When You Want to Say So Much But You Know It's Best to Say Nothing

When You Want to Say So Much But You Know It's Best to Say Nothing

Last update: 12 September, 2017

Apart from love, no subject has been written about as much as words, because words and silence always seek a balance. A Chinese proverb says “Do not open your mouth if you’re not sure that what you’re going to say will enhance the silence.”

It has happened to almost all of us, that we know the exact moment when we should finish a conversation, and yet we keep going, and everything ends badly. We want to say too many things without thinking about the consequences, without being aware that sometimes it is better just to keep quiet.
If we truly realised that when we speak, make judgments and give opinions we reveal the deepest parts of our personality and pronounce judgment on ourselves, then we probably would not allow our tongue to run ahead of our brain.

“It takes two years to learn to talk and a lifetime to learn to be quiet”
-Ernest Hemmingway-

Saying too much

Amongst friends, family and the people we love we’re often not too careful about how we speak and we freely let people know what we think. And even if it sounds quite crude to say it, we can apply the following saying to these situations:  “where there is trust, there’s disgust”.

The words we utter to the people nearest to us are sometimes sharper than any knife, they create walls that are very difficult to knock down and they hurt the people we really love and respect.
Although we may sometimes feel the urge to speak, it is important to weigh up the words, and ask ourselves what we really want to say to other person. We should always evaluate the consequences of our opinions and always turn to courtesy and kindness.

“The wounds of the tongue are deeper and more incurable than those of the sword.”
-Arabian Proverb-

The art of speaking with wisdom and respect

It is not always a matter of being silent and hiding what we think, because we mustn’t forget that what is not verbally spoken is as if it did not exist. Words of encouragement, those that come from our heart towards another person’s, are the ones that are really important.
Speak only what is necessary, know how to listen, don’t speak just for the sake of it. Talking too much, without thinking about or controlling what is said, can lead us to say utter nonsense or even words that can hurt the other person.

The Importance of Honesty

Scientists at Harvard University conducted a study of brain activity during a series of tests that looked at the honesty of a group of people. They discovered that honesty depends more on the absence of temptations than on an active resistance to them.
In neural terms, the results obtained means that the brain activity in people who are honest does not vary when faced with temptation (making money through cheating), while the brain activity in dishonest people is changed by temptation, even if they do not yield to it.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Joshua Greene, a professor of psychology at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.
Greene explains that, according to these results, being honest does not depend on an effort of the will but rather on being predisposed to honesty in a spontaneous way. According to the researcher, this may not be true in all situations, but it was in the situation that was investigated.

The reasons why we lie or tell the truth

On the other hand, researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid and the University of Quebec in Montreal, conducted an experiment to find out the reasons why people either lie or tell the truth in any given situation.
Until that moment it was thought that we always told the truth if it suited us materially and we would lie if not. But now, with this research, it has become clear that people tell the truth, even if it entails a material cost. The question is why?
In this sense different scenarios are being dealt with, because, on the one hand, it is understood that people are sincere because they have assimilated it and that doing the opposite makes them feel negative emotions, such as guilt or shame, which we know as a pure aversion to lies. This aversion has to do with being loathe to create a discord between the image that a person has of himself and how he really behaves in reality.
Other motivations for acting honestly have to do with altruism, the conformity with what we think other people expect us to say, that is, the desire not to upset the expectations of the other person.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.