When a break occurs in conversation, it’s common for people to try to fill the empty space by speaking, even when they don’t have anything particular to say. For example, let’s say someone has asked a question and the other person hasn’t answered right away, it’s common for the asker to jump in and provide an answer. In this scenario, however, if the asker can hold their tongue, the answerer will have time to provide a fully-formed, authentic response.

Another scenario where this tool could be useful is during emotional conversations, where you get triggered and might feel the need to answer right away. If you hold your tongue and take some time to process, you might find a response more aligned with your whole self.