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Six Stoic Ways to Effectively Use Silence

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Six Stoic Ways to Effectively Use Silence
In August of 1919, the great psychologist Milton Erickson was diagnosed with polio, a debilitating virus that spread throughout the United States in the early 20th century. Only 17 at the time, Milton overheard his doctor saying he would be dead by the following morning. Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks.

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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 clou...

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Zeno

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

Zeno

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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...

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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.
  • Enco...

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Epictetus

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

Epictetus

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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...

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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...

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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 th...

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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. ...

Marcus Aurelius

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Buddha taught that there is suffering in this world, it is inevitable, and the root cause of suffering is mainly the desires we feel.

We want something, always, and feel miserable when we don't get it.

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Only say what is important, do not try to explain to others how much you know or how much you have accomplished. Show them through your actions and work towards not been affected by their opinion.

A happy person who has something that you lack will never show it off. Humility builds character; it allows one to grow and prosper without stressing about what others think. 

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We must not forget to reflect on how we truly feel, to assess what we are aiming for and if we are capable of reaching what’s best for us.

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“…If a man can reduce his needs to zero, he is truly free: there is nothing that can be taken from him and nothing anyone can do to hurt him.” 

Accepting and Letting Go

Apatheia is a mental state where we are not letting daily annoyances, circumstances, events, and even our passions affect our inner core being.

We are accepting that losses and bad events will happen, we are able to love and be with our loved ones while they are still around us. The present moment and all its riches are understood once the future loss is also taken into account.

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