When it comes to the art of conversation, the use of silence is considered to be negative and only to be used when you are alone. But that's far from the truth. Silence can be used in positive ways that can create profound moments while talking to somebody else.
Here are reasons why you should begin to use silence:
1. Through Silence We Gain Wisdom
Do not to be too quick to respond. Silence gives us a chance to reflect on the information given to us. It forces us to think twice about what we want to say. Our answers are more likely going to be more thoughtful and on point with the issues at hand. Researchers call this use of silence "tincture of time." Therefore, it may be wiser to not act or talk too soon before you've thought about everything thoroughly. Who knows, you may even gain more insight on the issue at hand if you're cautious before spewing out an answer.
2. Using Silence Promotes Self Control
Research suggests that silence, if used correctly, gives an image of self control. Can you think of a time when you had a strong reaction towards something someone said, whether it was positive or negative? We have all spoken out of turn on a couple occasions. We have also spoken out of pure emotion or the urge to shut someone up, but it isn't always the best approach. So next time you feel triggered, try staying silent until the person has finished their statement. This way you will appear more mature in both your appearance and in your response.
3. The Right Amount Of Silence Demonstrate Selfless
Communication is a two way street. So to be understood by others, we have to learn to understand others. We live in a culture where we value words and put less emphasis on nonverbal cues. This creates an imbalance since these days we're more focused on replying rather than listening.
We need to take the focus off of ourselves. Silence gives us the opportunity to present ourselves as selfless. With practice, we will become less obsessed with trying to be heard and more interested in what the other person has to say. Research also points out silence can be used to show deep emotion we can’t verbally communicate. Rather than talking for the sake of talking, stay silent and let it awaken true emotions you want to communicate to the other individual in a healthy way.
Silence, if used effectively, can be a powerful tool in conversation. We need to begin utilizing it to reap the benefits if we want to become effective listeners.