The power of silence: when to say nothing on a date
Do you really want to get to know someone? Then on your next date, try saying nothing at the right moment and you might just hear from the heart of your date, and learn more about who they really are.
No matter how relaxed you are, when you’re dating, looking for love or auditioning someone to play the role of “significant other” in your life, you’re going to be nervous. And for many of us, nervousness leads to babble. God forbid there should be an awkward silence on a date, let alone a pause for breath. But you know what? A little bit of space between phrases can be quite a useful dating technique.
Finding out what happens in the quiet spaces can tell you a lot about a person. And a little pause in the tidal wave of talk doesn’t mean people have nothing to say: rather, it’s a chance to digest what the other person has been saying, and to think more clearly about what to reveal or to ask next.
Psychologist and relationship strategist Melanie Schilling says that smart daters understand the power of listening. “To make judgements about your potential compatibility, this can only be achieved by tuning in to the other person, listening to not just what they’re saying but how they are saying it,” she says.
Silence is powerful. Silence can show how comfortable a person is within themselves. We’re not talking the cold shoulder or waiting a prescribed length of time to reply to a text: it’s more about using silence as a tool to open the door to deeper levels of communication.
And remember, the other person is likely to be just as nervous as you are. They also have their hopes up high and their hearts at stake, so every now and then, leave a little room to take a breath and take stock, because you might be surprised at what fills that space.
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