For those of us who like a chat you’ll know exactly what I mean. There’s a group of three or four of you, you’re acquaintances more than friends. You gather each week at the same place, maybe it’s gymnastics or that half an hour between pick up and drop off. Perhaps by accident you’ve ended up in the waiting room of the doctors surgery at the same time.
The silence between you begins slowly but builds at a rapid pace, it somehow suffocates the room. You can hear every sound, a clock ticks loudly, your stomach makes a noise. Those initial seconds turn into thirty more, before you reach what you feel has been an extraordinary awkward minute. Or was it an hour? It felt like it could have been an hour. Is there really nothing to say? You jump in to save the day, because somewhere in your extroverted we all need to be friends mind, you truly believe that’s what you’re doing. Saving the day. Logic tells you that we need to talk, this could be so much better if we were talking.
A voice in your head shouts FILL THE SPACE, SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING! JUST FILL THE SPACE.
And thats when it happens. The inappropriate joke. The obvious observation. The story about your latest bikini wax disaster. The snippet that will haunt you in your bed at night.
Why did I say that?
I keep telling myself that I will become a better listener. I’ll be the person who sits in silence, waiting.
But this could be so much better if we were talking.