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Author Topic: The power of silence  (Read 5676 times)

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Re: The power of silence
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 02:53:45 PM »
Silence isn't necessarily the solution but it's an important tool. I've seen so many fights/bad relationships over silly things. The grudge isn't even over the initial issue anymore, it's due to all the nasty things that get said in the heat of the moment. Taking a step back often calms both parties down and can prevent the issue from escalating.

You're absolutely right.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to stand up for yourself.  The trick is knowing which and when. 

It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.


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Re: The power of silence
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 07:11:34 AM »
I've found that saying "We're obviously both upset at he moment - can we talk about this later when we're both calmer" can also be quite powerful. It takes the wind out of the sails of someone who wants a fight, and it*genuinely* allows time for everyone to back off and calm down without losing face where you're dealing with someone who is normally reasonable but who has temporarily lost it!

I learnt this when I had a boss who was a bully. His technique was to continually goad people until they snapped and responded in kind, then *they* would be in the wrong for shouting at him... I am not confrontational and so, without any per-planning did suggest that we speak about the incident later when he was calmer. It stopped him dead. He was still a bully, but he didn't try that particular tactic on me again.


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Re: The power of silence
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2013, 10:11:19 AM »
I really try to work on keeping my mouth shut when I'm too emotional/angry. I have yet to find that silence elicits any apparent remorse from the other person, however. My dh says that's because since I generally have a very thick skin, if I do take offense to something, it's because the other person intended the offense or they're so thickheaded that they never realize they've given offense -- in both cases, apologies are not forthcoming.

However, IRL, I generally do say something later to people who have given malicious offense because I've found that they tend to be bullies who, if unchecked, will continue on and escalate their behavior because they think they've found a perfect victim.

I think this is a good point, as is oogyda's about knowing when to stay silent vs. when to stand up for yourself. If someone says mean things to you, "suffering nobly in silence" is not a good use of silence, if you keep giving that person opportunities to say mean things to you. Silently walk away, avoid gatherings with them, refuse to do whatever action they're trying to make you do. And with some people, it can be effective to discuss the situation with them, if you think they really don't realize how they come off. But any discussion should come later, and not in the heat of anger. So, silence doesn't always mean silent on that subject forever, or going along with whatever passively.