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These Are The Times When You Should Not Say Anything

These Are The Times When You Should Not Say Anything

Silence at the appropriate moment can speak louder than words. Keeping quiet displays the wisdom, emotional maturity and confidence that will lead you to success. Here are 11 instances when you should not say anything:

1. When the other side misunderstands and you don’t have a duty to talk

Why waste words when the other side is not making the effort to understand what you have to say? Silence can never be misquoted. Let them learn through experience and you will save your peace of mind.

2. When two parties are arguing

Don’t get involved. If you intervene you may come under fire. Maintaining stoic silence on your part is best.

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3. When you have no idea what you’re talking about

Empty vessels make more noise. It is best not to say anything if you have nothing meaningful to say. Your words will carry more value when you speak only to make a sensible point.

4. When you need someone else to get the credit

You reflect quiet confidence in your abilities when you smile and let your boss or team take the credit for your work. The goodwill thus created will ensure your success in the long run.

5. When you are bragging instead of sharing

It’s best to be humble and let others appreciate you than to toot your own horn. Quietly focus on your work and let your hard work speak for you. Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson maintains “Confident humility and humble confidence,” on a regular basis.

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6. When your comment is more about you than others

Listening more is a great art of conversation. Check yourself when you are not including others or letting them express themselves as they will get bored of your narcissism and you will soon find yourself isolated.

7. When you want someone else to grow

Some people will criticize you just to provoke you into an argument. Don’t allow them the pleasure.Take the high road and show restraint. They are coming from a point of weakness themselves and would love to see you react negatively. Being silent makes you more powerful.

8. When the other party in negotiation starts debating against itself

Silence is the best reply in a negotiation. Many people feel uncomfortable in conversation gaps and may start revealing more than they should. You can then pick a weak point that will work in your favor.

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9. When you want to avoid angry outbursts

Don’t be like the matchstick that flares up on slightest friction. It causes destruction and then fizzles out for good. Move away to a quieter place. Drink some cold water if possible. Take deep breaths and calm your mind. Anger clouds your understanding. If you were wrong, there is room for rational brainstorming. If it’s righteous anger, silence is the best way to let the other person know they did wrong. Emotional self-control saves you from damaging your relationships.

10. When you want to listen to your inner voice

When I want to make major decisions, I find a quiet spot where I can be alone. Away from external distractions, I try to silence the inner clutter of my mind. Breathing deeply always works. Sitting in silence with a calm mind gives me a clearer perspective on things.

When you listen to your inner voice, you can problem-solve most effectively. According to international best-selling author and wellness expert Dr Deepak Chopra, listening to yourself in stillness increases creativity and lowers stress.

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11. When you receive negative feedback from your superiors

Accept it quietly, assess it, learn from it, improve and grow.

Iris Johansen rightfully said that “Silence and Smile are two powerful tools of successful people. Smile is the way to solve many problems and Silence is the way to avoid many problems.”

Featured photo credit: These are the times when you should not say anything/ Stoney Steiner via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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