“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking.
- What others say
- It’s weird how my mind works
- Learning curve
- They don’t stick to a script
- The benefits of being quiet
- Key takeaways
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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
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. 💜