It seems like many of us are uncomfortable with silence. Now that we all carry a smartphone everywhere, moments of peace and quiet are a thing of the past.
I’ve noticed something whenever I am anywhere that people need to wait (e.g., a doctor’s office, the DMV, a coffee shop, in line at a theater). How often do you see anyone — ANYONE — sitting or standing without staring at their phone?
You don’t. People are hunched over, scrolling their screens, earbuds tucked firmly into their ears.
When was the last time that you drove somewhere in silence and used the time to think? No music, podcast, audiobook, or radio? Just silence and thinking.
We feel compelled to fill the void. This compulsion carries over into conversations. Some people are so uncomfortable with moments of silence in a discussion that they keep talking and talking.
It happens with public speaking too. Once a speaker gets going, they never slow down. They make an important point, but they don’t take the time to let it sink i…