Conversation between my friend and I;
Me: I need to get to GTBank, I wonder why there’s none around this area.
Friend: Oh, there’s one just along the road, before we get to the bridge.
Me: No, there’s none…there are 2 other banks along the road you’re talking about but not GTBank.
Friend: Lolade, I am very sure there is, in fact I have carried out transactions there several times!
Me: Except they just built one there overnight or something, I can’t remember ever seeing any branch of the bank here.
Friend: You will soon see it when we get there, I tell you, there’s definitely one there.
>>> so we are almost at the end of the particular road now, fast approaching the bridge, both of us looking sideways hoping to stop by at the GTBank my friend swore existed and…you guessed right.
Friend: *Looks confused* Ah ahn, I thought there was one here!… Oh okay! I must have mistaken it for the one in the other area. Sorry!
Me: No o, You must show me where the bank is here today, because you were so sure it was here.
Friend: *Laughs* Sorry now, but why did you keep quiet and not insist that there was none there.
Me: *Laughs* Because this is a route I ply almost daily, I know it like the back of my palm and I was 99.9% sure I was right, but since you also sounded so positive that you knew what you were talking about and we were actually going towards that way then there was no point arguing.
Till this day, every time we are on that road, I never pass up the opportunity to remind my friend to show me the GTBank there just to rub in my little victory!
Moral of the story – When you are trying to prove a point, sometimes silence is all you need.
Like speaking, knowing when to be silent is an art which too many people have unfortunately not learned to master. The reason is not far-fetched… It is far easier to speak than to be silent. Personally, I feel that people generally talk too much and as such miss the opportunity for a bit of intrigue about them. Silence is a very powerful communication tool especially in matters of conflict or argument, silence can be a very potent tool in disarming an opponent. Constructive silence prevents us from saying hurtful and damaging words that can never be taken back and has the power to get people to think and act.
I understand that the absence of sound may seem awkward and quite unsettling because we don’t know how to deal with it, but it allows for quiet reflection and an insight into our own actions and emotions thereby making what we say meaningful and well thought out when we eventually do talk. If you are involved in a group discussion, notice how everyone shuts up and listen with rapt attention whenever someone who isn’t known to talk too much decide that they have something to say. That’s the power of silence. When you do talk you can be sure that people would be more than interested in hearing what you have to say. Moreover, when we speak, we are only confirming to others what we know, but when we are silent, we are increasing our knowledge by learning what others know.
So, whether it is a lovers tiff, a workplace disagreement or an argument with a friend, knowing when to keep quiet and allow your silence speak for you is key. Of course, there are times when it is absolutely necessary to speak up but often times when our point has been made. the next wise thing to do is to be silent. I have learned this a long time ago and it works all the time. Mahatma Gandhi the Indian legend fought many “battles” not by shouting but by silence and non violent civil disobedience. Silence isn’t weakness, it is power! And like the popular saying goes “Speech is silver, but silence is golden.”