Humans are social beings, we love to talk to each other. With the advent of technology we now talk to each more more than ever. Depending on the kind of person you are, you want to instantly know everything about them. You may also be the kind of person who finds silences awkward or uncomfortable. I know for a long time, I was uncomfortable with silence, even if it was with a good friend. I had to fill the silence with something, even if it was pointless small talk.
As a society we cant stop talking, people who simply do not enjoy talking or have nothing to say are considered rude if they don’t talk. I am sure there are people out there, just like me who have been perceived as “rude” or asked if “theres something wrong with them” just because they have not said anything to another person, or not joined in a group conversation.
As I got older however, I appreciated silence, nay I craved it. I was sick of always having to say something or risk coming across as rude or aloof. I still try to be more social, but sometimes I really have nothing to say, so why do I have to say something? I think the people closest to me would testify for that. They have been annoyed and frustrated by my “aloofness”
I digress though. In this “noisy” world of ours, is conversation really the best way to get to know a stranger? She wouldn’t have been the first person to ask this question, but she is the first person I know who has tried.
My friend Silvia tried to answer this question by conducting an experiment. In the experiment she called “Blind Bug”, she brought strangers together and either blindfolded them or did not for around 7 minutes. In both cases, the strangers were required not to talk to each other and only communicate in silence with parts of their body.
You can find the video of the entire experiment here:
I was paired with a beautiful stranger called Abigail and to be honest I was nervous as hell. I had never done this before, I definitely did not want to embarrass myself in front of Abigail and I did not know what to do or what to say with my body, which is why you if you see me I am really awkward and confused. Eventually though, with Abigail’s help I started to relax and think of more ways to communicate and get to know her. I found that eventually, you notice small things about that person and you learn things that you may not have learnt otherwise. I feel that Abigail and I bonded on a much deeper level than I would have normally with a stranger and I found that so much fun.
Mine and Abigail’s video is here:
Anyway, the real story is in the video and I know its long but its worth a watch. On a personal level, I found it an incredible experience, a lot of fun and it made me appreciate the use of non-verbal communication. In this world of ours, it was nice to know someone without having to try and make verbal conversation.
I urge you all to give it a try, especially when you meet a new person. I guarantee that you will lose that awkwardness quickly and will get to know them on a more deeper and intimate level. Plus, its definitely makes for a better way of meeting someone then, “Hi, I am Kunaal blah blah blah….”
The story did have an ending in that because we had to answer questions for Silvia following the conclusion of the seven minutes, Abigail and I could not meet immediately after as she was rushing somewhere else (she interviewed first). However, we did meet for dinner a few days later and got to know each other well. She is an amazing person and I am glad to have met her.
If you have any thoughts or questions for me or Silvia, please feel free to ask and share! Also, if you have had any similiar experiences, I would love to hear about them!
Till next time!