“Shut Up!”: The Power of Those Two Simple Words

Many words and phrases can offend me, but I find the term “shut up” the most offensive.

For example, you are talking and someone tells you to “shut up.”  They want you to stop talking and to be silent.  I find such an intrusion to be very impolite, as this person is taking away your right to speak.  And, the person is doing it in an unmannerly way.

While there are times when you may feel it is important to interrupt someone when they are talking, I think that using the term, “shut up,” to do so is extremely rude.

According to Wikipedia, “shut up” is a direct command with a meaning similar to “be quiet”” but which is commonly perceived as an angrier and more forceful demand to stop making noise or otherwise communicating. The phrase is probably a shortened form of “shut your mouth up“, and its use is generally considered impolite.”

Use of one’s voice can give a person power.  Talking infers that others are listening to the talker, and what the talker is saying is valuable to those listening.  For me, my voice is a one of my strengths, along with my heart and my mind.  Therefore, if I’m told to “shut up,” I feel that the person uttering this command is taking away my voice and therefore taking away my power.  In this way, “shut up” can be considered a subtle form of bullying, as another person is taking away your power and control.

For many people, speaking does not come easy, unless with those they know well.  Such was my own case, as I used to be painfully shy and had a hard time with public speaking; I cared too much about what others thought of me. However, by caring so much about others’ perceptions of me, I was allowing these “others” to take away my power to speak.  I have since gained the strength to speak.

Now, however, I would rather say too much than say nothing at all. If someone disagrees with what I am saying, they can respond in a better way than saying, “shut up.”

How is a polite way one can respond rather than using the term “Shut Up”?

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!


4 Comments, RSS

  1. Katrina January 18, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

    Good point….I have noticed that the term shut up seems to be used different by the younger ones these days….in fact it doesn’t even seem to mean be quiet…it’s almost used as a term of disbelief as in, I don’t believe you did that or said that, or I can’t believe what you have actually talked about took place….and it certainly doesn’t make them be quiet

  2. ariannasrandomthoughts January 19, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

    So true – I have heard the term used instead of the term “No way” when someone hears a comment that they cant believe.

    I just think about what it really means.

  3. Carol April 6, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

    If someone tells you to shut up tell them to grow up!

  4. Linda Poole February 19, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

    Well said Arianna. Is the statement spoken by my spouse quite readily psychological abuse. I do not react well to someone saying this to me, especially my spouse. I have never been told to do this by anyone else but him. I tried speaking to him about it and he found it quite humorous and blames me if he does not like to subject of a conversation. Needless to say, I did not find it humorous.

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