When silence is not good

Silence is a two-sided weapon. It can be very useful to reduce an argument, to reflect, to provide time for thinking… but there are many times in which silence is not a good thing.

Communication is the life of relationships, in every aspect; in the family, at work, in friendship. Communication is a tool of dialogue and a connection with others. So, when is silence harmful?

Silence is harmful when the parts involved grow distant, ignoring your closer relationships and relatives; it can even break off a significant relationship due to indifference.

Silence is harmful when it avoids the resolution of conflicts in a relationship, where dialogue and communication are necessary for the relationship to function. Silence is harmful when it is used as a manipulation, when the dialogue is removed to punish or set a distance to the other person. With the excuse that the conflict is too difficult or impossible to change, silence produces a distance from the solutions. Silence is harmful when the other person feels set aside, or ignored, whether as a perception of punishment, anger or resentment. In this silence there are no words expressing the whys, and the parts are injured. In this silence, each person hides behind a shield of indifference, trying to cover up the pain.

Harmful silence creates an illusion of tranquility, of peace, when what is really happening is that the existing problems continue to exist. And these existing problemas potentially worsen for lack of attention and resolution. A silence that ignores reality can destroy families.

What can be done to overcome the harmful silence?

Focus on confronting the damaged emotions that are trapping you in a harmful silence, and seek the roots of your own pain. Then focus in a rational way on the solution of the conflict. Extend your words towards a dialogue, towards reconciliation. Don’t accuse, don’t point, and don’t use violence. From a peaceful attitude, express the need of reconnection, of healing the pain. And if you are dealing with a person locked in silence, be patient, and start with small steps to restore the relationship, asking questions, showing interest, without attacking. The end of a good communication is to construct, not destroy. Reach out again to the important people in your life that have been forgotten and ignored.

Start today building bridges that reach out through a good dialogue and communication.

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