There are many times in life when you need to speak up and let your voice be heard.
And then there are other times, when you really shouldn’t say anything at all.
Here’s a few of those times when you should probably just shut your mouth…
“Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
If you’re ever in a situation where someone is asking you this question, the correct answer is almost always “No”. Followed by a graceful lowering of the head and a quivering lip.
When I’m Lifting Weights
I’m not pretending that I throw around a lot of weight in the gym…clearly I don’t. But just because I’m doing shoulder presses with 25 lb. dumbbells doesn’t mean I’m in a position to tell you how my weekend was. By trying to engage me in small talk while I’m lifting, you’re putting me in a lose-lose. If I don’t answer you until the set is finished, you’ll think I’m being rude. If I try to talk to you while lifting the weights, my arms are going to come out of their sockets. Please, save the pointless small talk for later…
When we’re Undressing in the Locker Room
When I said “save the small talk for later”, I didn’t mean 10 minutes later when neither of us are wearing pants. Look, this isn’t high school anymore. We all have the same junk, and none of us are afraid to be naked. I’m fully capable of carrying on a conversation with you while you’re naked, but here’s the thing: I don’t want to. So please, stop by my cubicle later when my nipples aren’t showing.
In the Bathroom
I covered this in my guest post for Tyler last week, but please don’t talk to me in the bathroom at work. Be man enough to deal with 20 seconds of silence while we deposit our human waste in the appropriate receptacle.
While Playing “The Quiet Game”
This one is for my 3-11 year old readers.
[talking to kids voice] Hey kids, guess what? When mom and dad want to play the Quiet Game it’s not because they’re genuinely interested in which child is better at not talking. It’s because it feels like they have an axe in their forehead, and any more noise might lead to a cataclysmic breakdown. So no arguing about the rules, okay? That means no arguing about whether or not you’re allowed to make the other person laugh, or whether a cough is allowed, or whether a muffled giggle disqualifies you from the game, or whether or not the game has officially started. Just. be. quiet. Thanks kids! [/talking to kids voice]
“Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace”
Of all the antiquated things to keep in a wedding ceremony, why is it that couples still insist on putting this in? You’re just begging for someone to speak up and say something. And really, if friend of the family Jim stands up and says “Gotta be honest here, I just don’t feel right about this, guys.” Are you going to call off the nuptials and send everyone home? I think not. And now Jim is no longer a friend of the family because he took your bait.
Sometimes, Jim, you’re just better off keeping your mouth shut.
Did I miss anything?
What are some other times where you’re just better off not saying anything?