The sense of silence

Have you ever wondered what is happening when you don’t get an immediate answer? When the person on the other side is just not responding quickly enough for you? Think about it for a second.

Silence can be an entire form of communication – not just a lack of it. 

Silence can also be used as a form of response. When someone falls silent in a conversation, several things could be happening – he could be thinking, observing, or manipulating.

He could be thinking about his next answer, or a comment that he would like to make on a proposed subject.

He could also be observing you to see whether your words are consistent with what your body language communicates – he might be looking for the whole message.

Finally, if he is aware that it is possible to use multiple pauses in one's speech to give others a sense of inferiority, he could be trying to manipulate you.

Outside the context of conversation, silence can have different interpretations such as shock, secrecy, incomprehension or lack of knowledge, and is usually accompanied by different gestures. Depending on the situation, silence can have positive or negative connotations.

How do you feel about people who use silence extensively in their communication? People who don’t talk a lot, but what they do say makes a lot of sense? Do you feel these people are smarter than you, or perhaps more important than you? What is your explanation for their silence? When do you use silence yourself? I'd love to hear your opinions – you can share them on my page:

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