3 Min Read
Why You Should Stop Talking and Unleash the Power of Silence
In a world where everyone seems to have an opinion and shares it whether people want to hear it or not, silence is a superpower.
Law #4 of Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power is "Always say less than necessary." Why do we give away our power so easily?
Here's why listening is more powerful than speaking:
You project a stronger image.
Powerful individuals impress and intimidate with silence.
The more you speak, the more likely you will come across as foolish. People assume someone is a narcissist or braggart when hearing them droll on about how awesome they are all the time.
King Louis XIV was known for making his courtiers quake in terror when he broke bad news. In a quiet but firm voice, he kept repeating, "I shall see and follow it."
He was a man of immense power, much of which he wielded with silence.
Even if you are not a monarch, remaining silent could make you seem more powerful. You will command respect if you speak up less frequently. People will be more interested because you'll often surprise them and be difficult to read.
You'll develop people reading skills.
Silence allows time for listening and observing other people.
You can see through people's true intentions and spot liars since they may make mistakes while trying to fill the silence. You have the opportunity to assess if someone's body language is consistent with what they are saying when you choose to listen rather than speak.
With time, you can recognize trends and start reading people just on a few observations. Depending on your goals, you can use the information gained to make them feel more or less comfortable.
Learning to read people well is an invaluable skill in business and life.
Once spoken, words cannot be taken back.
You'll have fewer regrets and greater self-control when you practice silence.
Speaking your mind at the moment is likely counterproductive. Lashing out feels good, but the cost of regret might come back to bite you.
Speaking out often only serves the ego, which is the enemy of achieving your goals.
Take a deep breath, hold your tongue, and then respectfully assert yourself. Make sure your remark is well-considered and not simply a fit of emotion.
It's okay to walk away quietly sometimes.
People will enjoy talking to you since you are a fantastic listener.
Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is one of the most popular self-help books of all time. In the book, Carnegie recalls a story of speaking with a florist at a dinner party.
For the most part, he listened to the florist's nonstop babbling. The florist recalls Dale as one of the best conversationalists he had ever met. Dale Carnegie was mainly silent in his encounters, and you'd do well to act in a similar manner.
People long to be heard and understood.
Your silence encourages the other person to speak. When they do, listening and asking questions will cause you to appear more charismatic.
The most effective negotiators let others do the talking.
In a negotiation, both parties want something from the other. Long silences are awkward and unsettling for both parties. Whoever remains quiet the longest during the awkward pause usually wins the negotiation.
Use the pause to gather your thoughts as you gain the upper hand in negotiations. Negotiations are about information. The more you speak, the more information you provide to the other side.
The reason silence is considered golden is that it's challenging to do.
If you're interested in talking less, try turning your next conversation into a game. Keep score by comparing how many details you learn about the other person to how much you divulge about yourself. You get bonus points for how many questions you ask versus how many you answer.
Become a more interesting person by being quiet. Shhh!
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.