I don't know about you, but sometimes I find it very very hard to keep my mouth shut. There have been many occasions when this bad habit of mine has put me in a soup. And invariably, after a few minutes of my blurting out, I have regretted it.
But now that I have burnt my fingers several times, I have become cautious. But still it takes a lot of effort to restrain myself.
Take the incident which happened a few days back . A backstabber sent an email to the senior management complaining about some fictitious thing. In fact, in the email , he had called the other person/s liars and non co-operative. It so happened that the reply from the boss was marked a copy to all the relevant people. The person who had been called names had the instant reaction to retort to that email. Thankfully he came up to me to discuss before doing so.
He was very upset
"Pack of lies against me ! How dare he call me names ? I too can call him names and complain . I am writing a reply to this email where I will give proof in my defense and call spade a spade .... "
"Shhhh... Just close your email box , have a glass of water and relax for 15 min, then come and talk to me " I cooled him down.
Since he held me in high regards, he complied with my suggestion.
"Ok" I said "Is the email by the boss directed to you ?"
"Rule no. 1 - If an email is not directed towards you, you should not reply to it"
"But he has called me names ... I want to justify ... "
"Hmm.. you should ... but this is not the right time. For now you should just ignore it ..."
"Ignore it ???!!!!!??"
"Yes. Just keep your mouth shut. If you reply to that email, call him names etc. what is it that will differentiate you from him ? And anyways most of us know that he is a whiner and a gossip monger. If he really wanted to solve the problem, he would have talked about his inconveniences with you before complaining to the boss ! In his heart of heart he knows that he is wrong and that is why he did not mark copies of the communication to you or the relevant people".
"But ... "
"Understand the power of shutting up ! This way , you will score a point over him and at the same time , your silence will be a good snub on him !"
"But I need to explain !"
"Yes, right.... But email is not the best way to put forth your explanation. You should ask for a face to face meeting with the boss and discuss. And definitely you should show your displeasure . You should be well prepared with your points and put it forth with data and facts ! "
"Good question . If the boss calls for a meeting then that is it, else wait for 2 days and then ask for a meeting. That way the other person will be very discomfited . He would be itching to know your reaction . And your stoic face and silence will perturb him even more ... ! That is the beauty of silence !"
He went away and two days later, came out of the boss's room with a smiling face.
Remember why God has given us two ears and one mouth ? So that we can listen more than we speak.