This post is an homage to what it means to be quiet when others make decisions. “Keep your clappers shut!” This is a phrase that I first heard a friend (she knows who she is) say and I instantly loved it. Today, I am sharing the phrase with you. What exactly does this phrase refer to? We usually use this phrase in relation to situations in which our husbands choose to do something that we disagree with. Basically, after we have provided our input one time, we don’t bring it up again.
Instead, we choose to be quiet. Essentially, we take the position that we will let them be and not nag or harass; we will just silently observe. So, if things go well, we were not Nagging Nelly who now has been proven wrong. Conversely, if things go awry, we don’t need to say “I told you so” since they already know that.
Learning to be quiet is something that we should all practise. Remember, experience is the best teacher sometimes. When people make their own choices, they don’t need someone else constantly questioning and second guessing those decisions. Just stay quiet and leave them alone. Obviously, if the decision is harmful or dangerous and directly impacts you, then you have every right to provide your input. In such cases, you might need to push back hard. Otherwise, just remain silent and observe the situation.
If you can make a habit of biting your tongue and not nitpicking at some of your spouse’s more innocuous choices, you will have a much more peaceful life. I promise you, your spouse will appreciate it more than you think. Sometimes you may need to take this approach with your kids too. We have a saying back in Jamaica, “who can’t hear will feel“. It simply means that people who refuse to take advice will suffer the negative consequences. So, after you have told your children something once, if they persist, sometimes it’s necessary to let them learn the hard way.
Of course, practising to be quiet does not only apply to your immediate family. You can also use this strategy with your friends or colleagues. When you see them doing something that you don’t agree with, rather than offering unsolicited advice, you guessed it…Keep your clappers shut!