I read in one book ("How Winners Do It") that the maximum amount of time humans can bear silence in a conversation is one minute. You’re guaranteed that at the 59th second, someone is going to burst into talk. So, to get your way, all you've got to do is make a proposition, shut up and wait for the other person to say something. Sounds easy? I don't know about that.
One of the bad things about being more sensitive than others around you is that you are forced to cover up for other peoples’ bloopers. And mostly, you do that by rushing into speech. Bloopers are anywhere there’s a big crowd. Even a gang of good friends has its awkward pauses at times.
You are at a wedding or a big gathering of relatives. There’s always this one Uncle, Aunt or a second or third cousin who is going to give everyone at least one awkward moment. It might be a rather bawdy comment, a very correct but ill-timed observation or plain undiplomatic frankness. And the blooper people (people who make bloopers) and most of the audience are quite oblivious to the level of discomfort permeating around. They’ll happily act like nothing happened till the silence grows. 20 seconds. You shift feet. 30 seconds. Still none breaks the ice. 40 seconds….
And if you are the rather sensitive kind, you sense the discomfort in the atmosphere and immediately hem, haw and rush into speech to cover the moment. The thing is when you embarrassedly rush into speech, you don’t make sense. You just say whatever comes into your head: pretty random, off-topic stuff. And people forget the blooper but (and here’s the caveat) remember your well-meaning nonsense forever. And the very same blooper person, who was the cause of all this in the first place, will thump your back and roar with laughter at your gaffe. And you’re the toast of parties and the whole-hearted roast of the gang. Hmph. The worst part is that some people take the liberty of shooting their mouth all the time expecting/knowing that you’ll be around to fix their verbal mess-ups.
Well, I used to be the sensitive kind before. I used to feel compelled to make everyone feel comfortable and happy. Then I got annoyed. So I figured I would let people solve their own verbal gaffes. So these days, I sit back, relax, tap my fingers and enjoy the comedy until someone decides to crack...:)