Words are silver…and silence is gold
Words are important. Words are essential. They are the basics of communication. But then it is not necessary to communicate at all times. Communication is a bridge directing our private sphere towards someone else, we are looking for interaction, feedback, exchange, response. Lately in these years of brain storming ,technology has risen to a prime position and communication can be translated into “overloading” the system with too many information. For instance, let’s think for a minute. Are we sure that what we think is interesting for somebody else? When not asked, why should we jump into a conversation and expose to others our point of view, speaking as it was the Bible? And why do we need their approval so desperately? When we communicate with others we are not looking for confrontation but for endorsement, we want to know that we are right, we do not want somebody to prove us wrong.
In social life, when you attend a party and you are one amongst hundreds of guests and you barely know someone, (you have been there soooo many times, I know), do not talk too much, you’re best chance to survive is observation and military strategy. You are not amongst friends and are not looking for your soul mate, you are not there to please anyone, you are there to attend .Weather it is an exhibition ,a wedding or another social event you are not there to communicate at all, trust me. In one of these cases “Silence is gold”.
You can listen and politely comment on basics : the weather(easy for everyone) or the wine served at the buffet; for the latter you will need some extra skills. You are now entering a delicate, unexplored territory and if you are not a sommelier, a very dangerous one also. You can talk about your sensations being there, how do you feel, this experience is your own, exclusive and private, but again be sure, before letting words out, that you have captured the audience. You don’t want to be considered rude or inappropriate.
Playing on neutral ground you can say for example “What an interesting choice of catering” when interesting means I am a pro and I know that catering can’t marry all taste and as long as food is edible and well presented, I am ok with that. You are saying that you are not there to eat or to drink, but to be a part of a social event. Well this is a nice way to get away with the embarrassment of not having a thing to say. I personally learned that no one is remembered for their silence, but a clean, self- confident attitude goes a long way. You can be classy, smart and detached just sipping your wine and tasting your salmon tartine. When leaving, do not forget to thank your host by saying “ Exquisite experience, thank you for having me here”, you are communicating a satisfaction and you are interacting with your host; as guest you are saying that you were treated in a very special way, you will be remembered as an authentic person, which is a lot nowadays. If you did not have a wonderful time, basically it can be your fault: too many expectations, too many obligations. Remember what you were there for. When you are amongst friends the rule is even more fitting.
Silence is gold. As your friends, the people you have around are not obliged to listen all the time to what you need to say. If they are true friends, they should be treated with respect more than anyone else.
Having an opinion on everything means also that you have a great opinion of yourself, because you are stating that you know about a lot. Well let me tell you that not only it is false, but you may sound very weird and ridiculous. Popping out an opinion should be talking about a direct experience of the matter, direct here means your own experience, not what somebody else said. It makes a huge difference. You will enjoy your silence and finally listen to others. Sharing is great, I assure you. I do not know about everything, listening is learning, and I do not have a huge opinion about myself that I have this urgent need to be heard. I love confrontation and verbal exchange, yes, but most of the times, that practice is left to old people. We are used to interact on social networks, avoiding physical contact and eye confrontation. Too bad, I am not a network alcoholic, as I quote as often as I can, here and there, I am a lone traveler.
Words are important, they should be dosed and carefully used. We risk at all times to ruin speeches and communication. Bridges can fall when they carry a too heavy burden. Silence between one word and another is like empty spaces within notes: no need to fill them up at all costs.