20 Times when it’s best to be Silent

There is a common phrase that silence is golden, and we know how much value our mums or aunties attached to their gold or even gold-plated jewellery. In similar fashion, silence is valuable. My friend shared some times when you need to be silent with me and I thought I’d share as I found them useful. I’ve added my comments on the side.

1. When you’re angry (Prov 14:17): This is so true. All kinds of stuff are brought to the fore in moments of anger. You can’t take back what you’ve said, so grab some ice tea, cool off and come back to the matter at a later time.

2. When you lack all the facts (Prov 18:13): In Law, there’s no ruling until all facts have been verified, because it could be unfair to one party if his side has not been heard. It is best to clarify before jumping to conclusions.

3. When you haven’t heard the other side of the story (Deut 17:6): Because half the story is not the full story and your judgment on part of the story may be wrong. At least hear the full story, then see if what you would have said is still valid.

4. If your words will offend a weaker person (1 Cor 8:11): You don’t want to be that person whose comment changes the facial expressions of everyone in the room, because you’ve spoken for a bit too long. That makes things awkward, especially because most people don’t like the confrontational style of resolution. So your words may be offensive but then no one wants to be the one to address the elephant in the room.

5. When it is time to listen (Prov 13:1): Listening is an intentional act. It takes a lot to give your full attention without interrupting or asking questions. The speaker feels heard when you listen in silence, and sometimes might feel so much better just knowing they’ve unburdened without being interrupted.

6. When tempted to make light of holy things (Eccl 5:2): I think this applies to every religion, if something is said to be holy, sacred, sanctified, it’s better not to mess around with it. Whether it’s traditional worship or Buddhism, it’s wise to avoid making light of it.

7. When tempted to joke about sin (Prov 14:9): Similar to the preceding point, it’s best not to make jokes about sin, or the people involved. If the conversation is not going to be beneficial, it is best to be silent.

8. If you will later be ashamed of your words (Prov 8:8): If you’ll wish you hadn’t said it later, then maybe you should hold your tongue. Self-control comes into play here because sometimes we know that we might be ashamed later but just to feel a certain way or make someone feel a certain way, we go ahead with the words we know we ought not to say.

9. If your words will convey the wrong impression (Prov 17:27): Where your point is ‘A’, for instance and your words might make it seem like it’s ‘G’, you should rephrase or be silent. Impressions stay a while and it is better not to give any impression than to give a wrong one.

10. If the issue is none of your business (Prov 14:10): This is very straight forward. Drinking water and minding your business has been said (by no particular individual) to be the key to a good life. Try it today. 😊

11. When tempted to lie (Eph 4:25, Prov 4:24): Because lying is false truth and you should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

12. If your words will damage someone’s reputation (Eph 4:29, Prov 16:27): This is simple, the golden rule says ‘do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.’ Would you like someone else to damage your reputation? Selah

13. If your words will damage friendship (Prov 16:28):  Friendships are hard to find and harder to keep. Do you really want to lose the ones you have because of a few words?

14. When you’re feeling critical (Eph 3:9): No one likes the feeling of being judged or criticised, so if this is all you have to offer at a particular time, then it’s a good time to be quiet.

15. If you cannot speak without yelling (Prov 25:28, Prov 15:1): My parents told me how they agreed early in their marriage not to yell at each other since none of them was deaf, and I’ve never forgotten it. If you feel like yelling, shout at the wall or the mirror, or come back when you’re feeling calmer. You’re better able to articulate your thoughts when you’re composed, instead of in anger. There’s no rule that says you must settle disputes in the heat of anger. Take some time to cool off, gather your thoughts and then have a conversation.

16. If your words will be a poor reflection of God (1 Peter 2:21-23): As an ambassador of Christ, you are to speak as He would. If you’re not sure what to say, or not feeling like you can fully represent Him at a particular time, just say nothing. No one will know what you could have said, but if you do speak, everyone knows your thoughts and you can’t take back your words. If it’s not pleasing to God, don’t say it.

17. If you would have to eat your words later (Prov 18:21): Eating your own words is bitter. Don’t do it!

18. If you have already said it more than one time (Prov 19:13): Refer to deafness point in no 15 above.

19. When you’re tempted to flatter a wicked person (Prov 24:24): By flattering, you’re encouraging. Encouragement provides affirmation, energy and strength that assures a person that he is doing well. Imagine this wickedness gets to you or your family because you couldn’t keep your words in? Encourage small businesses, encourage discouraged people, but please don’t encourage the wicked.

20. When you are tired or hungry: A hungry man is an angry man and he can say all sorts of things. It’s just your stomach and you don’t mean most of what you say. Take a warm shower, dinner will soon be ready.

I think I should add that you don’t have to ‘win’ every time and keeping your cool or being silent when you’re upset or have been vexed is not a sign of weakness, even when you have the perfect response for the annoying party. Silence is golden. Don’t stress your vocal cords.

If you know any other times you think should be on this list, please share in the comments. 💝

Yours truly,

MBW

 

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10 Things I’ve Learnt X Blogiversary Giveaway

Today is consistency celebration day. After trying, getting tried, but persisting nonetheless, this blog is 3 years old today! I thought it’ll be nice to put up a blogiversary post and share a few things I’ve learnt over the last three years on this blourney (blog +journey, feel me? 😎) Maybe not but …

  1. Enjoy the initial butterflies. When you decide to start a blog, there’s an excitement as you think of the many ideas you want to share with the world. You want to post everyday, and everything is content in your eyes. Ride on that wave while it lasts. Write down the content, perfect it and leave it in your folder for the day you’ll need it. Don’t post too often if you know you can’t keep up. Pace yourself.
  2. Perfect your post. Don’t hurry to post something just because you have to, if it is not excellent, at least up to the reasonable man’s standard of perfection. Some typos can be pardoned but some are just too obvious to be ignored. I know that after reviewing a document for a while, it’s easy to read over your typos and miss them, so ask a trusted person to proofread for you before you post.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to anyone or by any other standards except the one you set for yourself. If Mr A posts on his blog every day and Mrs B three times a week, that’s great, wonderful in fact. But if I decide to post twice a month or once a year, then that is the only standard I should hold myself to. If I try to be like Mr A, I will end up posting irrelevant crap just to meet up, and that’s not of value to my readers nor does it speak well of my efficiency as a person. The internet never forgets and you do not know who will stumble across your page. Your blog represents you, dress it as nicely as you would yourself.
  4. Trust your journey, enjoy the process. Give your best to everything you write. Enjoy the comments, good, bad and when there’s none at all. Stay consistent, and when you fail at it, continue. It doesn’t always feel like you’re making a difference, you might feel that you’re wasting your time, but just keep at it. As long as you’re adding value through your words, someone is being affected positively. People will read your stuff and learn. Believe it! I got an email once about how something I wrote helped someone restart an uncompleted project and it gave me so much joy. Even if just one person is the better for it, it is so worth it.
  5. Appreciate whatever help you get. Words are great but nothing speaks louder than actions. People can offer to help, but those who actually follow through and help are rare. Don’t take their support for granted. Tell them how much their help means to you, no matter how little it is.
  6. There’s always a lesson. Or maybe it’s just me, but in every conversation, movie or situation, I find a lesson. That lesson is a potential post and what is a blog without posts? Write it down, tweak it, throw in some of your imagination if need be, make it your own, and alas, you have some content! #LessonHunterForever 🙅🏽
  7. Appreciate, admire but don’t plagiarise. Plagiarism is taking someone’s work or idea without giving credit, for instance, stealing stuff of a blog and writing it on yours without saying so. NEWSFLASH: it’s a small world. You will be nabbed. Give genuine content. You can look at other blogs and maybe adopt some ideas, but do it in your own way. Don’t copy and paste. People are more conscious of intellectual property theft so it’s important to beware so you don’t get yourself a lawsuit.
  8. Remember your ‘why’. Your why is the reason you started. What is your purpose for blogging? To make money, get famous, make impact? I wanted to record my thoughts and I felt they would be beneficial to others. I had certain areas in mind and I built my content around those areas. If you decide to go in one direction, don’t go Jon Bellion. (No, I didn’t 🙈) Remember your focus and keep it at the fore. It keeps you grounded, it helps you stay consistent. Knowing your why helps you appreciate other bloggers without feeling like you need to do what they’re doing. Knowing your why helps you stay in your lane.
  9. Open your mouth…and talk. Tell people about your blog. It doesn’t have a mouth, or it will probably have sold itself. My blog was under wraps for over a year after I started it. I was afraid it won’t be good enough, that I’d have to apologize too frequently for not being consistent. I wanted it to be a piece of myself on the World Wide Web that I’d disclose in my will for my children to go and discover after I die and be amazed at Mother’s hidden e-journal. Lol. I guess someone changed her mind. And I’m glad I did. I decided I won’t get pressured to post and I’d go at my pace, and thankfully, so far, so good. People can be enlightened by the stuff you know and write. Tell them. Tweet about it. Put it on your Instastory. Make some noise about it. It’s yours and no one’s going to hype it for you until you start.
  10. Jesus. The best author, the best Father. Jesus is my biggest inspiration. He gives me ideas all the time from the most random things. He drops topics in my mind, and fleshes them out for me later. This blog is courtesy of Him, really. He gave me the idea of starting it. I’m just the apprentice. He gives me strength on the days I want to give up. And how cool is it that this anniversary falls on Easter Sunday? The period in which he died to save the world. We’re so blessed to be called by Him. He’s last on this list because I saved the best for last.

That’s my list. I thought I’d have five but I guess I learnt a lot more. I’ll be doing a giveaway to celebrate. I’ll be giving 3 people airtime (call credit). To qualify, you need:

  • to be in Nigeria or have a Nigerian sim,
  • be following the blog (click the Follow button at the bottom right corner of your screen) and,
  • tell me your best 3 posts on the blog and why they are your best.
  • Please leave your answers in the comment section of this post.

Winners will be selected randomly and sent an email to receive their airtime. This is open to anyone who can do all the above stated requirements.

PS: If you want to give a gift to the blog, please holla at your girl. We’re gladly accepting. 😊

Love and hugs this Easter season,

MBW