Silence can be an active process of giving.
Silence is not simply waiting to speak; it can be an active process of giving. There is so much that can be conveyed by silence, and yet so many of us blow right past the opportunities. At a time when many are in need of personal connection, we’re still filling up too many chances for silence in which to grow.
In his book, The Advice Trap, Michael Bungay Stanier makes it clear:
Generous silence provides space for the other person to be with their own self, for you to be with them, for presence to show up. It allows them to take a breath. It whispers, “This is an interesting place to be. Let’s hang out here for a moment.” […] Generous silence can allow the delicate insights of a conversation to blossom and bloom.
Furthermore, silence can be a form of support for those in sensitive or vulnerable situations. When we choose silence, we’re giving the other person our own time to process their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without feeling rushed or judged.
Despite its becoming blasé to point out, time remains our most precious resource. It’s a gift to share that time with another soul and it can be transcendent to spend that time in silence.