Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Monday, October 12, 2009

Rachel Naomi Remen:
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.... A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.

via Wisdom Quotes

I'm not very good at the silence, mostly because I got it in my head some time ago that silence was uncomfortable. I've been feeling quiet lately so I've done the minimum amount of social networking, and as a result have felt apart from everyone. Maybe when I'm feeling quiet I shouldn't cut myself off from people, but rather listen without interjection. Maybe there's something I need to hear but which usually gets lost in my noise. Maybe you have something to say that nobody wants to hear. So here's your chance to say what you've been needing to say, about me, about someone else, about public issues, hang-ups, confessions... I declare this an open forum for anything you'd like to get off your chest, about any topic. Be anonymous if you like. I'm listening.

{ 12 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. No hang ups or issues with you my dear. Glad to know you're there listening.

    My thoughts lately on the social-networking stuff: Definitely has it's limitations. For instance, FB is not the place, it seems, to post anything serious. People seem to prefer light and chatty (though I'm only basing that on lack of responses, not on the comments themselves, if that makes sense!). When I'm struggling with anything, like sadness, or poor health, or general angst, FB isn't the place, or that's how it seems to me. I think that's too bad, but it's the vibe I get, thought I could be wrong(?)Argh, I don't like over-thinking FB stuff, seems like a total waste of time! So for now, I'm trying to think of FB as a light, social event, and blogging as more like a letter to a close friend. And I'm saving the deep stuff, either for my face-to-face friends and family, or the novel, which is probably where it best belongs anyway.

  2. I'm good over here. Do you have anything you need to say? I'll listen...

  3. I've been on the quiet side myself, and have become a bit of a comment-phobe and phone-phobe in the last year or so. I like reading what everyone is writing, but seem to freeze up when I want to comment or just say hi. Mid-life shyness?

    Still, I love reading your posts, just feel bad that I don't comment as much as I used to. Kind of feel like I fell off the radar and am still lying 'splat' on the ground. I miss a sense of a connection that I enjoyed immensely. I would like to get it back, not only with you but with a few others, and yet, if I cannot seem to comment, or make a phone call, how the hell is anyone going to know that I miss them?

    Well, now you know. I miss you.

    I do wonder what the sense of feeling quiet is trying to say - quiet the inner chatter? Make novel characters come alive and let them do the talking? Listen to others rather than always talking, or waiting to answer? I like to believe it is good, and helpful for the soul, whatever its particular person or reason.

    I know the more uncomfortable something makes me, the more I need to pay attention, and try to 'hear' why, and not tell myself the reason.

    Thanks for this post - it was thoughtful, and pushed me out of a comfort zone for a bit. I needed it. Would you mind if I borrowed this idea down the road sometime?

    And ditto on Ian - if you need an ear - you have my e-mail address.

  4. How's that quote go? There's a reason God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, so we'll listen twice as much as we talk ... something like that?

    Listening is a good thing, and I'm good with your silences, and here when you come out of them. *hugs*

  5. I'm good with silence ... miss it, yearn for it sometimes. Other times I can't shut up. Don't know which I'm in now, but if you need to chatter on, I'm here for ya. Me, I'm okay right now. For some reason.


  6. Yes, I've noticed that, too. It's like a bumblebee buzz, a ROFL place, happy hour. One reason I have to back off sometimes. I ain't the party girl I used to be.

  7. Still waiting for you to anonymously confess to wearing women's underwear.

  8. I think we just need to back off sometimes, no biggie. I like what you said about paying attention to the uncomfortable things in a non-judgmental way. I think that's when learning happens.

  9. As a psychologist, I have to be good with silence. When I used to work at a community mental health center I was standing in the break room when the CFO walked in. I said hello to him ,and then just quietly went out making my tea. He said, "You therapsts are so quiet sometimes!" I think he was uncomfortable with no small talk.

  10. Ha! I want to get to that place, where I don't need that small talk. But perhaps a more realistic goal is to need less.


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