Proverbial Friday – Timeless Wisdom




Talking comes by nature; silence by wisdom.

Silence has so much meaning.


Native American Indian Proverbs




Whilst thinking about this week’s wisdom, I started to think how often people get upset over others’ remarks. Time and again, people take offence at comments like:

“Don’t you eat a lot.”


“That’s planning ahead!”


“We all know you married him for his money.”

These things are often said out of a lack of understanding, jealousy or perhaps, even to get a reaction. They might even be said to incite support for a personal attack on you. Whatever the motive, do you use the wisdom of silence, that the Native American proverb alludes to, or do you contradict, reason or even agree in a good-natured way?

Do you find you have to explain your feelings to others, or justify yourself and your actions?

As the proverb says, silence has so much meaning, and wisdom.

When a relative complains that you are, “always taking holidays,” do you normally argue, or agree with them and say, “yep, I love holidays.”

When someone says, “you sure are wasting money on that jet ski.” Do you start to explain yourself,  get angry, or say, “Yeh, I hate cheap jet skis.”

Do you allow yourself to be upset over people’s remarks?

Ron Mueck

Only little people make nasty remarks and only little people take offence. Be a big person

Andrew Matthews






I welcome your thoughts and invite you to share your perspective by leaving a comment, on your interpretation of the proverb.

Are the sayings relevant in your life?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

12 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Timeless Wisdom”

  1. We react differently don’t we? Men and Women. I often need time to think things through while my wife is impatiently expecting an answer. “I have to think it over”, I say, but my thoughts are not developing by saying something aloud. Silence does tend to say a lot more than words, whether it be a positive silence, or a negative one. Perhaps my mind tells me that silence is the best recourse in my situation, but not everyone understands it in that way. I guess, it would help having sub-titles, or an instruction manual, but we never seem to have those things concerning others, or even about ourselves, do we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Bluerooster – If only we had that manual!! But therein lies the challenge that makes a life that is never dull. To fully understand the intention of your partner’s words, (who knows you better than most), can provide the most exasperating challenges.
      Can we generalize to say all men react different to all women? You are absolutely right: there is a difference to how we all react, firstly along gender lines, (whether this is a perceived or true difference), or one that we have been conditioned to believe Then there is vast cultural differences as well, making for a very complicated mix. It is a wonder we can figure anything out!
      I also like the way you point out that silence can be negative or positive, and it is a matter of reading the other person’s body language to interpret that. It goes to show how much emphasis we place on words, when perhaps we should focus some more of our attention on non verbal cues as an adjunct to verbal language.
      When I think about what a manual for reading people would look like, I think of all the psychology and self-help books on the market. They are not silent on the topic!
      Perhaps we could say that silence is one of the mix of tools we have in our toolbox of communication?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so much, Jo. Glad you liked that first photo. It was taken in Norway, a few summers ago. It was such a gorgeous midsummer evening! Like you, I still have some work to do in standing back and knowing when to use silence in a confronting conversation. Awareness that there is no rush to answer and that most people do have the best of intentions, but might be pretty bad at communicating that, seems to help me improve. How is the move to Algarve going?


  2. The first quote reminds me of an encounter I had years ago. The woman said ‘I know this is going to upset you, but blah, blah, blah…’ and then proceeded to say something that didn’t upset me at all. At the time, I told her to never again introduce a comment that way. Heck, she couldn’t read my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Silence can sometimes say much more than words, and you can’t argue with silence. Sometimes it’s good, but the thousand words not said by being given ‘the silent treatment’ is frustrating – a trick my husband inherited from my mother-in-law. She had it down to a fine art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great points, Chris. Silence can be used a powerful weapon in conflict. But the flip side is, as you said- you can’t argue with silence. It shoots down any verbal tirade and dispels rage.
      However, deliberately choosing to be silent, is ridiculous and childish. Guvung someone the silent treatment seeks to punish, ostracize and isolate. It creates further resentment which exacerbates the initual argument. It might make that person feel better but they are still trying to get their own way by refusing to enter into further discussion. It must have been frustrating for you, particularly as relationships with mothers in law can sometimes be tricky at the best of times. I think the best response might be to refuse to acknowledge their ‘freeze out’ at all and continue on as normal, communicating that the isolation is completely ineffectual. That takes a strong minded person to persevere when you are ignored. How did you handle it?


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