Stop telling me to talk: being quiet isn’t bad

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking.

Content 

Introduction 

This post is a bit of a personal ramble about me and how others tell me I shouldn’t be so quiet or shy. Being quiet isn’t a negative, and I want to point out why sitting back and listening is sometimes beneficial. 

What others say 

  • She’s a good student, but she just needs to talk more. 
  • Her presentation skills are excellent; she should talk more like that in class. 
  • Why are you so quiet? 
  • Speak up. I can’t hear you! 
  • Just talk more instead of being in a bad mood. 
  • Do you have anything to add? Wait, of course, she doesn’t, because she doesn’t talk. 

I’ve had all these things said to me or to my parents about me. The final one was said as a joke from one teacher to another while I was sat in front of them. Yeah, two professional teachers joked about how quiet I am in class when I was 15. I still remember that moment now, and I’m 24. 

I’m quiet, I’m shy, and I’d rather sit back and listen when in a group setting, but that’s what I prefer. 

I can lead a group, excel at presentations, and speak up when I know something is wrong. I will answer questions confidently when directed at me. I just don’t know how to jump into the middle of a conversation. I am just a quiet person who is shy in front of new people. 

But, do you know what, that’s okay. 

I’ve been told all my life just to speak up, talk more, and stop being so quiet. But I don’t have to change who I am to fit into the narrative other people say I should bend to. 

It’s weird how my mind works 

My close friends say I’m weird when it comes to being shy and quiet. In a good way, as they love me for who I am. 

You see, if you put me in a room with 20 people and say, ‘go make a friend’, I’ll freeze. I won’t know where to start. Talk about myself?! Get people to like me? You’re having a laugh. 

But, if you placed me in a room with 20 people and say, ‘go sell this item, or market this product/business.’ I’ll radiate confidence and market that product till people are throwing money at the idea. Bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. 

Learning curve 

During University, I stepped out of my comfort zone. You are expected to work in teams, do presentations and more. All those talking roles at University, though, had an underlying purpose. I knew what we were talking about, so we automatically had something in common when in a group. As I mentioned, my mind is strange, academically I can share my opinion, but personally, I find it had to speak in a casual setting. 

I found it hard to make friends, in all honesty, as I was so self-conscious about what I should say that I didn’t say anything. When I did speak, I would think about what I said for days. Repeating what I said in my head and wondering if it was the right thing to say. 

They don’t stick to a script 

Does anyone else plan out conversations in their head? Just me? (Please let me know if you do in the comments). I plan my small talk, what questions I can ask others, and general, ‘if they say this, you follow with this’ scripts in my head. I am so nervous about talking to others that I need to have an idea of what to say. I know this sounds weird, but it helps. 

It is like having a backup plan. If the conversation falters, you pull out a metaphorical script card and ask one of the questions. 

The benefits of being quiet 

Being quiet is always portrayed in a negative light. The amount of times teachers would say, ‘she’s an A grade student, who works well, but she is too quiet’ became a running theme at parents evening. But being quiet isn’t all bad! 

Visual cues 

I spent so long being the quiet one in a group that my mind usually wanders to visual cues. Basically, I observe a lot and have learnt visual cues about my friends that help determine their feelings, motives etc. I find it very easy to see how someone feels rather than dissect it through their words. 

Good listeners 

I also find that being quiet allows me to step back and listen to what others are saying. My friends know that I am there if they need a friendly ear, and I will genuinely listen. 

Think before I speak

Okay, I find this one to be negative and positive. I don’t respond on impulse, and I typically think about what I will say next. If it is relevant, if it is right and if what I say will upset anyone. I don’t want to be hurtful or have my comment misinterpreted, so I analyse what I say before saying it. Of course, this also has its negatives. I overthink too much. I stay quiet for too long, and the conversation moves on. 

Key takeaways 

  • You just have to be the best version of yourself; you can be each day. 
  • Don’t let the narrow mindset of others dictate who you want to be. 
  • Being quiet or shy is not a negative, so don’t let others tell you it is. 
  • The right people/friends will not judge you for people quiet; they will support you and love who you are. 
  • Going out of your comfort zone is brilliant, but you should do it for yourself, not because others demand that you do it. 
  • Be proud of who you are

Summary 

I’m quiet, I’m shy, and I’m very introverted, but that’s me. I can still be successful and happy being all of those things. Just like someone loud, outgoing and extroverted can be. 

I don’t know why I’m quiet if I’m honest; I just am. That’s why I think blogging has helped me so much, as it allows me to get all my thoughts out, even if they are a scrambled ramble at times. 

We are all unique, and we all like different things, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, you should be proud of who you are. 

How boring would the world be if we were all the same? It might take time, but love who you are on the inside. 

Quiet, shy, loud, outgoing – you are perfectly imperfect. 💜

25 thoughts on “Stop telling me to talk: being quiet isn’t bad

Add yours

  1. Oh girl I feel you! A lot of people used to say that about me (though when I warm up to someone, you then can’t shut me out!). And then I had the most incredible boss who explained that in a work life you need a good combination of all different types of people to make an incredible company and that’s when I began to accept that it was all ok!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to this post so much. I planned out a post about being quiet…hence my name, but you beat me to it 😂. Also, I plan out conversations in my head before I talk. for literally everything loool. I freeze if I get caught off guard to answer something because I don’t have time to think and I may stutter trying to get words out. I’m the same with presentations at school, once I know what I’m talking about, I’m good. I was always called the quiet girl in school but funnily, a lot of my friends were talkative back in high school but they accepted me anyway…never made me feel uncomfortable. Loved this post of course because this is literally me. Great post as usual! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you still post it, as I love to read the perspective of others! You always have a great way of making people feel less alone in your posts, so I can’t wait to read. I hate when you plan out the perfect response in your head, and then the other person moves on. 😂

      I was the same back in high school. My closest friend is very loud, outgoing and extroverted, and we balanced each other out nicely. Our group consisted of quiet people, as well as talkative, so it was a good combination. It is nice to have that support system, so I am glad you had that as well.

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience Anissa. 💜😊

      Like

  3. I love this! I’m also shy and introverted and I find that there is so much negative comments about us shy introverts (which really angers me). There are lots of benefits to being quiet too! Being quiet and shy is definitely not something to be ashamed of. It’s just who we are and we should embrace it rather than be ashamed 😌

    Great post! Glad to know that we aren’t alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i relate to this so much!! people would tell me how quiet i was all the time. if i was loud i would be told to be quiet. you can’t win. i tend to more the listener type. i never like to talk over people. i like to listen & then add something after. i never wanted to the obnoxious type either. it’s tough because i’ve had complete strangers at parties tell me i’m mute. quite embarrassing. but little do they know i’m quiet because i don’t like them or i’m really really bored.
    i think some people like to make others feel uncomfortable.

    i’m def a lot more outgoing now but it’s because i stopped caring what anyone thinks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you can relate! You can’t please everyone, unfortunately, which is why you should do what makes you happy.

      I don’t understand why people go out of there way to make others feel uncomfortable, especially in the example you mentioned. Strangers at parties would do the same to me, and it was so frustrating.

      I am working towards not caring what other people think, but I spend so much time overthinking that it stops me from being 100% comfortable, but I am working on it.

      Thank you for your comment! 😊💜

      Like

  5. I totally relate to this! Throughout my entire school life, I felt like I was referred to as a snail. In every report ‘she needs to come out of her shell’ – it drove me up the wall! When I went to college, I wanted to ‘get out there’ more but I didn’t manage to as I had other stuff going on. Now at uni, I really wanted to but of course, it’s online which feels like a whole new ballpark. I’m not gonna lie, I find it hard enough just in my small group of friends (who I’ve never actually met in person!) but when it’s the whole class and lecturer, it just causes so much anxiety. I don’t want them to think I can’t be bothered to answer/not listening/ I don’t care…but it just is so hard! Yesterday I actually managed to answer 2 questions on zoom (and one of them was more than one word!!) so that’s a massive win for me. I hope to answer more…but we’ll see.
    It’s so hard being introverted and I don’t think teachers realise how much their words affect us :/ We can do it though xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you can relate. I love this comment, as I had a ‘that happened to me’ moment. So many people said ‘she needs to come out of her shell’ to me as well.

      I struggled at University as well, but I can’t imagine how hard it would be to make connections through online classes. I’d stutter over my words and go completely blank when lecturers asked me questions, even if I knew the answer. While I understood logically that no-one in the lecture cared if I answered wrong or right, as they were all invested in their own life, for some reason, I still felt uncomfortable.

      Answering 2 questions over zoom is a massive win, and I hope you are proud of yourself and remember those moments! I know how hard it is, so keep at it!

      I am introverted, but I am proud! Thank you for your comment. 😊💜

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think that’s really common, actually, for those of us with social anxiety to plan out conversations in our head and have a script prepared so we don’t freeze up on the spot! And you’re not weird at all — so many of us introverts/quiet folks/anxious types perform so much better when the topic of conversation isn’t ourselves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay but why do I feel as though I wrote this 😂 I, too, will always plan out a script in my head and teachers were forever telling my parents I was too quiet and should speak up more. Don’t know if this happened to you but my teachers would often move the louder kids to sit next to me and it would frustrate me no end because it felt they were punishing me for being quiet. I’m in the process of learning that it’s perfectly acceptable to be quiet – after all, if we were all loud then we would all be speaking over each other all the time and there would be no one to listen to other people’s problems

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you could relate! I am glad I am not the only one that plans out conversations in my head.

      You just unlocked a forgotten memory! Teachers would often put the louder kids next to me in an attempt to make them quiet, I think. It didn’t work; it would just annoy me as I’d be surrounded by people shouting.

      There is nothing wrong with people quiet! 💜 You are right, ‘if we were all loud, then we would all be speaking over each other’. Thank you for your comment. 😊

      Like

  8. I love this post. I have had so many people make comments about my being quiet and/or shyness over the years. The worst one was said by a teacher. I was in 5th grade (so about 9/10 years old) and I had just moved and began at this new school. It wasn’t the first day or anything, but it took me a long time to feel comfortable. One day my teacher asked the class a question and no one answered her. Instead of helping us figure out the answer, she stared me down and said “Do you ever have anything valuable to add to a discussion?” I wanted to scream. Instead I just stared at her as if she wasn’t talking to me and she eventually rolled her eyes at me and moved on to someone else. Because of that 1 instance, I was terrified to speak in classes, even in college. It always felt like everyone was judging everything about me, and that I would never be capable of living up to expectations. I never did well on presentations, but when we had a paper or story to write, somehow it was always a shock when I would be one of the highest in class.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Thank you for sharing your experience. I didn’t talk in school much either, so much so that my teacher once got the class to cheer when I answered a question. It made me feel uncomfortable. Not sure if she intended to make me feel uncomfortable or she thought it would encourage me to talk again. I relate to you when you say, ‘it felt like everyone was judging everything about me’. It is hard not to get in your head and think that everyone is judging. I like how you found something you excelled in!

      Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed reading through your experience; it is nice to know that someone can relate. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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