The thought came in the shower; the birthplace of all great ideas.
One of my bucket list dreams is to take a vow of silence for at least three months during my lifetime.
I know that this is something that will have to happen in my future as my job is ALL about talking. Still, the small voice in my head encouraged me to take advantage of the current pandemic and social distancing by trying it out for a day.
Now, I must admit that I’m not a talkative person. Most people would tell you that I am an introvert as well. As an introvert talking can sometimes feel draining. These realities of my nature made me a little cocky when it came to taking a vow of silence for 24 hours.
But here’s what I learned…
I talk a LOT…
To myself. The few times I slipped up came from talking to myself. I already knew that the best conversations I have are solo ones but DAMN sis, I didn’t know I was this much of a Chatty Kathy until I couldn’t use words.
There’s a smooth transition between my solo thoughts and words so at least twice throughout the day I found myself accidentally talking to myself. Words escaped before I…
I did notice an increase in my creative mental space.
Whether it be ideas or in depth conversations, my inner voice was louder.
Music is dangerous
Music was also a challenge. It was easy to get lost in the vibes and wanting to sing along. I didn’t slip up though, I simply turned the music down or off.
Pets are also Challenging
My cat Spirit doesn’t need to talk to show what she wants or how she feels yet I still found myself wanting to talk her little ear off. I thought about how I use words to communicate with her often, asking if she’s hungry or if she wants to go outside. Even doing baby talk “I love yous.”
In this case, I needed to learn how to be more like her and convey my emotions without words.
Made me aware that we are reactive to words
How many times have you found yourself speaking to someone in passing without even thinking about your words? When people approached me and extended words I had to stop myself from shooting back the “heys” and “how ya doings.” I tried to have my cards on hand but in formal interactions like grocery stores it was a little awkward having the clerk read my flashcard. To say the least they were not impressed…
it still was better than having them talk to me while I stood there silent.
Also, simple interactions weren’t something I thought about. Men holding the door open and not being able to say “thank you.” I hated thinking that he must’ve thought I was another uptight, bougie ***** but I had a hand full of groceries and no note card that simply said Thank you. I also had to consider neighbors in passing shooting off their greetings and me instinctively almost giving one back.
The Experience Overall
The entire experience helped me to zone in on my thoughts and emotions. I didn’t do it perfectly but it was good training for my eventual bucket list dream of not talking for three months. I did still allow myself to talk with friends via texting and Instagram but I sent messages to let them know my mouth was on lockdown for the day.
I wanna place myself in more challenging situations and interactions because I think this is a great way to build up my weak willpower. I plan to try it out again in the near future…maybe two days this time. Stay tuned.