Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Silence

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default Silence

    Just like a 'don't know' silence isn't really silence. Watzlawick's most important axioma is that you cannot not communicate. Any behaviour in a social context is communication. Even if you are talking to yourself, or thinking to yourself, it is still communication, although you and yourself are likely to be identical.

    So what kind of silences are there?

    The only way to find out is to ask.

    What would be a clean question to ask about silence?

    "And when [imitating a facial expression or a gesture], where does that come from?" (asking for the reason of not answering or reacting)

    If there is no reaction whatsoever, how do you ask about a 'nothing'?

    You could just wait until the situation gets unconfortable and the other does something else. Referring to that behaviour, you could ask: "And when you walk away right now, what happens to my question?"

    Feel free to react in this section.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Of course, you could model the silence.

    "And when, [silence], that's like what?"

    But the nice thing about anything that is undefined, is that it can go any way.

    Sometimes you do not want to give it a name or find a metaphor for it.

    David would say that it hasn't yet given up its strength.

    It does not want to be known, or at least not to the one who is asking.

    It is not ready yet, or not in this context.

    Or it has not yet developed an identity.

    Or it wants to leave its options open, like a quantum.

    How would you retreat gracefully as a facilitator?

    I guess David would have said: "I want you to take all the time you need" and would have waited patiently...

    or would have found an excuse to leave the room.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default

    But if silence means 'stuck' or 'closed in' or 'too painful to even think about', you have to find a way out.

    If you suspect so, you could ask C:

    "What happened just before [silence]?"

    or

    "What is happening now?" (This is likely to produce an answer about the physical state or internal thought proces of the other (A).)

    If you repeat this question several times, something may change in the meantime.

    or

    "And when, [silence], then what happens?" (This probably triggers atttention to the environment (C).)

    These are time-questions, but you could try space as well:

    You may ask the other to consider to change posture, move over a bit or walk away to find a space that knows about [silence].

    Again, like a 'don't-know', silence is a 'something', not a 'nothing', so you can work with it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default

    You could also model the space of A.

    "Does it have a size?"

    "Is it smaller or bigger than A?"

    "Does it have a shape?"

    "Is it identical, similar or different from A?"

    If it is identical, you need to scale out: "What's outside the space of A?"

    "Does it have a shape or a size?"

    "What's outside of that?"

    and so on until you reach the beginning or end of the universe or some other final obstacle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Sometimes David's session would get too crowded to work with everyone individually. He then just did a demo with one participant and work with the group altogether. The good thing about that was that they needn't state an answer, except perhaps for themselves, and just go along with the process. So even if the other does not respond to your questions, s(h)e still may hear you and your questions might divert the attention to your questions and may trigger answers or at least start a thought process.

    The nice thing about the universe is that anything you see out there is in the past. So wherever the other may have ended up, you can always make him or her return to the present (scale-in). Consider every piece of space they envisaged (even if they didn't answer you still have counted them) when scaling out.

    So let us assume s(h)e is major Tom returning from outer space and knocking on the window of the International Space Station. They invite him or her for tea (or the Russians would probably offer wodka) and s(h)e looks at planet Earth.

    No matter how far their thoughts have wandered off, it's still him or her over there in the space of A. And if they still feel stuck or whatever confines them to the space of A, A is probably identical to the emotion of A. So let's find out.

    Suppose they are a little bird sitting on a nest, trying to keep still because some shadow is hovering above them. They feel like squeezing for help from their parents, but many generations of evolution taught them not to.

    What would be the clean question to continue?

    I guess you need to separate the identity from the emotion.

    "And when you feel [silent], what kind of feeling is that?" (just continue questioning without waiting for the answer, but leaving enough time in between for them to be able to gather their thougths).

    "Is that feeling similar or different from you?"

    "Does it have a shape or a size?"

    "How much is it a part of you?"

    "Is there anything else besides that feeling about you?"

    This may differentiate you from the feeling of you, which makes it manageable.

    "Who were you before you got that feeling?"

    Hopefully this brings them back in control of their lives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    836

    Default

    What question would be appropriate if you get no answer for an answer?

    If the client stays in the same space and doesn't move, you may infer that they are still interested in any interaction with you.

    "Can I ask you a question?"

    [(nod)]

    "What question would you like to be asked?"

    [(looks desperatily)]

    "If I were to ask you the question you would like to be asked, would you respond?"

    [(hesitates)]

    "If you were to respond, what kind of response would that be?"

    [(shows an ugly face)]

    "And then what happens?"

    [bow their head]

    "And when you bow your head like that (imitate the posture), then what happens?"

    [(show a sad face)]

    "Now, bow your head a little bit further, now what happens?"

    [looks at the ground]

    "And when you look over there (point at the space on the ground they are looking at), what does that space know?"

    [(looks puzzled)]

    Move over there.

    "What do you know now?"

    You may leave them there, they'll figure it out.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •