“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“I put my foot in my mouth on that one.”
“Silence is golden”
See where I’m going here? In a culture where we are encouraged more and more to speak up and be heard, we still have these phrases that beg the question, “What’s more important: being heard or being nice?” Most ask this question when it comes to business. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and usually being heard is valued over being nice.
I would argue, however, that silence is more than just being nice. It’s about listening, connecting, communicating, and silence is not always nice (ex: the mommy look).
I don’t know if this is my “mommy look” or my “Seriously? You’re taking a picture of me?” look.
When to be silent:
- You’re not adding anything of value to the conversation.
- You’re being destructive.
- You’re playing devil’s advocate ALL THE TIME.
- You’ve not been asked your opinion or for advice.
- When a look will speak 10x louder than any words.
Silence can be powerful, awkward, refreshing, and painful yet it is a tool in our communication toolbox. Recently the Bachelor began again (reality TV show) and one girl got out of the limo, introduced herself to the Bachelor, and then proceeded to have an awkward silence moment on purpose to “get it out of the way.” It was awkward and silly yet honest and intriguing all at the same time. It definitely broke the ice and she ended up with a rose two weeks in a row.
My encouragement for today is don’t be afraid of silence, embrace it and use it to hear and be heard.
~ Thankfully Exhausted