Solace in Silence

Solace in Silence

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.

Word count: 242


Written for the A to Z 2014 Challenge

S is for Silence & Solace

My theme for the month is : Introspection in shades of 11

Also linking this to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April


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0 thoughts on “Solace in Silence

  1. Did you just write about me? I was always the butt of fat jokes (pun intended). Faux concern only fueled my agitation. But then like you, I learnt to remain quiet and it has helped me in many other situations as well. Like you said, in an argument, when you know that the other person's mind is already made up, there is nothing to be gained from arguing. Wise words Shailaja, wise words 🙂

  2. I agree 100% about — “But there is a strength in silence that can only be experienced to be believed.” I grew up being made fun of because my parents were very strict and I was not allowed to do much of anything. Powerful post. I am sure you are, as I am, stronger for it.

    Carol @ Battered Hope

  3. Speech is silver, silence is golden….though not relevant here…sometimes, it is true. Keeping quiet works better than retorting back. I was made fun many times too…by cousins and family…now, I developed self mockery…no one can make fun of me then 🙂

  4. I was just like you growing up and I used to feel very bad about myself till I learnt to laugh at myself. When they realized that they stopped laughing at me overtime and eventually I have made some of my best friends with those people! Great post! Brought me a lot of memories!

  5. I guess we're similar then, Shailaja. I had this invisible label too, as someone people could tease easily and get away with. And if I did retort, that would cause another round of ridicule. All this happened as a child, but I grew up faster and now I know how valuable my words are, and how powerful silence is. More than half the time , the people who ridicule you cannot accept their being ridiculed. As you said, I'm still learning to weigh the issues and decide on speech or silence !
    A true 'S' post, this is !!

  6. Happens all the time to the best of us…have been there too! The best tactic I have learnt is to make a joke of it and laugh at myself when someone tried to tease me…and that actually deterred the person to get a kick from it 😉 Dropping by from A to Z.

  7. I was teased a lot in school and learned to suffer in silence because I was a quiet, timid, shy kid. There are probably very few who wouldn't have gone through this. Sometimes silence is strength.

  8. When someone tries to tease me, I tease myself more. That way we all get to laugh. And when someone goes overboard, I confront later on; never at the same moment though.
    But in arguments, I do believe silence is more powerful. More than anything, it saves us the agony of saying something that we might regret later.

  9. Yes, sometimes silence speaks louder than any words could. And the wisdom is in knowing that my silence actually brings me solace, it is not just a tool to repress my anger or frustration. Looks like you have become quite wise, dear Shailja 🙂 A very good post!

  10. I'm yet to learn the power of silence…I have been teased and picked on but as I've grown, I've learnt to retort. I agree that some retorts can be hurtful but like I said, I'm yet to learn to shut up! Great post Shailaja… 🙂

  11. Refusing to react in any way is the best response when one is ridiculed or taunted. It makes the other person(s) feel foolish.
    Of course, one must be able to laugh at oneself: a quality which, sadly, is in short supply.

  12. It is hard to not take taunts to heart. I always struggled with that. I couldn't laugh off teasing. I take it very personally and let it hurt me. I hide behind a mixture of giggles and silence. Silence is golden.

  13. Thank you for sharing dear Shailaja – you write so well about your process, and I was hooked from the first words… The power of silence is the most powerful sometimes, and I think a lot of people will relate to your post, and be inspired by it:-)

  14. Teasing was aloud in our family but there were bounds set. If someone ask you to stop and it wasn't stop there were a punishment.
    If you were the teaser and you should make sure you could take the heat in re-turn.

    Someone who teases needs to know bounds when it can be very hurtful.

    Stop in from A to Z challenge and coffee is on.

  15. Silence can be very soothing. 🙂 I like this line = It is deciding which battles are more important. When we learn to do that, we are also closer to self-love.

  16. I am with you on this!
    As much as speech is required in some places, I prefer silence…
    I prefer to answer the jokes, the rumors and the ugly whispers with silence. and so far its worked

  17. Why would u be the brunt of someone else's joke and be silent.
    I know how u said tht now u do not believe in confrontations whr u know that the other person's mind is already made up. But for some reason, I cannot be silent. I find it tough 🙁

  18. Sometimes when I am super angry, I am silent, maybe because I don't have enough words to express my rage… but my silence disturbs the other person even more. I was made fun in college because I was thin… like bamboo stick thin. Sometimes it used to hurt but I never defended, now I have learned to pass off any remark. Why give someone the satisfaction of disturbing me 🙂

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