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Opinion and Editorial

Silence is golden, we should try it more often

Annie Mathew (Random Thoughts)
Filed on November 24, 2019 | Last updated on November 24, 2019 at 09.11 pm

Many great relationships have bitten the dust over minor things because people involved refused to communicate. Silence at such times can be detrimental.

I sat in complete silence as my friend unburdened herself. Tears flowed and voice cracked and I had no clue what to say to make her feel better. I simply sat there feeling her pain and torment. I put my hand on hers to reassure her, to let her know that I will be there for her, no matter what.

As the avalanche of emotions subsided I confided, "I really don't know what to say." She smiled through her tears and replied. "You don't have to. You listened, you understood, and you didn't judge. That's what I needed at this moment."

There are times in life when silence speaks volumes and conveys a message better than a thousand words. When people are undergoing a difficult time, they feel the need to be understood. Many a time, people are not looking for solutions or immediate redressals. All they need is a patient ear, someone who can just hear them out. With time, they will heal and find ways to deal with their feelings, until then they need people who they can trust, people who can just hear them out.

Silence is a powerful tool that can be used to either build or destroy people. When we remain silent to prevent the escalation of a fight, we are being wise.

I remember an advice given to me many years ago by a person in authority as I was about to take up a leadership position. He said that if ever people approach me, very irate and out of control, allow them take out their anger and frustration. Listen and wait patiently in silence until they have nothing more to say. Initiate a discussion peacefully only after that - I have found that it works.

Once people find a channel to vent out, they calm down and eventually might think rationally. Silence helps.

When we silently suffer an injustice inflicted on us or others, we are being timid and destructive. When it is time to speak up and stand up for justice, we must. The silence of the night has its own beauty and magic in different places. In the midst of nature when the silence at night is punctuated with the croaking of the frogs and the bedlam created by crickets, it becomes enchanting.

It's said a relationship between two people is great when silence between them is comfortable. This may be the case within families and good friends.

The same silence can be deafening and heart-wrenching if it's after a fight and communication has ceased. Such silences if prolonged may damage the relationships in the long run. No matter how peeved we are, we must make an effort to talk it out. Many great relationships have bitten the dust over minor things because people involved refused to communicate. Silence at such times can be detrimental.

Young children seem to make the maximum noise and wear out parents to the extent that parents plead for some peace and quiet but when they take ill and the house falls silent, it becomes unbearable. How badly we want them to monkey around the house and make noise again.

Parents undergoing the 'empty nest syndrome' must make conscious efforts not to fall prey to the quiescence at home. They must find ways to keep themselves engaged and connected with other people in their lives. A bit of music, noise and disorder at home at least occasionally will be good for all.

Silence is sorrowful and dangerous when associated with loneliness. Letting out and sharing our feelings with those close to us is essential for our well-being.

It is very true that silence isn't empty but full of answers.

Annie Mathew is an educator in Dubai

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