July 19, 2012

The Virtue Of Silence

By Jessica M.

 

silenceTo me, the old saying “Silence is Golden” has a special meaning. When I hear that phrase, I picture a beautiful glistening golden apple stuffed firmly into the open mouth of a girl, like myself, who talks too much! I am often required in my relationship to wear this apple. By doing so, I have learned a lot and become better at submitting and pleasing. You see, nothing but good has ever come from my curbing my tongue.

Do you have a problem with speaking too much? Or maybe the question should be: how do you know if you do this or not? Well, are you female? Then join the club! Seriously, if you answered “Yes” to the second question, the answer to the first (with some exceptions) is most likely Yes, too. We women are communicators. We love to talk and are often very good at it. But sometimes we can fall into a habit of speaking too much and then it becomes a vice, no matter how skillfully we may speak.

How do you speak to your dominant male? Do you tell him everything? Every little detail in your life? Are you constantly chatting with him in person, texting him, emailing him, telling him all the boring little things that are significant to you because they happen to you but mean nothing to other people? Do you initiate most conversations with him? Do you still ask huge piles of questions despite the fact that you are beyond the early question-and-answer phase of the relationship? Do you get mad when he doesn’t answer all your questions or seems to ignore some very important points you have made? Do you ever feel resentment over his seeming disinterest or lack of communication?

I ask these questions because that is how I used to feel about the man in my life. I fully admit it, I LOVE to talk. And he wants to know about me, so he listens carefully to me…the first man in my life to ever do that! But I found I was taking advantage of his good nature and willingness to listen. The more he listened, the more important I felt I and my issues were, and the more important I felt they were, the more I talked. It was a vicious cycle in which I considered my communications (every single one!) of prime importance and great value. Only golden nuggets fell from my tongue. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the more I talked, the less I listened to my Sir or even wanted to listen to him. It took a shocking incident to wake me up to what I was doing.

I have been living with this wonderful male in my life (I’ll refer to him as S.) for the last three years. Mostly, it has been a very happy three years. But something happened not too long after we started living together that, at the time, shocked me and deeply hurt my feelings. Later, however, I considered it one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned in my life. He told me, very bluntly and abruptly, that I was a chatterbox, that I was annoying him with my constant speech, and that I would need to learn to talk less. I was quite taken aback by his tone and also very ashamed.

Here’s how it happened. We had gone on a drive to the mountains. I was excited and happy to be on this trip and I had talked the ENTIRE time in the car.

Instead of behaving like the good submissive female I like to think that I am, I’d been one of those people I hate when I encounter them at parties and clubs: a self-centered bore, who can only speak about themselves.

I told him stories from my past, asked him questions about my role in his life (then sometimes interrupted his answers with my own responses!), commented on the scenery, on other drivers, and generally (I thought) tried to entertain him. A few times he tried to break in and say something but I ignored him and spoke louder and faster, continuing with the subjects that interested me. I didn’t see this as rude; to me I was just “finishing a thought.” Each time I did this he fell silent and let me keep speaking. I didn’t think anything of it at the time…I was just gratified to be able to keep on speaking about what interested me or what I thought he “needed” to hear.

Later, after we checked into our cabin and had dinner, he built a fire and we both sat in front of it, gazing at the flames. For the first time that day, I was quiet. I felt happy, I’d had a chance to say everything on my mind and I was certain that what I had to say had entertained and, yes, “enlightened” my Sir. We had both fallen silent. “May I speak now?” he asked suddenly, into that silence. He asked this softly but with a menacing tone. “Um, of course, Sir!” I said, feeling obedient and happy to hear what he had to say. That’s when he laid out my bad behavior for me to see. It felt like he was dissecting me on a surgical tray. He pointed out in great detail that each time he had tried to interrupt my nonstop dialog in the car, I had overridden him. He asked me, “What sort of behavior is this? Is this how a good, obedient girl who adores her Sir and hangs on his every word behaves?” He continued to rake me over the coals like this for quite a while, and the more he spoke, the more mortified I felt. I saw my egotistical and self-absorbed behavior. After my slightly knee-jerk resistance to his words, I started to cry. I saw how I had been oblivious to him and to what he wanted of me.

My constant talking on this trip and at many other times with him was all about me: my concerns, my issues, my opinions, my perceptions, and each one I regarded as this precious pearl, something deeply valuable that I was giving him. It never occurred to me that with my constant talk all I might have been giving him was a headache! I felt so ashamed that night. Instead of behaving like the good submissive female I like to think that I am, I’d been one of those people I hate when I encounter them at parties and clubs: a self-centered bore, who only talks about themselves. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole that night. What was wrong with me? Where had my interest in Him gone? Where had my awe of him, my respect, my love of listening to his wisdom gone? When had I substituted telling him things he “needed” to hear for listening to his wisdom and hanging on his every word?

S. and I have continued to discuss this issue since that eye-opening night by the fire. He has forgiven me for my self-centered blabbermouth ways but insisted I start to change my behavior around him to a more respectful form. In particular I’ve had to become more sensitive to him, to hearing and seeing HIM, not hearing or seeing myself as reflected in him. He is not my captive audience there to gratify my need to speak. He is my Sir and the love of my life. I think I’ve learned a few things about silence and submission since that time and I’d like to share some of these with other girls, because I know that, being female, we all love to talk, particularly about ourselves. While this may not be an important issue for most women, a woman who desires to humble herself before a man she loves and admires may find her constant desire to communicate works against that goal, actually. In fact, she may find, as I did, that this need to constantly speak is her worst enemy. Here are some points about speaking and silence that I’ve been trying to absorb since that night at the cabin:

Is it hard to realize how much you talk until someone points it out?

Even if it feels terrible, don’t bite their heads off for doing so because they are actually doing you a favor! I didn’t notice how much I dominated the conversations I had with S., until he pointed it out. To me it felt like filling a void. He was silent, so I should speak. I even prided myself that this self-centered behavior was obedient and useful. I had no idea of what an annoying person I was becoming. Thank God S. gave me a heads up and showed me how I looked through his eyes.

You don’t own your master or sir, he owns you.

What I mean by this point is that he is not there for my convenience and gratification. I am there for his, because I serve him and not the other way around. And I can’t be there for him if I’m so self-absorbed that I make everything about me. A woman who talks or texts constantly and without letup about herself thinks it’s all about her. She has forgotten that she is there in the relationship to give her man pleasure and benefits. He isn’t there to serve her need for an appreciative audience!

When you finally shut up and just listen to your man, you learn many useful things.

But when all I do is talk obsessively I learn nothing. In fact, I am, deep inside, putting myself in the role of the “teacher,” the one with all the answers, the one who should always be speaking. What a frightful arrogance that is for any woman, but particularly for a woman who considers herself obedient and modest. When you fall silent, when you leave pauses in the conversation or write short emails that are about him or ask him questions, you give him a chance to speak of the things that he finds interesting and important.

In silence, you can remember why you serve and you can recover, as I did, your awe of his wisdom and love for his communications.

My Sir, when he desires, fills those pauses, those empty spots, but often only if I leave them for him. I am often surprised by what he tells me in these times. I have been quite surprised by what I didn’t know about S.—and may never have known if I’d continued in my non-stop train-wreck style of speech. In silence, you can remember why you serve and you can recover, as I did, your awe of his wisdom and love for his communications.

Men, in general, do not like to spend their lives listening to a non-stop talking woman or have constant conversations with one.

Women love to communicate with words. Men are a little different. They use other means to communicate besides talking or they enjoy just being themselves and doing stuff, not constantly analyzing and gossiping about petty nonsense. It makes sense to me that a woman who respects her man will use his style of communication, which is often “less is more.”

We can talk too much online.

Initially, when S. was teaching me how to control my constant desire to tell him every little detail about myself, he told me to use online socializing as an outlet, to pour out what I think might be unnecessary to tell him on Facebook, Fetlife, Twitter, and places like that. So I poured. And poured. And poured. Stuff about me rained out of my mouth and onto the virtual pages of these networks. Perhaps you can guess what happened next. I got obsessed with “pouring.” I started to live every spare moment I had online, responding to people, posting interesting (I thought) things that would get them to respond back to me, lapping up all the attention for being an online socialite. I was very well liked, had hundreds of friends, and people (mostly women but also a few chatty men) who responded to me as much as I responded to them.

I think that online relating is a good temporary Band-Aid for a woman who talks too much. It channels that avalanche of speech in another direction and often gives her man a much-needed breather! But in the long run it may encourage her tendency to be self-centered, which I think is at the heart of talking too much. Later, when S. began to wean me off such places, I found it REALLY hard to be denied my social network fix. But as I started to talk less in those places, I began to notice how much everybody else (well, the women, anyway) constantly talked about themselves or their ideas, but never really listened to others, except in the most shallow of ways designed only to get someone to pay more attention to them. I saw myself in their behavior. I had been acting in exactly the same way.

“Transparency” can be used as an excuse for boring our men to death.

Based on my own experience, I conclude it’s very easy to become obsessed with yourself as a submissive or a slave. Initially our sirs want to know all about us. They need that knowledge in order to control us. And they need this information to be good data, not false or selective facts. So transparency is encouraged to combat the desire to be secretive about the things we don’t want him to know. But with me sometimes transparency got confused with telling him every little thing I thought of as soon as I thought of it. It became a tool of my ego to get more attention. I was very guilty of this in the beginning because S. encouraged me to talk openly and not hide anything from him, no matter how far out it was, no matter how much I wanted to hide it. But I took it too far because I made no distinction between what he needed to know and what I wanted to tell him. To me, these two very different things were one and the same! It nearly reached the point where I thought that forgetting to tell him I’d had a bowel movement that day was “non-transparent!” Definitely a case of TMI.

When you talk or write too much you may not realize it is a problem. The best way to realize how much you do it is to stop it, completely, for a while.

My Sir has given me practices to do at various times to help me become aware of my tendency to over-talk. I’d like to describe a few of these.

Sometimes I have a day where I may not speak unless spoken to. He always chooses a day when he’s going to be physically present the whole time and he tells me I can signal him for permission to speak…but only if it is absolutely urgent and cannot wait. During those days he’ll check on me, he’ll ask me questions or he’ll say something then add, “you may speak” to the end, but I am required to keep my responses short and modest. Also, I don’t respond at all if not given permission.

Or we may have a “doggy speech” day: I can say one “arf” for yes and two “arfs” for no, and that is it. For the entire day! Again, I have a signal I can use if it’s a dire emergency or something that will really hurt him not to know at that time: I can turn my back to him and (blush) “wag my tail.”

At still other times he has randomly (he never warns me when he is going to do this) ordered me to stay offline for one or more days. I can still read, but I cannot respond to others or initiate conversations with them. I may be in the middle of an engrossing conversation in emails, too. Too bad. I cannot speak, even to tell others that I’m going to be missing for a few days.

There are more such exercises. (S. is very creative!) There are two points to doing them, he’s said: one is for me to practice self-restraint and learn to control my speech. The other is for me to observe how I feel when I am denied speech: to watch how my ego squirms and wiggles, trying to find some way to express itself, to get others to pay attention to me.

Talking too much is deeply disrespectful.

I know I mentioned this before, but this one is SO important. I think someone may have mentioned it in the forums here, too. It’s a sign that your ego is very “unaligned” with his, that you consider yourself and your interests, obsessions, fears, worries, ideas, whatever, far more important than him and his communications. This is the primary lesson S. has taught me: that when I am constantly blabbing away, whether to him or others but especially to him, I am usually not paying enough attention to him and what he wants. It is only by falling silent (for longer than a few seconds, that is!) that I start to think about what he wants, wonder what he is thinking, and desire to learn more about him.

Friendly chit-chat can quickly turn into bitchy, negative speech that is very ugly in a female who claims to be humbled.

Often I did this sort of speech with the people I considered my enemies, like strangers online who said something I didn’t like, who insulted me or my Sir, or who just said something I thought was really stupid. It is so easy for females to become nagging bitches or sly, bitter antagonists of anybody else that they consider “the enemy.” The bigger your ego gets, the more likely you are to do this, and you may not even notice the extent that you apply your words, like razor blades.

S. has given me “exercises” in this area as well. When I’ve complained bitterly to him about how dumb something written online was, he sometimes orders me to write the poster a supportive, positive response to it, even if he agrees it is dumb and wrong! He reads these responses before I post them and if he senses any hint of negativity, sarcasm, or my ego trying to score points in any other way, I am punished and then have to write a new response. We don’t do this one often, but it is one of the most interesting and hard exercises he’s had me do. It’s been interesting because it’s taught me to look at an issue from another perspective, to really be in that person’s shoes, no matter how much you hate being there. It is useful to be able to see something from another person’s point of view. But, to be honest, I really hate doing this. Sometimes the points of view he tells me to support are so… words escape me!  And since they have, I think it is more than time I end this essay! (smiles and puts golden apple back in its proper place)

Learning to curb your tongue is a life-long process.

S. just read my essay and ordered me to add one more point. Some women might think when they read this piece that I have “arrived,” that I know how to speak less and am super skilled at controlling my tongue. Unfortunately, the urge to over speak never seems to fully go away, at least in me, and I think that controlling my speech is a life-long process and not something I will ever have perfect control over. When I wrote this, for example, he was away on a business trip. It was just for a couple of days, but I missed him deeply. Although I have learned a lot about speaking less and making my words count when I do speak, I still forget at times, particularly when I am anxious, hyper, or experiencing some other distracting emotion. So yesterday, I wrote him dozens of emails. Literally, dozens. Most were short, but a few were longer. Most were trivial: they were about the things I was doing for him while he was away and asking him questions about them, but as I re-read them this morning, I saw that many were unnecessary. He had been responding to every single one, so I guess I felt that was giving me permission to bug him even more and with ever-more trivial things. Ahem.

Here’s an example: it was very hot over the weekend and His condo home became dangerously overheated, despite the fact that the air conditioning was working fine. It just wasn’t strong enough to combat the heat. I told S. about this in one of my many emails. He ordered me not to bake or broil in the oven as that seemed to contribute to the really bad overheating. So I avoided that but couldn’t resist asking him in email if I could pan-fry some chicken for five minutes. Sometimes it’s important to ask your sir clarifying questions about something that is important, but this was a silly one that a little thought on my own could have solved. He knows I use the stove top to heat water for tea or soup. He had not forbidden my use of it during the heat wave. So using it for a few minutes to pan-fry chicken was probably not something I needed to ask him. But not only did I ask him but I felt anxious and flustered when he didn’t respond immediately with directions about this trivial issue. Upon reflection, I believe this was my ego again, hard at work trying to get more and ever more attention and feeling frustrated when its ploy failed. I have noticed that when S. gives me more attention than usual, I seem to want even more. It’s like an unending hunger! That is why I think that, for a woman, learning to curb the tongue is an ongoing endeavor—once which will never be “complete” in her life so long as she can make words.

  1. slave_rachel says:

    i used to be pesty years ago and wanting “verbal” connection and used silly ploys like the chicken frying one. i look back now see i was insecure and needed reassurance i was loved, important etc. Absence of contact, tangible evidence made me anxious and fearful.

    i eventually recognized that and practiced resisting the temptation to elicit that reassurance. i know i was probably annoying to people or Master at times as i required a NOW pat on the head. Since they had other things to think about i was interrupting their trains of thought and activity. Very self centered of me.

    This was also related to HIS instability after His concussions so it fed it a bit too. So some of it wasn’t all me, but most of it would have happened anyway.

    His concussions had an effect of making Him what would be called (He called Himself this) a “motor mouth” it is a result of many neurological assaults and He would talk everyone silly. For hours. 9 hours once. He didn’t tolerate interruptions but in order to live and get anything done i had to learn to forcefully interrupt. He was also raised to be evangelical in His ex-religion so that also factors in as socializing was frowned upon, and all conversation was expected to be to pressure the other person into their religion.

    That has rarely been needed for a long time, but unfortunately it has become habitual on my part to just interrupt whenever i disagree or tired of listening or think He is talking too long. i kind of got into a sense of entitlement.

    So He is not happy with it now that He is better and i am working on, like you, learning the STFU.

    i am working on maintaining silence, not retorting right away.
    Unless i have something to say, REALLY say, OR something humorous (He likes that about me) i avoid speaking until spoken to, AND i have a proper cue to reply.

    This is huge since i have become accustomed to not listening as the post concussion stuff could be pretty nonsensical and i learned to tune it out as too many hours/years of wasted thought and attention. He understands that. So do i. We both also understand it is no longer necessary. It has become a disrespectful rather than protective or needed thing.

    i agree talking too much is deeply disrespectful. It is as if no one else had a thought of value.

    Sometimes chit/chat CAN turn into a really negative thing and especially in threads on websites where people seem to find sarcasm as “witty” and think sitting looking at a comment for a few hours and then putting in a long thought-out reply (something the poster couldn’t do in advance regarding the reply)means intelligence rather than something less glamorous.
    Constructive critique and/or helpful answers leaving out the personal opinion of the OP is more useful and i don’t get dragged (drag myself really) into behaviors that i don’t like.
    This is an interesting post and it seems a common problem for many.

  2. RCondin says:

    Great article.

  3. Sub Nicole says:

    Dear Jessica,
    I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you very much – it was a very clear and concise message. Your personal experience was very entertaining as well. I think I will post photos of golden apples throughout my surroundings. :)

    nicole

  4. winddncr says:

    A number of years back I was a mediator in a mens group.
    When a conversation started to get out of hand.
    But before I intervened one of the participants yelled out
    “How the hell could you listen or hear anything when you never shut up”
    I enjoyed your article
    Thank You

  5. a1isha74 says:

    I’m working this out in my brain as we speak… I’m finding it hard to go from an equal for the last 18 years to an inferior role. My husband was irritated with my speech last night… This is a tough topic for sure!

  6. OmegaPrime says:

    “To speak little is an adornment in a woman — and it is good to be sparing with adornments.” — A maxim of Democritus

  7. Wildabandon76 says:

    I will say that while I know females tend to have this need to”fill the silence” in a given moment or situation there are times I am so grateful that such training tools such as the Ball gag have been created. Sometimes simply pointing to it hanging on its hook is enough to remind her and correct the behavior. But to truly create a proper adjustment in behavior the exercises I create must not only be extremely challenging but creative so as to help her rise to the challenge and My expectations

  8. lana says:

    Thanks for the interesting account, Jessica. Id think it be a very hard thing to change if it was part of your basic personality so I commend you for trying to .Overtalking isnt my problem Ive never written more than one email or phone call a day to my hoh, or even felt like it, tho he is sometimes gone for 3 or 4 days at a time–but interrupting is. I have been spanked for it a number of times and have to keep reminding myself not to interrupt and that its disrespectful. Dont know how Id feel about an apple but I am too claustrophobic for a gag.(smile)
    ps I am new here and should explain that Im not a slave–just a submissive.
    lana

  9. ushaben says:

    Communication between my Owner and me is mostly unidirectional, Him to me. Except in exceptional circumstances, unless my Owner initiates a conversation, i remain silent. If i wish to speak, i indicate this by making the anjali with my hands and awaiting His permission to do so. Actually, very seldom to i feel the need to ask questions of Him, as questioning is mostly a way of gathering information to inform a choice, which is, of course, irrelevant to my situation. From the very first, my Owner inculcated within me a respect for silence, not only to avoid unnecessary talking but also to change the ways in which i moved around and handled objects, so that it is now second nature to me to deport myself gracefully with an economy of action and motion. This way, whatever i am doing has the absolute minimum of impact on the tranquility, which reigns in my Owner’s house. When He wants me come to him, he just rings a small hand bell.

    Previously, i suffered from frequent bouts of ‘verbal diarrhoea’. Not long after i moved in with Him, my Owner took me to have my tongue pierced. i thought that it was just going to be a stud, so i was shocked when, instead of needle, the woman twisted a thing that looked like a long-handled pastry cutter through my tongue, and then clicked in a sort of flanged plastic pipe through the hole. After she had finished, i could see the bit of my tongue in end of the cutter, the sight of which almost made me sick. Sometime later, a piece of plastic shaped like shallow mushroom head was fixed into the hole. This, i was told, was known as a mute and i am still wearing it. It does not actually stop me talking although it does make me sound rather nasal. In the early days, it was just to make me conscious of my tongue, and that i should keep it still!

  10. underhiswing says:

    My hoh made a rule that in the bedroom i am silent , i just keep silent have been married for 23 years so i am pretty sure i know the rules by now :)

  11. Williamsdesiree says:

    a great article and one that this girl can reasonate with…smiles…she has a tendency to talk a lot too for the reasons you wrote about….think this girl will draw Master’s attention to your article…smiles

  12. zengirl4d says:

    Very well written. Thank you

  13. intrigued says:

    Jessica,
    Thank you for this thought provoking article. i’ve been on the site for some time and, for whatever reason, am just reading this piece. Not sure if your Master edited your article but it is well written and a very easy read, as well as informative.
    i once had a Speech teacher tell me that if he could harness the wind from my mouth we could solve the National Energy Crisis. I’m fairly positive he may have been saying i talk too much! lol Sometimes the hardest things to hear are also the truest. It has never left me and was spoken some 30+ yrs ago.
    It is helpful to “hear” your Masters words. As you stated, maybe i’ve talked too much and not had a chance to understand how a Man feels about my rattling away. Often i realize that i’ve been a Chatty Patty and silence myself but this now gives me much to chew on… i’m looking for ways to grow and learn as this is all fairly new to me. Thank you once again.

  14. SnowDancer2 says:

    Excellent article! I am a talker…way too much at times and really need to be more mindful of this. I’m working on it! :)
    This article helps me understand myself and my bad habits a lot more clearly!

  15. SirsChristie says:

    Sobering realization, i am an overly talkative woman. My Sir and i are long distance, so most of our communication is via email and i notice how attention hungry i can be. It got to the point that i was complaining to my Sir about “my” needs, not very submissive of me. Thanks for a great, and helpful, article.

  16. lilac_flowers says:

    Great article. I sure know I needed to read this. ^^’

  17. sharminx says:

    I have a similar problem of speaking too much. It works well in social settings but not so much for relationships.

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