it is also very necessary in order to reflect on your thoughts and your actions as well.
Not only will you find solutions to your problems, but you will also learn to be alone with yourself. You’ll also come face to face with the errors and mistakes you have made and learn how to deal with them in a healthy way. Being silent allows you the time to be able to do this.
Showing only your best self
The fear of solitude that makes you speak when you don’t need to makes you show only your best self when you’re with other people. To do this, you communicate with words, because silence can lead others to think you have some sort of problem.
You put on a mask for others. Sometimes, you even start to believe your own lies. When you don’t give yourself a single second to dive into your mind, it’s a clear sign that there’s something about yourself you don’t like. And although other people may believe the facade you are presenting, you can’t fool yourself.
Being silent gives you the time to truly think about the person you are and the person you want to be. It helps you to show all of yourself to others, including flaws or imperfections. Do you feel happy? Who are you, really? These questions should bring a smile to your face and a quick and concise answer.
Enjoy your silence
You may have surprised yourself on multiple occasions by talking to yourself. Perhaps this was when you were at home and no one else was around. This can be a way of avoiding that terrible silence you hate so much.
Imagine, however, that you’re in a dark, empty room and you can’t get out until you manage to be truly silent. At first, it will be difficult. You’ll start talking to yourself, you’ll cry, you’ll scream…But in the end, you will grow weary. You’ll learn to be quiet when you’ve run out of words and have no choice but to enjoy your silence.
Although you may never be in this situation, you should learn how to appreciate silence. You can start practicing little by little. Whether it’s 5 minutes or even one hour, give yourself the time to be silent to be able to reflect on your feelings, emotions, and on the person you are.
When you allow yourself to do this, you’ll discover the following:
- You will be aware of the fear you have of being alone, but you’ll also realize that you’re not actually alone. You have yourself!
- Then, you’ll stop blaming others for what happens to you and start taking responsibility for your past mistakes.
- You’ll get to know both your good and bad parts, and you’ll understand them.
- Finally, you’ll see how useless it is to try to make everyone like you and be someone you are not. You’ll realize that authenticity is the best of everything.
Staying silent helps give you a reason to speak, to analyze your situations and yourself, to be aware of how you are going to react. Many people do things without thinking because they’re not used to the absence of words. Silence enriches you.
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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Kraft, K. (1992). Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Nonviolence. New York: SUNY Press.
- Thibaut, S. K. (1996). Zen, la revolución interior. Buenos Aires: Troquel.
- Suzuki, D. T. (2006). ¿Qué es el zen? Madrid: Losada.
- Watts, A. (2003). El camino del zen. Barcelona: Edhasa.