Silence

Friday, September 15, 2017


I have a huge debt to silence.

I have spent so much time with it, mostly mind-wandering. There were times where I enjoyed myself, around 2013. I spent times with books and was becoming an avid writer. I learned meditation, and practiced it every morning. At that particular time I learned how to become independent and trusting myself in tackling problems in the end of the year, focusing on my main goal. It gave me space to learn more by myself and met new people. 

When I started to work, I have changed my perspective towards silence progressively. I observed how people were being ignorant; they were silently hating each other but never bring it on a discussion in the meeting sessions. People were being ignorant; they were aware of group problem, yet letting another to fix it (you know the bystander effect: in the end, everyone does nothing). People were being ignorant; they were having different opinion, but remain silent. People were being ignorant; they were studying things, yet making no change.

But in the world full of a silence I met mentors who rejected silence in the team.
My group mentor, who argued that when you can't talk and discuss with someone, you have to hit his head with a stone (it was only a pun). 
My thesis (and life) supervisor, who underlined "you have to tell me when you have objection and we can discuss" in our projects.

Then I met him; someone in my age, who broke silence in a Q n A session of a public discussion, asked a simple thing but essential. I thought it was cliché, because that question was overused by student senate members. By time, I realized that it is his way to express his recognition of social role and what kind of help that people need. Sometimes, in silence we assume what people need and in the end there will be unmet expectation of the proposer and receiver.

He breaks silence in many ways he can after think it is proper to do. I am grateful for having such a young mentor (whom I can date, obviously).

In psychology, silence is important thing in an interview and counseling session, and I still do think it is important. But research showed some incredible results of discussion: it reduces your prejudice and bias toward outgroup members, making you having positive attitudes toward strangers, and even fall in love. 

Silence gives us a space to rethink and evaluate ourselves, especially when we are angry.
Silence gives us a space to fight our Id and let the Superego comes in, maintaining our sane Ego.

But silence kills, when you give it a superpower to dominate you.


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