Most people have experienced the gut-twisting awkwardness of long, silent pauses in conversations. Even a pause of just a couple of seconds can seem agonizingly long. But skilled interviewers, negotiators, and others have learned to turn that uncomfortableness into an advantage.
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In this post, we’ll discuss the power of the pause and some of the basic psychology behind it.
Gaining Comfort with Silence
As noted above, most people feel uncomfortable with silence, particularly after a discussion had already taken place. Our natural tendency as humans is to want to fill that silence to end