“When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power”
Very recently, I reviewed The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. In that review, I mentioned the significance and importance of this all-time great book.
This book by Robert Greene teaches us that people who talk a lot don’t have any importance. According to Robert, when something/someone appears too much or talks too much has no importance. It’s really the truth, because when you go to the market and ask the shopkeeper about Apples. He will tell you that it’ll cost $1 per KG. Why do they cost so cheap? well because mangoes are everywhere and something very common has no value. Likewise, if you ask the shopkeeper about Pineapples, he will give you thrice the price of Mangoes, because they are rare.
The point being that humans when they talk a lot and appear more, ultimately lose their value. Not only that, but Robert also points out that while we are always talking we are never in control. Think about that, have you thought before speaking? I mean nowadays everybody is just talking without any purpose behind it. People tend to forget the infamous phrase “think before you speak”. There is more evidence circled around talking less and its importance.
For example, here is a quote from the Ancient Greek Philosopher Plato.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools speak because they have to say something.Plato
Apart from talking less, appearing less, and staying in control. Robert Greene in his 48 Laws of Power also emphasizes talking less but saying more. Often times, when we are speaking sarcastically. People take your words for granted, and they always think about it. Likewise, have you ever noticed that poetry is mostly in small sentences, and its meanings are vast?
I recently read the “Once More On The Breach Dear Friends by Shakespear”, and I was completely blown away on how so few words can say so much. Moreover, when you are trying to speak less and mean more, it appears that you are a self-disciplined person with great self-control.
Lastly, The 48 Laws of Power also teaches us that when we say more, we always end up speaking something foolish. This is actually quite right and relatable. Whenever we speak, we are not speaking with confidence or sequence. We are simply throwing all the words, that came to our thoughts.
48 Laws of Power also tells us that people are always trying to suppress someone’s else opinion. Afterward, they end up looking so foolish, and then people regret talking to them.
I covered this point in the very popular communication book by Dale Carnegie “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. In that book, Dale also discussed similar aspects of why we should talk less. You should give that article a brief read.
Takeaways from this important quote
- Talk Less, give others importance.
- Do not suppress someone’s else opinion.
- When you talk less, you appear to be in control.
- Talking less improves our self-discipline.
- Saying Less and meaningful words can increase our influence.
- Communication is the key to leadership.