More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Unspoken Understanding

Sometimes, a lack of words speak more than actual words. Have you ever noticed that people generally try to fill quite moments in conversations. It's actually much harder to just let that bit of silence stay silent. It's sometimes awkward and you all stare around and then someone says something just to break the awkwardness. This generally occurs more with people you don't know too well, or know well in the sense that you see them a lot, but don't really know them intellectually or emotionally. My words are all a bit jumbled up, I think you probably understand what I'm trying to say as everyone has probably experienced this situation.

I find that when I am talking to someone and am able to let that silence be as is, that is when I am truly comfortable around that person. With some people it's easier, I can do that without even thinking about it. With some other people, it's actually quite a struggle and I just find myself thinking of something to say. It doesn't matter how long I seem to know some people, I still find that I can't stay silent during those pauses in conversation and need some sound to fill the air. I guess you can't connect with everyone and there isn't that unspoken understanding where words aren't needed.

An unspoken understanding can also occur when you both know that you are uncomfortable around each other and hence try to avoid that by saying lots of things. Isn't that so strange. Silence really is a tough thing to master.

I can think of a recent example where a friend and I seem to have just slowly slipped further apart. There were no words spoken but we seem to sense a certain amount of discomfort around each other. Is there such a thing as a vibe that you get. It's probably due to many factors such as body language, tone of voice and interest shown. Previously we would joke and laugh with such ease, but nowadays, it seems like we talk politely to each other like strangers. Somehow there is this unspoken understanding that something has changed. I know I probably convey it through my body language since I just see that person different after some events that occurred. I just don't have much interest in talking to that person anymore and I think it must show through the lack of eye contact and general tone of voice that I use.

So what was the whole point of this post, I'm not really sure. I think sometimes I know when I start to feel comfortable with certain people when I can let silent moments stay silent. Conversely, I know that I am no longer close to people who I have to find words to fill a gap where once I didn't have to.


Blogger Superb said...

Definately Thanh, you're not the only one, I'm sure lots of people get that.

Also another thing I think, on the brighter side, is that some people have a natural ability to connect with others. I know I have been in that situation before, but the otherperson interacts in a way that totally makes u feel like there's no awkwardness, and I reckon that's cool- cos I mean really, why should there even be an awkwardness

10/04/2006 1:29 AM  
Blogger A-la-la-la-n said...

Agree totally with Trev. Your not the only one.

I like knowing that silence is good between friends. Although some of my closest friends always have something to say to me.

On trev's connection thing, yeh thats awesome too. I love meeting new people and clicking immmediately.

And then because i'm a bad friend i tend to let them maintain the relationship or pass them off to my buddy


10/04/2006 2:23 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Some people do have a natural ability to connect with others and seem comfortable in any situation. They seem to be able to say and do the right things that just make you comfortable. Others however, I just feel so uncomfortable talking to and feel like I have to always have something to say just to break that tension.

10/04/2006 9:12 PM  
Blogger mishmash said...

The beauty in all of this is when you run into a good friend whom you haven't seen in months or years but everything feels just the same; like as if you've spoken to each other everyday.

I measure my clicky-ness with people by the extent of The Awkward Silences. But it's a fantastic feeling when you meet up with an old friend to find that things haven't changed.

10/04/2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger A-la-la-la-n said...

I had a comfortable silent moment today on my way into the city. It was quite pleasing.

It was amusing because i thought about this entry.

Oooh...with mash's long-time no-see thing (a saying which makes me cringe), i reckon thats one of the best feelings ever. Knowing that nothing has changed after yonks.

10/05/2006 1:56 AM  
Blogger afrobev said...

I like the whole connection thing too. Sometimes you just know if you are on a level with someone and you feel immediately comfortable in their company.

Likeability is a big thing too. Unspoken understandings can stem from just being likeable and trust comes from the same sort of place I think. Like a sort of gut feeling about someone and their intentions. Maybe Im just waffling.

10/05/2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Mish, I was saying exactly the same thing to a friend a few weeks ago. He lives in Queensland now but he came to Melbourne recently and we both agreed how we just seem to get along so easily again without having talked to each other for ages.

Alan, I had a very uncomfortable silent moment yesterday. Two senior managers were talking in the kitchen. I happened to go there to get some water. They stopped talking and were silent. I stood at the tap filling my drink bottle and they were on either side of me, also waiting silently to use the tap. All three of us just stood there staring at the tap and listening to the sound of the water. The tap was filling so slowly (it is one of those filtered water tap) and I just got out of there when my bottle was half full.

James, some people do exude likeability and that is why it's so easy to get along with them.

10/05/2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Superb said...

Hahahahaahah!! That's so funny!!You should've said, "the senior managers in here gotta do something about these slow taps"

10/05/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Funny minds must think alike. I told the story to a work mate and he said I should have said "Why are these f**ken taps so slow, shouldn't someone do something about this". Hahaha what a laugh I had this morning, then I read your response Trev and it's cracked me up again. Hahahaha.

10/05/2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

My students used to tell me that my silence is more deadly than my noise!!! They worried if I kept a long silence. As a teacher, I refused to let words come out of my mouth when I was angry. Did not want to fall into the temptation of using harsh words. Words could heal; words could also kill! In moments of anger and frustration, I feel, it is better to keep the silence. After my anger was over, I would then talk to the students and explain where they had gone wrong!!!

10/06/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I agree with you Choo. People probably shouldn't speak when they are angry, as you tend to say things that you don't really mean. You will probably regret what you say later.

10/06/2006 7:42 PM  

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