Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln
Practicing aggressive listening help in comprehending layers of communication that we may not have otherwise understood because when we communicate, most of the people focus on what they want to say rather than 100% focus on listening to others point of view, reflecting on that and then responding.
Silence is not about giving way to dominance, quiet compliance, dismissal or neglect and if some people choose not to speak at some times this does not mean they are not in control, however it may be a choice that reflects empathy, regulation of emotions, to bring about harmony and prioritizing the bond you share. It is about knowing when your comment or opinion will fail to add value or make matters even worse.
This at times can be misunderstood, however, silence does not mean that one is afraid, however, at times, you shy away from argument as you are in a better position to understand that your point of view, will not be understood. Not going very far, we have all heard people saying that when one person is in state of not listening it better not to talk, no matter how much you give logic, enforce your point, he won’t just understand because he would have blocked his mind. Either you choose to speak at a later stage or let take time its toll and wait. Or maybe it is not important that you make a point at all.
We have a tendency to influence everything around us and commensurate it as per our understanding of situation. The question is can we influence everything, or is our understanding of situation totally correct, or is it important to influence everything. The answer may be no, so why not let it be. I have mentioned about circle of influence in one of my article that we should focus on what is in our circle of influence where we can actually make an impact and we should focus on it rather than focusing on what is outside for which we cannot do much about. Slowly and steadily our circle of influence will increase and we will be in better control.
Even when we look at some of our political leaders who were perceived as taciturn i.e. P. V. Narasimha Rao, Former Prime Minister of India was known to weigh his words and would choose not speak at few occasions. However, we all know that he was effective in many things he did including but not limited to India liberalization story that got initiated under his stewardship. Some of our outspoken political leaders lend themselves into trouble by opening their mouth, when it was more appropriate to keep it shut thereby creating huge consternation among larger Indian public and ripples in political fermament. Everyday 24/7 TV anchors are capitalizing on such loose and petty remarks and debating ad nauseam.
Hence it is important to know when to speak and even important to know when not to speak. Even when tips are given for effective communication, silence is considered as a very strong tool. It is not just difficult however very difficult to understand when to use this tool and the people who understand this are considered to be very high on EQ and that is what make a difference to take them from ordinary to extraordinary league.