How to shut up: learning to keep quiet

You may be tempted to blurt out every thought that occurs to you, but sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut

Motlalepule Mokhine, a certified meta coach for Temogo Consulting, gives guidance on how to keep quiet when the situation calls for it:

The art of silence
Silence can be quite empowering, so by learning the art of silence you will feed your soul. It's difficult for a lot of people to embrace and experience the value of silence. There is often pressure to fill the atmosphere with words. Being comfortable with silence and your own solitude is useful – it's when we pause that we afford ourselves a space to digest what is being said and to think of a response. We get to listen to not only what is being said, but also what is not being said. Comfort in handling silence lends itself to a confident demeanour.

In relationships
It's hard to decipher between being right and being happy. There are times when pushing to be right can compromise our happiness in relationships. Choose to be quiet if the relationship is more important than just about winning the argument.

It will serve you in the long run
When there's a lot at stake, being quiet may serve us more than speaking. During the recent World Cup, some of the referees didn't endear themselves to the teams and fans, but some teams chose to use their energy towards winning their games, despite the referee's harsh decisions, while others continued to talk about those incidents even off the field. In keeping quiet, you are choosing to expand your energy to worthy causes.

If you'll regret it, don't say it
When you have nothing to say, don't spoil your silence by saying something you will regret. As long as your body language is not communicating something different, feel free to just keep quiet and observe the situation.

Be compassionate
When someone is in despair and sharing their pain or challenges with you, shut up and listen. It is not time for you to steal the limelight just because you have been through the same experience. It doesn't have to be about you all the time, so hold your tongue and acknowledge the other person and their need to vent. By honouring their expression of pain or guilt, they will want to confide in you again in the future.