Silence I: Frustration

The first in a 3-part series on silence. 

*

My silence is frustrating. For me. For others.

I don’t mean the silence between the words, the comfortable kind, the long drive in the car, relaxed lunch in the park, playing video games for hours side-by-side on the couch, reading together kind of silence.

Frustrating silence is the kind that arises in place of words, filling up all the space where the words should be. It starts with a heaviness in my chest, like my breastbone has become a plate of armor thick enough to stop a lance or a bullet or a barrage of charged emotions.

The weight holds the words down, tethered tight, floating out of reach. I can see them, hear them. Inside me, there is a cacophony of noise as the words rattle and clash, struggling to escape. It feels as if I’m shouting and yet there is no sound, except within me.

Then one breaks free. Two. Five. A phrase or a sentence. Small and inadequate to the task, they float up, fill with breath, are shaped by tongue and lips. Often the ones that escape are the most practiced. Scripts. Platitudes. The reliable “I don’t know.” 

Here is where the frustration comes in. The person I’m interacting with knows that I can speak. Get me going on a topic that interests me and I’ll machine gun words at you until you wave a white flag of bored, befuddled surrender.

The logical conclusion–the one even I would jump to if I wasn’t inside my head–I’m intentionally being silent. Inappropriately silent, considering the gravity of the situation, the emotional significance of the moment.

Inappropriate silence can be read a lot of ways. Manipulative. Cold. Aloof. Withdrawn. Passive aggressive. Sullen. Pouty. Scared. Angry. Bored. Disinterested.

It must be difficult to conceive of temporarily losing the ability to speak if you’ve never experienced it. I can’t imagine, for example, losing the ability to ride a bike or write the alphabet. So when people express disbelief that they’ve shared something personal, important, meaningful, difficult and all I can do in response is stare off into the distance . . . I’m right there with them.

I am no more enjoying my frustrating silence than they are.

87 thoughts on “Silence I: Frustration”

  1. I hear ya (no pun intended). I’ve gotten better about it, but a co-worker at my former job once described me as, “oddly quiet”. I still prefer awkward silence to my husband’s verbal diarrhea (which occurs with or without topic of interest).

    1. Now I’m curious whether your husband is on the spectrum. 🙂 I alternate between irrelevant rambling and awkward silence with occasional periods of pseudonormal conversation punctuated by . . . awkward silence.

          1. That it is. Sometimes we juxtapose, but are always able to communicate effectively with each other, except when we argue. I think the male/female differentiation comes into play here, too.

  2. Yes. It sometimes hurts in my throat too, like words are stuck there and I will choke if I don’t get them out. Or at least, that’s what I started to make of it since my haptotherapist once told me that this pain in my throat is an indicator I actually want to express something.
    So, is this what is meant when people talk about being non-verbal sometimes? Cause I never really recognized that, but I do recognize this.

    1. I too often wonder how other people experience being nonverbal. For me, this kind of nonverbal is always associated with a heavy pressure in my chest.

      And I had to Google haptotherapist. Reading about it reminded me of a yoga teacher that I had years ago. She was very insistent on the link between buried emotions and physical manifestations of those emotions. She found me to be an especially vexing specimen, I think. 🙂

      1. For me, it’s like my tongue is stuck and my thoughts are struggling, like wading through a thick syrup or some sort of non-Newtonian fluid, so that the more I struggle to speak, the harder it is.

      2. You know, some words seem so Latin/Greek/whatever based, that I think if I turn it English, it’ll be an understandable English word… oops, sorry! 🙂
        Anyway, yeah, it was very much about emotions and the body and the link between them, and it was very vexing. This was pre-diagnosis and before I heard of alexithymia.

        “Nonverbal” seems such a straight-forward word, but apparently this too is experienced differently by every autistic person

        1. Alexithymia has explained so much for me too. My yoga teacher insisted that I carried all of my pent up emotions in my right upper back. She was always trying to get me to release them, to little effect. Other women would break down crying in class and she seemed very gratified by that. I, on the other hand, was the nut she couldn’t crack. 🙂

  3. Even as I was reading this I was thinking, “Geez. If someone could just hear my thoughts it would be so much easier for me to communicate sometimes.”.

    The way you described this is the best way I’ve ever heard to say it. I have a million things I want to say and none that will come out appropriately.

    The knot in my throat, the urge to cry because I’m so frustrated at not being able to speak, and then the anger when what I do finally manage to say doesn’t even begin to encompass what I wanted to tell someone. If I try to revisit it later, I just end up looking stupid because they always ask why I didn’t just say that earlier.

    Because I couldn’t! *runs off screaming into the distance*

    1. I used to have a similar problem. I have a million things going on in my head. Instead of silence I would spout it out all wrong: sentences reversed, a subject from one thought and the object from another thought, wrong words, skipped words, multiple threads in one conversation. I talked too fast, or moved too much while I was talking, I got frustruated when people couldn’t follow what I was saying. Sound was coming out of my mouth, but I wasn’t communicating. So I stopped talking unless it was necessary.

      Now I have a new routine. I take a deep breathe or two, I visualize the many different topic threads and sort them by color. All the strings straighten out and arrange themselves in rainbow order. Everything snaps into place. I talk about the red thread.

      I’m writing about this (even though it is orange) because I am proud of myself for figuring it out only this year!

      1. Now that is interesting. You have synesthesia, right? I will have to ask my daughter if she can visualize topic threads having color. Numbers have colors for her. I wouldn’t be surprised if concurrent thoughts or conversational threads do.

        1. Synesthesia sounds right. It coexists with irrational leaps of logic that get rational results. Does your daughter’s synesthesia help her to get the correct answer in math without being able to show her work?

          1. Well, my daughter’s grown now. I don’t know if the number/color thing helped her in math very much – I’ll have to ask. She also told me once when she was little that numbers were people: four is a little girl, seven is her mommy, and so on. I don’t know whether that kind of thing would help with math, or be a distraction. I’ve thought through the years that it must be interesting to be her.

            Are you intuitive with math? And do you also have the kind of synesthesia that confuses what your senses tell you? My daughter “hears” light – when the car in front of her signals a turn, she hears it before she realizes she is seeing it. And I’m backwards – if I’m in a darkened room and there is a sharp noise, I perceive it as a flash of light, sometimes with a color and a pattern.

            1. I’m intuitive with math – I think of numbers & equations as patterns and shapes and figures of light. I get the answer, then I work backwards to show the work the way everyone else does it.

            2. I’m fascinated with math, but not intuitive. I studied math.

              I don’t experience synesthesia often. When I do, I find it helps me get the final results I need and then I can work backwards, like you do with math, ischemgeek, to be like everyone else. An aspie friend has a theory that we are pulling in more data than our five senses can interpret. Our brains combine senses the way a painter combines primary colors to process the info. Synesthesia clarifies things for me rather than confuses me. What about you, ischemgeek?

              1. Hm. Interesting theory. Some smells are migraine triggers for my daughter, as well as certain colors of light. I guess it really is sensory overload, which would make sense if the incoming signals spill over so that the brain perceives them as coming from other senses.

                And then with the migraine she sometimes gets the glowing arcs of light that obscure her vision. I wonder if that’s all related.

                1. I’m both an Aspie and a Migraineur. I don’t think there’s any relationship between the two, although both conditions can allow situations of “sensory overload” to occur. I think of autism as the brain being wired to a different blueprint than the “standard issue”, but otherwise not faulty. Whereas a migraine is more like some of the wiring is sub-standard and if under stress is likely to short-circuit or otherwise malfunction.

    2. I think my ideal would either be a Vulcan mind meld or simply being about to “think at” people at certain times. So much easier.

      Also, crying often figures into this feeling. Which sucks because then it looks like I’m crying to avoid talking or crying for some reason other than because I’m so damn frustrated and overwhelmed.

      *joins you in running off screaming*

  4. That was very powerful. And whey I read “I don’t know” it kind of made me tear up because I have a 6.5 year old on the spectrum. He’s very verbal, reads at a 3rd grade level, but when he’s upset he loses his words, or gets stuck on “no” or another negative loop type thing. I’m NT, and I can’t always tell when he’s just “being 6” vs. if it’s a “wiring” issue.

    Is there anything I can do to help him with this? He doesn’t script, he’s comfortable with touch most of the time (sensory seeker); Is there a script I can give him that might be “clearer”? I wonder if “I can’t get the words out” might work, cause “I don’t know” really does have a different meaning and it’s NOT what you’re experiencing. You DO know, but the words aren’t cooperating.

    As an NT, the phrase “I can’t get the words out” might work well as a confusion difuser – we might not know the word-stuck feelings autistic people are feeling with this, but we can identify with the phrase because WE have problems with getting words out sometimes (just probably nowhere near the level of autistic communication blockage).

    1. It’s great that you want to help your son find a way to describe this feeling to you. There are definitely situations where I have an instinctive “no” or “I don’t know” response and you’re right, the meaning of those words is different from what’s going on inside my head.

      “I can’t get the words out” sounds like a lot of language to produce in a situation where I’m mostly nonverbal. I think a single word (Iike a safe word) or a hand signal would probably be easier. And now that I’m thinking about this, I may start using this myself.

      1. Yeah – I’m just wanting to brainstorm so we can find a word that kinda translates so we NT’s – even strangers – can “get it” when it happens, ya know? Something where if I met someone verbal, didn’t know they had communication difficulties, that would clue me in to the “stuck-ness” – if that makes any sense…

        1. Oh, okay, so ‘Donkeys!’ isn’t gonna work then. 🙂

          Maybe something like “no words” or “can’t talk now” would do it? I just keep coming back to how physically hard it can be to produce speech at times, so less words feels like something that would be more doable.

          1. There’s a particular circumstance when I can’t get words out. It’s when I’m looking for something. Say I’m looking for my purse. I’m looking for my … it’s green, it’s shaped like … it has a … the front is like…. In my mind, there is a picture of it, but not the word. If my husband asks what I’m looking for, if I have to tell him I have to switch gears and think what the word is, and that blows my concentration. So I just say “I can’t.” After 31 years of marriage, he’s used to that. It also happens when I’m packing for a trip. Maybe I’m thinking about my morning routine, my toothbrush and so on, and he wants to ask if I have my boarding pass. “I can’t.” I think it irritates him but that’s just how I am. Maybe it’s a little terse for use outside the family. “Can’t talk now” would be better probably but even that is pretty wordy.

            It’s like I’m thinking with the picture part of my brain, and the language part isn’t engaged.

            1. Oh i get this too! I think of it as my “noun problem” and as something different from the kind of silence that’s more emotional based. It’s definitely related to having to translate the picture of the thing into the word for the thing, though.

        2. A signal would probably work better. I don’t think there’s a way to “clue people in”, because even when you use a phrase like “I can’t get the words out”, people who don’t know you intimately will continue asking questions. Whereas the thing that I usually need most at that point is just quiet and non-wordy things. So there’s two situations: one with people who you are close with, who (hopefully) understand that you sometimes can’t access your words, where you (hopefully) can use a signal or a one word phrase; and a situation with everyone else, who simply won’t stop talking. Because that’s what people do.

          I’ve made a little card for myself that explains that I might have trouble understanding questions when I’m overwrought. But I doubt that people will really pay heed to that. Because it simply is their first instinct to keep repeating questions when they don’t get an answer immediately.

            1. No, fortunately I haven’t been in situations yet where I had to use it. It’s a sort of “high functioning” version (even though I loathe the word) of a card you can get here if you’re autistic, that enables you to get specific help. I’ve made a shorter version because a lot of the stuff on the “Autipass” doesn’t really apply to me, even in bad situations.

            2. It has “I am autistic” in big letters on the front, with my name and ICE number underneath, and the sentence “I have handed you this card because I have trouble communicating at the moment.”

              On the back, it says in big letters “You can help me by:” and then a list of things. Staying calm, giving me extra time to answer a question, not repeating questions, using very specific language, and bringing me to a calm, quiet place.

              Underneath that in small print is the following: “I may panic when subjected to loud noises, bright lights, unexpected touch, or intense emotions (both mine and other people’s). I may respond to this by repetitive movement, avoiding eye contact, or trying to flee. Sometimes I can also lose the ability to speak (or speak clearly). Please give me some time to calm down. Thank you!”

              1. Thanks for that idea. I have the ‘official’ card too, but am a bit concerned because of a lot of things don’t apply. Hadn’t occurred to me to make a version of my own 🙂

              2. I wear a Medic-alert bracelet for my migraine condition as I can become so disoriented and confused that I’m unable to make meaningful communications. I’m seriously considering replacing it with a card with a more detailed description of my symptoms – both autistic and migraine, and specific instructions on how to deal with me. One very specific instruction Will be to NOT take me to a hospital emergency department. The noise, lights, and commotion always present there is absolutely overwhelming for either condition. When you’ve got both at the same time, I can best describe it as hell on earth.

                It still surprises me that the medical profession still doesn’t understand that either condition can affect our ability to respond and persist with bombarding you with multiple questions, and then they come to the conclusion that you’re being deliberately difficult.

                I’m not sure if it would be better to have separate cards for each condition, or to combine both into one card.

                1. I would say combine both, and don’t go into detail, just list whatever you need as a “first response” type of thing. Especially if that first response is “anything but the ER”.

  5. I’ve had this happen a lot at work. I can’t remember times where it happened in personal relationships off the top of my head, but DEFINITELY at work. I get accused of something or criticised unfairly and I just totally lock up. “Inside me, there is a cacophony of noise as the words rattle and clash, struggling to escape.” THAT. And then getting accused of being sullen. Or uncooperative. Those situations are always the first I think of when I think of “going non-verbal” (or selective mutism). The pain, the anger, the frustration, all bubbling away inside me like an overheated cauldron, but no way to get the words out until afterwards.

    1. I wonder how much of it is subconscious avoidance of crying in public… if I’m shy of meltdown, I can’t cry around others anymore. Cuz I was told “over-sensitive” all the time as a kid, I got trained in suppressing my tears.

      I note that in a lot of the time when I can’t word, it’s in situations where I would’ve cried as a kid. But I can’t cry anymore, and I can’t speak without releasing the emotion, but I can’t release emotion without crying… then my brain freezes up and I can’t talk.

      1. I’m very consciously avoiding crying in public. And there’s definitely an element of that. But I have the feeling that the fear of crying only starts *after* I’ve already started struggling with my words.

    2. Yes, accusations, shame or humiliation (or things that I perceive that way) from strangers or acquaintances will also do this to me. I hadn’t been thinking of those situations when I wrote it but it definitely applies. Ugh, just thinking about that kind of situation is making my heart race.

      1. It’s horrible. I once had an email exchange with my manager about me being continuously late for work, and I tried to explain that my team lead had changed my starting time from 9am to 9:30am without making it sound too much like I was accusing my team lead of not informing my manager. But after about 3 emails back and forth, the manager suddenly stormed out of his office and ordered me to come over there and proceeded to yell at me about my INSOLENT behaviour and how he would not accept anything more from me. I was just shocked. Absolutely shocked. And wordless. There’s nothing you can say in a situation like that. But I also knew I wouldn’t have been able to find my words even if I had tried.

        1. Yeah, same here. It’s one of those where I can’t word because I’m deer in the headlights (or, worse, I’m stuck on my “sorry” script – “Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry…” repeat until the other person shuts up and goes away or until I melt down, whichever comes first), but even if I wasn’t deer in headlights, I wouldn’t be able to word because too much emotion, and even if that weren’t the case, anything I say is just going to make it worse so shutting up is probably best..

  6. That doesn’t happen to me much. I think I’ve trained myself to avoid the uncomfortable silence by talking too much. 🙂
    Still, I find that I clam up pretty quickly in uncharted waters. Just yesterday, in my resent effort to ‘get out more’, I was at an impromptu parks meeting of concerned citizens. I’ve blabbed tons on the net about the topic, but among the nine hearty souls that showed up, of which I knew seven of them, I remained mute for the entire 90 mins… though once the meeting broke up I did do a little chiming in (it was easier when I didn’t ‘have the floor’). There were several times I thought I had something to add… but the window closed before I could move my lips.

    I can only imagine how little I’d add to one of those Nancy Grace type of segments where she has a 4 or 6 way split screen and everyone is shouting over each other. I’m’ sure I’d just sit there looking catatonic.

    1. Figuring out how to get in a comment in a group situation is something I’m still working on. There’s both the logistical issue of signaling “I want a turn” and the problem of my brain often being two steps behind on the conversation.

      I think most of us would end up looking catatonic in a 6-way shouting match. Conflict nearly always makes me mute, though I have made a little progress on this lately.

      1. I tend to just raise my hand and say pause. But only with people I am more-than-acquaintances with. I do this with other grad students, for example, but I probably wouldn’t do it in a discussion with professors.

        1. but once I start TAing and professoring and such, that probably won’t work.
          (I do this in social conversations, with no relation to class at all)

          1. I used to ‘pause’ as a TA. I would turn my back to the class to figure out how to say what I mean. It doesn’t work at the high school level.

        1. I can get that way when my wife and daughter start a convention. Mind you, I can see my son-in-law’s eyes glace over at such times, and he’s neuro normal 🙂

  7. This resonates with me. A lot. I feel like I say too much or not enough. Giving verbal instructions is hard, too. Like, “where is…? Just tell me where it is.” And I can’t. I just say, I can’t tell you where it is, but I can show you. It’s frustrating for others, I’m sure. They probably think I have control issues. But it’s hard to find the words.

    1. This sounds a lot like what someone else here described as the difficulty getting from pictures in your head to words. I’ve been having this probably a lot with nouns/objects. It’s really frustrating because there’s a representation of the thing in my head, but I can’t get it out in shareable form.

      1. There’s another thing I do when I am talking and I don’t want to lose my train – because it’s just too painful to get it back – and that’s to substitute a placeholder for whatever it is I can’t think of. My placeholder is usually “word”. The funny thing is that people always know what I mean. “I have to go to my office to get – word – before I can go in the plant” and they know I mean “safety glasses”. My mother’s placeholder was “thing” and she even used it for people’s names when they didn’t come to her right away. “Go see if – thing – wants a cup of coffee.” So I come by it honest.

        1. My wife frequently uses “thing” as a place holder. She’s NT but English is not her native tongue. Even thought we’ve been married over forty years, I still get totally lost if she strings more than 2 “thing”s together. It’s kind of frustrating (not to say embarrassing) if I need to get a translation from another person (sometimes a complete stranger).

          1. English is mine, so I don’t have that excuse. I’m NT, too.

            I remember being very tired once and needing to ask my daughter a question. I guess she was in high school. I needed to ask something very straightforward, like “did you put the note in your bookbag,” but what came out of my mouth was “did you put your shoes in the refrigerator.” She burst out laughing, I impatiently said “you know what I mean,” and she said “yes, I did.” I could worry about that kind of thing, but what’s the point. If I have an actual stroke, I guess I’ll know.

          2. My dad was good at that too, and I do it: “could you thingy the thingy in the thingy?” (in Dutch “dinges”) Often the other person still knows what you mean though, if they know you or the situation well. *shakes head laughing*

    2. … I can’t tell you where it is, but I can show you.

      Yes, that!

      I can’t tell you where anything is, but take me into the room where it is and ask me to find it, and I can find it for you.

      (see also: If you say “it’s over there” and point vaguely at a quarter of the room, I have no idea what you’re talking about and will be unable to find it.)

      1. I actually had a really funny moment with that phenomenon today, with a friend of mine who’s sort of probably on the spectrum but not interested in pursuing a diagnosis. He asked me to get the placemats, I go “where are they?” and he says “in that cupboard over there”, I go “which cupboard?” and he says “on the right”, and I go to the left cupboard and find the placemats. And only at that point do we look at each other and simultaneously say “oh yes, the OTHER right!” 😛

          1. My father used to say that left is where the thumb is on the right side, his little joke 🙂
            When I forget I hold my hands in front of me, palms down, and extend the thumbs. The hand and thumb form an L on my left hand 🙂 And I realised a few years ago that if I am right-handed, than I can tell which side is right by thinking of which hand I write with! (sigh… it sounds so logical in retrospect)

            1. “My father used to say that left is where the thumb is on the right side”

              I think my brain just exploded trying to work out what that meant.

              My system for telling right from left is exactly the same as yours. 🙂 I use both tricks, though I use the “feel for which had I write with” more often I think.

        1. I’m sorry, I just don’t get that. It’s gone right over my head. What do you mean by “the other right”?

          Funny how some of us work out where left and right are. The only way I can work it out is to turn to face where I perceive east is. Then right is to the north and left is in the opposite direction (I.e. south).

          1. It’s a bit convoluted. The placemats were in the left cupboard, but when I asked, my friend said “right” instead of left. So that was his mistaking right and left. But when he said “right”, I looked to the left, which was my mistaking right and left. And so I ended up looking in the right cupboard. But as soon as I got the placemats out, we looked at each other and realised we BOTH got right and left completely mixed up, which is why we said “the other right!” (the other right meaning, the opposite of right, which is left).

            1. “And so I ended up looking in the right cupboard.” I meant to say, ended up looking in the correct cupboard! It’s getting a bit confusing because “right” in English has a double meaning!

          2. Barry, I use your method to determine north and south. Except that when I face east, north is on my left. I face east by looking towards the Atlantic Ocean, which I can’t actually see as I live several hundred miles inland. It took me a year or two to figure out why I kept getting lost in Europe 🙂

            1. You’re right of course. The fact is I was sitting at my computer (facing north) when I wrote that, so as is typical I got it all wrong 🙂

  8. Oh. Now I get it. This happens to me, too. A lot of time at work lately, since my promotion. Now that I know what it is, maybe I will feel better about myself. Maybe I’ll stop chalking it up to middle age. Sometimes I can’t remember the right word (middle age), but sometimes the word is screaming in my ear and streaming in front of my eyes, but I … just…can’t … say… it.

    I’ve been feeling like I’m fine with self diagnosis. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been “passing” in social situations so reflexively that no professional will diagnose me, and I don’t need to go through the costly, time consuming exercise. But this latest revelation makes me think, wow, this could be for real, for real. I’m very verbal (more so if I don’t have to look you in the eye) and now I finally get where non-verbal fits in for me.

    1. I’m glad this helped you gain some insight into what nonverbal is. I remember reading about it when I first start learning about autism and assuming it didn’t apply to me and then realizing much later that it does, in more ways than one.

      And the middle age thing, yeah, I do that too and it has a complete different feel to it.

  9. I just want to thank everybody for being so open and honest about their challenges. As an NT mom, it’s so important to me to be able to understand as much as is possible about how my kiddo’s brain might be working. I really appreciate you all!

  10. Reblogged this on Walkin' on the edge and commented:
    This is a MUST read, especially for the NT’s out there who want to have some understanding of the communication challenges their autistic friends/family face. And read the COMMENTS too – so much to learn!

  11. Have you noticed if this suppression is less present when you’re on the phone? I also experience a sort of transient muteness, or the inability to speak my mind instead of scripted pleasantries. But I’ve found a marvelous window of honesty in the few times my therapist has ever called me. I was just wondering if you had noticed the same, because I think (for me, anyway) it’s related to eye contact and the other person’s presence.

    1. The phone is not my friend. 🙂 Although, now that you mention it, one of the hardest most emotionally upsetting conversations I’ve ever had in my life was over the phone and I was surprisingly verbal and fluid. In fact, I probably said a lot of things that I would have said if the person has been standing in front of me. So maybe you’re on to something here. Interesting!

    2. There’s definitely an element there. If I have to pay attention to other people’s words AND body language AND facial expression AND make eye contact AND pay attention to my own body language while in a brightly lit, noisy environment (aka the office), then it’s much harder to deal with emotions on top of all that, and pretty much a recipe for going non-verbal (and it’s not just my words that shut down, my face and body language as well). Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like it happens that often in personal relationships, because knowing the person I’m talking to makes me more familiar with their particular body language, and it’s usually in a more comfortable environment.

      1. Many years ago (mid ’70s from memory) our work vehicles were equipped with radio communications. I felt comfortable using that because I knew when it was my turn to talk. The other person said “over” and the background static would cease. Initially I would refrain from pressing the talk button until I had formulated what I was going to say, so often my train of thought would be interrupted by by the other party coming back on line with “Do you read me, over”. Eventually I learnt to press the talk button immediately after the “over”. That way the other party was aware that I was about to say something, and while the talk button was pressed, there was no possibility of getting an incoming message to distract me.

        Those clues as to whose turn it is to talk aren’t available on the telephone. It’s obvious that the silences that occur before I reply are very uncomfortable for the other person. Often they’ll either restart the conversation where they left off, before I can reply, or ask something like “are you there?” as if the line has gone dead. Other times I think they think I am otherwise preoccupied with something else due to the delays and offer to “call back at a more convenient time”, which of course isn’t convenient at all.

        1. Yes, over the phone those silences can get really annoying. The radio ‘over’ signal were definitely useful.

          I don’t like being called (unexpected), but I do speak easier on the phone, especially emotional stuff. I think, as has been mentioned, because of all the clues and signals and trying to find your words, it’s just too much. But, yes, when silence occurs it can lead to problems.

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