Stand out by shutting up.

Silence truly is golden.  Unfortunately, too many men have forgotten that singularly defining principal of what it means to be a man, opting instead to fill every waking hour with frivolous and often inaccurate nonsense.  Contrary to the current worldview, there is no shame in holding one’s tongue.  In fact, in many instances, silence is not only a good decision but also an exceptional method of communication.  Here are four golden rules for exercising your right to keep your mouth shut.

Rule 1:  When you do not know, be quiet.  Real men know better than to open their mouths unless they genuinely know about what they are talking.  Many eager beavers tip their hands in negotiations, boardrooms, and bedrooms in sad attempts to be considered knowledgeable about any number of issues.  Silence says nothing.  Calm silence with a nod, can be taken as an expression of mastery. 

Rule 2:  When no one is listening, don’t waste your breath.  When aware that any words of wisdom would be ignored, real men know better than to “cast their pearls before the swine.”  This is a hard line to take when dealing with friends and family but the simple fact is, hard heads sometimes require hard lessons and even though we love them, they have to figure some things out on their own.  The good news is, know it all types tend to become better listeners after doing it their way gets them nowhere.

Rule 3:  When emotion leaves you speechless it is okay to say nothing.  When experiencing anger to the point of rage, overwhelming grief, or mind-numbing joy, real men know that mere words just will not do.  In anger, hurtful words cannot be unspoken. In sadness, no words can express the depths of one’s grief; and in moments of purest joy, the only voice that is acceptable is a cry of elation.  Real men know it is impossible to punctuate life’s extreme highs and lows with simple words that are destined to fall short of hitting the mark.  In these times, real men know they are not required to say anything at all.

Rule 4:  When everything is said and done, it is not necessary to say anything else.  People often weaken their positions by simply talking too much.  Beg an issue to the point of pleading and no one will take you seriously.  Real men say what they mean and mean what they say.  They say it clearly and with authority so that there is no room for mistaken intent or misunderstanding.  Afterwards, there is absolutely no reason to say anything else.

In a world full of noise and nonsense to the point of absurdity, real men know that silence speaks volumes.  Hold your tongue when emotions blur your objectivity.  When it is time to talk, choose your words wisely.  Say what you mean clearly and speak with authority.  Then shut up and let everyone else fill in the blanks.  Your silence will denote wisdom.  It will make you stand out in the crowd of blathering buffoons who talk a lot and say nothing.