Why silence is powerful(art of war) – law 4


LAW 4 
Always Say Less Than Necessary.when you are trying to impress people with words, the more
you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something
banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful
people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are
to say something foolish. 1.Once The Words Are Out, You Cannot Take
Them Back Be particularly careful with sarcasm and fighting against
people who have more power than you: The momentary satisfaction you gain with your biting words
will be outweighed by the price you pay in the future. rather swallow your pride and keep silent when you want to reply aggressively ask yourself,
do i have a strategy with my response or is it just emotions i want to vent. The human tongue is a beast few can master.
It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will run
wild and cause you grief if someone is trying to provoke you ask yourself why are they attacking you are the jealous, do you done something
that makes them feel insecure that has offended them or make them look bad.
if you cant find a reason and they just like picking on you use the deterrence strategy
when someone more powerful attacks you or threatens you make it clear that he will suffer
in return, he or she may be stronger, he may be able to win battles but you will make him
pay for each victory. instead of taking him on directly. you hurt something he values,
something close to home.make him understand that everytime he bothers you, he can expect
damage, even if on a smaller scale. the only way to make you stop attacking him in your
irritating fashion is for him to stop attacking you. you are like a wasp on his skin, most
people leave wasps alone. reversal if your opponent gets angry enough to play the same
game back at you, you may also escalate a squabble  into a retaliatory war. use this
strategy with caution. second reason you starve your enemies of
information the more you speak the more your words and
information can be used against you in the future. Speaking less will make people reveal more
about themselves. when you speak you learn nothing but when you listen you can use that
information in the future asking more questions and mirroring a person
is the best strategy to get people to open up and talk about themselves and their interests. 3. you appear dangerous and unpredictable Louis XIV was a man of very few words. His
infamous “I shall see” was one of several extremely short phrases that he would apply
to all manner of requests. No one knew exactly where he stood, or could predict his reactions.
No one could try to deceive him by saying what they thought he wanted to hear, because
no one knew what he wanted to hear. As they talked on and on to the silent Louis, they
revealed more and more about themselves,  information he would later use against them to great effect.
In the end, Louis’s silence kept those around him terrified . It was one of the foundations
of his power. As Saint-Simon wrote, “No one knew as well as he how to sell his words,
his smile, even his glances. Everything in him was valuable because he created differences,
and his majesty was enhanced by the sparseness of his words.” Saying less than necessary is not for kings
and statesmen only. In most areas of life, the less you say, the more profound and mysterious
you appear. By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power. 4. Saying Less Will Keep You From Saying
Something Foolish or Even Dangerous. In 1825 there was a Russian uprising and one
of the leaders named Kondraty Ryleyev was to be executed. Ryleyev stood on the Gallows,
noose around his neck. The trap door opened — but the rope broke, dashing him to the ground.
Ryleyev was saved from execution. As he got to his feet he called out to the crowd and
said, “You see in Russia they don’t know how to do anything properly, not even how
to make a rope!.” at the time,events like this were considered
signs of heavenly will, and a man saved from execution this way was usually pardoned. A messenger immediately went to the Winter
Palace with news on the failed hanging. The Czar was about to sign his pardon but
then asked, “Did Ryleyev say anything after this miracle?”
The messenger replied, “he said that in Russia they don’t even
know how to make rope.” “In that case,” said the Czar, “let
us prove the contrary,” and tore up the pardon. The next day Ryleyev
was hung again. This time the rope did not break. Saying something foolish often will not get
you killed, depending on where you are of course.
Nevertheless the repercussions can be still be dire. A person who shows he cannot control his own
words and tongue shows that he cannot control himself, and is unworthy of respect. reversal to this law
There are times when it is unwise to be silent. Silence can arouse suspicion and even insecurity,
especially in your superiors; a vague or ambiguous comment can open you up to interpretations
you had not bargained for. Silence and saying less than necessary must be practiced with
caution, then, and in the right situations. It is occasionally wiser to imitate the court
jester, who plays the fool but knows he is smarter than the king. He talks and talks
and entertains, and no one suspects that he is more than just a fool. Also, words can
sometimes act as a kind of smoke screen for any deception you might practice.  the more
you talk, in fact, the less suspicious of you they become. 
be strategically silent. Don’t be silent for no purpose, don’t do anything without
a purpose. Know why you say the things you do.

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