9 Things "Quiet" Doesn't Mean

Being someone who is a little more introverted than extroverted can have some downsides. Like listening to people you don’t even like or want to talk to hound you about how “Quiet” you are, there are some things that we have always had to deal with.

One of my primary complaints is that people are quick to label me with the catch-all term “Quiet”. It’s not untrue, I usually take a little more time to get comfortable around people and I tend to get lost in my thoughts, but it’s not ALL that I am. There are a lot of assumptions that people have about “Quiet” people that are simply untrue. Here are 9 things that being “Quiet” does not automatically make someone:

1. Shy, Timid, or Fearful

This is the one I hear most often. People assume that because someone is not speaking, they are afraid to. However, there is a big difference between carefully selecting what you say and being afraid to speak up. The word “shy” implies fear. Yes, some people are quiet because they are shy, but others just don’t feel like speaking at the moment. It’s incredibly annoying to have people try to “break you out of your shell” when that “shell” is just your personality.

2. Boring

Quiet does not mean boring. It doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have interesting things going on in their life. If you automatically assume that silence equals emptiness, you need to reconsider. As Rohinton Mistry wrote in his book “A Fine Balance”, “Let me tell you a secret: there is no such thing as an uninteresting life.”

3. A Bad Leader

Just like being an extrovert doesn’t automatically make you a good leader, being an introvert does not automatically make you a bad leader.

4. A Bad Communicator

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating”-Charlie Kaufman, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

5. Dispassionate or Apathetic

I think this one is also best explained in a quote: “Understand that just because I do not wear my heart on my sleeve for everyone to see does not mean that it beats any softer than yours. Do not confuse the stillness of lips with the rhythm of apathy”- from the spoken-word poem “How to Love Your Introvert” by Kevin Yang (And here’s a link to that greatness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfh_mRA5B6A)

6. Naïve

For some reason there are some people that think they need to censor themselves around me. It really confuses me, and I’m not sure why some people think that silence implies naiveté.

7. Hateful or a Loner

Not every “quiet” person hates people (Just occasionally and while working retail during the holidays- the same as extroverts probably). Most of us also do enjoy having fun with friends- shocking, I know.

8. Unfunny

One time, someone told an acquaintance of mine that I was “actually hilarious” and she refused to believe it. To be fair, I’m really not that funny, but I’m not sure why people think that you have to be extroverted to have a sense of humor.

9. Incapable of Being Whatever the Hell We Want

With literally everything I love to do I’ve had someone tell me that they don’t see me doing it. I just use it as fuel to be better and prove them wrong. I can do whatever I want and my personality is not a handicap and shouldn’t be treated that way.

You should also be aware that you are only ever seeing one side of that “quiet” person you know. Assuming that people are always the way they are around you is shortsighted and you should remember that people aren’t always what they seem to be.