This second portion of the verse feels like a common proverb of the day. We find a similar thought in chapter 15.
(Proverbs 15:1 KJV) A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.One of my software sources quotes a couple of German proverbs, “Patience breaks iron” and “Patience is stronger than a diamond.”
We have this idea that we need to hit things straight on. I know I often feel that way. I think that if I can just get all the facts laid out in an orderly and logical way people will listen and respond. If you are old enough to pick your own clothes, you know it doesn’t work that way. If it did there would be few wars fought and divorce would be a rare event. Of course marriage might be equally rare.
So? Relax. In trying to change the world, take baby steps. Speak gently but stick to your guns. In time the other person might actually listen instead of just react. Think about it. Were you one of those rare people who responded to the gospel the first time you heard it?