Thursday, March 20, 2008
30.Silence- nectar or poison?
Silence can be a stressor as well as a de-stressor. We are talking so much all the time that a few moments of silence can give us the much-desired relief. Silence has its own utility in such situations as a monotony-breaker. There could also be situations of intense hurt or grief when talking to someone can cause a lot of stress. These are the situations which have to be handled by the person himself- in silence. One needs to be left alone to understand and analyse one's emotions and come to terms with them. In such situations, things can become very difficult if one comes across a friend, a relative or an acquaintance who is too keen to help. Incessant chatter and bookish advice may cause one to explode suddenly, making the 'well-wisher' wonder whether benevolence has any use in today's world. Immediately after someone suddenly loses a dear one, the best support that a well-wisher can probably extend is to sit silently by him. An arm around his shoulders may also be of some help. But some people are not satisfied with extending such muted support. They try to over-power the aggrieved by asking him all kinds of questions- when did the death take place, how did it take place, what efforts were made to prevent it and so on. They appear more like investigators and less like friends/relatives. Their questions are so searching and so elaborate that they sometimes appear to be suspecting the aggrieved of some foul play.Silence can also be a big source of stress, especially when it is prolonged. An average human being has a great urge to communicate and if he is forced or persuaded to remain silent for hours with the promise of discovering something great, he may be in danger of losing whatever little greatness he may be in possession of.Whether silence will cause or remove stress will depend on whether one is experiencing glut or shortage of silence, the emotions one is experiencing and also on to the type of personality one has. Not only someone's nectar can be someone else's poison, but also nectar in one situation can be poison in another.