Friday, July 29, 2011
The power of silence (#910)
I want to talk about silence and its effect within a conversation. Silence is a response. It is calculated to let whomever else is speaking to have a full run of getting out of themselves whatever it is that is propelling them to speak. I do not have to have an opinion or words of wisdom, neither do I need to say some soothing agreeable comment meant only to pacify. I can just be still and say nothing. Not in a rude way of course but just to be available as a sounding board. I have been on the other side of such conversations and when I was finished I realized that I just needed to talk and nothing anyone else said mattered in how I ended up feeling afterward. I also find that by saying nothing I give the speaker something else to consider, whether they should ask me why I am being quiet. I do respond by saying that at this point I didn't think anything I had to say would be of any value. Simply hearing a diatribe or litany of words in succession doesn't help to make me a wise and sage soul worthy of some great pronouncement. There are times when I have to bite my tongue when a response is so obvious to me but I do still remain quiet since I know that unless I am prompted by them for a response, the speakers will hear their own words. I am not trying to come across as anything other than someone who cares to listen but I prefer not to say anything back since whatever I may say will certainly never truly fulfill the speakers hopes for a remarkable comment from me. How does that old saying go, better to be quiet and thought to be stupid than to open my mouth and prove it. Well, not that bad but still along those lines I have found it is better to just listen and let the speaker's own words work on them in hopes they find their answers that way.