The Art of Shutting Up

To avoid anything and everything unfortunate, Will Grayson came up with the following rules:

1. Do not care too much.

2. Shut up.

With a heavy heart, I say that I’ve got a problem with the latter; I’m clingy and very opinionated, not to mention the fact that I express my opinion in somewhat horrifying ways. Whenever I retaliate, that is, whenever I present my sentiments regarding an issue at hand, there are times that it acts more like a signal to another arc to the war we refer to as verbal discourse, rather than a form of self – expression. Had the other side made an effort to strike back in his or her defense, then we have now an unceasing cycle of mindless bickering.

I find this reasonably exhausting. The aim of communication abruptly shifts from the articulation of one’s thoughts about a pressing subject matter to a contest of dealing a heavier blow to make the opposite party wince in discomfort. But if there’s a valuable lesson that I’ve acquired quite excruciatingly, then it’s not to judge a person’s statements through his or her phrasing, but through the presupposed intention.

I could write a 500 – word essay on how much offense I’ve taken after dissecting the phrasing of others’ thoughts. I guess it’s innate in women, to read certain statements in such light that could make them as unpleasant as possible. But would shutting up instead be a half measure? Definitely not. It may even be considered as a long overdue truce which may be a less agonizing option as compared to engaging in an aggressive debate.

Silence is underrated and, to a certain degree, daunting to overcome. It may be taken in a multitude of ways which may or may not be constructive to the upkeep of a positive disposition. But from this day forward, I’d rather perceive it as an indication of a sincere intent to listen to rare emotions encapsulated by powerfully unspoken words.

P.S. I know I’ve mentioned Will Grayson 93741023230942 times by now. Any compliment I could muster up would not suffice in condensing my delight in their work’s sarcastic humor and honesty, but I’m pretty sure that if John Green and David Levithan made babies together, they would grow up to be gods of the written words themselves.


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