When Silence Is Awkward

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One of the nicest things about being in the company of those you love is the feeling of comfort, the absence of the ever so awkward silence. Not to say we must be talking nonstop but when the conversation hits a lull there is no need to scramble for something to say.

Have you ever been in a group of people or on the phone and all is quiet? You suddenly feel anxious. You’re frantically searching for a topic to talk about or hoping the other person will say something, and quickly. In those cases, the weather usually enters the conversation.

I love it when I’m around people for the first time and the talk bounces back and forth and topics come and go. Some speak. Some listen. And it’s interesting. No one is ever bored. Of course, this doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does you feel like you belong.

It’s true…some people are talkers and others are listeners. It’s a wonderful friend who learns to do both. It’s no secret I’m a talker. I’m becoming a better listener.

Back to the awkward silences…when it happens do you wonder if you’d said something wrong? Or are you quiet because they’ve said something wrong and you’re at a loss for words? Do you simply think you have nothing in common with those people and are looking for a quick escape? I’m sure all of these have happened to most of us.

One of the most awkward silences is when someone says something not so nice about someone you have ties to and you let them know you affiliation…talk about being able to hear a pin drop! Has that ever happened to you? It has happened to me. I’ve also been the one who has opened mouth and inserted foot!

It’s interesting how quickly you bond with certain people. And then there are times you aren’t sure you even like them and then you meet them again later in life and find out how much you have in common.

I think one of the greatest gifts of relationship is when you say absolutely nothing in a situation and the other person knows exactly what you’re thinking. I have this with my husband, my sister, and one of my all-time best friends, and we can do it over the phone…now, that is awesome.

We each need our quiet times. We need others to respect those times, and we need to be respectful for others needs as well. It’s a wonderful feeling to be around people with whom I can talk or take comfort in the silence.

Life is too short to spend time feeling awkward and grasping for words. Today I will speak when inclined, bask in the silence when the need arises, and be comfortable with the people I associate. How about you?

31 thoughts on “When Silence Is Awkward

  1. I agree some of those times are very uncomfortable. Whether it’s family, friends or acquaintances, it’s necessary to try and speak something positive and possibly save the relationship.

  2. I am definitely the listener in our relationship, but I can have the comfortable silence with my husband – we just … get each other, ya know?

    Happy Monday – bask in your silence today. 😀

  3. Great post! My wife and I have the same connection where we have the connection without talking. It means you are with the one your supposed to be with!

  4. “I think one of the greatest gifts of relationship is when you say absolutely nothing in a situation and the other person knows exactly what you’re thinking. ”

    You said it, Suzi! I have one friend who we are that way. We can jabber, jabber, jabber, but then also have wonderful moments of complete silence; just allowing the moment to be still.

    I’m both, I can be a chatty cathy, yet can be a quiet and attentive listener. I’ve find that being a listener is sometimes more help to others than talking, because through just listening, the other person seems to naturally figure out what they need to do by just voicing themselves to someone else; hearing themselves say it.

    As usual, FAB post, my friend! Have a marvi Monday!


  5. Usually, I tend to be more of a listening kind of person, so I’m sure we’d get along famously! I’ve been trying to work on my talking skills — as you say, both are important for relationships to flourish! And it’s so peaceful when you’re with someone and the mixture of talking and listening feels just right!

  6. With my closest friends and my family, silence is as comfortable as the conversations are. I am not a telephone person, and can never think of anything to say when I’m on the phone, so uncomfortable silences prevail. All my friends know this – they know that, for me, the telephone is an instrument to be used to conduct business or provide information and that’s all – and they accept that about me. That’s why they’re friends!

  7. I’m a blabbermouth. And I love listening to other blabbermouths! It’s funny, because most of my career was in marketing and I spent a lot of time soliciting clients for business and such. Now, I did it well, but I hated it. I hated cold calling people and “chatting them up”. But I got to be good at it. Now, I love it if we don’t have to talk. (That doesn’t mean I’ll be quiet though!) LOL!

    • When you work with the public it helps to be a talker. It worked well for me when I was a hairdresser and office manager. However, now that I work from home I’ve sort of lost those promotional skills which suck big time in book promotion!

  8. Pingback: “I Love It When That Happens!” | Spirit Lights The Way

  9. When silence isn’t awkward it is so sweet. I’m a talker, too, and ever hoping to become a better listener. I enjoyed this post so much, Susan!

  10. I’m not very good at filling silence, so I do prefer the friendships where silence doesn’t feel awkward. Earlier this week, I had dinner with six ladies from our neighborhood. There was an awkward silence following one lady’s request to another to tell her husband to be quieter when walking their dogs in the morning. Thankfully, someone else was able to steer the conversation to something else quickly. (A group setting may not have been the best way to approach this topic!)

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