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Companionable silence is my favorite noise

 
 
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 03:36 pm
but isn't it odd that you really have to know someone before you can both just be quiet around each other.

Why is this?

Does it just take fewer words to communicate with people who know you well?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,035 • Replies: 19
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Heeven
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 03:48 pm
I have a sister who I can hang out with and not say a word. Often a suggestion made with an indication of the head or a facial expression, or eye-movement lets us communicate with each other. We have times where we chatter non-stop but there are those times when we can look across the table at each other and know what the others reaction is to something. I can be very chatty or I can be very quiet - a part of my two sided personality. For many people my quiet time unnerves them, with my sister is it perfectly natural.

Now my favorite noise is the quiet "Mmm" after you have eaten or tasted something so deliciously succulent that you couldn't contain a soft sigh of contentment.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 03:56 pm
That is a good "Mmmm", Heeven. I use that sound when my head hits the nice cool pillow too. Contented humming. Nice.

I found myself falling into a companionable silence with someone today and it was just...... lovely.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 04:01 pm
Awwwwwwwwwwww!

It is a good sound - and I guess it comes when you know somebody well enough to just BE.

How different from the horrible silence of a couple with no good will left, and nothing left to say! Or the tense silence of something important unsaid.

I love those weird "conversations" that happen when you know somebody well enough that just the faintest indicator of part of an utterance limns the whole" "Did you?" "Yes...but." "Aha, so she?" "HE didn't" "Oh"
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 04:05 pm
You're right dlowan, those awkward silences are the worst.

I'm a huge fan of silence and will usually take it however I can get it but sometimes silence is oppressive.

I love to hear those wierd non-conversation conversations too.
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husker
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 04:33 pm
I think there's more to it! I can be around many a folk and not utter a word. But boy once you break the dam it's like a raging river. Hope we never talk on the telephone Smile
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 05:58 pm
Hi husker. Love the photo!

I'm sure there is more to it. I'm lousy in crowds - never talk to anyone or end up in the corner chatting with one person. Chatting may not be the right word.... listening is probably closer to right. If we ever talk on the phone you can break your dam and be sure you have an ear.
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SealPoet
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 09:11 pm
Oh... boomer, darling! How wonderful for you and Mr. B.

Same with Mrs. SealPoet and myself... Not always, but often. The intimacy of silence, and the absence of pressure to keep up the conversation.

Just being, together, is sufficient.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 09:18 pm
This is a sweet thread.

I somehow thought of a time at work, first, when I read it -- 4 of my senior staff people around the conference table, and they all knew before I said anything that I was pregnant. And the incremental facial expressions that said "yes I'm pregnant, yes I'm going to be quitting," and the tears before one single thing was said.

That's a slightly different thing, though, non-verbal communication vs. companionable silence, and is also not quite fair since we were all ASL-users and able to have conversations literally under the table during meetings. (Nice tool, that.) I also really love the completely comfortable companionable silence with my family, both my husband and my daughter -- reading on the couch while my daughter plays and occasionally shows me what she's doing is a lovely thing.
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pueo
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 09:24 pm
reminds me of a time a good friend of mine and myself drove up northern california to pick up his girlfriend, it was a three hour drive. after we picked her up she kept saying that we were "strange" because my friend an i hardly talked to each other. it was like deb posted above, "see the game?" "yeah" "see that?" "yeah" etc. we had known each other for ages and knew what message each was conveying without a bunch of words. she on the other hand kept yacking the whole three hours.

my friend ended up marrying her, poor guy. Very Happy
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sozobe
 
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Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2003 09:26 pm
I sometimes say to my husband "Don't think so loud" and I mean it. Embarrassed
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boomerang
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 02:06 pm
Thanks...for...your...replies.

The...spacebar...on....my....keyboard....isn't....working.

I..will..respond..as..soon..as..I..don't..have..to..type..dots..between..all..of..my..words..
becauseIdon'tthinkyouwouldcaretoreadanythingifitwaswrittenlikethis.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 02:08 pm
Surewewould!Wewanttohearfromyou!Whocaresaboutlousyspacebars?
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SealPoet
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 03:14 pm
Right!ThisIsn'tOneOfThoseTimesWhereSilenceIsCompanionable,Okay?
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nextone
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 04:51 pm
How good to let the quiet in and let it stay with us, within us and not be separated by even one word.
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williamhenry3
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 05:52 pm
"Listen to the sounds of silence."
-- from the song made famous by Simon and Garfunkel


Idea
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 06:31 pm
Sometimes the best silence includes the sound of dogs [size=7] snoring very very very quietly.[/size]
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 06:42 pm
We all need a rest from the noise polution we are bombarded with every day. Silence is golden is truly a golden phrase. c.i.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 03:07 pm
Yeah! New keyboard!

SealPoet, from what I know of you and your wife I can certainly see you as the companionable silence types. It is very comforting to have the other person just near.

sozobe, you certainly bring an interesting perspective to this conversation and it really higlights that a companionable silence is much more of a feeling that a sound. Growing up, one of my best friend's parents were both deaf. They could always tell the difference between our "up to something" quiet and our "just relaxing" quiet.

I would imagine that the deaf are much more in tune to body language than the hearing. I wonder if there has ever been a study done on that.

pueo, I just have to know - are they still married!?

I have a friend that can't stop talking to save her life; I've never seen (heard!) anything like it. Luckily, she's very clever and has exciting adventures to relate but small does of her is all I can take.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 03:21 pm
"Don't think so loud!" I love that. Women have such a bad rep for always saying that "what are you thinking?" thing that it is really nice to know one who is annoyed with their spouses noisy thinking.

nextone, you have a very poetic way with words. I found myself whispering as I read your post. Not only do I agree with your sentiment, I love the way you phrased it.

williamhenry, that is one of my favorite songs. To me, the lyrics are evocative of a spooky silence though - "Silence like a cancer grows". Still, it's message of learning to listen to the silence is a good one.

Yes, eBeth, after a particulary disasterous day, nothing beats a good dog pile with my best friends. My dog Bakker is high in the midst of an "Addisonian episode" and I find myself searching the house for her breathing just to know that she's okay.

c.i. - have you read Chuck Palihuick's (I probably spelled that wrong) book "Lullabye"? It's a very interesting take on the noise pollution that invades our lives.

I agree with you, quiet is a forgotten luxury.
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