Pete is given yet another pile of work by Linda. He is already swamped. He’s going to have to work late yet again. He chooses to say nothing to Linda – he doesn’t want to upset the relationship.
Linda is a lady with a direct style – she hears silence as approval. She knows Pete is under pressure but he’s not complaining, so it must be OK.
Pete however has an indirect style. Silence for him means disapproval and he can’t understand why Linda is not picking up on his silence. The rule in his world is, if Linda cared she would have noticed his disapproving silence. He shouldn’t have to tell her.
An idea floated at a meeting is greeted with silence
The Linda’s of this world will be inclined to interpret silence as approval for the idea – Linda is likely to articulate disapproval rather than approval.
The Pete’s of this world will interpret the same silence as disapproval for the idea – Pete is likely to articulate approval rather than disapproval.
Silence is not always golden!