Why Silence Can Be Ineffective

When Chimamanda Adichie wrote the masterpiece, "It is Obscene", one line stood out and has stuck with me since then. Okay, more accurately, I recently found it again and posted it on Instagram

"Sometimes, silence makes a lie begin to take on the shimmer of truth."

People that are close to me know that I'm what you can describe as "too much". I can be intense for very many reasons and one is that, I will not let it go. At least, not until I [over]flog an issue. One of my closest friends tells the story that what made her realize I was gonna be in her life forever was when I called her out for being distant cos she got a new man. Ladies and gentlemen, that's me. If you are close to me and you offend me, I will tell you. Even if you are not close to me and I think you are the type to spread falsehoods, I would  clarify that matter. I would say "here is A and B and C. Here is how it played out. Here was your reaction. Here was mine". Do what you will with that information. But you have my interpretation/version of events. Even as you are lying, you will know you are lying, without a doubt. I won't wait for some "karma" somewhere to take action. I put it in writing. I leave a paper trail. Evidence. I want you on the record acknowledging my version of events so that when you start spreading falsehoods, you will know that I know that you know the truth. Perhaps it's the my professional background, perhaps it's just my personal nature but I am a straight shooter. I HATE deceit. And if I think I have offended you too, I will explain and explain. 

I understand the power of silence. I even wield it sometimes. But I have also come to understand that silence can be mistaken for so many things. It can be misinterpreted, twisted, manipulated. Especially in the face of lies. Silence can also mean complicity. It is why I am such a big proponent of clearing things up. I am a big proponent of explaining, of clarifying your position. Me, I love to explain myself because I know how people can run with lies. Jonathan Swift once wrote, “falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.” Because I hate how slow truth can be, I like to hasten it with my explanations.

And sometimes, that’s all it takes. When all the other Believers accused Peter of mingling with non-Jews, they worried that it would ruin their good name (Acts 11:3). They criticized him even. They had every right to worry; they were acting based on what they KNEW. Peter didn’t just keep quiet and let whatever wrong thoughts they had foster or whatever rumors seep any further. He didn’t just ignore them. He explained. He told them how he was led by the Holy Spirit (v.12), and said “…if God gave them the same gift he gave us….who was I to think I could oppose God?”. And “HEARING IT ALL LAID OUT LIKE THAT, they quieted down”. The explanation made so much sense to them, it sank in. Sometimes, when you are criticized, the best answer is to simply give an explanation. And sometimes, it actually does sink in. People hear it and and when they hear it “like that”, they go “aha, that makes sense.”. Sometimes though, not quite. 

You have to know that this won’t always work. Some people are intent on misunderstanding you no matter how hard you try. It’s also why you must adjust based on who or what you are dealing with. You must understand the audience. To be clear, you cannot aim to please everyone. And I understand how responding or explaining can delude someone into thinking you are trying to please them. Ain't nobody got time to please everyone. Chile, please. There are some animals in human flesh and no matter how you explain, they still run with the lie. You can only control your own actions; you have no control over what someone else does.




  1. Lol I totally get this because I’m that way too without overflogging 😂 but I like to explain myself or call out the things I do not like. Pheww pros and cons


    1. I know! Re pros and cons; re about balancing it to be honest