c: silence

The effort of explaining, even of expressing himself, had become, with the years, more and more terrifying to him. Whether from laziness or from inability to find the right words, he had developed almost a passion for silence.
François Mauriac, Thérèse Desqueyroux

The necessarily restricted passageway of speech against which all possible meanings push each other, preventing each other’s emergence. Speaking frightens me because, by never saying enough, I also say too much.
Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
- George Eliot, Impressions of Theophrastus Such


If I don’t speak, it’s not because I’m angry. It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s not even because I have nothing to say.

If I don’t speak, you can be sure that it’s because I don’t know how to adequately translate my thoughts into words, and I’d rather listen to silence than give you an inaccurate impression of what’s going on inside my head.