Communication requires listening more than it does talking. Anyone can babble endlessly about what’s on their mind. It takes a great deal of thought and careful contemplation as well as attention to what the other person is saying to have a conversation. If you wait your turn to speak without truly hearing what the other person is saying, then you are not listening. Without listening, there is no communication.
On the topic of communication, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Women who do too much need to keep busy. One of the ways we keep busy is talking even when we have nothing to say. It’s not that we are so taken with the sound of our own voices. It is just that silence seems so overwhelming and murky.
Much of our lives has been spent filling up . . . overeating and filling up ourselves . . . overworking and filling up our time . . . overtalking and filling up our shared moments of silence.
As we begin to recover, we find that we do not need our ‘filling-up fixes.’ We can be with ourselves in silence.”
Funnily enough, this has never been a problem for me. I am well known for being too quiet, in fact. My perfectionism has often led me to suppress speaking up and sharing what’s on my mind for fear of looking stupid. I enjoy moments of silence for the closeness they bring between two people. I don’t believe you have to always fill a space with talking to be comfortable. For this, I am grateful, and apparently this makes me an anomaly among other workaholics. But again, communication is as much about listening to the other person as it is sharing your own thoughts. You cannot communicate without first hearing the other person out and then responding in kind, Silence is golden. In silence, we find deeper understanding in each other.