The Turtle behaviour of human beings is to withdraw in situations, particularly in conflict, instead of facing it appropriately. At the outset, it looks like a very simple and harmless behaviour. What happens when I don’t express or speak up in the situation? At the least, it hurts me later on as I would think that I was not good enough to put forth my viewpoints or I could not express what was useful for me and/or others. In the worst-case scenario, everybody could get hurt, if I don’t express myself at the moment.
Just because the moment is tense or somebody is shouting or I am agitated, it does not mean that I need to be quiet and let the situation pass. I could take time to breathe and relax and say what I have to say. Of course, if I don’t understand the context or I don’t have sufficient knowledge to say anything or contribute anything, then I may not be able to speak out. But I can still learn from that situation and ask questions to clarify. I may not help others in that situation but I could help myself and learn. In other situations, I may be able to help others a lot. It may not be a big thing from my point of view. However, it could be of great help to others. It does not mean that I need to necessarily keep giving my opinion.
The crux is that given a situation what is helpful, however small it is? It is our responsibility to contribute or add value in any situation irrespective of the level of discomfort. There is no single situation in which there are no scopes for value add. I was thinking that in situations like gossiping, there is no need to participate but withdraw like a turtle; Rightly some of my great guides/mentors/friends pointed out that I should contribute in that situation as well by the way of either curbing the gossiping or pointing out the other viewpoint which stops the gossiping.
There is no situation in which the turtle’s behaviour is of any help. Out of an infinite number of situations, we are placed in a few numbers of situations. It is our responsibility to add value to those situations by expressing/helping/learning. Turtle behaviour hurts.