Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Comfortable Silence

Let’s say you and a friend go out to lunch together. You’ve known each other for some time and you really enjoy each other’s company.

So while your friend is eating salad and you are working on your roast beef sandwich and French fries, you fill each other in on the latest events in your lives–work, children, romance, health.

The conversation has been flowing smoothly and without interruption. Then, the inevitable happens: At the same time, you both momentarily run out of things to say.

How do you feel about this and what do you do next?

Well, maybe a a panicked expression comes across your face. You’ll look across the table expectantly, hoping your friend will say something soon. Anything! You may wonder if this lapse makes you boring or if your friendship is not as solid as you once thought it to be. To fill the hole, maybe you jump in to say something that doesn’t make much sense.

Or, if you’re like me, you gladly take the opportunity to stuff another fry in your mouth and not have to worry about talking with your mouth full–savoring the potato-y goodness, enjoying in the atmosphere, soaking in the vibe.

I don’t mind moments of silence. Constant sound becomes white noise that is easy to relegate to the background, easy to ignore. But add in the pauses and then you have rhythm. Rhythm creates interest.

You don’t always have to say something.

In the crevices of sound, thoughts are born, love begins, worlds are created.

(5/7/2012 This post is liked to ‘Blogging and Friends’ blog hop at Bongo Is Me and Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease.)

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011

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Comments on: "Comfortable Silence" (71)

  1. I love it when two friends can just share the moment, not fill it up with blather. There is no pressure, and like you said, it’s comfortable. When it is there, it’s nice.

  2. I’m a fan of silence between two good friends, those moments when nothing needs to be said. We can just admire our surroundings or do some people-watching with not a spoken word…maybe a smirk or nod of the head though LOL

  3. I agree totally. I love a good natter, but am very comfortable with silence between good friends. It says a lot for a friendship that you can just sit and be.

  4. You know you’re really friends when the silence soothes the both of you. I’m with you on the fries too. Everyone knows you can’t talk and enjoy fries properly. One MUST be silent. 😉

  5. Sweepy, I have always found those moments awkward… I start thinking …. wow did we really run out of things to say to each other and other thoughts.

    • I also used to feel the same way. Then I started to suspect that those moments are bigger in my head than they really are. BTW, nice to see you, I missed you! xox

  6. sulekha said:

    A true friend understands your silence and hears your thoughts even when you aren’t voicing them. I love to be with my best friend and just let our emotions talk without words. Great post Sweepy, btw love your idea of eating fries and waiting for your friend to break the uncomfortable ice 😉

  7. I agree a true friend understands the silence and sits there with you on it….but hmmmmmm another french fry please…..As always…XOXOXO

  8. between a certain friend and I when we get to that silence for some reason one of us will say,
    “How about those Bears?”
    The other will respond , “Hell of a game, hell of a game!”
    Then ending with, “They’ll go far this year.”

    Planes, trains and automobiles has a lot to answer for!

    Cheers A

  9. I’d do like you: enjoy another fry 🙂 Silence is sweet when it’s between two friends who aren’t awkward with it, and who simply enjoy each other’s company. Period. I can certainly do without the small talk anyway. But have you ever talked on the phone where sudden silence intervened? Now THAT’S an awkward moment.

    • It does make a difference whether it’s face to face or over the phone, I guess because it’s hard to gauge the mood without the visual clue.

  10. I too like the silence between words….allows you to integrate and be in the moment….says alot!

  11. I think sometimes the most fulfilling and deep relationships with others are ones that can blossom during moments of silence. Ones where a shared understanding is maintained and continual chatter isn’t necessary for comfort to exist.

    A great post 🙂 Mmm french fries…you just made me hungry!

  12. I think the closer your friendship, the easier it is for you to be comfortable in silence…to know that it’s not awkward, to know that you dont have to speak, but still enjoy each other’s company. Nicely written Sweepy!

  13. many years ago, within a group of friends i used to say when an uncomfortable or an embarrassing something was said .. well !! my life as a sausage, it used to break the ice and normality continued .. 🙂

  14. I have friends who i have known for twenty years and we can happily sit in comfortable silence, which is bliss to me as i have to talk to people all day at work 😉

    • It’s nice to be around people who know you very well, where you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to impress them! I can relate to having to decompress after work! ;p

  15. ‘In the crevices of sound, thoughts are born, love begins, worlds are created’
    loved this line…well written SJ!

  16. I find accepting and being comfortable with silence is a sign of emotional maturity in the relationship. Just being in the company of some people is enough.

  17. I love those comfortable, silent moments between friends. To me, it is a sign of true friendship.

  18. This is where my gran would just say ‘So …’ a propos of nothing at all, and I/we/everyone would just wait, not even chewing (so certainly no nicking of other people’s chips), to receive the Wise Woman’s wisdom. It never came, and she would just pick up eating again, leaving us sitting there, cutlery akimbo!

  19. If I am having a lunch with a really good friend, I don’t mind such moments of silence. It is embarrassing at the start of a friendship but not between old mates don’t you think?

  20. With friends silence should be comfortable, I truly believe that.

  21. With good friends I’m totally comfortable with silence, even long periods of silence. With people I don’t know well or who are not very good friends I panic. What if they think I’m boring? Have nothing intelligent to say? Can’t make conversation? Hate that!

  22. I totally agree. You know you have a great friendship when you can share comfortable silences.

  23. When you really know each other you do not need to fill each moment with noise!!! Just enjoy being with each other at least that is what Phyllis tells me lol

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2010/12/receptionwhen-fun-memories-starts.html

  24. Anonymous said:

    Funny I should come across this post today! Just a few days ago I caught up with my ‘married’ best friend on skype. We actually ran out of things to say – something I had never pictured ever happening to us. That’s when I realized how comfortable we were even in the silence. Of course I cracked up saying – is this a sign of aging? 🙂
    Thanks for this lovely write up, Sweepy.

  25. […] post whose success surprises me is Comfortable Silence. I didn’t think anyone would find it interesting and I didn’t think I would receive […]

  26. I think it all depends on who the other person is and our comfort with them….

  27. “In the crevices of sound, thoughts are born, love begins, worlds are created”…so aptly put A. i am a talker…i wouldnt be stuffing my face with another fry like you. i would say something to fill in the silence, often something stupid.
    its only after i married my hubby did i recognize the importance of silence. he is a non-talker. silence can be indeed golden. now there are times, when we are in the same room, in total silence yet we feel the deep connection we share. just the mere presence of him in the same room makes me safe, comfortable.:-)
    nice…very nice and thought provoking.

  28. Silence is truly golden. Pauses never phase me. I AM a psych nurse after all, and totally comfortable not saying anything. And totally not bothered by silence. 😀

  29. Sweepy, sometimes I find myself uncomfortable with silence, and other times not. But, I do have to say…I have had this happen to me on occasion. It doesn’t bother me most times as I believe silence to be a good thing in most instances. I believe great things come from moments of silence ☺ Thank you so much for joining in our hop this month. I apologize for not getting over here sooner…playing a little ‘catch-up’ again LOL

  30. This is so beautiful Adriene… but I sometimes find silence uncomfortable. I’m not such a loud person but I like people’s reactions, facial expressions…it’s like I’m always waiting for something – stories to tell. On the other hand, I also learned that silence could be healthy ~ just enjoying one another’s presence is wonderful 😀 Perhaps, this would happen in the long run but at the initial stage of friendship I prefer conversations 😀

  31. i use a silly statement when the conversation hits a wall, or someone says something ridiculous .. “well, my life as a sausage” it distracts everyone from the silence or awkward moment .. cheers 🙂

  32. Dear Sweepy,
    I’m a talker, always have been and never run out of things to say. My wife even jokes that the only time I stop talking is when I’m sleeping! (LOL) I agree, there’s nothing wrong with silence be it among friends or even yourself. There are times I love silence, especially when I’m engrossed in deep poetry writing.
    “In the crevices of sound, thoughts are born, love begins, worlds are created.” – LOVE this!
    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

    Mistress…

  33. Beautiful post, Sweepy! I do enjoy conversations with friends but sometimes there’s really nothing to talk about. And when you feel really comfortable with these people, there is no such thing as an awkward silence, only a deep and meaningful silence that speaks louder than words.

    Take care and God bless! ❤ 🙂

  34. lovely, lovely, sweepy jean! i can totally relate to the moment of fear when silence sets in and also to the sure knowledge that silence is sometimes golden between friends.

    love this:

    “You don’t always have to say something.

    In the crevices of sound, thoughts are born, love begins, worlds are created.”

    i’ve just joined the Blogging and Friends Blog Hop, tooo! i hope you’ll stop by at:

    http://www.dangerouslinda.com/?p=2000

  35. tumultuousjourney said:

    Randy and I can drive for miles with out a word, peaceful and comfortable. Until suddenly I say ” um, I gotta pee.” lol Great post

  36. I can’t say I have a lot of friends I do this with. My mom and I do it on occasion, then we know we’ve caught up on everything. And when I say everything I do mean everything… from babies to XXX. I have to say she is probably the only person I know offline or online that I can be 100% of the time and never ever worry if I am crossing a line, that’s exactly how a mother/daughter relationship should be. Hope all is well with you my dear friend. xoxo

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