Have you ever been the brunt of someone’s joke?
Have people laughed mercilessly while you lost repeatedly in a game of snakes and ladders?
Have you been teased all your life?
I have, and it earned me the label of ‘ the-one-you-can-tease-with-ease’. For a long time, I resented that label. I was too naive for my own good. I was so sensitive that I would burst into tears at the slightest hint of a cruel joke.
Then, I grew up- literally and emotionally. I learnt to grow tough. With age, the proverbial skin grew thick to insults and mean barbs. Now, when people targeted me, I either ignored them or learnt to retort. But, here’s the problem with retorts. They hurt too. So, by reacting to a taunt, I was behaving no better than those who ridiculed me.
So, I took refuge in silence. This is not defiance, mind you. It is deciding which battles are more important. And you will come across many.
Today, I choose to remain silent if I know that what I say will have no impact on an argument. My lips remain sealed in a confrontation, where the other person’s mind is already made up. Sometimes, I remain silent during a tantrum that my child will throw, knowing that reacting to it will only fuel it further.
Yes, there is power in words. But there is a strength in silence that can only be experienced to be believed.
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