In my experience, silences are only awkward when you're not sure why the other person is silent, what the other person is thinking, etc, and it bothers you. Which is why silences generally cease to be awkward once you really get to know someone.
Not meaning any of the above to be personal -- you're still cool, Qlip! But please don't do that to me if we meet IRL
Edit: Whew, just read the past few pages. Jeez. Maybe this is 1w2 related! Anyways, hopping on this bandwagon but doing so in a friendly way, and out of curiosity:
Edit: Throughout this thread, I've been interpreting "intentionally causing social discomfort" as "acting with full knowledge that you'll cause social discomfort, and having no desire to compromise that action even in part for the sake of others". I clarify this because there's been so much black-and-white talk in this thread. See the next few sentences in this post for middle ground between "never acting on your own needs" and "never acting on the needs of others":