I Took a Vow of Silence

I Took a Vow of Silence and Here’s What Happened

 

    I believe that words have power. Whether it’s speaking, reading, writing, or listening words affect us in almost every way. As someone who talks constantly I wanted to become more aware of my words. I took a vow of silence to gain perspective of not only myself but other people as well. I wanted to become a better listener and to really think about the words that I was putting out into the world. I wanted to know if the words I put out are meaningful and well thought out or just silence fillers. I learned a lot about myself and experience many things in the process.

 

  1. I Failed

 

I didn’t really fail because I did what I set out to do but I messed up a lot at first. Words just kept slipping out. Whether it was me blessing someone’s heart for sneezing or saying thank you for holding the door (sorry not sorry but momma raised a polite one) I kept impulsively talking. As a college student who has to get points for participating in class, I knew that this would be dang near impossible. So I limited my words to 20 in a day and only for the important stuff like questions during a test or something along those lines.

 

 

  1. I Felt More Awkward Than Usual

 

As an already awkward person, I didn’t think I could get anymore awkward. Boy was I wrong. For everything I couldn’t say out loud I had to say it with my face or body language. Whenever I was in an uncomfortable position my face showed it. Whenever I needed to get around someone I would awkwardly maneuver myself around them instead of saying excuse me. When someone would try to talk to me my face searched for ways to tell them “Hey, sorry I can’t talk right now. Please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you!” It was altogether pretty awkward.

 

 

  1. I Felt Rude

 

    As someone who was brought up to say “bless you”, “you’re welcome”, and “hello” to people when I walk into a room, I felt really rude. I felt like people thought that I was being a straight up b**** or some kind of diva. I wouldn’t say anything when people opened doors for me. I would hit my own button on the elevator after someone would ask “What floor?”. I wouldn’t say “You too!” when someone would say “Have A Good Day!”. I tried to smile and wave but my resting face naturally looks sarcastic. I’ve honestly never felt more sassy, and not in the good way.

 

 

  1. I Felt Isolated and Alone

 

As an everyday Chatty Cathy, to be quiet for a long period of time was hard. I love talking to people. I love asking questions. I love giving people compliments. I love participating in class. I love telling my roommate and friends about my day and asking about theirs. When I all of a sudden couldn’t indulge in those things I felt very isolated and alone. I missed talking to my mom on the phone. It’s not like I couldn’t hang out with anyone but what  was the point? I couldn’t talk.  So I went about my days thinking of funny things and laughing quietly to myself. I ate by myself. I went to the library a lot to make myself feel better that no one else was talking either.

           

(This sounds depressing but it gets better!)

 

  1. I Felt More Aware

 

    I felt more aware of myself, of my thoughts, and my actions. Going throughout my day in silence made me realize people more. I realized what they were wearing, what they were doing, how were they doing it. I felt like I had never really paid much attention to the small details in the people around me that I didn’t know. I felt more aware of what I was doing in the present moment. I became more focused on the task that I was performing instead of looking for words to say. This really helped me perform well on my assignments. Having to let my words marinate inside my head really made me realize that I don’t really think that much before I speak. I merely just blurt out what comes to my mind. Through being silent I felt more intact with my conscience. I got to hear what I wanted to say and construct it in a way that sounded well-articulated and carefully thought out. I explored my emotions more. I really looked at where they came from and why I felt them. I listened to myself and my body in a way that I never had before and it was amazing.

 

 

  1. I Felt Peaceful

 

    When I woke up in the morning’s I felt more at peace than my former talking self. There was always this persistent voice in my head telling me to hurry and get dressed or hurry and do some work. But now my mind was just as silent as I was and for me that’s a blessing. As someone who has 50 million things running through their mind in a day, it can be so exhausting to think all the time. My mind felt clear and focused. This was probably the best thing that came out of me taking my vow; peace of mind.

 

 

  1. I Felt More Productive

 

    I learned through this process that I waste a lot of time talking. When I stopped talking, I got so many things done. I found myself not procrastinating. I got ahead in a lot of my work. I felt more creative. Whatever needed to be done, I just did it. I didn’t sit around and talk about it. I sat down, made a list of what needed to be done, and got to business. Where was this last semester when I wrote a 9 page paper the night before it was due?

 

 

  1. I Felt Empowered

 

    Halfway through my vow of silence, I was ready to quit. I wanted nothing more than to go to my room and have an hour long conversation with my best friend and talk about anything and everything. I pushed myself to keep my word and hold out. As someone who exercises very little will power especially when it comes to shopping, I am very proud to say that I stuck it out. Being silent taught me willpower and restraint. Not every impulse needs to be acted on. Not everything I think needs to be said. I feel like I am a better listener in the sense that I am not thinking what to say next in a conversation. I am listening to understand and not just to respond. Acknowledging these things and having the power to really think before I speak makes me feel powerful.

 

 

I recommend anyone to take a vow of silence. Perhaps not for a whole week but maybe for a day or two and see what you discover about yourself and your words.