Thought Catalog
May 8, 2017

The Heartbreaking Truth About Silence And What It Really Means

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Lesly B. Juarez

Sometimes silence means pain. It’s painful to talk about what hurts, it’s painful to tell someone that they broke your heart and it’s painful to show someone how vulnerable you are and how much they mean to you when you’re not sure what kind of reaction you’ll get and when you’re not sure what you really mean to them. Silence is better than sounding crazy, weak or irrational. Silence sometimes saves you from further rejection or hearing things you don’t want to hear.

Silence is ignorance and sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes silence means confusion. Not knowing what to say, not knowing if it will make a difference, not knowing if it will make matters worse. Sometimes silence is the only answer to someone who is unaware of the pain they caused you, it’s the only answer to someone who doesn’t care to know if you’re okay.

Silence is tough but sometimes the truth is tougher. Sometimes silence is better than knowing that there is no chance. That this is the end. That it’s totally over.

Sometimes silence means love. Loving someone so much but you can’t say anything because you don’t want to lose them, you don’t want to push them away, you don’t want things to be awkward if they don’t feel the same way. So you watch them in silence, you miss them in silence, you think about them silently and you pretend like you don’t want them. You say nothing when someone mentions their name, you say nothing when someone talks about their love life.

Silence is also a sign of devotion. You don’t want to talk about them because you want to protect them from what people might say, you don’t want anyone to tell you that you should forget about it or it’s not worth your time.

Sometimes silence means suffering. When you’re going through something no one understands, when your heart is breaking over a relationship you were never in, when you want to give up but you have a life waiting for you to make things happen, when nothing makes you feel good but you have to be grateful for it all. Sometimes silence is the only way to figure out what’s going on inside you. It’s the only way to quiet the noise in your head.

Silence is the worst, but sometimes it says it all. Sometimes there’s really nothing you can say or do. Sometimes it’s better than crying, better than yelling and better than screaming.

Silence saves you from looking like a fool — because if your silence is not enough for people to realize that something is wrong — will your words even matter? TC mark

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.

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