How did the challenge go?The first day started off relatively easy. Both my husband and I seemed upbeat about the idea and even had fun trying to communicate. Matt got a kick out of the fact that I wasn't allowing myself to verbally respond to him. But by the end of the day I was growing frustrated and the experiment ended.
So what went wrong?
- I had assumed that to complete this challenge, I'd simply have to stop talking and start listening. But in doing so I'd forgotten that I don't just sit around and talk all day, I have genuine conversations with my husband. We actually nail communication pretty well, so cutting that out completely became frustrating.
- In addition to the first frustrating day with Matt, the following day I was set to watch my three year old nephew for a few hours and I didn't want to freak him out by suddenly being silent and not responding to him. How do you explain to a toddler about a blog challenge - especially when you can't do it verbally?
So what went right?
- Days that followed were filled with moments where I could have been silent, but I really didn't want to. They were positive days where I wanted to talk about good things, communicate with others, share ideas and laughter. I had assumed this challenge would help me cut out the negative talk, but in the end I didn't have much negative to say, so why silence the good?
Conclusion:A big thing I learned through this challenge came via some flash backs. When I was seven years old, my Grandmother (my primary parent at the time) had a stroke which paralyzed the right half of her body and brain, ultimately mixing up the signals in her speech center. When she spoke, actual words in her head were replaced by a small handful of sounds and gibberish. Through moments of patience and habit, one could figure out what she was trying to communicate, but there were far too many moments of frustration. Moments where I was frustrated in trying to figure out what she wanted to tell me, and clearly more moments where she was frustrated that she couldn't talk.
It made me very sad to think about it.
She was my mother for most of my life. The thirteenth anniversary of her death comes around in a little over one month and it was hard to remember the moments of my youth where instead of quietly trying to work with her, I would so quickly give up and let many things go unsaid.
This week was a good reminder that being a little more silent when it comes to negativity and the need to listen to others is important, but it's equally if not more important to make sure you do speak out positively to the ones you love.
Did anyone else take the One Week Without the Speaking challenge? How did you do?