Sunday, May 10, 2009

'Comfortably share silence'

Awkward silences are good. They provide two things: awkwardness and silence (duh!).

Awkwardness is a good thing once in a while. We (i.e. modern Britons) find life far too comfortable a lot of the time, safe in our cultured friendship circles. It’s good to shake this up a bit, and awkward silences are great ways to remove some of the usual comfort of most social situations.

Silence is also a wonderful thing. We spend most of our lives in noisy places or with background noise on (music, TV etc.). Sometimes it’s important to savour silence.

A quote from Pulp Fiction (excuse the language):

- Don't you hate that?
- Hate what?
- Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit? In order to be comfortable?
- I don't know. That's a good question.
- That's when you know you found somebody really special, when you can just shut the fuck up for a minute. Comfortably share silence.

This is so true, and links into the awkwardness thing. Whether a silence is ‘awkward’ (i.e. preceded by an ill-considered comment) or not, most people just find silence uncomfortable.

But I’ve always thought (since I was literally about 7) that silence between friends is a really important thing. The above quote just sums it up perfectly. There are a handful of people who I can sit with, doing nothing, and share silence, and this is such an important thing to do.

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