Six Stoic Ways to Effectively Use Silence - Deepstash

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Six Stoic Ways to Effectively Use Silence

dailystoic.com

The Art of Communication

We communicate with each other as a habit but miss a lot in what a conversation really holds.

Our lack of listening skills, our inner chatter, and the urge to speak about ourselves is clouding any real, worthwhile exchange of words.

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Zeno

“We have two ears and one mouth, therefore we should listen twice as much as we speak.”

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Active Listening

When someone is coming to you for advice, you have to listen, with intent. You are not supposed to jump into a conclusion and start dishing out advice.

Usually, people just want someone to listen to their problems.

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Elements of Active Listening

  • Subtly nod, respond non-verbally and maintain eye contact while listening.
  • Paraphrasing what the person is saying is tricky as it can lead to misjudgment.
  • Encourage the person to speak more, elaborating on what is meant. 

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Epictetus

“Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favors you have received.”

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Think Before You Speak

In a social gathering or a serious discussion:

  • Have control over what you say. 
  • Slow down.
  • Instead of blurting out whatever comes to your mind, take a pause and evaluate.

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Silence to Disarm

Instead of a standard reaction based on our egoistic state, it is far better to be silent when we hear something we don't like. The best answer to anger is silence.

If one is faced with an emotional, irrational person, one should not engage, stooping to their level, but maintain calm.

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Valuable Words

Stay silent but if you have to talk, it should not be ordinary small talk.

Meaningful talk and quality words are infinitely better than wasting breath on the weather and other common topics.

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Suffering and Wisdom

When we're young, we say what we feel like, not caring or not knowing about the consequences.

As we grow older, going through the roller coaster of life, we tend to become silent, owing to the wisdom that comes with the experiences of life.

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Marcus Aurelius

“Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”

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