Silence is golden at times. It’s probably the best thing to practice when an argument is going nowhere. It’s also the best policy when you don’t want to soak in the negativity of other people. It’s advised to stay silent when you are not sure of what you are saying, you have incomplete information or if you have something unkind to say. Besides, silence is meditative, it helps us connect with our inner self and bring out the best in us. It helps you take the best decision. It has a medicinal quality to it.
But silence is not always golden. When you withhold information, an emotion or an important conversation, it’s anything but medicinal. It turns toxic and ruins relations, emotions and the universe around you. This is the reason why passive aggressive people hurt you so much. Sometimes, it’s not the confrontation or an argument (not the endless one) that hurts, but the silence that eats you up like a termite and make you emotionally hollow.
Here’re some situations where silence hurts and hurts badly:
When somebody needs your support: There’s a new joinee in your office that you instinctively dislike. And that person has to work in coordination with you. If you choose not to talk to this person for days at stretch, it will be one of the worst office experiences for him/her and the person will remember you for life since first impressions are the last impressions. As I said, your silence sometimes can do more harm than your aggression.
When you need to take a stand: You know for sure someone has been wronged, but you are sitting quietly pretending you didn’t notice. You have seen a molester harassing a woman and you are standing silently in the crowd. You have witnessed an accident but you don’t call up the ambulance; instead you just choose to watch the person dying. Somebody has been bullying you unnecessarily and you don’t utter a word thinking it’s beyond your dignity to defend your position. Also, when your silence is misconstrued as your consent, it can hardly be golden.
After a tiff: When you choose to not break the silence long after your misunderstanding with the other person has been cleared, it shows that deep down you are still holding the grudge. Not responding to an apology message doesn’t unburden you. Forgiving and forgetting liberate you. In this case, silence is a load in your heart that can manifest in some mental or physical ailment.
Flirting and then going silent: You feel you are attracted to someone and make the first move. You enjoy the initial phase of attraction, attention and daydreaming about the person, only to realise after a point that you were not compatible with him/her. You have earlier made this person special, but now you suddenly withdraw yourself, go completely silent, leaving the other person wondering what went wrong. While it will leave the other party in an emotional muddle, the sudden withdrawal can be detrimental to your mental health also. If at all you have to disconnect, don’t do it abruptly. Silence in this case is not only rude, it’s downright insensitive.
Silence of the night: Last but not the least, when one wakes up from a nightmare in the middle of the night and not able to shake it off because of the sneaky silent scenario. You can’t call out to anyone because the mouth opens, but vocal chords produce only silence. Shhh… Silence in this case is scary.
(With inputs from the victims of silence)
E-mail author: email@example.com
Follow @parmitauniyal on Twitter