Silence

 

Mike Staver: Hi, everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question. Short, sweet, to the point. Are you ready?

“When is silence better than words?”

Oh, that’s a good question. When is silence better than words? The easiest answer I can think of is, when the words would do more damage than the silence, right?

If the words would do more damage than the silence, sometimes silence is better than words. The other time silence is good is, if you’re dealing with a highly emotional situation, particularly if you’re not emotional and somebody else is, 2020, there was a lot of emotion, and there were many times when people were highly emotional.

The only thing that you could do would be, to sit still, be quiet, let the emotion occur. Sometimes the emotion will dissipate. Sometimes the emotion will let itself go. That’s one time. The second time when science is better than words is, if what you have to say will not be constructive, will not be on purpose, will not necessarily be helpful, silence is better than words. Other time that silence is better than words is when you have nothing really to add, when you have nothing of value to add, you have nothing to say.

Years ago, I was in therapy, I was in grad school, you had to take a certain number of hours of therapy to graduate, I was in therapy and I was going through a very difficult time. This psychologist, extraordinary published, really- excuse me, really smart. I shared with him a difficulty that I was going through, and this is what he said, best advice I ever got, “I have absolutely no idea what to say to you right now. I have no idea what to say,” and then we were quiet, what felt like a day and a half, but I think it was only about 30 seconds. It was so therapeutic. Sometimes silence is better than words when it’s therapeutic. I hope that’s helpful.

I usually think silence is better than words, which might surprise all of us because I make money with words. Just think about that. Do I have anything valuable to add? Is what I’m going to say uplifting, edifying and encouraging, and would silence, if I were quiet right now, allow the circumstance to dissipate or allow this person to allow their emotions to dissipate?

Hope that’s helpful. Take care.

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