Grow Bonds Without Words: The Power of Silence
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Grow Bonds Without Words: The Power of Silence

When we talk to others, we would love to hit it off and make the other person leave feeling good; sometimes, in order to achieve this feeling, we have to improve the conversation by practicing a little silence.

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Grow Bonds Without Words: The Power of Silence

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Often, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to participate in conversations. This often occurs because we just don't want to participate in conversations: we want to participate well. We want to feel at ease and walk away from the interactions feeling happy with how we handled the entire situation. We want to really connect with the other person and enjoy talking to them. More importantly, we want to make the other person feel good as well. We want THEM to walk away from the conversation with the feeling that they enjoyed talking with us.

This is a common feeling and we often put pressure on ourselves to do well. This is especially true when we meet new people. When having that first conversation with a new person, we are presented with a blank-slate opportunity. The conversation you have with the other person could influence how they see you in the future. Not to mention there are so many wild-card factors like not knowing the other person's personality, of the unknown, of the conversation topic, and so much more. There are so many ways the conversation could turn and this adds to the pressure we feel to have a good conversation and to feel comfortable while doing it.

Thus, we get to the heart of the problem we often have when talking with other people. In stressful situations, we often search for ways to make ourselves feel more comfortable. So, we try to insert a bit of comfort or familiarity into the conversation. And what's the one subject topic that we all feel the most comfortable talking about due our unlimited knowledge on it: ourselves.

Whether we realize it or not, we often directly divert conversations to make ourselves the subject of focus. There are many reasons why this is usually so. Often, as stated before, talking about ourselves is something comfortable because it is something we know and thus the conversation is moving forward. Perhaps we also want that human connection. After all, who doesn't want to get excited when they find their conversation partner has a common interest or a shared history; we just want that feeling of camaraderie. Directing the conversation to ourselves doesn't make us bad people or unthoughtful; ultimately, it is just human nature and it is something we all do at some point in our lives even if we don't always recognize it.

Now that we have a common, universal problem, there must be a way to find a solution. Well, I am happy to say that there is one, though it might be challenging to do in the beginning. This summer, I took a course based on techniques of leadership and human relationships. During one of the earlier lessons we were taught about how we generally love to dominate conversation. Mind already blown, I wasn't really prepared for the upcoming solution.

Just be quiet.

At first, that sounds quite absurd. Being quiet in a conversation? How the heck is anyone supposed to be quiet in a conversation if they want to bond with another person? Well, there's a little more to it than it first appears. After all, the advice isn't REALLY to be completely quiet. Instead, be quiet in moments where you want to direct the conversation away from the other person. Let the other person talk as long as possible. Instead of bringing up a point about yourself, ask THEM another question.

This method seems simple and kind of basic on the surface, but it honestly works wonders. You really do catch how often you try and dominate the conversations. Besides that, you also get to learn fun and interesting new things about other people. I speak from experience as I used this technique with my Dad during a car ride one day. We ended up having a really fun conversation where I learned more about his passion for Marvel movies and his motivations behind loving them. While that seems like a no-brainer topic for a conversation, it really gave me new information or insight about my Dad I didn't have before. Plus, it seemed like he was having a good time and, as a result, so was I.

Talking with other people can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be every time. Sometimes, all you need to do is sit down and give the other person your time, patience, and an ear.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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