DailyBlog: When Does Silence Convey More Meaning Than Words?

** The first three books in my six-part dystopian series have officially made their way out into the world! Check them out!
For the sake of blogging, self-exploration, and contemplation, I’ve been slowly making my way through answering questions from this list

Today’s Question: When does silence convey more meaning than words?

This is such an abstract question because it can be taken in literally countless directions. I’m a wordy person. I’m wordy in my writing, and I’m wordy in how I speak. I’m very clear, descriptive, and precise when I feel that I need to explain something to someone else.

However, silence has its virtues. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is a cliche we have ALL heard many times throughout our lives, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Sometimes staying silent can save someone from words that, even if it’s not your intention, can be needlessly hurtful.

I’ve also discovered in life that sometimes once you’ve said your peace and someone refuses to listen, you can’t keep telling them the same thing — you have to just shut your mouth and let them do whatever it is they’re going to do. If you’ve given them advice and they ignore it, that’s on their shoulders, not yours. You have to know when to stop trying to be heard. (That was a very difficult lesson for me to learn.)

But back to the direct question at hand, when does silence convey more meaning than words? Silence can show compassion and consideration (not saying something that will be needlessly hurtful to someone.) It can also convey your choice to move on from a situation rather than continue to battle it out (a toxic person trying to hold on to your attention, but your silence shows them they cannot continue to control you.) I’m sure there are many more examples that can apply here, but the way I’ve learned to look at it isn’t about knowing when to shut up, but more about knowing when your words are useful in a situation, and when they are not. If they’re needlessly hurtful, or if you’ve already said what you want to say before and the person clearly has no interest, your attention is best served somewhere, and on someone, else.

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