ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Six Instances When Silence Is Golden

Updated on March 27, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” - Plato

At first glance, the quote above seems to divide talkers into two groups; but it also suggests that the same talkers can be both wise and foolish based on what and when they speak.

Whether they talk from political, religious or social platforms, or they only participate in conversations with friends and relatives, the following guidelines can help to produce more instances of intelligent talkers who know when to refrain from talking.

Here are six situations when thinking, listening, observing and self-control may be more advantageous than talking.

Photo Credit: M0tty
Photo Credit: M0tty | Source

(1) When Talking Is Inappropriate

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. . . a time to be quiet and a time to speak." (Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 7).

There are tons of opportunities for people to promote causes and represent the voiceless; but there are also certain occasions when listeners prefer little or no talk. For example,

  • “Congratulations” suffices for the person who is rejoicing.
  • “Hello, I’m here” is enough during times of grief and loss.
  • “I’m sorry,” is appropriate for one who shares a disappointment.
  • “Thank you,” is the greatest response to an expression of admiration.

The silence which follows these thoughtful phrases may create desire for more conversation later, rather than create disgust at one’s excessive talking.

(2) When It Is Time to Listen

"Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish." (Proverbs 18:13)

Talkers who will not stop talking to listen appear self-centered and conceited. Anxious to talk, they jump to conclusions after a few pieces of information, only to be embarrassed when they are cited for providing false reports. Intelligent listeners soon stop listening to them.

Intelligent talkers want to deliver accurate and relevant information which comes from listening, reading, researching and reviewing.

It is especially foolish to offer suggestions and make up answers to questions when “I don’t know” is the most honest response. Admitting lack of knowledge on a particular topic only proves the talkers’ respect for correctness. It renders him or her trustworthy, not foolish.

Photo Credit: tim & annette
Photo Credit: tim & annette | Source

(3) When the Ego Is Inflating

"Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips." (Proverbs 27:2)

This quote does not prevent talkers from stating their credentials. However, it begs them not to take off on ego trips.

William Clarkson addresses boasting in his sermon titled Praise of Man:

"Many men are guilty of the unseemliness and the folly of praising themselves - their ingenuity, their shrewdness, their persuasiveness, their generosity, etc. Probably if they knew how . . . very soon they weary their audience, how often their language becomes positively nauseous, they would abstain."

Dr. J. D Parker in his sermon Self-Boasting strikes a balance:

“There is a sense in which every man ought to be able to praise himself; otherwise the applause of the public will be left by him to be a mockery and a lie.”

These two expositions on the same Scripture text, make it clear that it is wise for talkers to appreciate their achievements, but foolish to boast about them.

(4) When Talking Turns to Gossiping

"A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence." (Proverbs 11:13)

Are confidences kept when a story is shared without revealing names?

Sometimes, when talkers need to illustrate a viewpoint in one of their speeches, they relate the story of someone who confided in them. Pastors, counselors, politicians, neighbors often transgress here. They leave out the names, but give enough details to help identify the subject of their illustration, resulting in the start and spread of gossip—not what they intended but also not an intelligent share.

Then there are talkers who earn titles like bigmouth, chatterbox and windbag because they gossip regularly and without remorse. They may need help to understand the ethics of good conversation, and guidance toward study materials which could provide suitable content for their discussions.

With Facebook and similar media outlets so ready to share, talkers who care about their integrity might choose to tell fewer stories.

Photo Credit:  melodi2
Photo Credit: melodi2 | Source

(5) When It Is Tempting To Lie

"Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech." (Proverbs 4:24).

With practice, talkers become good at lying, and it takes little effort for them to fit the lies into their talks in a way that accomplishes their selfish goals:

  • They report facts but leave out the details which do not serve their purpose.
  • They replace a word (with a different shade of meaning) into a flowery-sounding quote.
  • They inflate testimonials to make themselves seem more capable than they really are.
  • They misrepresent the opponents’ records to present themselves as the better candidate.

These foolish talkers assume that listeners are not wise enough to catch the lies; and on this premise, they build a world of falsehood which only hurts them when the deceit crumbles.

Intelligent talkers credit other people with intelligence and respect their right to know the truth. They know that it is wiser not to talk than to talk deception.

(6) When Not Certain What To Say

"Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent." Proverbs 17: 28

Humility, wisdom and self-control are among the virtues of talkers who deliberately keep quiet during the buzz session. They may be uncertain of the facts or they may prefer to think through their ideas to lessen their chances of being misunderstood. The rest of the group may consider them wise observers because they say nothing to prove otherwise.

Summary on When To Refrain from Talking

(1) when talking is inappropriate
(4) when ego is inflating
(2) when it is time to listen
(5) when tempted to lie
(3) when the ego is inflating
(6) when uncertain what to say

References

Bible Quotes are from the New Living Translation Copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation.

Clarkson, W; The Praise of Man, Copyright 2004 - 2016 by Bible Hub

Parker, J D.D.; Self-Boasting, Copyright 2004 - 2016 by Bible Hub

The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Proverbs 17:28, Copyright 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 by BibleSoft, Inc.

© 2016 Dora Weithers

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Artravel, you said it precisely. The not talking is the difficult part, but with the practice of listening, we may develop the habit. Thanks for your input.

    • ARTRAVEL profile image

      Travel Share 19 months ago from INDIA

      Excellent article! Everyone must need to when and how to talk and more important is to know when should not talk.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Rev. This feedback coming from you means much to me.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 22 months ago from Richmond, VA

      What a wonderful article that says it all. There are some people who need to know the advice you have shared.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sommer, you encourage me. Thanks for your support.

    • SommerHope profile image

      SommerHope 2 years ago from Texas

      I am thoroughly enjoying your Hubs! Thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      You're very welcome.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, you are such a kind soul. You have given me great encouragement and I thank you sincerely.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Superb quotes and superb words of wisdom from you. This is so well written, Dora. You have a knack of finding words which are spot-on.

      So many times I've heard people talking unnecessarily, inaccurately or inappropriately! I've also thought about making a hub of it but no longer because you've aired my thoughts exactly.

      Your outlook on life and your observations are insightful and wise. Your writing reflects those qualities and more.

      Ann

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "A time to be quiet," says the wise man. Thanks for your very kind comment.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      The Proverbs make such good reading. I enjoyed all of your verses and explanations on when it is appropriate to talk. I especially like Proverbs 17: 28. Sometimes it is best to say nothing at all.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sujaya, that's a real problem. Thanks for commenting.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      tongue gets speeder than mind that's the problem

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Tim, you're kind and insightful and humorous. Thank you for your input.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 2 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Thank you MsDora for the enlightening article of wisdom. Each alone speaks to me while together in my mind I see a panel of wise leaders each sharing a bit and a byte. With humor I hear them together saying "Do not speak. Ponder. Now, Live with others . . ."

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Devika. Happy when the article is considered interesting and useful.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Valuable tips here and you know exactly what you mean here. I learned lots from your hubs. Interesting and useful to everyone.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, ahorseback, for your very kind comment and for sharing your experience in affirmation of these thoughts. I appreciate you.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      MsDora , Look at the wisdom here ! And , the responses above , here is one wise [and beautiful ] lady everyone . I was on two different planes the other day and right behind me on both flights were people who talked constantly . Either they were both nervous or they never shut up , I'm not sure which but they both got the hairy eyeball !.......great advice ,awesome wisdom .

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Audrey I believe your friend was right. Thanks for your kind comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I used to have a friend who said that when we were busy talking, we could not learn anything. And she may have been right! This hub was right up mu alley!

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Deb, you speak the truth. Thank you for your comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sometimes it would be more appropriate for some to hold their tongues instead of their egos.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Shauna, I smile. Thanks for your valuable contribution.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      And then there are those who talk just to hear their own voices.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rajan, I like the way you put it. Thanks for your contribution.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Listening is the most difficult part of a conversation and it is here the intelligent talkers score and the fools falter. Great insights.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Bill, the Proverbs are always effective on practical advice for life. As for following, we strive for a lifetime; but life would be much worse if we didn't. Let's accept the challenge with trust in God to help us. Thanks for your comment.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Very wise instruction, Dora. If I'm not mistaken, the verses you used were all given by Solomon. Now for the hard part - following the rules. Thanks for the challenge.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Chitrangada, you have a very wise take on this topic. Thanks for sharing.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am in complete agreement with this hub. Lot of good advice for everyone. I do believe that we should speak less and we should be good listeners. Sometimes it is better to refrain from talking to avoid further complication.

      Thank you for sharing this useful hub!

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, folly is what come out of excessive talking which is mostly described here, and that could be entertaining. I appreciate your feedback.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      MsDora, how interesting this hub reads... for me.. different and I found it entertaining mostly.. even if it wasn't intended to be.. awesome :)

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Flourish. Seems like you think more than you talk. Good call!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Being quiet by nature I find that those around me often just talk for the very purpose of doing so. I don't need to hear laundry lists or thought processes; it disrupts the peace and doesn't truly connect anyone. Good recommendations and quotes here.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Manatita, thanks for your input. Of course I've had the kind of experience you describe.

      I remember that morning when I went to work so distraught because I had gotten a speeding ticket on the way. As I began to share my fate, an individual took over, telling about the last time he got a ticket, and the time before that, and the time before that. I was crushed then but I laugh at it now.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      An interesting one, or should I say thought-provoking one. We can also write too much, drifting from the subject, to run off on a very personal trip which may be useful, but not always done in the right forum.

      A very educational Hub, and this listening problem I run into a lot, and you may find, like me, that the moment you try to tell someone about a problem, they immediately liken it to theirs and begin to talk about it, thus forgetting yours. Have you experienced this side of it?

      Well-written and positive Hub with food for thought for many of us.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Truth, you make me smile. I can think of some people I know too, but I need some of it as well. Thanks for your feedback.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Alicia. I started out doing something else with the Bible quotes, and then this article emerged. Glad you like the end product.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Word, you're so kind. Glad that you like the article. Thanks for your sweet comment.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I know a lot of people who need to read this.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub contains great advice, Ms. Dora. I love the Bible quotes as well as your interpretations.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      This was an excellent idea for a hub. You're very unorthodox with writing hubs Dora. That puts you in a top-notch league of your own -:). I like that. You should be batting 100. What talker couldn't learn better by reading this hub? Great job! Voted up!

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, you conclusion is a motto to live by. Thanks for your affirmation.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lori, thanks for your encouragement. The thought of the impetuous Peter reminds us to weigh our thoughts before we speak them. Thank you for sharing.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is a very interesting principle! At times, we can appear wiser than our wisdom actually is, and at other times, we certainly can appear to be more foolish than we actually are, depending upon what we say or do not say! I have certainly found this to be true in my own life, especially when in a group of people. We would do well to think before we speak!

    • profile image

      lambservant 2 years ago

      Outstanding. Peter was one who spoke when uncertain what to say at the transfiguration. There is so much wisdom here its amazing. Many were good reminders for me. I think talking when you are angry can be a very percarious situation. I have to use the 24, 48, or 72 hour rule on those occasions. I get myself into trouble when i dont follow it. Very valuable article. I am always appreciative of your topics because they are so useful. God bless you Dora.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Kiss and Tales, your approach is correct. We cannot give what we do not have, so first we receive from the Father to give to others. Thanks for sharing your very wise insight.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      Yes very true I learned that I must apply the counsel of the Father before I can appy to another human, if we are not getting the point then we are no better or different then the ones we see error .

      and hypocrisy is more evident to see by the audience.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, there are so many verses we can add, but for the HP offenders, two come to mind. Thanks for the opportunity to include them:

      (1) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29).

      (2) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander . . . Instead, be kind to each other . . . (parts of verses 31 and 32)

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Swalia. You encourage me.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Friend, you made my day. Thanks for letting me know that my writing helped you. Best to you, concerning that decision.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I fall short too. It's a learning process and the closer we get to graduation, the more we have to learn.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sukhneet, thanks for your comment. More thinking, less talking. That's what it's all about.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Doc, being a thinker and an observer serves you well when you have to counsel your clients. You do the right thing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I enjoyed reading this and especially that you used bible verses for reference. The only thing I did not see covered is when people have to always be trying to talk smart to people to put them down or hurt their feelings. Sort of like an enjoyment they get in attacking others verbally. There are certain ones here at HP famous for that and sometimes I'd like to put a big bible verse on them! lol

      Great article Dora, as always!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 2 years ago from India

      Useful pearls of wisdom in this hub. I loved the quotes you have used.

    • profile image

      A friend 2 years ago

      Thank you. This helped with a decision today :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I fall short here. You have imparted much wisdom that I shall take to heart.

    • sukhneet profile image

      Sukhneet Kaur Bhatti 2 years ago from India

      Wonderful piece of information. Actually makes you think twice after reading this page

    • profile image

      drmiddlebrook 2 years ago

      Another good topic, Ms. Dora, handled superbly--as usual. In this age we live in, I think this is a very needed discussion. Another interpretation of the Proverbs 17:28 is the quote "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." I have always been seen by a lot of people who know me well as something of a "introvert," but really I am just someone who likes to listen, and who loves to think, before speaking.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ron, I like that. "A political lie is still is a lie," and candidates who tout their religious affiliation do well to consider that they cannot choose to be spiritual some of the time just when it suits them. Thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Kiss and Tales, thanks for your encouraging comment. So gald you found it useful.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      In this election season here in the U.S., I really like your injunction about politicians misrepresenting opponents' records (and their own) to make themselves look better. We see candidates who present themselves as Christians trashing their opponents that way all the time. Somehow they seem to forget that a political lie is still a lie.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      I appreciate your hub, I find it very useful.

      First I found some wisdom I can use. Peace happens when all apply .then we can have peace with the toungue. Thank for your hub thumbs up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)