Most people are unaware of the peace and ease that comes from being truly quiet. Just being aware, silently observing, you are in a state of alert presence, and are far less likely to be dragged into any conceptual ego drama.
You can stay quiet. Whatever the situation is, know that you can stay quiet. As all the commotion and drama circulates around you, trying to pull you in, evoke a reaction, evoke a defence, know that you can stay quiet. If words are truly required, they arise out of the no-thingness that you are, the spacious conscious awareness.
Staying quiet means you are present, calm and centred. You are quiet within, observing. Despite possible mental or emotional noise, YOU stay quiet.
This staying quiet is not the same as being identified with your mind. It is not a state of believing you are the voice in the head, the one internally resisting and reacting to whatever someone is saying to you, but not expressing this vocally. This may appear from the outside to be staying quiet, but there is no calmness or stillness in this, this is just suppressing your emotions.
If you can remain quiet and allow your emotions to be without identifying with them, that is being truly quiet.
People will constantly look for your reaction, resistance or defences when they are criticising or "attacking" verbally, as if their "attack" requires defence. This keep you trapped in ego, which is of course what the ego ultimately wants.
When you remain as the silent observer, you step out of egoic identification, and these "attacks' are actually not attacks at all, they are just words, or other bodies becoming shrill and emotional.
Some may even call you crazy, or misinterpret your silence as being annoyed or upset. This is because the ego can not understand the depth and peace of silence. It actually hates it, because inner silence is the death of the ego.
Ignore Social Conditioning
Isn't this funny? We are constantly conditioned to ignore silence and favour noise. In social situations, silence is often misinterpreted as awkward or uncomfortable. In fact, most social interactions and conversations people have are just egos feeding off each other and interacting. Then when there is silence, the ego finds it extremely uncomfortable. You may have noticed this in yourself or in others.
Despite what everyone else seems to think or say, there is nothing wrong with being quiet.
Ego will even call being quiet "rude" to other people. This may be the case if you are harbouring negative emotional feelings towards another, where there is a resistance to speak to them, but being truly quiet is not rude at all.
The quietness I am talking about is still open to what is going on. There is an acceptance, a nonresistance. No need to try to add anything to the moment, just allowing it to be. This includes allowing your words spoken to flow out of you from your deeper place of stillness, rather than from the egoic voice (the "voice in the head").
Try this for yourself and you may be surprised at how words arising out of your awareness seem just right for the situation, even perfect. This does require a certain state of surrender, of allowing things to be.
True silence cuts through ego like a knife. Observe how uncomfortable the ego is with true silence. Observe it in yourself and in others. There is so much peace in silence. It is a very underrated state. Say nothing unless it improves on silence, as the Buddha said.