The power of silence


Sometimes ‘silence’ can be the best response.

In my student life, especially those days of CMC (Chittagong Medical College), I was rebellious (to some extent I still am). I used to protest and confront any argument, opinion or situation I could not agree with. Even many a times I use to revolt against the leadership of the party I belonged. I always stood up for what I believed in. Often I was clear to my conscience, but sometimes I was judgemental too. Although I earned many friends and supporters, through my actions I was also able to push some other people to such a corner that they had no choice but to oppose me. During that time I was not aware of when to use ‘silence’ as a tool to win over the opposing ideas and to diffuse a conflicting situation.

Since leaving CMC, I have been learning many basics of life. It is an ongoing process, and I am yet to master many things. However, at least theoretically, I learnt that ‘sometimes silence can be the best response’. I am yet to practice it to perfection though.

Silence does not mean I ignore a situation, agree with it or disagree. Silence can some time mean that there is nothing to choose from two opposing ideas. It can also mean that I allow time for the opposing sides to reflect on themselves, their thoughts and responses while I search for a pragmatic response or solution. Sometimes hastily expressed response can be counterproductive. From my personal experience, I know that many a times I felt ashamed of my hurried response without a thoughtful pause. I would have done many things differently had I taken time to think before responding. When someone takes time before commenting on someone else’s action or opinion, his/ her response become mature and pragmatic. Sometime that can help avoiding major conflicting situations. When people are able to reflect, they are often capable to modifying their response in such a way that it becomes less hurting or even acceptable to the opposing party.

When I remain silent on a particular issue, that does not mean I have no opinion on that or I am avoiding my responsibility. Sometimes it is better to facilitate opposing thoughts to reconcile by remaining silent. Sometimes silence is the best response and a thoughtful pause before reacting can minimise so much damage. I learnt it the hard way.

We are often judgemental (sometimes that include me as well) in way we express our views. If we wish other people to be non-judgemental to us, we need to practice the same. If I condemn a derogatory comment, I should refrain from doing so myself.

Life is a learning process that never ends. There is no shame in learning a trick or two from a friend even if s/he is in the opposing camp.


4 thoughts on “The power of silence

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