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When you’re in a sitting for a portrait done by a caricature artist of course! Or you’re just simply trying to meditate or listen to directions. And well, if you’re involved in a difficult relationship or situation. Which even then, it depends. Here’s a list of a few scenarios one may find themselves in on occasion or, frequently. If it’s frequently, YOU may be the difficult one! All jokes aside, let’s take a look:

When should you say nothing?

  1. When the other side in a negotiation starts debating against itself
  2. When you’ve asked a question
  3. When the other side misunderstands (and they refuse to hear an explanation)
  4. When you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about
  5. When you need someone else to get the credit
  6. When you are bragging, as opposed to sharing
  7. When your comment is more about you than the other person
  8. When you want someone else to grow
  9. When you are clearly boring people
  10. When you begin a speech (whenever giving a speech, try to start out with a long, uncomfortable pause)

Why being quiet is powerful?

Silence can be a very powerful way to “be” with another person, especially when they are troubled. When another person has a decision to make, a problem to solve or simply a need to express themselves, silence can often provide the opportunity for them to have time to talk, reflect and decide without outside pressure.

On the other hand, if it is a difficult person or situation; Say less and listen more. The conflict is going to be decided by the conflict-engaged party’s desire for conflict resolution, not by what you say or don’t say, you can always bring up a conflict later when it has a chance of being resolved constructively.

If your conflict partner is conflict-averse, conflict avoidance may be a better conflict resolution tactic than conflict engagement. However, conflict suppression can get you what you want from the conflict because sometimes conflict engagement might backfire and lead to even more conflict escalation.

Conflict suppression will give your relationship breathing room that it needs to grow strong again if that’s the goal.  Although, conflict evasion is the ultimate conflict resolution tactic if you are being abused or intimidated by physical threats or force–get out of the conflict as quickly as possible and go to the authorities.

How silence is the best revenge?

“Silence speaks volumes,” my mother used to always say this, and until I became an older adult, I did not truly understand it completely.

The best revenge is no reaction. Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bothers a difficult person, and it is definitely the best-served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. People usually expect a vent or an angry rant but do not give in.

When conflict is inevitable and conflict resolution is required, silence can be a conflict management strategy. It might seem counter-intuitive to not say anything about something that has upset you, but sometimes saying nothing at all is the wisest course of action.

Rather than speak up with complaints or disagreements, it might be better to hold your tongue and think about what you want to say instead of automatically responding. Give yourself time to consider the conflict from each party’s perspective, and then respond in a way that is best for everyone involved.

While silence might seem like a passive strategy, it can actually be very powerful if approached correctly. Silence can indicate agreement or disagreement while also diffusing conflict by not escalating it.

In conflict, each person has a responsibility to work toward conflict resolution that is beneficial for all parties involved. In order to do this, you must be willing to communicate your needs and desires in a way that is fair to everyone. This can be difficult when emotions are running high, but oftentimes silence can help to create a calmer situation.

If you find yourself in conflict, make sure that your needs and desires are heard by the other person clearly and without judgment. If they cannot understand your perspective, then it might be best to remain silent until their emotions have settled, and they can be open to what you’re saying.

You should also avoid conflict when you are angry, not because conflict resolution is impossible, but because your emotions will hinder your ability to be productive and manage the conflict in a way that benefits everyone involved.

No relationship can work without conflict. Conflict is an expected and natural part of any relationship, whether it’s between friends or spouses or coworkers. Understanding that conflict is inevitable can help you to manage conflict more effectively.

However, if conflict is not managed, it will only escalate and become worse for everyone involved. This can lead to tension or even broken relationships if not handled properly. Therefore, conflict resolution must happen in some form at the end of any conflict situation in order for both parties to move forward with their lives.

In case you are still unsure, here’s another list to wrap it up:

When Should You Say Nothing at All?

  • When you’re in a conflict with the caricature artist:

You want to look like an intellectual and he wants to depict you as a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal… that is if you don’t watch out!

  • In any conflict over religion or politics:

You want to look open-minded and tolerant, but your conflict partner wants to portray you as narrow-minded. And even then, it depends.

  • When in conflict with someone in an authoritative position over some matter of personal freedom:

You want the conflict to further your own agenda in liberalization or to convince the conflict-engaged party to change their attitude, but your conflict partner wants to maximize conflict for its own sake. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who is trying to control or manipulate you:

You want conflict resolution that provides you the freedom to be yourself within the relationship, but your conflict partner wants conflict resolution that preserves the existing status quo. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who is being aggressive and abusive:

You want peace and harmony at any cost, but your conflict partner wants to maintain a relationship of ongoing conflict that provides them a sense of excitement or self-worth. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who is being physically aggressive:

You want to stop the conflict before it comes to blows, but your conflict partner wants to have a physical showdown at whatever cost. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who is being histrionic:

You want peace and quiet, but your conflict partner wants to elicit conflict by raising the emotional temperature. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who is being passive-aggressive:

You want conflict resolution that is direct and clear, but your conflict partner wants conflict resolution that is indirect to the point of being mystifying. And even then, it depends.

  • When you’re in conflict with someone who has a paranoid personality:

You want conflict resolution that leaves no open wounds or vulnerable areas, but your conflict partner wants conflict resolution that leaves conflict wounds that can be used as weapons against you in the future. And even then, it depends.

  • When conflict with your conflict partner is over something personal:

You want conflict resolution that will lead to a strengthening of the relationship, but your conflict partner wants conflict resolution as a way to end or escape from the relationship. And even then, it depends.

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