Today’s quote is a good reminder to sometimes just stay silent and smile – “Always remember: Silence and smile are two very powerful tools.” (Paulo Coelho)
In today’s noisy and often acrimonious world there is way too little silence and too few smiles. Remaining silent in the face of loud complaints or expressions of opinion often gives the other person pause to consider what they just said? Did I not understand what they said or maybe do I not agree? And why am I smiling at them? They just don’t know.
Many times, people who are loudly proclaiming something are really looking for acceptance and reinforcement of their opinion. They do not find that in silence as a response to their rant and that is jarring to their confidence. And then, there is that smile. What does that mean? Am I smiling because I think they just said something that is completely stupid? Maybe I’m just smiling out of pity for someone who can be so far off the mark. They just don’t know.
So, keep Coelho’s advice in mind the next time that you are in a situation, perhaps one that is emotionally charged, that seems to dictate a response from you. Use the most powerful tools that you have – your silence and a smile. Keep them guessing.
There is another saying that applies, too. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” That saying has been variously attributed to Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln. Seldom these days do people jump to the conclusion that someone who remains silent is a fool. Rather they become concerned that they may have just made a fool of themselves. Keep them guessing.