People want to be heard and they use words and gestures to achieve this (duh). If they do not receive the response or attention they want, they may raise their voices louder and make grander gestures. Whilst this is an obvious point to make about humans, it is often forgotten that silence can be even more powerful.
A typical example is bartering. A proposition is made to buy something for £10. The proposition is declined and a counter offer is made of £20. This is declined and the buyer asks to meet in the middle at £15. The seller pauses to consider this and a silence is created. If the buyer assumes in the silence that the seller is going to say no, he may break the silence and say, ‘what about £17.50?’. The seller is immediately happier as the price is nearer to his original asking price. Had the buyer let the silence hang in the air, the seller may have concluded that it was in fact reasonable to meet in the middle at £15. This art of negotiation can be used for anything, as long as silence is utilised effectively.
If you ask someone a direct question, always leave it to them to break the silence, otherwise you disturb their thought process and inadvertently end up where you didn’t want to be. Silences like this can be majorly uncomfortable, although once you see the rewards of staying silent, you will find things go your way more often and it is easier to do. The reason for this is that the respondent often feels pressured to answer a direct question quickly and are therefore more likely to please in haste. In a sense, it is ruthless, however, this skill is beneficial in official settings such as debates, business and protests.
Another way that silence is powerful is when someone or a group of people are attempting to tear you down, either mentally, physically, or both. This behaviour is mainly rooted in jealousy. Jealousy is just as powerful as silence, but it is a negative emotion that can be destructive. If someone calls you a name or spreads hate about you, the worst thing you can do is respond. As soon as that response is made you are in the same categories as them, petty and childish. Remember…
‘Queens don’t leave their thrones for peasants throwing stones’
The people who know you personally will not pay attention to such comments anyway and any external people who feed hateful behaviour are not worth your time. We live in a politically correct yet judgemental society which is for the most part ‘noisy’. This means silence is now our greatest power. Show people how to behave and progress by focusing on enjoying and furthering your own life. Don’t brag just live! We’re not all born with thick skin but we are born with the ability to be indifferent. In time, the negatives will realise that they are not going to get the response they want from you and that they look more and more ridiculous each time they attempt to strip you of your worth. Let them show the world who they are. Your silence speaks louder than their voice ever could.
This is applicable to other situations, such as people trying to engage you in negative conversations. If Sandra tells you that she can’t stand Sharon for X, Y and Z reasons, but you like Sharon, don’t sell her out just for the bants. If you stay silent, Sandra will be forced to reconsider if what she just said was appropriate or not. She may continue venting in your silence, or she may pause, think and then break the silence by back tracking, ‘but Sharon’s alright really’. Lols. Engaging in negative conversations about others does not result in positive outcome for yourself. Your circle is representative of who you are, so use your silence to reveal people.
Silence is also an educator for children. It can be majorly frustrating when a child misbehaves or simply won’t listen. Many parents get into the routine of telling their kids off and even arguing with them to stop bad behaviour. The easiest tool to use is…silence!
This must be backed up with all the willpower you can muster though. Children want attention and they do that by making noise. If you stay silent they will get louder and if you give in at this point then silence can no longer be your weapon of education. However, if you stay silent and let the child’s noise levels peak (even if they’re screaming!) they won’t be able to sustain it in your silence.
No words, no eye contact, no moving them or yourself away. Just still silence. As children’s attention spans are short, they will eventually move on to doing something else. Stay silent until they show a positive action or say positive words. Doing this consistently builds into the child’s consciousness that if they do positive things they will get a positive response. If they do negative things, it will isolate them. Let’s face it, that’s how it is in the adult world and if they grow up with this skill, they will use it effectively in their adult lives. Win win!
So, there you go, a few ways to make silence your all conquering friend.