to disarm with silence

the woman on the radio said this other woman could be disarming in her silence and i can’t stop thinking about it. the idea of silence being disarming and what that means. i don’t think i have ever heard a person’s silence being described this way. of course, i am familiar with the “disarming smile,” a not uncommon phrase. but never silence, at least not that i have heard. silence from another person is often interpreted in a negative way, as a discomforting or even menacing response. or silence implies apathy, or it only raises more questions in the other person’s mind. the 3rd edition of the american heritage dictionary offers this definition of disarming: “tending to allay suspicion or hostility; winning favor or confidence.”  the one comes to the other bearing arms, full of rage, and the other responds with silence, which then disarms the one, strips them of their rage, perhaps even draws them in close as a new ally. but why. what is the mechanism at work. that is what i want to know. is this somehow related to the idea of “a quiet confidence.” perhaps we all need to learn to disarm with silence. the world might then be a much more pleasant place.

Leave a comment


  1. taidgh

     /  May 14, 2013

    This is thought-provoking. I must disarm someone with my silence today!

  2. She must have been otherwise alluring.



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