At Awkward Silence, we're always encouraging you to talk, particularly to have better conversations.

So it may surprise you that we also think it's OK not to talk sometimes.

I love having rewarding conversations. But I'm also heavily introverted, which means I sometimes need to re-fuel my energy social situation. I need time by myself. That doesn't mean I don't want to talk to people at all ever. But if I've been doing a lot of socialising recently, it's great to have some time away from people with just a book or personal activity.

Alone time can be difficult for couples or housemates. If one partner is heavily extroverted and the other introverted, then the extroverted partner can feel like their spouse is snubbing them, or passively angry at them. Instead, they just need some down time.

If you're the introverted party, the best thing you can do is tell your partner that you need some quiet time to yourself, but reassure them nothing is wrong, you are just having some "me time".

This can benefit the conversation too, it gives you a chance to ruminate on the things expressed.

When having a heated argument, it's good to talk things out. But sometimes the adrenaline is pumping, the anger is red-hot, your mind is haywire. You need to take some time-out to let tensions simmer down, and renew the discussion once you have calmed down. It takes a wise person to realise when an argument needs to be paused. But make sure you after you've reassessed that you take the time to talk and apologise/forgive, and repair the relationship.

When we are in a sustained social situation, such as lounging on a beach or sharing a long car-trip, it's OK to have some time-out to read a book (not if you are driving), listen to music, or simply bask in the scenery. This can benefit the conversation too, because if you have had a thought-provoking conversation, it gives you a chance to ruminate on the things expressed. And when you resume the conversation, you may have more to add.

We are all different in our social needs. But in talking we build understanding of each other's needs. In talking, we understand that it's OK not to talk.

Let's Talk (often but not always).