Silence is the new ‘no’

NO ANSWER: Knowing when to speak and when to hold one’s tongue is an art.

NO ANSWER: Knowing when to speak and when to hold one’s tongue is an art.

About a year ago it dawned on me that in Marbella a no reply can actually mean ‘no.’ I had sent an email and its corresponding ‘chasers’ but got no reply. A few days later I saw a post by that same person which said if you have to chase things in life, perhaps they’re not meant to be. 

I’m not sure if this were specific to me but I put two and two together: we no longer have to pretend to be good mannered when it comes to correspondence, we don’t need to reply to things we’re not interested in, we can just ignore them; which obviously sends a message in itself, loud and clear.

Having been without a phone for nearly a month I do still think it pertinent to check that our messages have been received but once done (unless with some official government organisation), I do think we can surmise that then, if unanswered, the person in question is so busy with their own projects and so uninterested in ours that the lack of an answer is the answer: ‘no.’

Now I am as guilty at this as the next person, partly because I get so very much correspondence that I don’t have time to reply to it all if I want to get any work done or have a life and some people literally send me updates on everything they do. I imagine this is the case for many. We shouldn’t take offence.

I’ve had occasion to share this insight with others who have spoken of how they feel insulted to have not received replies from whomever. I don’t think it’s being rude as such, rather more that we’ve all become immune and incensed to so many messages due to such bombardment of information that hits us from all angles.

Sometimes we just don’t know what to say, so we say nothing. In fact I learnt a wonderful lesson from the headmistress of our children’s primary school also worth sharing. Sometimes, particularly when unhappy about a situation, it’s best to wait a few days before saying something, so that we won’t regret it afterwards.   We may still end up saying the same things, but perhaps not in the same way.

Knowing when to speak and when to hold one’s tongue is an art, but I’ve also noticed that now so is replying only to partial bits of a message and conveniently ignoring the bits we don’t want to answer, or know how to answer.  

The lines of communication are changing, firstly because we no longer need to ‘read between them’ as sometimes there are none to be read and a resounding silence also keeps us in the ‘know.’

Hugs and happiness

Written by

Nicole King

One of Marbella's most glamorous residents, Nicole King offers a taste of the best of what's going on in the Costa del Sol.