5 reasons silence is effective

20131024-075908.jpgsometimes, there is just no better solution than silence.

i have found silence to be a very effective tool in my little life toolbox. life skills are valuable and i would categorize this under healthy boundaries.

this one was hard for me to learn since early on in my life i determined in my heart that i would have my say. i thought it was a safety net. instead, often, it was a hole in my bucket. it often caused things to get worse.

of all the subjects to be discussed, proverbs gives many keys of wisdom on the mouth, the words we speak, and how we speak them. it is strange to my mind that not saying anything all can be more effective than saying everything i think at the time.

i have learned that it truly is an effective boundary and more times than not…it works.

reasons why silence is so effective:
1. i am not always right. shock horror! yet true. what works for me will not always work for someone else’s life. each person has their own journey. allowing them to make that journey the best way they can is important.

2. sometimes, people just need someone to listen. i’m a fixer. not everything has to be fixed. there are times when only a listening ear is necessary.

3. the timing is all wrong for what someone needs to hear. maybe someone who trusts me needs
accountability. however, a heart must feel safe, be open and ready to hear. if the timing is wrong i could make matters worse.

4. the person already knows. they may be looking for agreement for a wrong position. i don’t have to give my agreement but i don’t have to spell it out for them either. they already know what to do. giving them time to work it out can be more effective than pushing them.

5. the situation may be too volatile or ridiculous. i used to wonder why grandmothers would shake their head and walk away…there is a good reason. you just can’t put a workable solution into words. my husband is the king of off the wall comments…silliness. i have found myself shaking my head and walking away! he then comes out with, “that’s a pretty silly thing to say, eh?” then I can give it a, “um, yeah!” done. it works for anger as well. although listening to a rant is not easy, my boundary is “if you communicate in a responsible way, i will participate in the conversation. if not, i will be silent until you can.” conflicts are many times fewer than ever. it works with children, too. i tell my grandchildren that when they are ready to calm down we can talk…until then I won’t be talking to them.

there is something about our human nature that does not like to feel like we are being ignored.

i have a sister who is 13 years younger than i am. when she was a toddler and annoying (at least to a teenager), i would tell my other teenage sister to “i-g-n-o-r-e her” and my baby sister would yell, “don’t ik-nore me!”

although, what i am talking about is different than ignoring someone, silence is more effective and gets someone’s attention much better than lectures, nagging, or being pushy. i am talking about using wisdom verses manipulation. you will know the difference! it is often very clear where silence is best served and effective.

there are times when i do not stand in silence: bullying, abuse, and matters of safety. still, wisdom can be applied…maybe fewer words or the proper authority can do the speaking. at any rate, the key is to use wisdom and not go to extremes at one end or the other…you don’t want to say too much but you don’t want to be totally silent either.

have you ever asked yourself, “why did i say?” Or have you said, ” i’m always putting my foot in my mouth”?

if so, you might want to develop a healthy boundary that allows you the ability to sometimes, say nothing at all.

give it a try. practice. see if it works for you like it has for me.

for help, check out the wisdom found in proverbs.

when learning this life skill, i would do word fasts. i would fast (or cut out) all unnecessary words as a way to develop the discipline.

there are many effective ways to practice.

silence truly is powerful!

D

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The Law of Love

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i would like to thank my readers for their kind responses to my blogs on love.

i wanted to share this comment from Will at Diffuse The Muse

Hi Dee. Congratulations on this original and inspiring blog. I admire the objectivity of this series of posts. Dealing with intrinsically abstract concepts is very hard to do objectively and in a way that everyone can relate to on some level. I think you’ve done a splendid job! The pivotal issue, in my opinion, is your point No. 6: Selfishness, or as I see it, egocentricity. It is pivotal because it is at the very core of our instinctive nature—so much so that most of the other points could be said to derive from this one. If we are honest about it, and were to eliminate the “I”, the “me” and the “my” out of our contextual frame of reference for love, it becomes distorted, when it should become more symmetrical. Elevating one’s ego above oneself, and to the exclusion of itself, is an awesome goal for any thinking person. Then again, I look into the eyes of child in need and it seem almost right there for the taking.

20130925-091307.jpgThank you for your kind comments, Will.

I agree that selfishness is “at the very core of our instinctive nature”. The reality is that in creation, animals have basic instincts they use as protective measures for survival. I think that humans have survival instincts as well. We do have to look out for ourselves in order to maintain healthy emotional well-being. The skill needed to do this is a healthy boundary system. This life skill is often not learned until after crisis. Therefore, we compensate the lack of skill for selfishness -believing that selfishness is what will protect us.

Quite the opposite is true.

Healthy boundaries are different than defensive walls like selfishness. Boundaries give us the opportunity to communicate our need for safe interaction. They should be based on your life values, wisdom, Truth, justice, and mine include the law. These boundaries are your safety zone, clearly defined so that another person is (or can become) aware of what lines not to cross.

When I was young and dating, one of my boundaries was that I wanted to be respected as a woman. Therefore, whistles, cat-calls and crudeness were not acceptable to me. I would not date a young man who crossed that line.

A few other boundaries that I have developed include:
1. I am a giving person but don’t expect to order me around or take advantage of my generosity.
2. Rudeness is just never appropriate. I understand firm authority but there is no need to be condescending or rude.
3. Love covers a multitude of sins…true…but don’t ask me to lie to cover up for your wrong. If you choose the action, I won’t expose you publicly but I won’t lie for you either. I won’t participate in anything illegal or against my life values.
4. We might disagree, feel angry and have conflict but that will not cause me to discard the friendship even if a little space is required for a time.

You don’t need to list the boundaries out, a gentle reminder is often enough to get things back on track, if explained lovingly.

Recently, I found myself in conflict with a friend over a business policy. My friend stated that they did not want the friendship to suffer as a result. I was able to simply reassure the person that disagreeing did not mean that we could not be friends and that I believed we could find an appropriate solution for both parties.

Boundaries are a way to protect the relationship so that the issues can be worked out. But first, you must understand yourself, what you believe and what you want.

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That is why I have been sharing the wisdom given in Corinthians concerning what real love looks like. Because I believe that love has the attributes I have shared and I use this information as a boundary for my own actions.

20130925-092305.jpgLove is a law…like the Law of Gravity. The Law of Love works every time -without fail -in the same way that the Law of Gravity works everytime, without fail.

Working within it’s boundaries provides the best results…outside of those boundaries is pain.

I can say, “I don’t believe in the law of gravity” and continue to work against it, my end result will be catastrophic if I make the wrong choice.

Sometimes, in the above mentioned confusion (concerning instinct), we think there is an option or loop hole that frees us from right behavior. Unfortunately, if we really want success, there isn’t…love is the way to make things work appropriately.

I can learn to get my point across without being unkind. I can be firm, diplomatic, and kind and acheive a better result than starting a conflict. If the other person is uncoperative, there are appropriate-wise-lawful (depending on what is required) ways to handle the situation without being ruthless, mean, and hateful.

One of my favorite examples is that of my friend in Chattanooga who lost her son to a drunken driver. The driver was wrong. My friend was in terrible emotional pain. The loss was more than anyone deserves. She followed through with the legal accountability and the driver was sent to jail. The driver was a mother and jail was a difficult consequence. Yet, throughout the process, my friend was not mean to this person. She actually, told her she forgave her, helped her through the trial and once she has finished her sentence, will work with her to get her life back on track. This approach did not save my friend’s son from death…but it has helped her heart to begin the healing process, will help salvage the driver’s life and she started a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to the consequences of drinking and driving. The impact for good will be so much more beneficial than revenge.

“Love never fails” is not just a nice quote…it is truth. It is not whimpy. It is a life skill. It is a law of the spirit and it works so much better than the alternative!

You can count on it!

I do hope you have found these posts helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me!

D

boundaries or opportunities…which are you building?

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One imprisons you

one opens your world of possibilities up in unbelievable ways