Things not to talk about: lessons in keeping your mouth shut.

Well, there’s lots of them at the moment. Always have been, always will be: and there’s lots of people who always want you to keep schtum; keep your mouth shut; keep mum; go shhhhhhhh.

And the current topic not to say anything about is: well, clearly I can’t say. Otherwise it would be in the public domain and that would be the end of it. So there. On the other hand… No, there’s no other hand when it comes to keeping your mouth shut. You do it. End of. There is no alternative.

So, for those who need some advice and guidance on keeping your mouth shut, here are some tips and tricks. In the best of social media protocols, this post is open to suggestions and refinements so please feel free to add them liberally. As long as no-one else objects of course.

Lesson 1. Don’t turn UP. If you turn UP to something, it makes it difficult not to spread the word afterwards about what you have turned UP to. If you don’t turn UP, there is no risk that you’ll be tempted to spread those words which form in your head through that something or indeed afterwards. If 50% of life is about turning up (on time, to the right place, with the right people) then the other 50% is about not turning up and being saved the awkward moments of being asked your opinion.

Lesson 2. You don’t exist if the media aren’t interested. Lots of things we do these days rely on the power of the media to spread our words for us. This means we have to talk, behave and exist in a certain way if we are to gain their interest. If we don’t do any of those things, then we don’t exist as far as the media is concerned and you have effectively been shut up. It’s like having your photo taken or waving at the camera if you’re inadvertently on TV – you only exist when someone has snapped your face or waving arms. Until that happens, you are nothing. Zilch. Nada. A media-free zone.

Lesson 3. When someone in authority says ‘advice’ they mean ‘instruct’. Many people in charge feel awkward about their role and try to adopt all sorts of friendly mannerisms to hide their discomfort. They might say to you that they advise you to do something (like keeping your mouth shut) when in fact they mean they’re instructing you to do it (ie shut your mouth). So, when it comes to helping you knowing what to do in difficult political situations, just pay attention to the person who says ‘I advise you to….” They really mean shut the fuck up. And you would best to adhere to their instructional advice.

More lessons in keeping your mouth shut to follow over the next 2 months!

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

2 thoughts on “Things not to talk about: lessons in keeping your mouth shut.”

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