Fear Of Silence: Why Does It Make Us So Anxious?

Last updated by Lauren Hart

Ah, silence... Whether it’s in a conversation or at home, I have to admit that it’s not something I’m crazy about. In the first situation, I feel extremely awkward and in the second, the silence becomes “deafening” and causes anxiety. Where does this come from? Why should I accept silence a bit more? And how can this be done? In our very noisy society, it’s high time we reconnect with silence, come to terms with it, and stop being afraid.

Fear Of Silence: Why Does It Make Us So Anxious?

Why am I scared of silence?

A conversation with a stranger, a bit of small talk, and then all of a sudden, we don’t know what to say, and hey presto, there’s a gap 😨. The silence then becomes awkward, and uncomfortable, and our social phobia grows. We look for what to say, but it’s not always easy to have a conversation! Obviously, we want to get out of this embarrassing situation quickly.  That’s how I see silence in an exchange, as something that causes discomfort. I’m not the only one, in fact, we often transmit this feeling to each other when we’re in a group. However, you don’t have to be in a social context not to tolerate silence 👀.

I’m one of those people who can’t stay in complete silence for long. Even though I’m an introvert and hypersensitive, there’s always noise at home, whether it’s music, a podcast or videos on my computer. For others, it’s the TV that has to be on to keep them company 📺. In fact, we have the feeling that silence is synonymous with boredom, whether in society or at home. Even worse, it ends up causing anxiety, as we’re so uncomfortable with it. So we do everything to fill it and nip in the bud any possibility of it appearing 👎.

When noise becomes a shield

Cutting off a conversation with a pause or spending an afternoon in silence, there’s no denying that it’s difficult. Nowadays, noise and speech are key, we have the impression that it makes us exist or that it allows us to create a link with others. We then see silence as something to be filled, at the risk of not being interesting enough or being invaded by solitude. It becomes unbearable to be silent with others or with yourself. In fact, noise or speech becomes a shield that allows us to overcome these false ideas.


Something else that shouldn’t be forgotten is that we live in an extremely noisy society, with our cars, our ringing phones, our sound ads... It’s therefore difficult to adopt other habits, even though they’d do us good!

Why is silence beneficial?

Believing that noise can save us is a cognitive distortion, because by trying to escape silence, we end up causing something worse! Especially when we’re in a social context, and we want to fill a moment of silence at all costs. We look for something to say and in a moment of panic, we end up making a blunder or being completely off the mark. As a result, we’re even more embarrassed than if we’d put up with the silence. So, in trying to avoid it so as not to be embarrassed, we end up provoking what we dreaded the most 😅!

>>> Read these tips on how to become a great conversationalist

Seeing it as a remedy rather than a poison

When I’m at home and the house is silent, it gives me a great sense of loneliness. I find myself in my own head, and often I’m afraid I’ll be overwhelmed by a bunch of thoughts that I’m not used to dealing with. So I make noise to fill my mind and the fact that I’m alone. Except that it’s not the silence that’s the problem, it’s the fact that I can’t cope with the loneliness and my thoughts.

🧘‍♀️ On the contrary, silence can be a remedy, via mindfulness meditation, for learning to deal with what’s going on in our heads. It allows us to reconnect with our inner self and find some peace.

How can we tame silence?

Without becoming mute, we need to try to tame silence, because the biggest problem is that we’re not used to it. As I said, we’ve been surrounded by noise since we were young, so it’s difficult to add new habits. Without wanting to cut out everything overnight, we can allow ourselves moments without noise.  🕰️ For a quarter of an hour here or there, we can turn off our TV, podcast or radio. This allows us to get used to silence, which will increasingly soothe our ears and our brain, which is constantly over-stimulated. Not to mention that there are places that lend themselves well to the exercise of silence, like a forest or a church ⛪.

>>> Discover; I talk to myself, does that make me weird?

Practicing silence with others

What about in a conversation? Keeping quiet in the middle of a sentence would make no sense, but we can practice not wanting to respond at all costs when a gap arises in a conversation. We can welcome it and take advantage of it to rethink what the person we’re talking to has said to us, it helps us to work on our active listening!

Moreover, we take advantage of this to mentally repeat to ourselves that it’s not serious, that it doesn’t make us less interesting to be silent! We’re not responsible for silence, but when it comes, we can choose not to push it away. Moreover, it can help us to get rid of a bad habit, like the unbearable habit of cutting other people off. I’m just saying 😬!

Editor’s note: Make silence an ally

To go in search of silence is, in a way, being on the lookout for peace. We learn to listen to what’s going on inside of us and around us. This is why it’s good to make silence an ally in order to recharge our batteries. And the more comfortable we are with silence, the more we can use it, especially in important conversations. Someone who’s uncomfortable with silence will tend to want to fill it by saying sensitive information. So we might as well not do the same thing by learning to like silence!

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

Our most popular psychology articles:

Insights into a narcissist's brain:

Do Narcissists Always Come Back?

You're probably thinking that once a narcissist has upped sticks and fled, he'll never dare to show his face again, however, quite the opposite is true. The reality is that these folks are like bad smells, there's no getting rid of them quickly, therefore regardless of all the pain, hurt, and trauma they've put their victims through, they'll always make a comeback, just to prove that they are still in control. In fact, no matter how much time has passed, these torturous monsters will always eventually rear their ugly heads, just to get in that one last vicious blow. Discover which 10 circumstances they'll decide to show up in their exes' lives.

How To Stop Being A Narcissist

Whilst many narcissists would never dream of changing their ways, those with a less severe form of this personality disorder are more likely to alter their ways. Now, many of us, and probably rightly so, tend to believe that narcissists are completely devoid of any empathy and that they are rigid and domineering by nature, but that’s not to say they can’t work towards being better people. After all, change IS certainly possible when you want it, and especially when you are willing to work for it. Admittedly, no one can just switch off their narcissistic button within themselves, but they can do things to be better.

How Do Narcissists Treat Their Kids?

Growing up with narcissistic parents is certainly no easy feat, because, let's face it, people with this disorder are unsympathetic, selfish, manipulative, egotistical, and dishonest, yes, that's right, these traits aren't exactly those showcased by the parents of the year. Realistically, these folks simply don't have the basic qualities required to become good parents, which is why, when they choose to have a family, things often spin out of control, and the narcissistic abuse undoubtedly crushes children's mental health.

Why Do Narcissists Stare?

Narcissists have a reputation for being amongst the most manipulative people out there, and rightly so! The truth is, these people are so good at the evil things they do because they operate under the radar and use covert methods to exercise their depraved missions. Now, one of the biggest and seemingly most unsuspecting techniques they use to manipulate and control their victims is staring. You're no doubt a little dubious about a stare being an effective tool in the art of manipulation, but it's true, a void and menacing look is one of the most intimidating and unnerving gestures that these folks turn to.

8 Reasons Why All Narcissists Are Hypocrites

If you know anything about narcissists, you'll surely be aware that they are extremely overly judgmental and critical, especially towards other people. Their faultfinding stems from their perception of ultimate superiority, and therefore legitimizes them in holding people to intimidatingly high standards. However, although they may believe they are pretty much perfect, the reality couldn't be any more different, yet they are slightly more forgiving with themselves. That's right, they are huge hypocrites and go from one extreme to another in a split second. Here we discuss the reasons behind their hypocritical behavior.

What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You've Figured Them Out

Dealing with a narcissist is never simple because let's face it, these folks aren't exactly the most reasonable or stable people around. Now, due to the fact that they are quite simply obsessed with being in control and particularly concerned with how they are perceived, they don't exactly take being exposed very well. Indeed, once they realize that you are on to them and have sussed out their behavior, they become very vindictive and plunge their victims into a further world of pain. Here are 10 things they often do when the jig is up.

5 Scary Things A Narcissist Smear Campaign Involves

We hear so much about these emotional abusers in every walk of life that we are sometimes so overloaded with information regarding them, meaning we often miss the red flags that, in hindsight, seem blatantly obvious. These vindictive manipulators often use smear campaigns as a way of getting back at their victims and villainizing them publicly. That's right, these evil campaigns are an effective method for them to change the narrative of the abuse, and to present themselves as victims, when in reality they are the perpetrators of the terror.

10 Reasons Why You'll Get No Closure With A Narcissist

Narcissists have a reputation for being nightmare exes, and their toxic behavior following a breakup really does reinforce this idea. Being dumped doesn't really go down well with these folks, which explains why they'll do everything in their power to prevent their ex, or should I say victim, from moving on. Closure isn't an easy thing to obtain upon walking away from a toxic relationship, and here are 10 reasons why.

How Long Will A Narcissist Rebound Relationship Last?

Narcissist rebound relationships generally last anywhere from 6-months to a year. Now, whilst the timeframe depends on each individual, these twisted personalities usually head into these relationships with a plan in mind, meaning they know exactly when and where they'll break things off. Plus, when they are in the final stages of a relationship with you, they are no doubt in the process of grooming their next victim. That's right, the need for a constant narcissistic supply means that they aren't likely to date any one person for an extensive period of time. For them, they require fresh blood every 6-months or so because they simply get bored. Let's take a look at the reasons why they keep their rebounds short, but not so sweet.

20 Narcissist Quotes

Narcissists are known for having a certain way with words, these folks certainly use this talent to their advantage, that's to say, to sink their teeth into their victims. Now, these calculating crooks don't use their gift of the gab to build people up, no, of course, they don't! Instead, the opposite is true, they use their smoothness to tear down their victims, destroy their confidence, and isolate them from their loved ones, all whilst brainwashing them and pretending to be the real victim. Wow, I don't know about you, but to me, that seems like a lot of work! Now, as skillful narcissists are, they can't completely dissimulate their true intentions and at points, their tongue betrays them, as you'll soon see in the following quotes. Here's what they typically say to bring people down...

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

How to detect a narcissist

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde