There’s a great many things to do and places to see in this world of ours. As humans, our lives are pretty short (and if you party like I do, it’s probably going to be even shorter). So we have to prioritize! We have brains for a reason and that reason is…reasoning (well, at least some of us use them for that purpose: see comment about partying above). Let me be your voice of reason as I show you all the things you should be doing right here, right now.
We say it all the time: shut up. Sometimes you mean it (like during a particularly nasty fight with the bf) and sometimes you don’t (Clueless-esque situations of surprise and pleasure), but those two little words will always be there. How many of us actually listen to them, though? Have you ever actually shut up when someone told you to do so (I, for one, make it a point to talk louder/longer when someone tells me to shut up)? Perhaps it’s time for us to listen. Perhaps it’s time to really shut up.
Living in a single room in a new dorm this past week, I’ve learned the value of keeping my mouth shut. I’m not unfriendly, but I’m not chatting up a storm either. I’m trying to keep it cool and start out as the mysterious, cool and collected girl (a bit of a change from former dorm experiences…but we won’t go there). What I’ve learned includes how to seem nice and approachable without saying a word and how to not look like a creepy loner. In fact, I’ve enjoyed my silence so much, I’m thinking we all need to try it. Try this on for size: reasons why you should shut your pie hole.
Work Those Eyes – If you’re not flexing those vocal cords, then you’ll probably be doing most of your communicating through your eyes. Instead of a long-winded answer, just raise an eyebrow. Instead of an awkward giggle and stuttering attempts at flirtation, try winking. Simple glances and blinks become volumes of communication. And imagine the make-up possibilities when all the attention is focused on your eyes…
Decreased Stress – Less sound = less stress. Simple as that. As long as you’re not chatting up a storm on your cell phone, you should feel a decrease in the level of stress you feel on a daily basis. Silence takes the responsibility of carrying a conversation off your shoulders. You won’t have to say “hi” to friends you pass on the streets anymore – just throw them a smile and be on your way. Maybe your professors will notice your silence and think of you as that smart, calm student (they like those kinds of students), hopefully while calling on someone else in lecture to answer all of the review questions aloud.
Increased Sensation – I’m a professional at multitasking. If I’m not doing three things at once, then I’m probably sleeping (and even then I’ve probably got something else going on). One activity that remains constant is talking on my cell phone. I catch up with family and friends and also take care of random chores on the phone. But, if I wasn’t talking on the phone, I’d probably be more involved with my surroundings. I would hear the ambient noise of my dorm room, taste my dinner, and actually see the things around me without being distracted by chatting. It would almost be like removing blinders and ear plugs at the same time…
More Thinking – Ever hear the saying, “Think before you speak”? Well, if you’re not speaking, it follows that you’ll be doing a lot of thinking about what you’d like to say. If you shut up, you won’t have to worry about saying something that will hurt someone’s feelings or make you look stupid. Sure, there’s always e-mail and Facebook for ruining friendships, but at least you won’t have to listen to your own voice ringing in your ears after you slur a particularly horrible pick up line into the ear of that middle-aged creeper who ended up in your favorite bar (thinking before slurring is definitely a good move).
Omnipotence – No, if you shut your face you don’t automatically know everything. However, if you’re not jumping into the conversation and getting distracted by the sound of your own voice, you’ll have more time to sit back and just observe. One time I dozed off while some friends were hanging out in my dorm room. When I woke up, instead of jumping directly into conversation, I kept my mouth shut and my eyes closed. And boy, did that little bit of creeping get me some good gossip. You’ll get the same effect if you shut up the rest of the time, too. People will feel the need to fill your silence and you’ll reap the benefits of additional information.