“Silence is sometimes the best answer.” -The Dalai Lama

There is a time and place for everything, including when to speak your mind. Choosing to remain silent when you are tempted to say something may not seem like the most obvious choice in the world, but it is a skill you need to learn. Sometimes, silence is the best way to defuse a tense situation or to prevent something from escalating out of hand.

Knowing when to be silent

We are so eager to speak our thoughts to others that more often than not, we forget that listening is an underrated skill. Have you ever been through situations where you just wanted to vent your feelings out without expecting any solution in return? Imagine you had the worst day at work today, it was just one thing on top of the other and you can’t wait to get home and vent your frustrations out. You talk to your partner or friends about the day you had and you feel lighter after sharing your thoughts. It feels therapeutic, doesn’t it?

Well, sometimes people are just looking for an outlet for their thoughts like you do. They want to express their feelings without any advice in return. If you offer answers and possible solutions when they just want someone to listen to them, you might end up making them feel unheard. And in such cases, your silence will speak volumes about your support.

Let your silence speak

When someone wants a reaction from you, they will provoke you. They basically throw a bait at you, and if you take it, you are giving them exactly what they want. But by not reacting against them, you take control of the situation. This speaks louder than any words you could say.

So the next time your boss or your coworker annoys you, take a deep breath and count till ten. If you run out of tens, you can count till twenty. You will find yourself becoming calmer by the second. Soon enough, it won’t bother you enough to warrant a response from you.

You will have fewer regrets

There is no doubt we all carry regret for saying things we didn’t mean. More times than you can count, you have said a few things in the heat of an argument that you now wish you could take back. In retrospect, not saying anything would have been your best choice.

So, whenever you are on the verge of saying something hostile while disagreeing with others, take a step back and think about what you would gain from that. You will find that you have more to lose than gain. But by remaining silent, you may prevent the situation from worsening and end up with fewer regrets.