Remain silent for 24 hours to increase your listening skills and improve your relationships and your creativity
Decide to remain silent for a certain period of time and put your devices away
Try 24 hours of not speaking (but observing). If a full day seems daunting, try staying silent during a single conversation. Don’t say anything unless asked to.
Observe conversations at a distance, noticing how people respond to gaps in the conversation
How long are the silences? Are people becoming uncomfortable? Do they rush to fill it?
Now, remain silent, but join conversations – sit with family, friends, etc
You may find it helpful to display a small sign, for example, “Taking a vocal rest.” Alternatively, don’t say anything unless specifically asked. Keep in mind that it will take a bit of practice to listen and let others talk instead.
When there is a silence, notice what you think and how you feel in the silence
Silences can feel awkward and oppressive, and you may get fidgety, etc. How are these thoughts and feelings translating into your expressions and actions? Are you maintaining the ideal demeanor of a listener?
Continue to expand your capacity to be comfortable with silence in conversations and hence your capacity to listen
Practice the 24 hours silence habit every six months or so, to continue to improve your awareness and listening skills.
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