A vow of silence. Sounds pretty serious, right? These kinds of vows are usually used in religion as a way to clear their mind, and develop a closer connection to their higher power. Lately, though, many people have been doing them to help clear their minds. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Finally, I decided to try it.
I would go a whole 24 hours without saying anything. I could write out what I wanted when needs be. But overall I tried to talk as little as possible. I told my parents, and friends before hand or the day of, so they would understand why I wasn’t talking to them.
Confession Time: I spoke a total of four times. Mostly it was accidental. Once when a teacher walked by, and I automatically said hello. Second, I said something under my breath, nothing mean, just commenting on something weird I did. Third, I commented on something to someone who didn’t know what I was doing. Four, I said two words, “oh rats” when I didn’t do something right. In total I think I spoke around ten to twenty words.
Anyway. I took the vow of silence for a couple reasons. One, to become a better communicator, taking a vow of silence would help with that because, I would be able to listen better, talk with more purpose, as well as seeing how much I actually talking. Second, to refocus myself, and sort out my thoughts so they were less chaotic.
At the beginning of the day, it was pretty easy. I was with my family, who knew I was doing this, and knew I couldn’t speak. The rest of the day was pretty hard, most of my friends knew what I was doing, and talked to me as normal, but they found it really weird, and felt like they were talking to nothing. Even though I had a whiteboard to write on, I didn’t use it very often. Mainly because by the time I could write something up, they would be off of the topic.
I also would also want to say “thank you” a lot, like when someone would hold open a door, or passed me a paper. Yet, I couldn’t, so instead I would mouth the words, and hope that they would be able to understand.
It also helped me to see how much I talk. I didn’t think I talked a lot, but apparently I do. I would find myself ready to say something, then have to swallow it. I think that this is helpful to know, so that I will know when to be quiet so my friends can actually say something, instead of me blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.
I would recommend it to others, it was really interesting to see how people reacted and how you react when you are in that situation. It was really enlightening and I learned to appreciate silence more, and it made talking more meaningful.