Nicola Griffiths July 21: When to Zip It


…In other words, when to keep quiet! 

It’s a funny old world we live in, well I think it is.  There are some pretty amazing things going on in a positive way, whilst on the flipside there are some pretty horrific things happening too.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but quite a few people have some strong opinions about one thing or another.  If it’s an important view on an important topic, and can make a difference, well then, I’m all for it.  However, does it really matter to anyone else what flavour ice cream you like or what colour shirt you wear?

My dearly beloved hubby has a tendency to pull a face and say “Yuk” every time I get the marmite out – you know, that thing that in most people’s opinion you apparently love or hate.  Well, I have a bit of news, I don’t love it or hate it, I simply like it.  If I’m honest, though, I could do without the Yuk comment every time I retrieve the pot from the cupboard. 

Now, here’s the point, not everybody is right.  They may be right within their own mind, but if they put themselves in someone else’s shoes, are they right from that person’s perspective?

There can be times when we can consider whether or not it’s going to make a global difference if we voice our opinion and, if we do, what the consequences might be?

For instance, hubby has recently built himself a pond.  I’m safe in the knowledge he doesn’t read my articles, so I can quietly share with you that he’s ‘faffing’ in his decision about which fish to get.  Now, I have an opinion, but at the end of the day it’s his pond and I’ve got no intention of dipping my oar in and helping to look after it.  So, I’ve zipped it.  I’ve kept quiet and let him get on with it.  Then, if it all backfires, I’m safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t my fault!!

I’ve learned over the years that if I occasionally zip it, then I can get a quieter, calmer life! 

There’s another time I zip it and that’s with my hypnotherapy clients.  When they answer one of my questions with “I don’t know”, I immediately keep quiet even though I’m very tempted to either repeat the question or reword it.  Why do I keep quiet?  Well, the ‘I don’t know’ answer can frequently translate into that person’s brain saying “Give me time, I haven’t got an immediate answer”.

NIcola Griffiths

Turning back to hubby (poor chap), I try this out on him and it can work.  When I ask him something, as long as he’s not trying to multi-task, then when he answers “I don’t know”, I just wait and, hey presto, give it a minute and the answer arrives.  Not all the time I admit, but often enough for me to smile.  Alternatively, I just give him one of my stares and that tends to prompt a reply!

It’s interesting to experiment with simply thinking to oneself “Shall I keep quiet”? You can be nicely surprised at the advantages!

Nicola Griffiths is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Lecturer.  www.nicolagriffithshypnotherapy.co.uk

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