When one thinks of the word silence, normally the first thought is the absence of physical sound. Yet, when we learn about silence in Chapter 6 of the Rule of St. Benedict, he is referring to refraining from speech -- even good, edifying conversation.
Why the emphasis on silence, you might ask? It is in silence that one is able to enter into deep communion with God. Prayer becomes wordless. It is an act of love.
Yet, on the other hand, absence of speech is at times in hurtful when it is done in giving "the cold shoulder" to someone who knowingly or unknowingly hurt or offended us, i.e. we act unloving.
We should desire our relationship with God to be one where we are content simply to be with Him in silence. A good image of this is the older couple who sits quietly beside each other, not needing to chatter, enjoying the beauty of the sunset together.