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Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot

Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot

Silence. A seldom used means of communication. Those who have made it big in life have always known the importance of silence, and how it packs nuclear power when used in the right proportion and in the right situation.

Ever tried keeping quiet in the middle of a fight? Your silence can solve problems that you are trying to solve with the verbal battle. You can create a place for you in someone’s heart if you really know how to be quiet. In a professional world, your silence and your ability to listen can make you far more confident and credible. Whether it’s to improve your life personally or professionally, silence can prove to be an excellent problem-solver in ways that words sometimes cannot be.

Building Relationships

Madeline and Stewart have been married for the last ten years. Love and grievances have commingled in their relationship, leading to occasional fights. They almost always know what the other person is going to say, so they presume each other’s reactions and lash out accordingly. What happens then? No one listens. They both talk, and walk out frustrated.

Stewart considered a change in this routine. He decided to let Madeline speak and to be silent, to intently listen to her. Sure, there were many times where he wanted to lash out, but instead he consciously stayed quiet. He tried to learn and understand what she was mad about. Just for one day.

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It took a lot of patience but certain things came to him as a surprise. There were many things that actually made sense! So, the next time a disagreement arose, he consciously corrected himself where he felt justified. From there, the relationship changed, Madeline noticed changes in him and felt the urge to change for him. The magic of silence, even after ten years, made a beautiful transformation possible for them and their relationship.

Silence can solve problems in a multitude of other ways in relationships. Here are some of the most common issues that relationships are met with and how to use silence to repair them:

  1. If your best friend is rude to you, ask him or her why, and then be silent and listen while keeping an open mind.
  2. As a parent, you are not getting through to your teenage child. Stop preaching. Be silent and listen to your kid. Your child may surprise you with his or her insights.
  3. Your quiet girlfriend or boyfriend might have things to tell you that you will hear only if you stop talking and create the space for their words to come into play.

Be silent and spend time with yourself. There are things that you probably need to tell yourself but they often get lost in the humdrum of life.Try it once. Even one day can make a difference. Your silence can solve problems that you might have in your relationship with other people or your relationship with yourself that have been archived for years and decades.

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Silence can solve problems

    The Professional World – Inducing Deliberate Silence

    Inducing silence is a technique often used by killer negotiators. Most conversationalists and deal-makers know this trick.[1] Below we illustrate how silence can solve problems in the professional world.

    Let’s say you need to convince your boss on a slightly unfair proposal. You walk into your boss’ office with a proposal to extend the Christmas holidays by two days for all members on staff. Sure enough, he or she outright refuses. Potential reasons? It might not be in their power, they might have some urgent job to complete before the holidays, or worse, they might not care much about his people.

    Scenario A

    Let’s say you assume that he does not care for his people. You start speaking right away, trying to explain how desperately people need the additional days, given the pressure of the last quarter. Well, your boss knows that and the reason for his refusal is grave. What happens then? An obvious confrontation – passive or aggressive. Finally, you walk out feeling disgusted and, most importantly, having failed to convince him or her of what you initially wanted for you and your coworkers.

    Scenario B

    Let’s say you have prepared two arrows in your quiver – two great proposals that can convince him. However, you do not use them right away. They will come out later. Rather, instead of saying anything, you induce deliberate silence. You let your boss break the silence while giving you relevant information. “You don’t understand”, they say, “There is a lot of work pressure right now. We cannot let people leave before the holidays. There are targets to fulfill!”

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    You are now narrowing down potential reasons and getting closer to the real reason. They have told you that the favor can’t be granted because of deadlines not being met. With a better idea of the overall problem, you can delve deeper. Ask them: “Which projects are you worried about?” When they give an explanation, you will know which arrow to use. Tell them a logical and acceptable way out. So you can propose staying back late and completing the project well before the deadline, and ask if he or she is okay with that solution. They are still not convinced. Being in two minds now, they challenge you, indicating that might not work. You can use your best arrow to seal the deal now! You counter by offering to stay back and close the job before you leave at any cost, keeping back whoever is needed, well before the holidays.

    See what you did there?

    Scenario B was much more successful, largely, in part, because of inducing silence. You expected resistance, but you did not presume anything. You did not lash out, rather you used silence to your advantage. You understood the problem and worked around it. In the end, you placed a solution that benefits everyone in the bargain – a fair solution that also made sense to your boss, and that is why they accepted it.

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    Silence can solve problems

      Silence Can Solve Problems In Multifaceted Ways

      This is not all. Silence can solve problems in several additional ways in the professional world. If you are facing an interview board and you are completely charged up and ready to answer every question, be silent, listen intently, and understand the question first. Your answers will sound professional and the board will be impressed by your poise and grip because you took time to listen and really think out the words that you say. If your colleague is instructing you over something routine that you have done a number of times and you do not need instructions to, do not be impatient, just listen. You might find new information and new ways to do things.

      Silence can solve problems if you simply know how to listen and keep an open mind. As the master of the ship, I often end up giving specific instructions to my juniors. At the end, however, I leave an open question. I ask: “Any suggestions from your end?”

      This is when I listen intently and wait for new information. You would be surprised at all the ways my juniors have surprised me with their insight and innovative ways to do things.

      This is how silence can solve problems, which is far from anything words can do by themselves. A negotiator needs to build a bond with the person on the other side and show them a way that makes sense to the other person as well.

      Featured photo credit: The Conscious Process via theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com

      Reference

      [1] The Soul Creator: Killer Negotiator: Tap the right emotions

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      Silence Can Solve Problems That Words Cannot Motivate ourselves Motivate Yourself: Three Tricks to Kick Your Own Ass 4 Steps to Learn from your Mistakes 8 Killer Negotiation Tricks Clients Don’t Want You To Know Killer Negotiator 101 – Framing a Killer Sales Pitch

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      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

      Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

      You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

      This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

      According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

      Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

      There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

      How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

      When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

      Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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      1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

      One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

      The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

      Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

      2. Be Honest

      A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

      If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

      On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

      Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

      3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

      Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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      If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

      4. Succeed at Something

      When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

      Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

      5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

      Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

      Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

      If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

      If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

      Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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      6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

      Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

      You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

      On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

      You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

      7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

      Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

      Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

      Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

      When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

      Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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      In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

      Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

      It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

      Final Thoughts

      When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

      The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

      Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

      Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

      Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

      More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

      Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
      [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
      [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
      [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
      [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
      [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
      [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
      [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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