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Shhhh, Quiet Please

How many of you, extroverts, wonder when you were young why some people wanted to go on a “quiet” vacation? As I could not comprehend the desire to be away from people and activities, I questioned, “Who would want to stay in a log cabin by themselves?” I also queried, “Why would anyone want to be that solitary?” Now that I am a woman of a certain age who listens a great deal I understand.

Even Some Extroverts Need Quiet

Being eighty percent extroverted, disconnecting from other human beings for too long is unhealthy for me. Although it is a virtual engagement, I am with people all day long, individually, or in group Zoom meetings. Consequently, twenty percent of me that is introverted requires recharging and restoring through a quiet period. My 100 percent of extroverted friends and colleagues do not require this period of stillness, but I am a complicated creature. I cannot have that constant stimulation of people, noise, and activity.

What does quiet do for those of us who are primarily extroverted? We sit in time-limited moments of silence not only to restore body and mind but to invite new thoughts and ideas. When I am thinking about my next speech or article, I want quiet. Does that mean there has to be absolute silence? No. The beauty of background classical music invites quiet and fomentation of thought. I do not even hear the music, but when I briefly emerge from my focused attention, I listen to those majestic strings and winds. Eventually, I go inward again to evoke new ideas.

Quiet also allows me to be more attuned when reading a good book or any important written material. Absorption of the readings seems to be more pronounced and fluid when I have the lovely stillness of quiet.

The Power of Silence

I have never made a silent retreat but know people who have. There are no distractions. Not only is there no talking, reading, or writing, but this exercise brings participants to an altered state of consciousness.

What about the monks and other holy individuals who take the vow of silence? What do they attain by doing so? From everything I have read, religious people who make this commitment are looking for a greater connection to God. For those nonreligious individuals, the vow of silence makes a statement about issues such as oppression.

Whatever form of quiet or silence someone chooses, we know that it signifies a period of reflection and, hopefully, growth. By going inward, which occurs through mindfulness meditation, hypnosis, or mental rehearsal, individuals quiet their inner being to invite peace and enlightenment.

Quiet can also encourage you to focus on experiences masked when there is noise around you. The visuals may become more pronounced. You may begin to notice things that never seemed important before.  If you walk outside, your quietness may amplify the sounds of nature and its many inhabitants. Also, you might take a deep breath and focus on your movement and energy, recognizing the therapeutic nature of this quiet activity.

Quiet Gives Opportunity To Others

Most significant, if you are quiet and listen to others with intention, you may be allowing someone else to speak. This particular person may have been looking for an opening to vocalize their thoughts, and your ability to be quiet, provided it for them. Surprisingly, this person who rarely shares could have much brewing beneath the surface. You may never know the impact that your moment of silence but attention could have on that person.

What Are Your Thoughts About Quiet?

What happens when you have periods of silence? Do you believe it offers you time for growth and change? What have been your experiences? I invite you to share.

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Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett is a Speaker, Author, Licensed Therapist/Coach, and Podcaster and is known as the “UnStuck” expert. She has developed programs based on her experience and is hired by associations and corporations all over the country to share her expertise. Darlene is a high-content speaker with an engaging and energizing style. Darlene loves working with people and believes her foundation as a Therapist and Hypnotherapist validates her position that everyone has the capacity to get UnStuck. When it comes to her deep understanding of human behavior, communication and relationships, Darlene not only helps refurbish the house but steady the foundation. She has been quoted in Knox News, MSN.com, Bustle, and Best Life and has written many blogs and articles. Her book, Stop Depriving The World of You: A Guide for Getting Unstuck, was published by Sound Wisdom in November 2018. Darlene’s weekly podcast “Tap Into The Power of U,” is for men and women 40+ who wish to get unstuck. Darlene is a member of many associations and is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Abby’s House in Worcester, MA. In her personal life, Darlene enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, and close friends as well as crocheting, reading, staying fit and loving life. She thanks God every day for giving her the energy and excitement to continue to look forward to what is ahead.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Oh Darlene, I THRIVE in quiet! For years I thought I was an extrovert, but as I’ve grown to know myself better, I know that that’s not the case. I can do extrovert and most people would guess I am one, but it’s exhausting. So I think we’re like a mirror image of one another – you’re 80/20, I’m 20/80! Thanks for this!

  2. Great article Darlene, thanks for the opportunity to reflect on this.

    “Normally” I’m about 50-50 intro-extrovert. I have always needed or craved my quiet time, in nature…but rarely 100% alone as I have been since March of this year. That has been extremely difficult for me. All the Zooms have worn me out. Ugh… I need real, physical human hugs and heart to heart conversations. That being said, I have maximized my time in deep meditation with music, or the sound of running rivers or trickling streams in the background. It’s amazing how when pressed, us as human beings have a magnificent God given ability and an inner resilience to draw from, to overcome and adjust to some of the toughest of situations life could throw at us.

  3. Personally I do not disdain silence, I am fine even alone, and I am absolutely convinced that the more we are busy, the more we need moments of calm.
    Taking time to stay silent regenerates the nervous system, helps to keep the energy level high and makes our mind more flexible and faster: silence is in fact correlated with the development of new cells in the hippocampus, the brain region associated with learning and memory.
    Cultivating silence is not just a temporary relief from chatty colleagues or chat notifications: true silence, if maintained, develops creative thinking and calms inner dialogue as well, not just outer dialogue. It’s good to introduce a short break into the day – really, even just a few minutes! – to simply sit in silence, without a mobile phone, tablet or other technological tools on; or better still, if possible, go for a walk, without a phone.
    The world is getting louder but luckily silence is still accessible and it costs nothing!

  4. Quite interesting Darlene. Talk about an enigma, I’m a people person but I do enjoy my solitude. (Well, just Mona and my 3 cats).
    I am a music major and the one thing I cannot have going while I write is music. It will completely distract me. I am learning to be still in the silence, however. I think that I’ve been too used to letting my mind continue running while I’m silent. But learning to relax and just “feel” parts of my body has been helpful (in ways too long to explain here).
    Thanks as always for your articles.

  5. I always enjoy reading your articles Darlene.

    My first question..how do you come up with the percentage of your being extrovert 80%?
    Is this a self assessment or is there an actual tool to find out? Just curious.
    You made me think of my own fluctuations here.

    With quiet, I think of solitude….the Segway to solitude is the quiet.
    Some of us slip into very nicely with great appreciation and some if us fear the loneliness we associate with it.
    Whenever I hear the word solitude now I always think of the book “one hundred years of solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez .. the book is profound and a creative masterpiece. The power of the imagination in this man’s work here must have been helped with the quiet time he entered to greet solitude and find such a creation. That’s one thought

    I also think of the times your creativity knocks on your door not matter how noisy it is. I laugh as I think of how loud it is in my own head at times… so much so we get up and answer….

    The quiet is definitely part of the picture as we may need to visit or it will be visited too. Allowing it to exist as it may is being comfortable. I don’t think there is ever complete quite as that would mean death to me….in quite time…we can be reintroduced to the sounds we were tuning out.

    One final thing…lol. Sorry…
    I grew up in a family of 6…4 daughters… it was always noisy. Quiet was what we were told to be so my parents could here themselves think…lol. Some truth to this I guess. The more around you, the more quiet is far from you.
    As an adult, some days I miss the noise…I have the tv on to feel companionship on noise…to fill in the sounds I am use to in my past. It’s not the same… just a conditioned response.

    Very interesting questions Darlene…lol. You pluck my thought feathers😀🙏. I’ll be going now and think more of this…leaving quietly here :)
    Hugs to you!
    Paula

  6. Darlene, beautiful post that shows both sides of the coin. I’m an introvert with what I like to call well-developed extrovert qualities. I worked on this aspect when I got to a point in my career where I was invited to certain events. However, after 6-8 hours with lots of people, as at a conference, I need silence, or at least quiet to recover and recharge.

    As you mentioned, over the years I’ve been taken by surprise by people who did not seem to have much to say, yet when there was silence, many times it seems they marshaled their thoughts together and pulled up from a deep well profound thoughts and ideas. Because it was sometimes unexpected, people sat up and really listened. We’re all so different, yet so alike!

  7. Thank you, Darlene, you have asked a very pertinent question, one which makes us to pause and think.

    “What happens when you have periods of silence?”

    I believe that Silence is indeed a source of great strength, especially if we truly respect and appreciate it.

    “I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” – Chaim Potok

    “Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?” – Lawrence Durrell

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