Sunset, November 2022, Bend, OR by Michelle Lindblom

There is Always Time to Pause and Listen

The Pause: Delayed Responses Are Thoughtful Responses

M Lindblom
4 min readJun 21


I have never been a quick witted individual. My timing is always off and usually I think of something clever or a rebuttal long after the fact. A flawed trait that I loathed about myself.

Although I still get angry when words escape me, I no longer think of my delayed responses as a weakness.

My own ability to observe and listen has been a lifelong skill acquired mainly because of my introverted nature. I followed a tradition of speak when spoken to until I began to implode. Raising my voice and storming about as a teenager at home was my modus operandi. Plenty of obnoxious vocalization and very little listening was happening in that stage of my life.

Breathing and taking a pause was not on my agenda.

Being Patience with the Pause

In public is where I held my tongue, mainly because I was too scared and insecure to do otherwise. But I have discovered that holding back allowed my observation and listening skills to be honed.

I now know that if exercising my voice does not move the situation needle in a useful direction, I keep my mouth shut. Trial and error has taught me to always read the room. I still screw up on occasion, but if I allow patience into the picture, it will help me to seek the opportune time to speak.

I find that when responding too quickly to a text, email or comment, regret is always the result. Because in my abruptness, something significant or nuanced passes through my brain unnoticed or denied. I think this is true for anything we do too quickly and without careful contemplation. Rash rapid fire responses are too often the norm because everyone wants to be heard. The ego takes over.

The result: we fail to listen.

I prefer to stay under the radar especially if what I have to say will diminish someone or what they have said. Keeping quiet, pausing and listening intently.

Mind you, I don’t always listen. It continues to be a tough behavior to unravel and reshape. But when I do consciously pause and listen, the connection is stronger and my ability to absorb those other voices is…



M Lindblom

Connecting, weaving and revealing my soul through writing and art.