I’ll be honest right away: I can’t stand silences very well, and I’m a social person. A people person. That’s why I can rattle sometimes. Then the proverb “speak is silver, but silence is golden” is sometimes quite a thingie.
Since my burn-out I have calmed down a bit, and actually I didn’t have a sling in that, because I had to ‘set up’ myself again, and then such a proverb may be old-fashioned, but it sometimes gives a clear view of certain situations . Something I may never have fully absorbed before because of my unyielding enthusiasm and urge to talk, to provide the world with my perspective on the day-to-day things that preoccupied me.
The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is perhaps the most effective, which fits my title of this piece. The last few months have given me a little more peace of mind, which makes me realize that I don’t have to say much. Or that I don’t necessarily have to clarify my point with a detour of less than five hundred kilometers. That saves about 80% of the attention I demand from my interlocutor, so that my interlocutor can also keep that look-with-heavenly-eyes to himself. In short, as one of my old managers often asked: “Okay, and what is – concretely – what you want to say?”, or: “Succinctly.”
the charm of shutting up
Silence definitely has its charm, and sometimes you achieve five hundred thousand times more with that than with talking like a headless chicken. Example: There is a news item that can be called a ‘hot item’ in society, which causes division due to the most diverse opinions. Proponents and opponents of things fire proverbial cannons against each other, to level the other’s opinion to the ground.
That can also play out at work, or even worse: in your family situation or in the family. Until the time comes when your opinion is asked, sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut, to avoid heated arguments and stares of utter destruction. Keeping silent before you say something also has a huge effect. It symbolizes that you are out of breath and have a sharp tongue, and that you also have more than the IQ of a decoy duck, and that you therefore also have the ability to think about something before you start popping out ill-considered and/or hurtful bullshit about something.
Since I’m actively writing again, I can say my words better, which also makes me a bit calmer. It has become an outlet for me and I like that, but I also have a job and I have to be on point for that. The contradiction. Yet it is not always the case that you have to talk in sales. Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is very good to let the customer make a decision.
For example, silences in conversations are sometimes necessary to let the other person think about the information you have provided to them, or to give yourself time, to let the information you have received sink in, as I did on will let you in. In silence, of course.