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Making a Case for the Quiet

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

I consider myself to be a generally calm and quiet person. I don’t like being the center of attention, and I prefer to listen instead of speak. This has nothing to do with how I feel towards others. It doesn’t mean that I’m shy (although I used to be). It isn’t related to my mood. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t like being social. 

As a side note, I’m definitely an introvert. However, that doesn’t equate me to being a quiet person. It means that I cherish time to myself, and I draw my energy from being alone. I love hanging out with friends, so being introverted doesn’t translate into me not wanting to be social. 

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Because I’m quiet, people are constantly asking if I’m having a bad day, assuming that I’m upset about something. In reality, I’m in a perfectly pleasant mood. Being quiet is often associated with being upset, unhappy, stressed, tired, etc. For example, freshman year, my floor would hang out in the common room, and one person would ask me every single time if I was tired or upset. That’s not fun to hear on a regular basis, which then, of course, actually did put me in a bad mood. 

Sometimes people also assume that I’m being judgmental or that I don’t like them. Others are uncomfortable with the fact that I’m quiet. Some think that I just don’t like hanging out with people. Others say that I come off as rude or standoffish. It happens with people I’m meeting for the first time and with people who know me well.

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When I get this response to my personality all of the time, it makes me feel like I can’t be myself. When someone calls me out for being quiet or asks me what’s upsetting me, I feel annoyed and insecure. For a long time, I felt like I needed to change my personality. I don’t feel that way anymore, but I still feel like I have to be defensive or somehow explain myself. 

Society is more accepting of extroverted people, but everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Please don’t ask people why they’re so quiet, or why they’re so (fill-in-the-blank). It’s generally not polite to ask anyone to explain their personality. Some personality traits are seen as “preferable,” but let’s just accept people for who they are and embrace people’s differences.

The world would be a boring place if everyone was the same.


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Emily is a communication student at Boston University. She discovered her go-to accessory, a camera, at age two. In her free time, she explores the city, binge-watches Netflix, searches for cute bookstores, and wanders through any parks and gardens she can find. 
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.