I felt frustrated. I wasn’t being heard. From the depth of every cell in my body I could tell that the individual with whom I was speaking was composing her next thought while I tried to make mine. We started speaking at the same time. Very uncomfortable.
I fought it. I tried to interrupt and make my point. I needed to make my point. Nothing was working. Finally, out of desperation, I shut up. I didn’t shut down. I just piped down. I let her speak until she was done speaking.
Stillness. Bliss. Defenselessness. It was liberating. I felt my body relax. My breath was less shallow. And then after a moment or two, my own point, opinion, contribution didn’t matter that much after all.
She wouldn’t have heard me anyway, at least until she was ready. And, for me, my silence opened the door for hearing her. My listening became genuine. I stopped my own orchestration of possible responses and allowed this individual to finish a thought.
My silence allowed her to calm down and make her point.
In return, her silence allowed me to communicate succinctly with clarity and precision, without being attached to the outcome.
Have you ever piped down and felt better because of it?
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“What you do speaks so loud I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson