I used to know silence all quite well. As a shy boy, I found solace in not talking or in general being alone. Not talking amongst other people outside of my circle was a massive challenge and in a sense I was accepting of this silence.
Yet at the same time I was someone who loved talking. I chatted a lot with my friends, the people I was comfortable with. Even online I tend to talk at great length.
In the end, as I progressed through my life and grew, I saw silence as a form of shyness and overall weakness. I thought to myself “what sort of benefits are there to being silent?”
Little did I realize, being silent (or saying little), for different reasons, can be beneficial
During the time, I was very close minded clearly. I thought it was important to be able to talk. That what we say makes more of an impact than our actions, body language, and gestures.
I couldn’t be more wrong about that. Especially when I delved into books. Particularly when I listened to the audio version of The 48 Laws Of Power.
In that book, there’s a lot of tactics for manipulation, but it oddly enough introduced me to the self improvement world. Not necessarily in teaching me “jedi mind tricks” but thinking more on what the book talks about is noteworthy.
For example, a story of Louis the 14th
And his famous three word line is of particular note to me:
“I shall see.”
Here you have a man, a figure of great authority, saying very little and in most situations nothing at all.
Before I learned more about silence, this would boggle my mind. I wouldn’t see him as a ruler at the time. He wasn’t making any decisions. Why didn’t he talk about his position now?
But now I know better. I know now that saying less, or even just saying what is necessary is actually very powerful.
In the case of Louis the 14th, it was difficult for people to know exactly what he was thinking. Because of this, he couldn’t be easily manipulated by his advisors or people below him, which, in this case, was literally everyone.
But silence can do more than trip up people and be a great defence mechanism
Again “I shall see.” Is one of Louis the 14th’s famous phrase. He said it all the time. He didn’t add in extra fluff. He went straight to the point.
And those words have stood the test of time.
But also what type of words you use as well.
My whole point is through reducing the amount of words, if your words are positive, inspiring, and can change peoples lives, it’ll make a HUGE difference. Of course you can use these very techniques to manipulate people and remain on the defensive. That’s your choice.
But I believe it’s important as well to spark change and bring hope to people. And even someone who doesn’t talk much is able to do so.
In the end, you don’t need to always be talking or always be writing at great length to prove a point. What’s important is you write and what you say is just enough for it to be necessary.
No more than that.
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