The "awkward silence" is a moment we all dread in our daily interactions. After you've known someone for a little while you'll notice these silences less and less, similar to how you would never experience an awkward silence with your brother or your sister. It's not so much that you have more to say to each other the more time passes, it's just that you become more comfortable with each other. Herein lies the secret to avoiding awkward silences altogether.
These moments are only awkward because we make them so. We feel uncomfortable, like we're being judged — or worse, deemed boring — and we shrivel up into a state of such discomfort that the silence is deepened to the point of awkwardness. If you're able to overcome the discomfort that arises when there's a lull in a conversation, then you will also be able to avoid deepening that silence.
There are two parts to this technique. Learn them, and awkward silences will become a thing of the past!1. Change Your Reaction
The awkward part about a silence isn't the silence itself, but rather your reaction to it. When you feel uncomfortable, everything around you is affected. Your demeanor changes and the other person can feel that, so they feel uncomfortable too. Instead of reacting this way, remain calm. Relax, and the awkwardness won't come up at all. You or your conversational partner will be able to think of something to say, and you will both move on.2. Allow It & Embrace It
Silences are totally natural and occur all the time. They are a part of all our long-term friendships and relationships, yet we don't find them awkward with people we know. Nobody is on all the time, and there are days when you feel more or less chatty. Understanding that silences happen, and that it's perfectly naturally to fall quiet on occasion, will free you from feeling awkward about them in the first place.
So, next time you're chatting with someone and there's a lull, don't panic! Let the natural ebb and flow of the conversation take place. For additional tips on defeating awkward silences, read our post on how to Keep the Conversation Flowing.
Now that you know the secret to avoiding awkwardness, give Livelinks Chatline a call. It's free to try and always free for women!