Sometimes the most powerful thing to say is nothing and stay silent.
There are many benefits to staying silent but it’s important to know when you should stay silent and when you should speak up. You don’t want to stay silent in the wrong situation and make things worse.
Let’s look at the 6 best times to stay silent:
1. When someone is talking about their problems with you, sometimes being silent and listening is the way to go.
Let me keep explaining. Sometimes, people just want someone to listen to them rant to help them feel better. They might not be in a position to accept your advice at the moment and they just want someone to listen.
This was something I had a problem with in the past since when friends came to me to talk about their problems I would always just talk with them and try to solve their problems for them. I only realized that I was in the wrong when someone told me I should just listen sometimes since not everyone wants their problems solved.
If you don’t know if someone wants you to help solve their problems or just listen, I suggest you ask them before the conversation starts. Asking them before the conversation starts helps clear up misunderstandings and it allows you to help that person out to the best of your ability. This is a great time to be silent because you are able to help others out with your silence.
2. It’s better to be silent instead of blurting out some in the moment feelings that might be hurtful or make the situation worse.
We all have said stuff we regret saying in the past. Maybe you said something that damaged a relationship or maybe you said something to ruin a first impression. It’s usually a good idea to remain silent in those situations instead of blurting out something you might regret. If you feel the urge to say something destructive, take a few breaths and think of the possible consequences that might follow.
Also, if you are unsure about your own feelings in a situation, it might also be a good idea to remain silent until you are more certain about your feelings. You might create some misunderstandings in the future if you reveal false or exaggerated feelings.
In short, it’s often better to remain silent instead of blurting out something that might make the situation worse or create misunderstandings.
3. If you don’t want to deal with a dumb argument, you can avoid it or end it quickly by remaining silent.
I’m not saying to always be silent to avoid conflict since some conflict is good and it can help both parties grow. However, not all arguments can help both parties grow and oftentimes, there can be petty arguments that come up. If your friends are trying to drag you into some argument or debate you don’t care for, just tell them you are not interested and remain silent. If you are already in the argument and want to resolve the conflict instead, just agree to disagree with them to get it over with. If you agree to disagree with them and remain silent, they won’t have anyone to argue with if it’s a one on one.
Sometimes, winning the argument might involve you losing but its fine if your goal is to resolve a conflict.
4. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words and staying silent allows you to express yourself through actions rather than words.
What you do is oftentimes more impactful than what you say because words are cheap. You can tell someone you like or love them but if your actions don’t align with those words, then the other person knows you are not being honest.
One of the best times to let your actions do the talking is when you are comforting someone who might be down. Instead of normally saying things like “sorry for your loss”, if you are close enough to that person, giving them a hug can comfort them more. Instead of a hug, you can also let the other person feel heard by some silent nodding and sincere eye contact that tells them you are sorry for their loss.
5. When in group conversations, especially if you are not familiar with those you are talking with, it can be a good idea to be silent to observe and learn about those you are talking with.
Unless you can elevate the conversation by adding your own viewpoint or pointing something out that is missing or beneficial, you should sit back and watch in the first few minutes after you introduce yourself and enter the conversation.
While some people say you should be more outgoing and talk more in the beginning, I think it’s better to observe a bit first before you become more outgoing and talk more. You are able to elevate the conversation and add your own points a lot better and naturally if you have some observed data. You can appear more likeable and build rapport faster if you understand who you are talking with more. It’s also easier this way since you are relying on your pure charisma to get along with them if you start talking a lot in the beginning whereas if you observe a bit and then talk, you can build upon things already said and create a natural conversation.
One thing to note is that you don’t want to stay silent and observe too long since the group will perceive you as weird and unsettling. Be sure to chime in every now and then even if your intent is to observe.
6. Silence is often your friend in negotiations.
Silence can convey a sense of mystery and power since it might lead the other side to believe that you are willing to walk away instead of settling for less than the desired outcome. Most people are uncomfortable with silence and using it in negotiations is a good way to get what you want. Say what you need and then close your mouth. Your silence shows that you are confident in what you have said and that you respect the other person enough to hear what they have to say.
The silence also allows the other party to come to their own conclusions which can lead into them digging themselves in a hole. You are using the silence to let the other side speak to their disadvantage to give you the upper hand. I think these are the best times to stay silent. Sometimes staying silent can benefit you and other times it can benefit those around you.
Content By: The Life Formula