This week I spent Five Whole Days not speaking, and guess what?
It was bloody hard!
When I wanted to communicate with people, I mainly used this whiteboard:
Which meant that a simple “Good morning” took about 5 minutes.
So what did I notice during my week of silence?
This challenge wasn’t just difficult for me, it was hard for everyone around me.
People would start to speak to me like I was a baby, or like I didn’t speak English.
They got louder, and slower.
Sometimes when I communicated with my whiteboard, the person in question would forget that they were allowed to speak, and try and communicate back using weird made-up sign language or hand gestures.
As the week went on, I noticed that people would not really engage in conversations with me – and interestingly – talk about me like I wasn’t there.
When I asked a few people to give me some feedback on the challenge I got comments such as:
I felt like I was talking about you like you weren’t there a lot…and also was less likely to spark up a conversation – both of these things have made me realise I am a horrible person.
It’s been harder and longer to get to the point, I’ll be glad when you are talking again.
I also found that I missed singing…A LOT.
One of the more testing times came when I was driving to work, alone, so no-one would have known, and Britney’s Baby One More Time came on the radio.
Now I’m just gonna leave this here and challenge you to watch the whole video without singing along….
Yep, impossible isn’t it?
It’s fair to say this has been one bizarre week, but certainly something I’m glad I can say I’ve done!
So you may be thinking, why did I continue with such a ridiculously hard challenge?
Well, I got used to my life as a mute. It became completely natural not to speak, and surprisingly easy too.
I stopped wanting to join in with conversations, and started to think a lot more philosophically, like I was some sort of wannabe Buddhist monk.
I would write stuff like this on my board:
And got feedback like this:
Very enlightened I now look up to you like one of the greats … Ghandi….Crowley…the Pope.
So what did a week of silence teach me?
- It’s difficult to fit into society.
- Humans can get used to anything.
- I don’t have to engage in ALL conversations.
- Lunch time is rubbish without a voice.
- To think before I speak.
Oh and one last thing…..
When you hear your voice after not speaking for five days, it sounds like when you hear it for the first time on a tape/video. It’s proper weird!
Check out my Insta to see what I said as my first words.
Until next time, thanks for tuning in.