A Week Later: The Silence Experiment

A week has passed since https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-silence-experiment.html.  The cool thing is that it wasn't a pass/fail type of thing, but an experiment of observation.  So here's what I noticed about myself and others over the past week.

  • I couldn't avoid https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/01/screaming-inside-of-my-head.html.  And that screaming inside of my head did come out, but not all the time.  Though I DID blurt out insensitive things (and I often did in the past), I THINK I did so less. More importantly, I once I did so, I was more aware of it.  I thought to myself, "Ok, you just did what I didn't want to do.  Let's try to avoid doing this again."  And I did (and will) do it again, but I think I'm doing so less often.  As I progress (because I don't think I want to give up this experiment because I think it has positive ramifications) I hope that I will continue to do so less and less and be more self-aware.
  • My blurting out or being more socially verbal changes depending on who I am working with.  When I implemented this experiment, the co-worker who sits in the cubicle behind me was not in the office.  Although there were other co-workers in the office with me, no one was right next to be (cross from me or in front of me).  When he came back on Tuesday, not only was I more talkative with him, but I was more talkative overall, often taking the lead in the conversation.  I found that I was quieter again on Friday when he was out once again. 
  • I know I talk to myself (out loud) a lot.  I tried to curb that and caught myself saying things under my breath.  This verbal self-talk is more prevalent that I realized and I really needed to focus to stop myself from doing so.  Not that it's a bad thing; it's just become something that I do without thought.
  • My husband does A LOT Of self-talk!  I think he, not unlike me, just does it.  I don't think he does it any more or less than anyone else, it's just that I became very much aware of it this past week.
  • I COULD NOT keep myself from not speaking first to my son.  Mostly because I'm an obsessive mom no matter how hard I try NOT to be.  I have, however, tried to be more careful in my tone and wording.  (I still have a long way to go!)  When I had a concern about something, I asked my husband to take the lead in the conversation and only spoke when there was a pause.  This is definitely something I still need to work on.
  • Doing my best NOT to interrupt when someone else was speaking was difficult, but I think I did pretty well.  I also noticed how much everyone else seems to interrupt.  Clearly this is not just my problem/issue.  We really ALL need to take a step back and listen before we speak.  Not only does it show respect to the speaker, but it might/should also teach us to listen.
  • Communication with a teen is a challenge.  Vocally, I feel like I am seldom heard.  Probably because my son often has earbuds in and/or he is focused on something else.  So, while it may seem silly, I've taken to texting him to come down to dinner.  It means less yelling and more response.  Silly or not, it's what works and works in a POSITIVE manner, so I think for now that I should stick with it.

Although I've called this an "experiment" in listening, it's really more of an exercise in self-awareness for me.  It's not unlike my journey to better health (because it's NOT just all about weight loss...it just seems that way).  As I try to lose some weight; I need to be mindful of what I am eating.  Sometimes I'm not and it shows on the scale.  As I try to listen, I need to be mindful of what others are saying.  When I blurt out words without thinking or interrupt, it shows too; in the way others react and feel.  

For me 2020 is going to be the year (and perhaps the decade) where I try to focus more and react (overact?) less.  The experiment continues...


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