October 07, 2022

People who can really talk are the ones who know how to shut up

People who can really speak, their speaking skills, in fact rely entirely on their “not speaking” skills.


We always think:

People who are good at talking must be very suitable for sales;

Enthusiastically contact your subordinates, they will definitely accept me;

If the topic is rich, others will find my words very interesting, so that people around me will like me, and love will not be a problem.

Therefore, when we interact with people, we always hope to be more talkative in front of others.

Indeed, being able to speak is a skill and an indispensable means for survival in modern society.

Not being able to speak affects all aspects of our lives, especially at work. We always want to quickly learn how to talk comfortably with others, hoping to talk in front of others.

But in fact, not speaking is as important as being able to speak.

It is mentioned in the book “The Art of Not Talking” that if the relationship between you and the other party is equal, then the time you have, that is, the time you speak is 50%, and the time you do not speak is also 50%.

The writer Lin Wanyang once mentioned an embarrassment of his own in the article:

One time, she and her husband planned to buy a second-hand house, so they met with the owner.

The homeowner seemed to be about 50, and brought a girl about 8 years old when he came.

When meeting, in order to break the deadlock.

She spoke first: “Ah, this little girl is so beautiful, is this your granddaughter?”

“It’s my daughter.”

Seeing this, her husband immediately made a difference: “Seeing that you are coming by car, you live not too close to this place. I really trouble you.”

The homeowner waved his hand repeatedly and said “No trouble, no trouble”, and he lived in ****.

When Lin Wanyang heard it, she got a lot of energy again.

“Ah, I know that place, it’s in Qilitun, right.”

The host didn’t say anything.

Thanks to her husband’s success in changing the topic again, another embarrassment was avoided.

Later, she received a text message from her husband: “If you don’t understand, can you shut up.”

It can be seen that speaking is an art, and not speaking is an art.

Japanese human relations expert Kentaro Aso once said, “eloquence is silver and silence is gold.”

The same is true for chat, learn to leave blank.

To borrow a sentence from Xu Hui: Knowing that shutting up is raising up.


The more a person who is not good at speech, the easier it is to fall into a trap-a strong desire to become talkative, so speaking unconsciously into “self-centered”.

The so-called “self-centeredness” is to impose one’s own ideas on others, completely ignoring the other’s reactions, as long as the conversation is conducted in one’s own way, you will get a sense of satisfaction.

For example, many people may have experienced the speaker and listener in the following scenario:

Speaker: Let me tell you that when winter comes, there is one thing I always can’t understand.

Listener: What’s the matter?

Speaker: Parking lot! Regardless of whether it is a shopping mall or a supermarket, the disabled parking spaces are not used by the disabled! It’s really wicked.

I am the most uncomfortable with this. What if someone with a disability wants to stop but there is nowhere to stop it? You say, right?

Listener: This is…

Speaker: Right? Social ethics should be followed by everyone! But some people are particularly wicked.

Just like last time, when I was buying cakes in a cake shop, a forty-year-old uncle jumped in line…

In this conversation, the person speaking just opened his mouth, as if he was about to say something very important, but after a long time, it was nothing more than grumbling on some irrelevant topics. People who listened naturally lost interest.

If the speaker has the experience of contact with the disabled, or the people around him encounter difficulties because of these things, these words may be more convincing.

But if it is just to express that “social ethics should be respected by everyone”, there is no need to make a long discussion.

This “self-centered” way of speaking that does not consider the response of the other party, no matter how rich the topic is, how well the expression is, how contagious the voice is, it is no different from “noise” in the ears of others.

To prevent this embarrassing situation, one must be careful not to take away the other side’s “pause” time.

In puzzle answer programs, when the host asks the guests, he will deliberately leave a period of time before the announcement of the result “correct answer” or “answer wrong”, or ask again “have you thought about it” or “no”. Did you change it again?”

Then, at the moment when everyone couldn’t bear it, they said the word “correct”.

If there is no “pause” time in front, no matter how dignified the voice is to say “correct”, it will not give the challenger a feeling of overcoming difficulties.

It is this “pause” of more than 10 seconds that makes the host’s words appear vivid and powerful.

The same is true in small talk. If you want to make the conversation coherent, you must leave room for the other party to “pause”. After you fully understand the listener’s reaction, you can organize the content to be said later.

People who can really speak, their speaking skills, in fact rely entirely on their “not speaking” skills.


In addition to using the “pause” time, there is another technique of not talking, which is to start from the “appearance”.

The appearance here includes dress, body language, facial expressions, etc.

When “appearance” and the content of the speech convey the opposite meaning, even if you have the sharp teeth of a lawyer and the sense of humor like a humorist, it is very difficult to convey your true thoughts to the other party.

Because people always tend to prioritize the perception of information from the “appearance”.

Seeing a lot of books neatly arranged on the bookshelf behind a person, one would think that the person should be knowledgeable; seeing a person wearing a ring on the ring finger of his left hand, it would be deemed that the person was married.

When the Japanese judge system began to be implemented, the first thing to change was the dress of the defendant.

In the past, judges in black robes tried defendants in prison uniforms. Now, the defendants are all wearing suits.

Because the prison uniform will mislead the citizens and make them think that this person is a bad person.

This also shows from another angle how powerful appearance is as a means of conveying information.

For another example, when the other party says “I hate you”, if you say it with a smile, the message conveyed by the words will be different from the literal meaning, and may even convey the opposite meaning.

I have a male friend who once complained to me that his wife is always suspicious and sometimes very difficult to get along with.

Once, a friend came home late, and his wife said, “Did you work overtime today?”

Friend: “Ah, isn’t it? I’m exhausted.”

Then the wife seemed to be aware of something, and Yin and Yang said weirdly: “Going to drink again, right?”

My friend explained many times that he was really going to work overtime. After all, his wife believed it, but both of them found it very tiring.

The miscommunication between friends and his wife is precisely because of the different messages conveyed by his expression, attitude and hesitant words, causing misunderstandings and conflicts between his wife.

In fact, in order to make the “speaking” skills have a target, first master the skills of appearance so that you can express your thoughts even if you don’t speak.

For example, “Wait a minute, you are not right.” When it is not good to ask the other person directly, you can use your eyes to look up to convey the message that you have questions about it.

Looking up, your sense of negation is weaker than shaking your head. It can convey the meaning of “a little question but will hear the last” to the other party, so don’t worry about hurting the other party’s trust in you.

For another example, when women express their affection for the man they like, they look up at each other from time to time, even if they don’t speak, the other person will notice.

“Speaking” is definitely more than just moving your mouth and then conveying your own words.

Only the expressions, movements, and gestures when not speaking, that is, the total sum of the impressions that can be perceived from the appearance, is the true “speaking”.

Many people mistake speaking for being talkative, fluent, and eloquent. Therefore, they deliberately train themselves to be eloquent speakers. In fact, talkative is only part of the expression of being able to talk.

Excellent orators often use their superb listening skills to capture the needs of the other party and adjust their wording accordingly.

People who can truly speak will boldly express their views and opinions when they should speak. When they should not speak, they know how to shut up at the right time, and at the same time they can continue the conversation.