I’m a naturally argumentative sort, not a thing to be proud of as I tend to get very emotional in face-to-face encounters — most unseemly for a skeptic — but I’m working on that, and I’ve learned to use the silent approach in some discussions, to verbally shun my opponent by saying nothing.
No response at all, this approach, not acknowledging their argument, and not even acknowledging their presence.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do this as consistently as I’d like — For me, it’s a better way to handle potentially acrimonious debates with people I’d rather remain friends with — and it gets easier with practice.
And it works.
There’s even a study that shows it to be more effective for keeping one’s cool in a disagreeable situation with otherwise disagreeable people.
It’s good to have the science confirm what seemed already to be a good idea.
Responding to an argument with silence is not weakness, but good for resource conservation, and in many cases, much more effective.
So, yes, in many situations, silence must fall…
…and it shall.
As long as it doesn’t break up into a million and six pieces when it hits the floor, of course…