Keep your mouth shut

There is a saying in English which says “keep your mouth shut.

It is what it says, to stay quiet, not to say anything, to keep your thoughts to yourself.

Often it is the best medicine, the best thing to do, because you can “dig the hole deeper“, you can create situations, arguments which get worse and worse, driving the conversation deeper and deeper, entrenching people firmly into their beliefs.

I have found myself on many occasions where I have been in conversation, maybe in the training room, maybe in debates, and I have said something which I believe to be true from my experience, from my life, from my culture, from my religion, only to suddenly realise I have said something wrong, to person or persons I am in conversation with, who disagree with my ideas, as my understanding, my culture does not fit theirs.

It is time like this that I wish I had kept my mouth shut, not said what I did. For now I have upset someone.

But then sometimes, like a fool, I will “stick to my guns“, I will “stand my corner“, I will argue my case, defend my point of view. Not only do I defend my argument, but so does the person I am in conversation with stick with theirs.

What happens next? An argument ensues. People start to get upset, and the more upset they become the “deeper the hole gets“, the worse the argument gets.

I have lost count of the times I have entered a debate, a conversation, only to realise I should not be involved, because our views are so wide, our understandings, our beliefs, our cultures are so wide, that they will never, with all the good will in the world, merge.

I come across this sometimes in my courses. One participant is so anti the subject, does not believe that the subject is right, that the subject is against their morals and culture, that nothing I say is correct.

Why did they enroll on the course in the first place?

It is then that I will suggest that the person leaves the course, and I will refund their fees. (Subject to this occurring on the first day.)

Sometimes I get emails where I am attacked, because my, like others, methods of delivering the subject matter does not fit the ideals of the writer.

I will never win.

If I say black they will say white. If I say white they will say black.

If I say “I like that“, they will say “No, it is terrible“.

Then there are the people who always know better, have done better, been there or done more, always have the best solution, and there can be no other. They do not believe that others can have their point of view, beliefs or culture.

These people know the best restaurants, the best shops, the best way to get from one place to another. They will know which is the best product to buy, the best flower to plant in the garden, and if you say different, then you are in trouble.

I am aware of these people, and sometimes hear myself becoming one, and have to stop myself, to keep my mouth shut.

Yes, one should express a point of view, it should be everyones right, and it should be everyones right to be given that right to express an opinion, and have it that opinion considered.

But when it will lead to arguments, to bad feelings, rightly or wrongly, I will walk away, and keep my mouth shut.

Each and everyone of us will have our own “cat on the mat“, our own beliefs, ways of doing things, as we process information, go on that transderivational search, to make sense of our world.

The trouble is, some peoples cats are so big, they get so involved in their cat, that result is they can only see their cat, it obstructs the view of a big world of possibilities out there.

Our internal voice need to shut-up too

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