How To Use Silence To Put Your Relationship To The Test
A dear friend recently told me the best secret test for any relationship: play the quiet game. He claimed that the strength of any relationship, whether professional, romantic or anywhere in between, could be evaluated by the length of silence a pair can maintain.
Let's back up a bit. Do you remember this game? It's the inevitable game we were forced to play on long family road trips.
Trip Down Memory Lane
The typical scenario always began with your car being stuffed beyond maximum recommended capacity. Your mom was sprawled across a giant map and your dad kept denying the obvious fact that you were lost.
All the while, you and your siblings were crying, singing, fighting, or exploring new heights of loud and annoying. At that precise moment, your parents would slowly turn around and bestow you with the death stare.
Then your mom, with a knowing smile, would ask a simple yet so complex question: "Who wants to play the quiet game?"
The true answer? No one ever wants to play the quiet game. You are supposed to be on the best family vacation ever, not detention! It's the worst game to ever exist. It's not even a real game! It's merely a façade for being punished.
Nevertheless, you know better than voicing your opinion to your mom and accept defeat. I think my sister and I never lasted longer than 15 seconds before bursting out in laughter. Yet, at least for those 15 seconds, our parents would receive peaceful bliss and would be able to recharge their batteries for the mayhem that would soon follow.
Silence Is Golden
Now that we're back from this trip down memory lane, you are probably wondering, well, how can you test a relationship by playing the quiet game? Basically, I have categorized three types of silence.
All you have to do is try being quiet with the person in question and I guarantee you will quickly be able to classify the silence. Based on the results, you will know the strength and length of your relationship. Good luck!
1. Angry Silence
Have you ever been given the silent treatment? This type of silence has the same eeriness. Everyone is still, no one is giving eye contact and neither of you is smiling. The air is thick with bitterness. If you and the person in question share an angry silence, this relationship has been long dead. Sorry to break it to you, but it's time to jet.
2. Awkward Silence
We've all experienced this type of cricket chirping quiet. You are scraping every nook and cranny of your brain to find something interesting to talk about to fill up that emptiness, yet for some reason, all you can muster is how awful the awkward silence is! This kind of silence is only acceptable on the first date.
It's part of the first date curse. Any guy who is kind enough to take a girl out on a nice formal dinner and any girl who takes the time and effort to primp herself before the first date is bound to experience this most unfortunate curse.
However, if you have been friends with this person for a long time, have been working with them for ages, have been dating for years, or are married to them, and are still experiencing the awkward silence routinely…then…umm…your relationship is on the rocks. Don't worry, though, there is still time to salvage the relationship.
I personally love awkwardness. I usually tend to burst out laughing in awkward situations, creating an even greater awkward environment. What can I say?
It gives me great material to discuss with my friends (or write about for Elite Daily). Seriously though, I think the more awkward, the better because it's such a genuine feeling. If you learn to embrace the awkward silence, soon enough it will melt away.
3. Comfortable Silence
My favorite author, J.D. Salinger, best describes this type of silence in "The Catcher and The Rye."
“She was terrific to hold hands with. Most girls if you hold hands with them, their goddam hand dies on you, or else they think they have to keep moving their hand all the time, as if they were afraid they'd bore you or something. Jane was different. We'd get into a goddam movie or something, and right away we'd start holding hands, and we wouldn't quit till the movie was over. And without changing the position or making a big deal out of it. You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.”
Isn't that the perfect description? If you can maintain a comfortable silence with someone and enjoy their company without fidgeting or worrying about what they are thinking, your relationship will stand the test of time.
Cue “I Want To Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler.
Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It