I've discovered some interesting things, though.
The pros of silence
- Turns out that many things I find myself wanting to say, if I just give others a little more time, they'll figure out for themselves. So not all of my comments are as urgent as I've thought them to be.
- It wasn't until this experience that I remembered what it was like not to know the answers to questions. (Was there life before the internet?)
- I can observe others a great deal more.
- Texting becomes a more viable means of communication.
- I can hear myself think.
- Not speaking up has made me realize how easy it is for others (especially introverts) to feel trampled by those, like me, who speak easily and all the time.
- I've realized there are more means of communication than speech. Acts of service, performed by my loved ones, have reminded me that, even though I miss it desperately, talk is cheap.
- I've seen the value of choosing what I say and being as succinct as possible.
- There are specific people I actively miss speaking to. (This is a nice feeling, strangely.)
The cons of silence
- I'm a very, very social animal. Not being able to express my thoughts has made me feel sad, lonely, isolated, and irrelevant.
- It's not as if my thoughts have been stilled, they've just been trapped. And I think this was how my first attempt at meditation looked -- I was trying not to have thoughts, or to regulate them, or somehow master them. Leaving me feeling isolated and unhappy.
- I haven't been able to coach, work, or follow up with people beyond emailing.
- Did I mention it's lonely? It's lonely.
- There are specific people I actively miss speaking to. (This also a not-so-nice feeling, it turns out.)
I've often wondered if I could do one of those retreats where you don't speak for ten days. Turns out, I probably could. The question is, would I want to?