Farley goes quiet. I let the silence build until it fills every corner of the room. It leaks into his ears and his chest and his bladder and his bowels and every dark place in his mind. Very few people are comfortable with silence. It's one thing to be on a plane or in a train carriage or in a waiting room and to ignore those around you, but not when you know someone is expecting you to answer.
Excerpt from Good Girl, Bad Girl
by Michael Robotham
This scene describes something most of us know already, but it does so in a vivid way. I have often in the past found myself facing this quandary. I'm not one to speak without thinking through what I really mean, but people expect answers promptly. What I've learned, though, is that it's okay to let others be uncomfortable while waiting for me to answer. They can handle my silence for a little while. I don't need to be the one who's made to feel uncomfortable and rushed. In most cases, people will appreciate a more thoughtful response.
I'm okay with the silence. Others can be too.