Friday, December 20, 2013

How many times have you heard the phrase, “Silence is golden?”   Do you know what it means?  It means that sometimes saying nothing is preferable to speaking. 

With the upcoming holidays, we felt this was an appropriate blog to post.   The holidays are a time when people lose their cool, their patience and out of stress and frustration from traffic, crowded stores and malls, parking issues and of course not getting enough sleep from trying to do too much, words fly that shouldn’t.

Is it really a store clerk’s fault that the last iPhone has been sold?  

Is it really the waitress or waiter’s fault that you had to wait 2 hours to get a table for dinner when you didn’t make a reservation and all the shoppers like you don’t want to go home and cook dinner and are also eating out, too?

Is it really the parking attendant’s fault that you failed to read the 15 minute only parking sign?
The point is we should all take a moment to pause and much of the time, keep our mouths shut so we don’t take out our frustrations on innocent people. 

The holidays come every year, the same time of year.  This is not a secret.  It’s not like anyone did not tell you when they were.  You knew, you did not plan ahead.  Whose fault is that?

It is also good to remember the silence is golden rule at holiday gatherings and parties and watch your alcohol intake.  Nothing could be worse than getting sauced and blurting out that your co-worker Jenny is job hunting and the company boss is just an earshot away.  Stop the office gossiping, backstabbing and sabotage and keep your mouth closed.

Silence is also golden around children.  Don’t ruin the holidays for them.  Let them believe in their family traditions and the magic it holds even if you don’t.   It is not their fault you lost the magic and are bah-humbug about the season.  Let them enjoy their holiday break from school and take in what the season has to offer without your tainting it because you see the world differently. 

Family gatherings are also a good time to remember the silence is golden rule.  If you know Uncle Edgar gets upset when the family talks about his toupee, Aunt Ida is sensitive about her weight gain and your cousin Monica isn’t pregnant yet but has been trying and trying – keep quiet, remove the pressure, negativity, and unproductive discussion that only causes hard feelings, awkwardness and heated family arguments.   This is also NOT the time to break confidences, have open discussions that were private between other family members, or sharing your opinions that can cause discord, uneasiness and make loved ones feel uncomfortable.  

Silence can also be golden if you are too joyous.  The holidays are not always jolly for everyone.  Sometimes they are difficult and painful – particularly for people who have lost loved ones and have this time of year representative of personal tragedies; those who are dealing with illness and disease; divorce; a miscarriage; the season marks the anniversary of a natural disaster or horrific loss/devastation from Mother Nature or they have a family member overseas in the war zone fighting for our country.  

While it’s great you may be cheery and festive, sometimes your cheeriness and festive mood is not particularly welcomed if someone else is struggling emotionally, financially, physically or mentally.  Some people are just waiting to get through the season and want the holiday music to be over so they are not reminded of the unhappy memory or the fact they do not have the means to participate in the way your jolly nature expects.  Be generous, offer support and love, but keep your mouth shut from words that may be more painful to hear at this time of year. 

Above all – be conscious and think before you speak if you choose to speak. If unsure – keep quiet. Your mouth sometimes can cause a lot of problems – pushing people’s buttons, being selfish with your thoughts and actions, saying things that rub people the wrong way and not putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.  

And remember that silence is golden – not just around the holidays but it can be helpful in many social or household situations all year long. 

Be kind. Be thoughtful and courteous. Remember your manners.  It’s the season of holiday goodies and eating.  Enjoy them – and since it is rude to talk with your mouth full, best to just savor the tasty treats and keep the peace. 

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It


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