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The pressure and worries of social anxiety can me magnified when it's quiet. No one is "abnormal," "wrong," or "bad" for being uncomfortable among people when it's silent. It's simply part of anxiety.

This means, happily, that it not part of you or who you are as a person. Anxiety is something we might live with for awhile, but it doesn't define us and we're not doomed to experience it throughout life. Let go of the "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts.

Awkward silence

With anxiety, we tend to be quite self-conscious and very hard on ourselves. The more we mull over what we should or should not have said or done, the more anxiety we experience. Start catching yourself in the act, and when you notice yourself "shoulding," stop yourself, examine what you did right, and move on.

The more you practice doing this, the easier it is, and the more comfortable you become with yourself and with silence. Return to the moment.

Pulp Fiction (4/12) Movie CLIP - Uncomfortable Silence (1994) HD

In other words, get out of your head and into the world. For me, I returned again and again to the actual video. When I noticed thoughts running amok, I stopped them, countered them, and then enjoyed the slideshow.


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Did I have to do it more than once? Did I become more comfortable with the silence and thus enjoy myself every time I did? What are people doing?

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Are all eyes on you? Are people making faces at you, whispering and pointing? If someone happens to be looking, they might be doing the very same thing as you. Or they're admiring your outfit. This can put your mind at ease and help reduce anxiety when you see that you're not the center of attention. Then, return to the moment. When a room full of people suddenly becomes quiet, it can be unnerving and make anxiety spike. However, when you silence your mind , you just might find that you are no longer anxious in a quiet zone or uncomfortable with silence. You can also connect with Tanya J.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and four critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges.

She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website , Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter. View all posts by Tanya J. Hi Chris, I just did some searching for articles and research studies about this, and so far what I've been able to find is the exact opposite of what your daughter is experiencing.


  • Realize that not every lull or silence is due to a mistake on someone's part.
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Usually, quiet space is recommended to calm anxiety. Yet it's also true that quiet classrooms, testing rooms, libraries, etc. There is something called school refusal in which students of any age are highly resistant to going to school. While it doesn't sound like this applies to your daughter, there are components that you might find useful--there are similarities between her wanting to escape the room and escaping school itself.

BBC - Capital - The subtle power of uncomfortable silences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Schulman , Intervention in human services , p. Cody 17 Mar , "Awkward Silences: Reda , Between Speaking and Silence: Retrieved from " https: Oral communication Silence Linguistics stubs. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 22 January , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Don't you hate that? Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit? In order to be comfortable?

That's a good question.