Friday, April 22, 2011

Silent Hours

If you know me in person, you might know that at times I like to talk a lot.  I am working on becoming a little more conscious of what I say, and so I designed for myself a program called "silent hours."

I used to try to spend the whole day in silence, not complete silence, but silent in the way that I felt like I was communicating/listening well.  This became tiresome because each day I would fail to accomplish my goal, and then I would become disappointed in myself.  The goal was too difficult.  Small changes are more effective than leaping for the much more challenging one right away.

So now I choose just one hour to be silent.  Some days I practice two hours, other days none at all.

If I'm around another person during this hour, I try to listen as much as possible to what they have to say and share only what would be necessary for them to hear.  This limits my amount of complaining, venting, and interrupting.  It increases my amount of true listening and allows me to have more empathy for the other person.

Silent hours have been successful so far. In a society where everyone wants to talk and be heard, it is rewarding (although not always easy) to just listen and for awhile be quietly present in the world.

13 comments:

  1. Silence is precious, and listening is the most essential skill a person can develop. Also they hardest, where is it taught?

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  2. It is a discpline that requires effort and intention.

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  3. I admire the way you have recognized issues in your life and the way you have actively addressed them.
    Silence is golden and very rare in my house with a three-year-old! Running allows me to experience silence and that's one reason I enjoy it so much.

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  4. I actually seem to have the opposite problem--I listen a lot, but even though I have a lot to say, I don't say very much!
    "Small changes are more effective than leaping for the much more challenging one right away." Ah, that's something I have a lot of trouble with...
    Postscript: I love the picture!

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  5. I have never had a problem being too talkative but my 5 year old grandson who spends most days with me is a regular talking machine. It's part of his personality. How I long some days for just a little silence, but I'm learning how to get my work done in the midst of noise - not something I enjoy.

    Great advice on making changes in small increments.

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  6. Being an extremely pro-silence person, I love this idea! I might have to try out silent hours. Though, I don't talk that much anyway, sharpening one's listening skills is always a good thing.

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  7. What a good idea especially the ;when I am with others' hours - being more of a listener than a speaker is always to be recommended,

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  8. I've done the same thing, of trying to spend a day being a listener rather than a talker, and I likewise end up frustrated with myself. I think I'll try your hours approach. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  9. I LOVE silence. I crave silence. So hard to come by but I try. I will try your way and see what happens! Happy Easter!

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  10. it is so valuable to be quiet and to listen, but modern life makes it difficult!

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  11. Jade, what a great idea! I try to be silent on Good Friday, but I'm going to try and practice being silent more often. Thanks for this - much to be gained from listening!
    Andie

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  12. Jade, you are so sweet and adorable. I think if I ever met you in person, I would have to give you a great big hug. I think we ALL talk too much, eager to share all of what we feel. Even though it can be viewed as a fault at times, I think it is it is also one of our endearing qualities. I think your hour of silence is perfect. All day is too ambitious unless you are living in a monastery. Personally, I would want to hear what you have to say... and I can't say that to everyone :)

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