Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Unspoken Word

Unspoken words are powerful words. My grandfather always used to say that we should not tell everything we know because then other people can have power over us. There is a power to being mysterious. Notice how often movie stars and pop music stars who do not grant a lot of interviews are the ones in most demand. They drive up their own value by not being available, by not speaking when they are not onstage.

When you are negotiating with someone, the first one who speaks loses. The one who is waiting to consider all the facts and variables considers the perspective from all angles, so the one who speaks first has to offer something to try and close the deal. In so doing, they make a concession, which then places the other person in the position of power because they can then either close or try for further concessions.

Often times in movies or novels, the person who speaks little poses a greater threat because the opponent does not know exactly what they are up against. The one we know less about seems far more dangerous than the one we know a lot about, because we always figure that there is a way around the ones we know.

The unspoken word is also powerful in communicating deep feelings to someone we care about, because sometimes we flail about helplessly in our minds trying to find just the right words to describe what we want to say, and none of them are exactly right, so we say nothing, and it conveys everything.

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