Silence is best

10 Reasons Why Silence Really Is Golden

We live in a world where we are inundated with sounds throughout the day — some pleasant, some not so pleasant — but we very rarely experience silence. Does this matter? Actually, it does. The World Economic Forum has just published a list of the worst cities for noise pollution based on over 200,000 hearing tests. (Alex Grey, March 27, 2017)

  1. Silence has been found to stimulate brain growth: In 2013, a study into brain structure and function found that a minimum of two hours of silence could result in the creation of new brain cells in the area of our brains linked to learning and recall.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels by raising cortisol and adrenaline. A study in the journal Heart in 2006 found that silence can relieve tension in just two minutes.
  3. Silence is more “relaxing” for your body and brain than listening to music – as measured by a lowering of blood pressure and increased blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence throughout the day enhance sleep and lessen insomnia. We have all heard advice about “winding down” before bed but few of us apply it to ourselves.
  5. Research throughout the 20th century has linked noise pollution to an increase in heart disease and tinnitus. The World Health Organization likened it to a “modern plague."
  6. Conor O'Shea writing for Lifehack found that on a retreat of 100 people, there was an increase in awareness and more time for personal reflection. There was space to listen to your inner voice and make measured decisions.
  7. You will find yourself able to focus better. This seems pretty obvious but how many of us try to finish a report surrounded by noise or colleagues and how many youngsters insist on listening to music while studying? Numerous studies demonstrate that this is unhelpful.
  8. Lowering sensory input helps us to restore our cognitive resources. We stop feeling overwhelmed. We can then tap into our creativity and daydream, fantasize, and meditate. When we allow ourselves this quiet reflective time we find that, as Herman Melville wrote, “All profound things and emotion of things are proceeded and attended by silence.”
  9. “The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” —Caroline Myss. How you achieve this is up to you, but I find a 10-minute breathing meditation conducted in total silence calms me down and allows me to focus on the task in hand. I start to prioritize well so that unnecessary tasks become just that – unnecessary.
  10. A favorite quote of mine is attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” This last point is that we need to learn that silence is often the best strategy not only for ourselves but for others, too. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before we speak we should ask ourselves, “Who does this benefit? Is this kind? Do I need to say it?”

“Speak only when you feel your words are better than silence. ” – Anon

So silence is golden and also good for our health. Try and build some into every day to reap its numerous rewards. I’ll leave you with this quote from Deepak Chopra: “There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that comes from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”


Goines, L, RN, Louis Hagler MD, Noise Pollution: A Modern Plague, South Med J 2007 100(3)

Herman Melville, Author and Poet, The Ambiguities 1852

Kounis, NG, European Heart Journal 2006

50 Best Silence Quotes (in 2023)

Silence; can it really help you get your point across better than uttering words?

It is true that there’s immense power in silence. That is why learning to be silent, particularly when dealing with certain types of people and/or situations, it’s more beneficial than arguing or shouting.

Can you count how many times being silent saved your purpose?

Silence is like an inspiring Thursday after a troublesome Monday… And let’s face it, most Mondays are troublesome. Why? Because it comes after a Sunday which you never want to end. Is it not?

Silence is like a Thursday because it’s kind of hard to keep your mouth shut when you have so many things to say. However, you know you have left many other opportunities to speak your mind… What you can’t do on Thursday, you could do on the following days… Friday is an end.

Many of us avoid, for example, visiting a friend in the hospital being afraid that we would not say the right words. Yet, your presence says everything your friend needs to hear “I’m here for you”.

Keeping your mouth shut and listening is a sign of wisdom, not a weakness.

Skilled negotiators learn first to shut up because most people can’t bear the silence. Silence makes most of us add concessions, favors, bonuses, or cut demands (apparently we want less from those who talk less).

All good so far, silence is excellent… But listening doesn’t come naturally to the human mind. That’s why when I work with people that want to lose weight who complain about loved ones not understanding their struggle, I suggest this exercise: Going to a party together; the overweight person eats nothing, and the loved one is not allowed to say not even a single word all evening.

You might be surprised by the results of this exercise. Forced to remain silent, many people understand better what means the struggle of abstaining from things you feel compelled the do.

Presumably, you want to be likable… All of us do. For that purpose, we talk a lot, unaware of the fact that displaying your knowledge makes you seem a bit pretentious and not admired.

Do you want to influence others? Learn to listen, learn how and when to shut up; learn for your benefit; learn for the benefit of your goal; learn for the benefit of those around you.

Silence is a great teacher because it opens your eyes and your mind to new and exciting things.

I could go on and on and on and on telling you about the wonders of silence and listening… But that could defeat the purpose. Is it not?

May this collection of quotes inspire you to rise above the noise and learn the virtue of silence.

1. Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak.

2.  Silence is the best response to a fool.

3. Some hearts understand each other, even in silence.

4. Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.

5. We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King Jr

6. Sometimes it’s best to stay quiet. The silence can speak volumes without ever saying a word.

7. No response is a response. And it’s a powerful one.

8. Silence is true wisdom’s best reply. -Euripides

9. The smarter you get, the less you speak.

10. Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent. – Napoleon Hill

11. Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than the silence.

12. The most significant conversations of our lives occur in silence. – Simon Van Booy

13. Sometimes it’s better to let the silence do the talking.

14. A heart worth loving is one you understand, even in silence. – Shannon L. Alder

15. When you build in silence, they don’t know what to attack.

16. Once you’ve matured you realize silence is more powerful than proving a point.

17. Life’s deepest feelings are often expressed in silence.

18. Silence is a gift. Learn to value its essence.

19. The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

20. Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer. – Muhammad Ali

21. A wise man once said nothing.

22. Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings. – Charlotte Brontë

23. Listen to silence. It has so much to say. – Rumi

24. Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

25. Silence is sometimes the best answer. – Dalai Lama

26. Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise. – Frank Ocean

27. Be silent and safe—silence never betrays you. – John Boyle O’Reilly

28. I discovered that I felt at home and alive in the silence, which compelled me to enter my interior world and around there. – Karen Armstrong

29. Never respond to rudeness. When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are.

30. I was quiet, but I was not blind.

31. Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent reply.

32. My silence could mean that you are not worth the argument.

33. Silence is a true friend who never betrays. – Confucius

34. A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech. – Emile M. Cioran

35. Silence is the safest course for any man to adopt who distrust himself. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

36. Focus your attention on the quality of your words, and not the quantity, because few sensible talks attracts millions of listeners more than a thousand gibberish. – Michael Bassey Johnson

37. When you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t need to always fill the void with noise. I liked it when we would just be. – Elizabeth Eulberg

38. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything. Silence speaks it all. – Disha Patani

39. We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. – Nicholas Sparks

40. Sometimes quiet is violent.

41. Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. – Deepak Chopra

42. Words can sting like anything, but silence breaks the heart. – Phyllis McGinley

43. The more you know the less you need to say. – Jim Rohn

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44. It is beautiful to talk about beautiful things and even more beautiful to silently gaze at them. – Dejan Stojanovic

45. Well-timed silence is the most commanding expression. – Mark Helprin

46. I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more. – C.S. Lewis

47. There are in life a few moments so beautiful, that even words are a sort of profanity. – Diana Palmer

48. Silence can often be more disturbing than noise, it reveals the complicated mechanism of our thoughts. – José Rodrigues Miguéis

49. Wise people are not always silent, but they know when to be.

50. Silence is the most powerful scream.

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Which is stronger: word or silence?

Man among men Know thyself

In the beginning there was a word—I mean the first word we uttered, then there were phrases. There were many words.

At first, new words and phrases made everyone happy both me and my parents. Finally, the moment came when there were too many words, and adults quickly became stupid - this was adolescence.

As a teenager, I could teach anyone about life. I was sure that every person can be explained everything, the world is ruled by logic, and the truth can only be the only one and probably everyone wants it. It's so nice when everything is clear. nine0003

Someone needs the truth, probably, but who knows when and why, and to each his own

With what joy I shared new books and new ideas! What a great thing to say! But very soon it turned out that the competition in this field is simply off scale.

At best, your monologue is tolerated, usually interrupted; in the third variant, your "smart speeches" begin to frankly annoy. “She always knows everything” is not praise at all.

Someone needs the truth, probably, but it is not known to whom, when and why, and to each his own. nine0003

Coming home after meeting different people, I sadly stroked the spines of my favorite books with the feeling that I had betrayed them. I lived alternately in their worlds from spine to spine.

They never refused to communicate with me, they were their own, relatives, I could argue with them, agree with them. They could understand everything. Some of them marked periods of my life. If the end was sad, all the same, all the heroes of the book understood who was wrong, justice was nearby, at least in the face of the reader.

It was a deception, it was a myth and a mirage, emerging into reality, I understood that the world doses its feelings, “it sells them at retail, like a petty trader,” Romain Rolland told me so. And he added: “You don’t understand this for a long time, you can’t come to terms with it even longer.” Everyone knew my books, but it did not help anyone around. The world continued to live as if the word had not been spoken.

We must speak. Otherwise, you will get stuck in unspoken grievances that no one knows about

And then I fell silent from confusion. I swear that for two years I dosed the words, as in the 61st year semolina was dosed by cards. I suddenly became a very silent girl, I guessed no worse than Tyutchev that the word spoken was a lie. He just managed to say it beautifully. nine0003

Then teenager Misha Lermontov reminded me: “Who will tell my thoughts to the crowd? I am either God or no one."

At a minimum, the world of my loved ones should not be in the dark if something offends me, if I have my own interests and desires.

I realized that I needed to speak. Otherwise, you will get stuck in unspoken grievances that no one knows about. Hopes that others can read minds are low.

We are in a hurry to speak out only at the very beginning of an acquaintance, we are afraid of awkward pauses, chatting, perhaps, the most important thing. nine0003

The ability to pause, I tell you, is akin to art. The pause should make the word more weighty, not frighten away the thoughts and feelings of the interlocutor, and last just long enough not to become a burden. Almost according to the Stanislavsky system. This comes only with the ability to hear both the words and the silence of the partner.

The ability to listen is actually more valued than the ability to speak.

If all the pauses are filled, it means that your communication is not ripe for true intimacy.

I guessed the power of silence at the beginning of my career. Then I worked not as a psychologist. There were 10-15 of us in the department. People actively discussed what they eat and what they wear, and the weather, of course. But in this senselessness, the main task was carried out: not to tell anything superfluous about yourself. Wisdom, experience and intuition, I think. nine0003

In addition, silently listening to any nonsense, you get "like-minded people" and fulfill the commandment "do no harm" to yourself, which is sometimes important. You don't get into arguments for the sake of arguing. It helps a lot to maintain safety and dignity. Brad sometimes settles in our head, it’s good when you don’t have time to express it.

Later, when I was already working as a psychologist, I had a boy in the group of first graders, let's call him Seryozha. He held our first classes under my desk. A year later, he already considered my office the safest place in the world. Gradually became even the leader of our group. nine0003

Serezha was brought by her mother, she was worried about bad handwriting and "laziness" at the lessons. She repeated each technique: “You don't give any advice. What are you doing with it?"

Meanwhile, the advice was: “Start to listen carefully. Listen to the end, and this is the main thing for now.

She was annoyed, she did not believe, by the way, she did not believe. In their family there were only rules, free time was considered almost a crime, it was not customary to listen to anyone.

Psychologists asked teenagers how often they felt listened to and they said no

For adult groups, we had a listening exercise:

The group is divided into pairs, then one person in a pair speaks for three minutes, the other listens silently, without any comment on what was said and without asking questions. If the one whose turn it is to speak is silent, it is his right and his time. The listener is silent with him on the same topic: it happens that after a while of silence, the speaker has new thoughts that he can share.

Only three minutes of listening, only hearings, but this experience is unique for many. Three minutes is sometimes enough for deep memories, unexpected insights. The man is silent, and suddenly tears appear. It only needs silence. nine0003

Meanwhile, even a simple hint of the right word can knock a person out of concentration. You will never recognize that flashed thought or feeling that you inadvertently scared away.

In the youth group we asked if they were good listeners and they said yes, we asked if they often feel listened to in life and they said no.

Sometimes the only way to improve your personal life is to learn to listen and pause at the right time. A simple secret, but effective. If all the pauses are filled, it means that your communication has not matured to true intimacy. nine0003

There is the power of words and there is the power of silence. The most important and intimate thoughts and feelings are born in silence, during a pause.

About the author

Inna Shifanova — psychologist, training leader.

Photo source: Getty Images

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9 life situations when silence is golden

Business hack

9 situations in life when silence is golden nine0003

September 11, 2018 35 242 views

Larisa Parfentieva

In any conversation, you need to be able to quickly and intuitively make a choice between “say” and “keep quiet”. But, there are obvious situations when it is better to keep the tongue behind the teeth or even bite it.

We have collected 9 moments when the best decision is to remain silent.

1. No facts

If you do not have information on the topic of the conversation, keep silent. Writer Harlan Ellison wrote: “You have no right to just your opinion. You are only entitled to your informed opinion. It's stupid to be ignorant." When arguing about an unfamiliar subject, it looks ugly. Nobody likes idle calls. nine0003

2. Emotions are running high

If you feel that you are starting to “boil”, your heart beats more often in your chest, and your voice breaks into strange notes, then stop and take a couple of deep breaths.

Even the most passionate polemic does not justify insults. Negativity can easily influence our words and turn the conversation in an undesirable direction.

3. It is better to listen

There are very few people who know how to listen carefully to the interlocutor. Most want to be heard and actively interrupt to get their word in. nine0003

Listening is a skill that is as good as speaking. Listening to the interlocutor is a talent. Even when you have an itch on your tongue.


4. The interlocutor deliberately challenges you to be negative

When we hear criticism addressed to us, we naturally turn on the self-defense mode. Even constructive criticism included.

This is used by aggressive people. They deliberately evoke negative emotions in you. In this situation, it is better to silently listen to the attacks and say that you heard the opinion of the interlocutor, and keep yours to yourself. nine0003

5. Don't waste your energy

Mark Twain said: "Never argue with idiots, you will sink to their level, where they will crush you with their experience."

If you get the idea that it is impossible to prove something to your interlocutor, stop arguing. Do not communicate with people who consider their every opinion to be the only true one. Don't waste your time and energy on people who don't hear you.

6. Fewer words - more deeds

Sometimes a thousand words can be replaced by one deed. If it's about a problem, minimize talking, get up and do it. nine0003

If the conversation devolves into a discussion of words, actions, characteristics of other people, leave it.


7. Your answer will only complicate things.

Wait for it to release steam. Do not try to express your opinion in the process of releasing his aggression - everything can end badly. Any, the most logical argument can be perceived in any unpredictable way. nine0003

8. You are being “trolled”

The goal of any bully (hater, troll) is to get any reaction from you, preferably negative. Responding to such ridicule is a thankless task. The only weapon against them is ignoring any attempt to piss you off. End the conversation if you see that the other person wants to make fun of you.

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