It’s Always The Quiet Ones

At the age of sixteen Mr. Sergeant, my RE teacher, wrote in my school leavers book:

“It’s always been nice knowing you and comparing your quiet dignity to your twin sisters gobbiness. Be assured that quiet people are just as special as loud.”

And that is the topic of today’s post gentle readers.

No, not my sister’s gobbiness. Although she is really gobby. Today’s post openly states that quiet people are just as special as loud.

I myself am one of these quiet people. A self confessed introvert. I enjoy my own company and prefer one on one conversation to group ones. I dislike being interrupted. Sometimes I’m not all that sociable. I can probably count on both hands how many friends I have. I don’t feel the need talk constantly or to be surrounded by people. Most of the time I’d rather read a book or write my blog than go out and make an effort.

But does this really make me or any of my fellow introverts less worthy or special than all those extroverts?

Extroverts are loud, proud and confident. They thrive in groups and love being the centre of attention. They have more rattle than a can of marbles and they aint afraid to show it. To all you extroverts I say snaps to ya. You go ahead and get down with ya crazy, confident selves.

But you see that girl/boy sat quietly in the corner? The one who has spent the majority of the night listening instead of talking? Well they have just as much to offer as anyone else in the room.

Introverts and quiet folk in general, unfairly, get a bit of a bad name. Shyness is stereotyped terribly. Anyone who is shy or introverted has undoubtedly at some point been accused of being awkward, moody or anti-social. We are cast as distant or uninterested, when in actual fact we are so interested in what you’re saying we prefer to listen rather than talk. I’m often asked, “Are you ok?” as my quietness is mistaken for upset or anger. It’s frustrating having to explain that yes, I’m fine; I just don’t feel the need to constantly fill the silence.

The stereotypical labels of anti-social, awkward, distant or moody are undeserved and more often than not couldn’t be further from the truth.

Quiet ones can I get a MmmmmHmmm?!

It appears to me that the extroverts get a pat on the back for their outgoing, bubbly disposition while the introverts get labeled, a little unjust, no?

Just because both ways are different doesn’t mean that either one is wrong. Isn’t being yourself what counts?

There are a number of reasons why quiet people are just as special as loud, so the next time you’re with an introvert remember that they are awesome for these reasons:

  1. Introverts are excellent listeners. Whether in one on one or group situations us quiet individuals like to listen. In fact we prefer to listen, so if ever you need someone to talk to free from judgment or interruption then call up your introvert friend.
  2. Because we have the listening thing down we are red hot when it comes to giving advice, usually because we’ve heard all your dilemmas before and because we’ve listened well enough to have all the facts.
  3. Extroverts tend to make rushed, snap decisions whereas introverts take their time to consider all options and weigh up the pros and cons, making us brilliant decision makers.
  4. Quiet time is important to introverts and quiet time equals thinking time. This thinking time is put to good use generating ideas and masterminding plans, so while introverts may be quiet you’ll often find they have the best ideas. Another plus side to being a thinker is that introverts rarely regret things that they do or say as a lot of thought has gone behind it.
  5. While introverts may be viewed as uptight, in actual fact they are probably more laid back than the lot of you. In opposition to extroverts we don’t really care about being in control or the centre of attention. We are happy to let the situation and conversation just freely flow around us. Introverts are easygoing and will rarely incite a conflict.
  6. Introverts miss nothing and notice everything. An introvert’s skills of perception are second to none. Being quiet on the outskirts means that we get to watch and listen to everything that’s going on. We never miss a trick.
  7. While everyone else craves attention and approval introverts are happy, comfortable and confident on their own.

Just because introverts don’t shout the loudest doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be heard. In our own subtle way we quiet peeps have just as much to offer, sometimes you just have to look a little deeper.

At the time (aged 16) I doubted whether Mr Sergeant was right. Could quiet people really be as special as loud? As far as I could tell it was always the bubbly, confident ones who got noticed first or who were valued more. But over the years, as I have become more comfortable within myself and with my introverted nature, I have discovered it’s about finding who you are and embracing it. Whether loud or quiet it’s about being yourself and finding the path that suits you. We are all special, in our own ways.

And Mr Sergeant’s parting line?

Be good, be you and be confident.

Jemm xoxo

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20 Comments

Filed under I just had to tell you this, Stuff thats interesting

20 responses to “It’s Always The Quiet Ones

  1. Laura Pickard

    Well said Jemm!! I’ve always been called the weird one or a bitch, because people confuse my quietness with being anti-social or a snob. So hear hear. Thank you for putting everyone right about us introverts!
    P.S. Just some more things to add to the list of how alike we are!!

  2. Jemm I absolutely love this post. So well written. Us introverts always seem to have so much more to save too, if you know what I mean 🙂 x

  3. Great post and so true. I’m also one of the quiet sort and often people mistake it for arrogance, but I rather scan my surroundings and listen to what other people have to say before opening up about myself.

  4. This post has actually just made my day! I am exactly what you have described and forever feel like I should be more loud and confident which gets me down because that isn’t me at all. Thanks for this post!
    Also, just found your blog and I love it:)

  5. This is the best post I’ve read in a long time! I read an article from the BBC a little while ago about how the world, especially school and the workplace, tends to be geared towards extroversion and as introverts it’s as though we’re encouraged to strive for extroversion. Neither is better than the other, just different – both have their pros and cons. I think sometimes the introverts need reminding though that we do have our great qualities 🙂 People also need to recognise the difference between introversion and shyness – they’re not at all the same thing 🙂

  6. You have just given me 7 reasons why I shouldn’t force myself to change my introverted ways. I’ve forever been left with the feeling that being introverted means you’re missing “something” and need to improve yourself as an individual. In actual fact, it’s a personality trait we should be proud. Very well written! 😉

  7. Great post! So true about the stereotype about introvert people like me being classed as distant or moody!

  8. Tbh I’m a bit gobsmacked by this post and feel a little emotional – it’s like the first time someone has said it’s ok for me to be the way that I am; in fact it’s a good thing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts… I constantly fight against the way that I am, as if it’s something I must overcome, when perhaps there’s no need to do that at all. I’ve never really thought of myself as an introvert per se, though I know I’m not an extrovert. I just thought it was shyness causing all of the above… I’ve always hated being told how quiet I am & sense that some people think I’m rude or stuck up, whereas I’m not at all. I would love to be less self conscious though.

    Nic x

    • Its absolutely ok for you to be who you are. I used to think that being introverted was something I had to try and get over but not anymore. I quite like being different!

  9. Wow what an amazing post I totally identified with practically every word, my sister is the life and soul of the party … I’m not. I like books, silence, my cat and my room, she likes heels, drink, her friends and loud music. Neither of us are ‘wrong’ people are just different and I hate that people can’t understand that.

    Sarah
    http://fashionismyh2o.blogspot.co.uk/

    • You and your sister sound exactly the same as me and my twin. I laughed out loud when you said you loved your room. So Do I!!! My family always make fun (in a nice way) of me spending so much time in my room! x

  10. Tom

    Being introvert is pretty helpful to me, but you always get asked if you’re OK if you’re not dissecting every segment of your thought process 😉 I work as a web designer and need a lot of time in a nice, quiet, inward-thinking environment where I’m often calling on my own judgement and making desicions all in between tracks of Leo Kottke – super acoustic guitarist – and the occasional glare out of the window. The annoying thing is that sometimes other people think I pull designs out of my butt by magic because I sit in the quiet clicking away! Ah well. BTW, been a long time RSS feed subscriber to your blog and enjoy your stuff – keep on blogging! Tom

  11. This is an amazing blog post, thank you! xxxxx

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