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Giving 'silent company' to people

"Give me some silent company"

Recently someone came home and asked, “Are you busy?”. I replied, “Just answering some emails”. “Can I just sit with you. I won’t disturb you. I want some silent company.” “Sure,” I said and the person came and sat in my room while I continued working. The person just brought a book with him and started reading it while I completed my work. Once I finished my work, I asked, “Is there anything you want to talk about?” “Nothing in particular. Just wanted your company.” We sat in silence each of us immersed in our work with the visitor asking me a casual question once in a while. I would answer the question but not ask any questions from my side. After about an hour, the person got up ready to leave. “Thank you so much for the company. I value it. I don’t always like to talk but want to be in the presence of someone. You are a great ‘silent company’ I got.”

Doesn’t this happen with children around us too? I have often seen children requesting the company of parents especially when they are preparing for an exam or an interview. I know of parents who take leave during their children’s final exams. The parents may not be involved in teaching or checking the preparation of their children but they just need to hang around silently. This silent support is invaluable. Children feel connected, safer, comfortable and stress-free if they can see the parent from the corner of their eye. The silent company is also invaluable for someone undergoing physical or mental distress. For example as a companion for someone admitted in a hospital. They might not like the visitor talking all the time or asking them a hundred questions. They might value someone who is there if they feel like talking. We undervalue silences a lot in our life. We feel the need to constantly jabber and believe that is what makes a relationship tick. Not necessary. Can you really enjoy silences with people? Can you share space with loved ones without the constant need to talk or be talked to? Do silences makes you feel uneasy? To me on a personal level, the more I enjoy silences with a person, the greater is the comfort level within the relationship.

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