It was a common adage when growing up that “Children must be seen and not heard” and “Silence is golden”. There are many others, biblical as well, all suggestive of the wisdom of holding your tongue: fools speak and show their foolishness; the wise remain silent. Silence becomes an act of discipline, enforced in a classroom which should only be filled with quiet, unquestioning learners.
The social media age represents the opposite, with a platform for all, the fool and the learned, to articulate but in the real world holding your tongue earns safety in anonymity.
Parents and spouses learn to be silent and pick battles; it’s a natural part of relationship building and confrontation avoidance. Some may wield silence as a weapon—a little-known fact being that the brain registers silent treatment as physical pain and it is a form of psychological abuse.