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Are you like Julianne Moore?

Posted by Deidre Rienzo on

Hi, I'm Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a website copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide).

I recently saw the movie, The Kids are All Right. In the movie, Jules (Julianne Moore) was discussing her ideas for redoing Paul’s (Mark Ruffalo’s) garden. He paused for a moment to think, and she immediately thought he hated her ideas.


She apologized, saying, “Sometimes I mistake silence for criticism.”

I had to laugh. Damn, that one hit home. I definitely do that too. When my hubby doesn’t jump up and down about the amazing culinary grandeur of the lentil soup I made for dinner, and he simply says, “It’s really good,” I decide, in my head, that he hates it. (I mean, how excited should a person get about lentil soup?)

Many creatives I know strive for praise. They long for a job well done, a happy client, and maybe even a glowing testimonial. (After all, our businesses rely on these things, right?)  But I took a moment to think about the times when, in business, I might mistake silence for criticism. Do you do it too?

  • Do you ever call someone, not hear back, and decide they don’t want to talk to you?
  • Do you ever send a project, not hear back immediately, and decide they hate it?
  • Do they ever say, “Let me look it over,” and you hear, “I’m so disappointed.”
  • Do you ever follow up on a past due invoice, get no response, and decide they are never, ever, ever, going to pay you?
  • Do you ever follow up on an estimate, not hear back right away, and decide they went with someone else?

If you have the silence = criticism mechanism working in your head too, let’s turn it off. Together. It only hinders our business and our ability to be creative!

From now on, for me, silence just means this: I have a few extra minutes to get a cup of coffee, and my only job is to keep the lines of communication open.

What does silence mean for you? What do you want it to mean?

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