There are times when we remain silent;

  • when we think an argument may develop
  • when we think we might hurt someone's feelings
  • when we think we will make the situation worse
  • when we don't quite know how to respond
  • when we don't care

By remaining silent we think we are helping, but are we? We leave the conversation and later think 'I should have said something'. We come to realise that by not engaging the situation is not going to change, in fact we may encourage the situation to beome more entrenched.

In her book Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott says of the type of silence that is unhelpful; “I do not mean the silence of non participation, of passivity, of I really don’t care what you do or what you think. I do not mean the cold war of silence fought by couples, the indifferent silence that chills their hearts when they are starving for conversation, close connection, time together. I do not mean the silence that merely denies topics that are uncomfortable.”

But there is a type of silence that helps.