The sounds of silence

05.04.2022 at 3:58 PM

I like silence. Crave it even sometimes. It’s not that I don’t like sounds, or music, but there is a time and a place, and a volume to be considered.
I don’t like external sound to overshadow the interactions with those around me. I never turn on the radio in the kitchen. I do listen to books when I’m alone in my car, and the radio if I’m with someone but then I keep the volume low unless there is a request to turn it up for a specific song, then it goes back down. And occasionally I’ll put on music at bedtime, mostly to help sooth my daughter who bedshares with me, but once she is out, it’s turned off.
If the stove vent is going I don’t want something other than conversation on top of it. Never mind the radio, the TV from the other room, and the vacuum…. Too much! I get physically agitated when there is too much background noise. Not to mention I think it’s rude to drown out the people around you.
I’m not sure when this changed. I used to be able to function with noise. I’m 3rd of 8 kids. I used to be able to have a nap on the couch while the circus carried on around me.
I don’t know that age has anything to do with it, otherwise the other adult I live with might be feeling the same things. But he doesn’t. It does not bother him to have the stove vent going, with the radio and vacuum on in the same room and the tv on in the living room. But he also will tell our daughter to be quiet rather than turn these other things off/down. He constantly has the radio and or tv on and sleeps with music, or more often podcasts or youtube videos playing within two feet of his head. And often loud enough that it’s bothersome to be two rooms away with the door closed….
It's gotten me thinking about our world, and sensory overload. And how some kids can’t identify that the overload is what is causing their agitation, foul moods, inadequate rest and other things that people chalk up to personality, or even being on “the spectrum”. And then I wondered how much of this is the same for adults, who are so unaware of this external force on them that they don’t even realize it’s a problem.
Sensory overload is a problem whether you recognize it or not.

What happens to the mind when you don’t let it rest or give it silence?

I read a few quick articles (below) that got me wondering about if my need for silence has created this introspective tendency. Could a lack of silence actually cause someone to be less introspective than someone who is not over stimulated? Is that why I overthink things, am able to learn, to empathize, to see another perspective other than my own? Because my brain in not bludgeoned 24/7?
Are negative behaviors a product of a lack of silence or a cause for the need for a constant distraction – is the silence is avoided because you’d have to face who you are…

bEfOrE ~ AftEr

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