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10 Times When You Should Say Nothing At All

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Be Wise and Keep Quiet

There are times when people should be wise enough to keep quiet. According to Proverbs 17:28 in the New International Version of the Bible, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." According to the King James Version of the Bible, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

Both versions of the same scripture are clear that a person is considered wise if he remains silent. However, the world thinks the opposite. They speak to make people think they are wise when wisdom is sometimes the result of keeping quiet.

Abraham Lincoln put it in his own words by saying, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."


Silence is Golden

Since silence is golden, many other well-known people have given advice about remaining silent. Some examples dating back to 1887 have been collected about keeping silent. They are included in Proverbs, Maxims, and Phrases of All Ages. The wording is different, but the message is the same.

  • "Silence is the virtue of those who are not wise."
  • "Silence is wisdom and gets a man friends."
  • "Silence is wisdom when speaking is folly."

Mute Your Mouth

Advice recorded in the Bible and advice from well-known people have something in common. They all advise silence over speaking in certain situations.

They agree that there are times when everyone should mute their mouths and not say anything. Whether they are in a meeting, at a family reunion, or in general conversation with a group of people, everyone should know when to keep quiet and when to speak. Taking that advice will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

1. Don't Barge in on Conversations

Keep quiet when those around you are already engaged in a conversation and you walk up. Resist the temptation to barge in with your thoughts. You have not heard what was said before you arrived. If you offer your input, it must be something that has already been covered.


2. Respect What Others Have to Say

Keep quiet when others are explaining their viewpoints. It is rude to jump in when someone else is explaining their personal opinions about something.

Let others have their turn. Wait until it is your turn to speak. Give others the same respect that you want when you are talking.

3. Stop Correcting People's Opinion

It is very tempting to correct people on something you do not agree with. You should keep quiet because you don't have to agree with everything people say. They have the right to speak their opinions just as you do. Besides, what you say might be something that others don't agree with either.


4. Don't Chime in with Your Opinions

Please keep quiet when you don't know what others are talking about. If they are talking about their favorite movie and the parts they liked the best, it would be unwise to chime in with your opinions when you have not seen the movie.

You are not entitled to an opinion in other people's conversations when you are ignorant about a situation. Do not speak about a subject you know nothing about.

There are times you should talk and times you should be silent.

There are times you should talk and times you should be silent.

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5. Stop bragging

Some people like to brag about something. If someone in the group said he went on vacation to Hawaii for a week, there is no need to say you went to Bora Bora for a month. You should refrain from trying to top everything someone else has done.

6. Resist Talking about Yourself

Keep quiet when you find yourself talking about yourself instead of the issue at hand. There are some people who put themselves into every conversation. No matter what the group is talking about, some people tend to make the conversation about them instead of focusing on the initial conversation.


7. Give Others a Chance to Speak

Let others express their thoughts even though you know the answer to the questions. When the facilitator in Bible Study or Sunday School is explaining something, there should not be the same individuals who answer every question.

At times, people should be quiet and let others answer some of the questions.


8. Watch Signs to Be Quiet

Watch the signs and know when others want you to shut up. Often people know who in the group will try to take over. They use various tactics to get the person to be quiet. They show a lack of interest in their body language by doodling or bowing their heads or showing other signs that the person speaking should be quiet and listen.

If you see those signs when you are speaking, then you should shut up and listen.


9. Don't Provide Unrelated Information

Be quiet after you have said something profound. Do not continue piling on more unrelated and less important information. Say the main thing and then be quiet. Let what you have said sink in with your listeners. If you continue to talk, the profound thing you said will be forgotten.

10. Stop Wasting Time

You don't have to give the last word in every conversation. Once the conversation has ended, stop starting it up again. When you do that, you waste people's time and patience.


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on May 09, 2018:

Eric, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts about being quiet in some situations. I like your comment: "It is relaxing to practice silence both inward and outward."

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 09, 2018:

I am just delighted with this article.Years of work and I am good at it. I really like what people have to say. It is relaxing to practice silence both inward and outward.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on May 09, 2018:

I am like you, Louise. There is someone I know who takes over every conversation no matter what the subject is. I like to listen to what people have to say. I learn more that way.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 09, 2018:

Oh I know plenty of talkative people that never be quiet lol. But I'm less talkative. I like to listen to people instead.

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