Skip to content

Using Dynamic Silence™ to Better Connect with Your Teenager

By |September 11, 2023

If you want to connect with your teenager on a deeper level, stop talking so much. 

Instead, use Dynamic Silence™ as a tool to purposefully create space in your conversations, allowing your teen to respond to you and share their opinions openly and honestly.

In this post, we’ll examine how silence can help you get along with your teenagers and build stronger relationships.

Why Silence Speaks Volumes

We all know what it was like to get scolded by our parents. Whenever mom or dad screamed at us, we tucked our proverbial tails while our brains were overloaded with emotions. 

When you use silence as a tool instead of yelling or even talking, you give your teenager more autonomy. They feel like you’re having an actual conversation with them instead of just talking at them. But you can’t use silence in a passive-aggressive way; doing so will turn your teen off, causing them to shut down instead of opening up to you.

When you use Dynamic Silence, pay close attention to your teen’s reaction. If they give you an angry response, use a Label™ to mitigate those negative feelings: It seems like I’m making you uncomfortable, or It seems like I’m missing something. 

Understanding Your Teen’s Negotiator Type

Over the years, The Black Swan Group has identified three unique types of negotiator personalities:

  • Analysts consider themselves realistic, smart, and prepared, but can come across as cold and standoffish to others.
  • Assertives think they’re just being honest, logical, and direct, but are often viewed as aggressive, emotional, and even harsh. 
  • Accommodators come across as friendly and overly talkative and see themselves as personable, conversational, and relationship-focused.

If you’re unsure what your teen’s type is, using Dynamic Silence can help you figure it out. For example, if your teen is an Accommodator, they will become paranoid if you stop talking. For them, it’s all about the relationship, so if you are silent for too long, they might think they’ve done something wrong. 

On the other hand, if your teen is an Analyst, they’ll be happy that you’re being silent because it gives them space to think and determine a solid response. 

If your kid’s an Assertive, they will fill the silence by jabbering. In such a scenario, you need to be careful because they might decide to fill the space with words that have no relevance to the current moment.

Discover the easiest way to build self-confidence and close more deals.

How to Use Dynamic Silence™ on Your Teen

Next time your kid comes home from school, read the dynamic, use a Label—It seems like you’ve had a rough day—and then go quiet. 

If you’re doing all the talking, your kid will feel battered. If you lose your cool and yell—it happens—your teen will no longer hear anything you’re saying. Should you find yourself in such a scenario, apologize for yelling using the “Late-Night FM DJ” voice and then calmly continue the conversation.

Whatever you do, avoid ending any statements you make with these words: Do you understand? Going silent is much better because they’ll naturally answer that question with their body language.

If you want to get to the bottom of what’s happening with your teenager, you need to be quiet long enough for them to say something. Unfortunately, far too many parents fall into the preaching trap instead of having a conversation. In these scenarios, it’s only a matter of time before you raise your voice. When that happens, your teen will react, and no one will be in a healthy frame of mind.

Introduce New Communication Skills to Your Teenager

If you suddenly start using silence on your teen, they’ll notice, so you have to prepare them. One way to do this is by leading with an Accusation Audit®: You may feel that by going quiet, I’m setting you up. Let them know that’s not the case, you realized you weren’t communicating well, and you’re trying a new communication style to strengthen your relationship with them.

Being open and upfront is much better than not telling them what you’re doing. No matter what, they’ll know something’s up, and if you keep quiet, they’ll feel like you’re manipulating them.   

Above all else, stay curious. Try to understand why they are doing what they’re doing, and they’ll tell you if you give them space.

Ultimately, teenagers are just like everyone else. They want to be heard and understood. Being a teenager means trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing. Give them the space they need to speak their mind, and you’ll be on the path to a stronger relationship before you know it.

To negotiate with anyone effectively—even your kids—you need to have confidence. Download our free e-book, How to Build Self-Confidence and Close the Deal, to learn more about the role confidence plays in negotiations and what you can do to become more confident.

eBook Cover for Negotiation Training: How to Build Self-Confidence