A couple weeks ago, this lady was very rude to me and my mother. Was it right for me to hold my tongue?
I know what Marcus Aurelius says about a Stoic knowing the difference between good and evil, and not to be implicated in ugliness but I feel like this in this circumstance I should have berated her at least just for being rude to my dear old mother, especially since she was being so horrible about something we knew nothing about. Was holding my tongue virtue and self-control, or weakness?
Ya, you did the right thing. This random lady's words should have no effect on you, so there's no need to stoop to her level.
I understand wanting to defend a loved one, but getting into a verbal fight with some stranger might just upset your mother even more. Better to just stay silent and laugh it off afterwards.
Ooh, man, yea! Good question. This is a welcome change from all the bullshit "how do unfeeling robot" posts.
Why did you do what you did and what could have happened if you did different?
It might be that you have identified an ethical or moral obligation to your mother and feel you failed to meet that by just standing there. It might be that you could have "stood up" for her and that would have made her feel good, or maybe you are worried not doing so made her feel bad.
That's pretty legit. Also, it would probably make her happy to hear you are thinking about this now, so like... opportunity not missed.
If you were in that situation again knowing what you know now how could you at once show your mother you care about her and will defend her and act in a manner consistent with the principles of stoicism?
In my view, there is nothing wrong with politely telling that person they are being rude and that you don't appreciate it. Being a Stoic does not make you a doormat. If anything it helps one control their reactions in these exact circumstances. If you were truly indifferent and didn't care then you wouldn't need to hold your tongue at all.
Carnegie has a great view of these kinds of situations.
“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Whenever we argue with someone, no matter if we win or lose the argument, we still lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must try to avoid arguments whenever we can.”
IMO, there is nothing wrong with politely telling that person they are being rude and that you don't appreciate it. Being a Stoic does not make you a doormat. If anything it helps one control their reactions in these exact circumstances. If you were truly indifferent and didn't care then you wouldn't need to hold your tongue at all.