Breaking Silence

quietSomewhere in my family history I learned to communicate by interrupting. It is rude, I know. I try to moderate but I am not always successful. To be honest, I should probably say that I am rarely successful. I try to wait for a lull in the conversation. But I cannot contain myself. The thoughts that have been collecting within me burst forth like shaken soda on a hot afternoon, usually with more force than the ideas actually warrant.

I have often wondered why it is so hard for me to hold my peace. Perhaps it arises from the conviction that I am right. But I can’t possibly be as right as often as I think I am. Even if I am right, the truth can wait. I will be just as right when there is space enough in the conversation for me to speak.

No, I think the real reason I feel compelled to speak out of turn is out of a fear of not being heard. This has little to do with being right. My interruptions are merely a symptom of a greater existential crisis. I want to be heard because I mistakenly think that being heard is equivalent to being known.

The foolishness of such an equation is evident to me as I write this in solitude. But I know that when I am in conversation and in the company of others, I will see it otherwise. I will break my silence, whether in the heat of the moment or in the tedium of dull discussion. And I will probably regret it later.

 

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