Perhaps silence may be good in an argument

by | Jan 3, 2022 | (Helpful) Stories, Advice, Reflection, Uncategorized | 0 comments

“For a child, it still remains true, if their home is secure, if it is safe, if it is loving, their home will have a greater impact on their life and development than their school or their peers.  It is so important that we teach children these things.” – Martyn Ilse

I just watched a 36-minute talk by Martyn Ilse.  I did not know how it popped up on my videos except probably because cookies on my computer picked the video out for me.

Anyway, from his talk, the quote at the top of this blog caught my attention.  This quote was not the biggest part of his talk, but somehow I picked it up.

The quote reminded me of when I was a child in my home.  I learned to be quiet all the time unless spoken to.  Nowadays, it seems like children always need to talk.  This is taught as a way of good teaching and sometimes this talk can be unnecessary.  Children never want to be unnecessary.  As a child, I didn’t want to feel unnecessary but I did not talk.  As I grew, I struggled with talking openly.

One day, I was thankful for my childhood inability to chatter, because this made me silent when necessary.  This became eminent, particularly in hot topics where people argue.  I believe people argue on popular topics based on their own personal experiences and they need to feel justified in their lives.  My close friend once lashed out at me with contempt about Catholics because she needed to justify that her life experiences are important.  She said, “What makes you so special among all the Catholics that you should hear the voice of the Holy Spirit?”  She did not.  Fortunately, I kept silent. [The little voice asked me to keep silent].  Although she had the last word, I still felt that I was necessary because in all the hurting words she spoke to me, there was a light.  I was focused on this light.  Amidst the whole argument paraphrased, she believed me that I heard the voice.  She was still angry but this light in our conversation showed me the compassion she still revered in our friendship.  

Normally the first thing and often the only thing in an argument is to remember what went wrong, but I chose to remember the compassion in our conversation after remaining silent.

Sometimes it is better to withhold the words in an argument.


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