Saturday, April 11, 2009

The virtues of silence

They say that while speech is silver, silence is golden. I have always believed in this dictum, preferring to keep my mouth shut at every possible occasion.

You see, I consider myself the strong and silent type. That is the image that I have always tried to project of myself, especially to the fairer sex. Well, come to think about it now, I am hardly someone who will remind you of Clint Eastwood in terms of appearance. And to be honest, I am not very strong either. In fact my physical and fiscal strengths leave a lot to be desired. And my scorecard in pursuit of someone to love is this: Affairs till date - Nil, Girlfriends acquired - Zilch, Dates been on - lets not get into that territory..... You get the drift......

Well, here's a little confession, the strategy of projecting yourself as "the strong and the silent type" is as mainly due to the fact that one doesn't know what to say at opportune moments, that one is too dumb to say anything remotely intelligent.

When it comes to things like debates and group discussions, my record has been almost as dismal :(. In one of the GDs that I had attended last year in my campus recruitment process, I remained so silent that in fact, a fellow participant actually looked at my miserable face, took pity on me and brought me into the discussion, only to be out-shouted by another guy in about 15 seconds !!

But being silent has its fair share of advantages as well. As a kid, if you are silent in class, you are less likely to be hauled up and punished by your teachers in case the class is making a lot of noise !! In fact, being silent in class is always likely to get you in the good books of your teachers (as long as you keep churning out good marks in exams). I guess on this count, I did a pretty good job.

There have been some other situations as well, where my silence has been beneficial. In my articleship days, I had a senior manager (for whom I have tremendous respect) who is a very hyper (i.e. aggressive) character. He speaks, works and talks at a furious pace, and it is difficult for most people, especially newcomers, to cope up with the speed of his speech and thoughts. But my blank, expressionless face coupled with (one of his favourite terms incidentally) my "dignified" silence helped me sail through turbulent times, so much so, that after a while, I had become one of his favourite subordinates.

So there you go, that is my experience of silence and its virtues (and vices !). In case you do want to be "The Strong and Silent Type", click on this link: It is a little more serious and a lot more helpful than my blog.

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