Sunday, November 3, 2013

Don't Fear Silence (or A Realization that People May Talk Too Much)

This weekend, I've come down with an incredibly annoying case of laryngitis. I've been battling a cold all week, and I didn't take enough care of myself when I should have. (I'm am also dealing with some Life Stress, such as my husband losing his good job with the health insurance...not knowing yet if I got into grad school...etc.).

So long story short, I can't talk. I've realized I've taken many things for granted when I had my voice. Simple things like answering someone's question, being able to pick up the phone, grabbing the attention of my hyper dachshund when he's chasing his tail--these are all things I now cannot do. And it's frustrating.

I don't know how long this is going to last. But in my enforced silence, I started thinking about some of the positive benefits of not being able to talk. Let me start off by saying...

I think people talk too much anyway.

Some personal info: over the past couple of months, I've been trying really hard not to speak negatively about anyone just for the sake of conversation/entertainment. (Speaking to a confidant about a personal issue is different.) What I'm referring to are those moments when you're with a friend or your significant other and a small silence ensues, so you panic and immediately think you have to fill it. So you come up with the latest gossip, and you fill that silence with something that's ultimately petty and useless and sometimes even poisonous.

Have you ever noticed how it's the people with the least amount of maturity that can't seem to handle being quiet?

If you think about it, there really isn't a whole lot to talk about on a day to day basis. Sure, there are those times when you have more to say, like when you visit with a friend you haven't talked to in a while, and you catch them up on things going on in your life. It's fine to discuss movies and books and talk about the plans you have for the week, you know, positive, harmless things. It's also cool to have discussions about personal philosophy and life observations. Just don't venture into pointless, negative topics that don't do anyone any good. It can turn into a really nasty habit that is hard to kick.

Another habit of people who talk too much is what I call "The Neverending Problem." These are generally personal problems, often fixable, but they continue to remain unfixed. For whatever reason, the person cannot or does not want to fix this problem. Despite that, the Neverending Problem continues to be talked about every day. OMG. There's nothing worse than replaying that same old "My life sucks, but I'm not doing anything about it" record over and over and over. If you're not going to have respect for yourself, then at least keep quiet about it, for heaven's sake.

Finally, and perhaps the worst trait of the incessant talker, is the problem with staying silent even when others are talking. These are the poor folks who interrupt any and all conversations they walk into, and they sometimes even manage to make that conversation about them. Good grief! That's taking the obsession with talking to a ridiculous degree.

All this silliness could be avoided if we learned how to keep our mouths closed. What's wrong with keeping some of your thoughts to yourselves? What's wrong with simply observing life, quietly, and letting there be peace instead of drama?

When I was a young girl, and even through high school, I was considered by many to be "too quiet." The popular girls would often quip, "You're so quiet, Carrie," like it was a crime. I talk more now than I used to, but I can sense myself slowly returning to my old quiet ways. I've developed a new respect for silence, and I'm not afraid of it.

Anyway, that's my thoughts for today.


  1. I know people who talk way too much - I'm one of them. :D

    1. Guilt here, too, sister! Guilty of everything I put in this post! I think it's hard for us especially because we are storytellers, and everything juicy we hear or that happens, we want to turn into a story.