The Discomfort of Silence
Many Americans find silence uncomfortable. They will murmur on to fill any quietness if it extends for more than a moment. Students often study with their radios singing;housewives leave televisions on for the companionship of sound even though they may be working in some other room. If you are silent for long periods,they will do their best to draw you out or will ask if you feel all right or if there is anything that they can do to help you. Sometimes silence can be puzzling, however; if Americans disagree with what you are saying, many of them will remain quiet. This may not suggest agreement; often it only means that they consider it impolite to argue further.