Most introverts hear the phrase, “you’re so quiet” countless times. People love to point out our wordless ways. As a matter of fact, just this past week, someone said to me “You know, you’re a really quiet girl.”
Yes, I know.
This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves as an introvert. I know being a quiet introvert isn’t a bad thing. But still, anytime someone points it out, I feel anxious. In my mind, their words are dripping with judgement. I also recognize that they are probably commenting because they feel uncomfortable.
Many people can’t stand silence. Empty air space is something that is unfamiliar and unwelcome for them. They immediately seek to fill it with their own voice. If they’re really desperate, they will try to badger some words out of us, saying things like, “you’re being awfully quiet. Say something.”
To which I reply, ” umm … uh … (cough) … errr, ” while wishing I could somehow telepathically convey to them that telling an introvert she is quiet is like telling the sky it’s blue: you’ll be pointing out the obvious and you’re not likely to get a response.
The REAL reason we’re quiet
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.” – Hans F Hansen
I also wish that I could tell them the REAL reason why I am so quiet at that particular moment. Sure, sometimes it’s because I’m tired, or I feel like daydreaming, but other times THEY are the reason for my sealed lips.
It’s no coincidence that the people who make this statement most are the same people who rarely listen or ask thoughtful questions. They are also often the people with a very loud and overpowering energy.
None of the introverts I know will battle their way into a conversation. Myself included. If someone doesn’t seem interested in listening to me early on in the interaction, I won’t bother trying again. Instead, I’ll buy a one-way ticket to wonderland (a.k.a my own imagination), and let them continue their solo conversation without interruption.
Do you react similarly to people with loud mouths and even louder personalities?
I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂
P.S. I’m launching a brand new FREE ebook tomorrow: 100 Introvert Questions: Answers to everything you want to know in 20 words or less. Subscribe to my mailing list (see below) to get your copy hot off the press!
I was at a bonfire this weekend and naturally one of my (very) drunk friends had to bring up the dreaded “You’re quiet!” I was quiet most of the time there because I really had nothing to say to most of them. Some of the people there I either didn’t know it barely knew. We may have worked out together once or twice. The guys there were a different breed who have worked construction, for the mines, etc. so they were talking about that sort of stuff, and I’ve been in TV since I was 18 (now 37) so we didn’t really have much in common there. So I just sat there, listened, stared at the fire and remained quiet.. It was a good night overall, but there’s that little part of me that felt slightly guilty for not having anything to say. But I’m me. They just have to get use to it 🙂
Hi Kenn, your story stirs so many memories of uncomfortable moments for me. It’s tough to be singled out for being quiet – especially in front of the group. Glad to hear that you didn’t let it ruin your night. Thanks for sharing your experience. Cheerio. 🙂
hi I have been told many times that I am quiet. However, I am happy the way I am, and don’t think that others should have the right to change that. Why become someone that I don’t like. I hat loud people that are in you face. We all have the choose to be ourselves, so why do others seem to think they can take this away from us. I enjoy my quiet little life.
When I was younger there was this guy that was really loud and in everyones face. I didn’t say much if anything. Later on I realized that it was his way of trying help me feel comfortable, with people I didn’t know. I think he was actually more uncomfortable because he seemed to just blurt things that had nothing to do with anything.
I’m a lot more comfortable now just being myself. It took a little while for him to understand but now we get along just fine.
Hi ladies. Yes; agreed and if the load mouths would maybe just stop to breathe for one second other people may have a chance to speak also.
Yes, I enjoy my quiet nature, as well. It stirs my blood when people think we need to change. My children in school are being forced to speak up, open up, and change to have more friends. It has benefits, I guess, but to think we need to change to fit in irritates me. To have many friends, someone such as myself will need to suppress the essence of true self with fake smiles and such. I love who I am, but society says there’s something wrong with me.
No there isn’t anything wrong with you. That is just the way our society perceives it. My grandmother always said, “Don’t let anyone turn you into something that you’re not.” You do not have to behave a certain way to be accepted. Be yourself and the right people will be drawn to you. Hope this helps.
Hi there I like your sentiments this especially : “but to think we need to change to fit in irritates me.” My housing /council landlord is like that and it’s stigmatising and suffocating to say the least. Thank you for your post. Blessings, Sb
the silence speaks things they dont want to give attention to.
I agree with you. I do not like loud and obnoxious and do not like fast talking either. It drives me crazy. You are right. Other people should not have the right to choose our way of life. If they don’t like it they can stick it.
Thank you for sharing. I feel the same one most of the time when people don’t seem to be listening to what I say and eventually switch up to their stories, I stop trying to keep up with the conversation, and just let them solo. Sometimes, they end up asking “why you didn’t say anything about yourself?”
I feel like people think there is something wrong with me. That’s why I don’t really enjoy being quiet, but I’m working my way to get over it.
I am exactly the same, I feel worthless. It’s not my choice to be so quiet ?
I too am very quiet and socially anxious which has been very painful for me most of my life and has affected every aspect of my life includin performance at university and Job choice. My sisters are extroverted and funny and in comparison I’m a massive bore. It’s taken me such a long time to have some kind of peace and liking for myself, I spent most of my lifeelings hating the way I am. The thing that I most want is for people to like being in my company, for me to actually bring people some happiness. Anyway, its definitely helpful knowing I’m not alone,
Same here 🙂 xxx hugs
Yea, I can relate. I tried many times to change and be more social which failed drastically ruining my whole life.
Yeah!! Totally it happens to me quite often.I wont say i am an introvert but i tend to get in my own zone once i find out people are overpowering me with their conversation..
Though i find their conversation pretty lame but i dont even tell them and when they tryna look and ask what happend,I just laugh my way out….
Don’t bother trying to compete with them. Let them talk on and continue their conversation solo but continue to be yourself.
Is it normal for someone to keep searching in their thoughts for something to say but never find it. This feels horable and very uncomfortable. It feels like bad enternet resciption that provides slow connection and it takes for ever with loading and buffering. How can someone get over those feelings.
I am a quiet person apart from when im in my job where I have to speak to groups of people, But im a guy and nearly 50, and im sure im left out of things because im quiet, this has always been the case, leading me to be quite lonely most of the time, Im not very successful with women either, no one can seem to accept me and understand, as a man you are expected to just shrug off how you are especially if you want to have any connections with any women. People (the not so quiet ones) just just dont understand, (particularly women in my case) and alienate you into a world of solitude. Women appear to just be interested in loud confident, well im confident but I just go about in a more discrete way, but sadly no one can recognize that.
You sound exactly like me! I was at a work conference for three days and I felt so out of place. I felt like the “fifth wheel” in the conversations – being afraid to say something in fear of sounding like an idiot. So I just remained quiet and went about my business. I like the way I am – but in the same breath I don’t – so complicated to explain. But, I can relate to your post. Thanks for sharing!
I just wanted to mention that the experience you described shows strong symptoms of social anxiety disorder. This impacts around 7% of the world (hundreds of millions of people!)
Help is available. If you would like to find relief, please look around for social anxiety treatment that involves CBT. I found it was most effective to use a program set up by a psychologist who understood the disorder. I never took any meds or visited a psychiatrist, and never had to do anything embarrassing or anything I didn’t feel ready for (good social anxiety programs focus on taking small steps and avoiding anxiety overload situations).
I’m a processor and it takes me time to gather my thoughts especially when a group discussion on a topic is going on. By the time I get them together, what I have to say is no longer relevant to the current conversation. And it seems others find it easier to chime in before I have a chance to. At times I feel conflicted when to speak. I’ve been called out as rude for interrupting because it seems like that will be the only chance I can speak, and out of politeness I really try to listen more. Sometimes, there’s just nothing to say or add for the sake of it. The worst is when I do speak up and those who get on me for being quiet seem more interesting in jabbering on about what they have to say. This can easily be internalized as a universal truth and must be careful to not let that stop me when I am ready to say something.
They (society) seem to have to make everything some type of “disorder” if it does not fit into their program of the way they think things should be. I am quiet and quite comfortable with my own thoughts and do not require their intervention. If anything, they could learn from us and shut their mouth ever so often …. especially when they actually have nothing intelligent to say but just continue to talk anyway.
You are just like me im a 15 year old girl. But I have 7 siblings so you have to talk quite a bit in this situation. But people know im confident because im tall and I walk like a model.
Sounds like me.
See @john is an example of the problem
Keep looking you just need to find an introverted woman. 🙂 Sorry, I’m taken xD By my shy sweet funky heavy metal loving man. Ha ha.
I find it hard to talk when not at work, I like the quiet and I like to be able to focus on what I am doing or what I have chosen to think about.
I just moved into a new place with a new housemate, he is as extraverted as it gets: even when watching tv alone in a room I can hear him expressing his thoughts to the screen, usually in quite an animated fashion.
I actually find a lot of things interest me, I have a few mental issues and a great way to stay distracted is to be always doing something useful or creative. This works great for me, especially when I find myself in a situation with no “exit strategy” and I am pressured to engage in conversation, usually I can find a connection where we share an interest and contribute just enough to make them feel that I am actually listening and not off in my own world the whole time 🙂
How did you know about your mental issues ? You sound so confident and okay with it. By the way I live with 4 roommate in a 5 bedroom house , you can just see all the different personalities come out, and one of the girls is definetly same as your roommate she is loud and very expressive .
Your story sounds very familiar. Yes I do keep quiet when someone is being demanding or loud, I rarely see the importance in interrupting their own speech. Thank you for sharing, I feel like I’m an introvert that has recently accepted that being quiet is ok.
Good morning miss ken,
Thank you for sharing your story, i can relate much..im also a very very quite person also to those people that i mistrust and uncomfortable. I dont care what people says to me.
this is who i am and im happy to be me, it doesnt mean that im less to speak im shy. Thats not the real reason. And i remember, it was 5 years ago, theres a time im chattering with my 2 cousins which ahead 5 years from me, and our topic comes about thier classmates, so i just listened and remained quite until the conversation end because how can i interupt to talk about ther classmates i dont know who they are. And im not also interested to talk about other people life situations issues.
The real reason I’m quiet is because I prefer my own thoughts, feelings, ideas, and company over that of most other people. That may sound rude at first glance, but let me explain why it really isn’t.
Many extroverts that I know, they flee their own company as if they were on fire. I’m not kidding. I know this isn’t everybody, but it is many of the extroverts I know.
Now, if you don’t like your own company, why would I?
Take a moment to consider that.
As an introvert, I have cultivated a sense of self, and a relationship with myself over many, many years. I have trained my mind, my emotions, and my imagination to function in my best interest such that it doesn’t just please me, but helps to keep me healthy. Now, why would I exchange what is essentially a pristinely cultivated Zen garden of consciousness, in favor of one that has never seen a pair of gardening shears?
When you actually fix what’s broken, heal what feels bad, address what’s bothering you, and train your mind to work well, then it does. Silence isn’t painful anymore, because it’s just silence, rather than an absence of something to cover thoughts/feelings that you don’t want to experience. This isn’t to say that someone would want to be alone all the time after dealing with their issues, it just means that being alone versus having company becomes a choice rather than a need or compulsion. Having such a need to cover things up — whatever they are — and putting it on another person, really isn’t fair to them. It puts pressure on relationships and gives people — whether lovers, friends, or strangers — an unfair responsibility for what is somebody else’s wellbeing.
I understand that a lot of people do this. In a culture and society where the words “you complete me” are seen as romantic rather than a scary revelation of one’s own incompleteness, it’s completely understandable that many people seek intimacy by finding qualities in others that they haven’t cultivated yet in themselves. It makes sense because such a need and dependence can seem to feel more reliable — after all, would someone be more likely to leave when they need you, or when they just want you?
But, this has a serious downside.
If you are relying upon someone to meet your needs — not just when times are tough, but every day — that can really strain a relationship. It also reduces the amount of enjoyment that you’re getting from it.
It’s like dessert. One of the reasons we enjoy dessert is that we don’t need it. If we did need it, if we were starving, and someone gave us an ice cream sundae, would we really enjoy it, or would we scorn the brain-freeze we get from eating it too fast, trying desperately to satisfy our malnutrition. In that case, forget enjoying it, we may not even taste it — because it’s not about enjoyment or taste, it’s just about getting our needs met. This is what relationships turn into when people can’t fulfill themselves.
Admittedly, it may seem like introverts are the awkward ones, the strange, or broken ones, because extroverts are the majority and introverts don’t properly cater to their need for vast quantities of social interaction. But, who is really healthy here? The group of people who meet their own needs successfully, and can occasionally meet others’ needs, as well? Or the group of people who can’t meet their own needs, desperately seek to have their needs met in others, but ultimately fail to have their needs met fully because part of what every person needs is a self-relationship?
I can’t speak for everybody, but I can say that the healthiest, most full and well-rounded people I know, are introverts. Maybe that says something, maybe it doesn’t, but at the very least, it’s food for thought.
Damn. This comment completes me.
I’m quiet.. but I’m known as a good listener
Wow that was a long comment lol but I liked it 🙂 So many introverts do have a lot to say but maybe not out loud but rather in writing. I am a writer, meaning I write a lot of my thoughts down on paper. I dont keep a journal per say but I do write! My texts and emails are novels (meaning usually very long) I have so many ppl say to me over the years ” Youre so quiet”, ” why dont you talk?” it drove me nuts, I didnt know what to say, how awkward since its so hard for me to answer questions like that on the spot. I am an introvert, INFJ to be exact. Yes I’m quiet sometimes, but its because Im listening, im observing, thats what I do. Then I take in that info and contemplate on it and gather my thoughts and feelings and speak later when Im ready. But see for so many years I thought it was bad to be an introvert and tried hard not to be. Im more open than I used to be but not at work. Im quiet cuz Im working, focusing on doing a good job, while other ppl around me chit chat, sometimes that chatter gets really annoying, I like peacefulness. Just recently a new friend of mine pointed out that being an introvert is not bad as he admitted he is one too. So Ive been doing research on it. Introverts get a bad rap because extraverts dont like quiet or peace, not all but a majority. But see i believe they do all that chatter, being center of attention and miss out on what truely is important. They jump over fences to get in the first word, they dont think before they speak (not speaking for all) just something ive observed and experienced. Right now i want to be with people, not groups but im craving “one on one attention” i want to “hang out” with friends, I am lonely, so what does that make me? I dont like to always be by myself, i dont choose it, just hard for me to make friends, i feel it chooses me. Yeah sometimes i want to be by myself when Im doing certain things but not all the time. So any other introverts feel this way?
So many of the comments here resonate with me but I needed to respond to yours Sheela because, a few years ago, I was where you are…wanting to be social despite the introversion. How weird was that right?
But, for me, it was my need to start telling the world my thoughts and observations and share my insight. I had to because I was tired of the extroverts and their (often) restricted, limited minds dominating the conversation and generally, ruling our culture! In general, I learnt that they don’t listen and analyze as much as us introverts…us strange “quiet” ones.
The interesting thing around all of this is my need for expression and also a genuine enjoyment in meeting new people…something I used to dread in my earlier years. It took a lot of years of frustration, disappointment, heartache, and angst…lol….but now, I can’t just stay quiet anymore. I’m still not a loud mouth or Mr. Outgoing but I know that my voice is important in social dialogue! Hopefully others here will eventually come to that conclusion.
Sheela you pretty much just described me. There’s 1000’s like us. I’m an introvert too, except an infp. Extroverts are cool but it’s like they need to talk, and talk, and taaalk. I’ll listen for a while but eventually get impatient and go about letting them know they’re talking my ear off. Like buddy, give my ear a break. In some ways I think introverts are not as insecure as extroverts, but I can’t say for sure. I’ve been asked many times “why are you so quiet?” Eventually I just learned to sort of smile, laugh and respond with humor something like “you know, it’s the way I am. Don’t take it personal” and then pat them on the head or somthing:) Because I like who I am, and my wordless ways. I’m never going to change that about me. My mentality is if they don’t like it, theres 1,000 of other people they can go talk to. There’s 7 billion people in the world and we’re all different. Honestly I think extroverts are just jealous sometimes. But either way I say #introvertsrule.
Amazing comment. That explains me. I feel like I’m a hybrid of an introvert and extrovert but I’m introverted around people I don’t feel comfortable around or whose conversation or presence bores me or feels cliche or trapped in societal boxes but I am extroverted when I am in a comfortable
Setting where I enjoy the conversation and energy of the people around. However I also feel more whole and at peace and happy with my own company and no one else around. I think life is all about balance and you need a little bit of everything to be your highest self.
This describes me perfectly. I am super quiet when i feel im just not clicking with a person or a conversation etc. and then i get anxious and worry that im being boring which doesn’t help. But if someone has good energy and listens to me and makes a point to have an actual conversation with me then i can be super loud and energetic!
Hi J.D. Wow… what an insightful, deep, well written and genuine comment. I really enjoyed reading it, twice. And no grammar mistakes either: sharp, impressive. I hope you write more, because you have a talent.
Absolutely agree with everything you said!
I want to point out another downside to relationships based on an extrovert desperately needing to get their needs met: for a lot of them, need is so great and compelling that if YOU fail for whatever reason to adequately meet that need they WILL get it met by another. Frankly, my relationships with extroverts have been extremely unreliable.
I’m 20 years old. I have felt the same so many times. But I was at bonfires where only uni kids would go to, and I’m like the only one who worked construction. Obviously I’m already getting looked down because I work construction, and I am so quiet so it was so hard to stay in the picture. I started working out last summer, seen changes and my confidence has grown but I feel like I’m still lacking a lot. Therefore I don’t have any good friends. It feels really bad sometimes like today. I wish I had a gf. But no.. I’m just dissatisfied with my friendships and the fact that I can’t get anyone to stay my friend just because I’m boring to talk to. I wish I Got some friends where awkward silences wouldn’t be looked at as awkward. Because I find that they really aren’t if you have an introvert personality. It’s just normal sometimes.
I’m an introvert too and on top of that I stutter like crazy. that makes me avoid talking to strangers as much as I can as I don’t want to draw too much attention to myself. But as I’m getting older I realize that no one is perfect and I need to accept who I am and not condemn myself to silence especially when I have something to say. It gets really awkward for me most of the time but that’s usually when I initially met people. And I’m 32 . I generally prefer interacting with people who already know me n know how I talk. Also being a stutterer brings about Some misunderstandings in my life as I don’t always completely get across what I really want to say in the way I really want to say it. For that reason I appreciate people who trust and understand me pretty much people who truly have known me the longest are the ones I’m most comfortable around.
I think it’s ok to be quite. We are the best observers and pay more attention to detail. That’s fine, it’s just that society gives more credit to extroverts.
Smart people like to talk a lot. The genius sits back and listens.
Thought I’d take a chance that there were other introverts that did feel there was anything wrong with themselves they are just quiet. Glad I came upon this site. When I have something to say I do. I just don’t feel I need to be the center of attention or the loudest in the room.
It’s great to know we’re not weirdos, and not alone
Most of my life I’ve felt..displaced, unwanted. Like I dont really know what Im here for. I always used to talk, chat, try to laugh with people, but after a certain time, probably about 19, I found myself giving up. Which is a shame, but people do tend to find me ‘odd’, and after a long time you give up trying to sell a product that nobody wants. The hard part now is, a decade later, even I still dont want to be in my company and spin between ‘trying’ and ‘giving up’. Such a pathetic waste of time.
I’m an engineering student. I happen to go out with my friends for certain plans or maybe small small trips. Being yet very close to them I still don’t open up much . I still don’t talk much. I have been a part of this group for more than 2 years rn. I still don’t know why this happens with me. At times I feel people are too judgemental buh still being so close to them I don’t open up much so some help could be used here.
I agree with you Ken. Some people are naturally quiet and don’t talk that much. I talk mainly when I need too
I find lots of small talk boring myself. I like an interesting conversation if possible. Another thing which annoys me is people who say don’t you drink alcohol I say no. Then they say have a drink it will relax you and loosen your tongue which I think is insulting to my person. As the song says I am what I am and people have no right to make such comments I don’t think.
Yes, I agree with you Barbara, I get so annoyed when people try to ply me with alcohol, thinking that I’m going to have a complete personality change and become a talkative, outgoing person! I often just say “No thanks, I’m interesting enough without having to drink”, which generally works well!LOL
Well done. Remember people who want you to get drink with them are often feeling insecure about their own drinking. It’s not necessarily anything to do with you.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see so many people go through the same problem. I feel like introverts are treated like some kind of otherworldly species at times because no one understands or even tries to understand the reasons for us being quiet. A lot of people think I’m “weak and too innocent” just because I don’t talk? Lmao. I completely agree with you saying “telling a person they’re quiet is like saying the sky is blue” I mean what good is it gonna do? Well anyways I hope more people understand these simple facts
Hey, i feel so bad because my best friend never ever talks so now i get why it’ll be because of me because I’m really lound and speak my mind. When she doesn’t reply to be talking i always say its like I’m taking to my self ur so quite. How could iu get her to talk because i feel really bad for saying that to her everyday.
I know what you mean I to am a very quiet person my family will say speak to us you are such a very very quiet person which i never say anything to them they think im mad them i aint i just dont have as anything to say to them.
I am considered unfriendly, because though I want to interact, others will not allow me to talk about myself; I am supposed to be completely interested in their mundane lives. Heck, even my dogs are kind enough to give me hugs!
I hate it , I want to be more verbal and as soon as anyone points it out I feel my shell becomes thicker , so imbarrasing , why am I like this
I mostly am told that I am far to quiet sometimes, but it’s usually cause I’m in pain, whether it be emotional pain or physical pain, im usually quiet about it, until I burst and destroy people’s view of me. I might need help and I might be a bit crazy because I keep everything underneath but I honestly want to be your friend.
I used to be just like you when I was a tenn I’m 27 now and am one of those people who I used to be so quiet around surround yourself with type a people go out of your shell do stuff you never would youd be surprised who you could become I joined the army at 18 and it really brought me out of my shell now if I’m around a new crowd of people now days I’m like so who are y’all ? Wasssup that your chick? Y’all need to talk more !!!! Lol but at the end of the day I know exactly what you are talking about I was the same exact way my friend
I speak when I have something of value.I do not spin tall tales or talk to just make useless conversation.An yes I slot the times choose to not reply to people or am perceived as unknowing…When in turn I know more than most…Anyways conversation should be to both people enjoyable…I find that most people seem to think I find them unenjoyable lol
I completely agree with your thought, Michaela. When I am around loud people, I find myself being quiet. Outgoing, talkative people drain my energy.
Thanks for commenting, Niles. Glad to know you can identify. 🙂
My parents are deaf (I can hear), and when I was younger they dragged me to their deaf parties, meetings and so on. And everytime the other deaf people came up to me and said: You’re really quiet. The whole situation was so ridiculous. I mean, whoa, I must be really, really, really quiet, even the deaf complain! 😀 Okay, so they wanted me to sign more, but still….
I’m uncomfortable around loud people. Too many personal questions, and too little genuine interest to hear what I have to say.
And sometimes I’m just sitting there, totally comfortable in my silence, and then suddenly become aware that some people are fidgeting in their seats because they’re uncomfortable. Then that little annoying voice says in my head, “I should talk more, I should say something”, as if it was my responsibility to entertain them. Nowadays I make conscious decisions about not talking, and tell myself constantly that it’s not my responsibility to make people more comfortable, it’s their own responsibility.
What a hilarious story! I’ve never been to a deaf party, but I can imagine how you felt. Yes, what matters most is that YOU are comfortable with who you are. 🙂
What an interesting read. It is very relaxing to hear that many other people feel the same way as me. I used to feel that I was boring and uninteresting to others, not special or memorable. I pushed and pushed myself to be more animated and expressive and to make conversation with others to fill the silence and try to make me seem special to THEM and make THEM feel comfortable. Meanwhile, I would be struggling in turmoil on the inside about forcing myself to intereact. I wanted to make sure that people knew I was actually very kind and friendly, not detached and uncaring. This is exhausting and I often regret things I say when I feel like I’m trying too hard. I am married and have two children whom I absolutely adore. However I find myself wishing that I could meet someone, a friend, who appreciates me for me and with whom I don’t have to work overtime to maintain the friendship. I have recently made a conscious effort to keep my mouth closed in social situations, to not try to make every interaction a warm and fuzzy moment and try to accept that I am who I am and if others don’t appreciate my quietness then I am still okay. Thank you for the insight.
I usually find loud, outgoing people entertaining. Though that may have something to do with my hobby of observing. Watching someone particularly animated is like watching a favorite sitcom. Of course, people on my favorite sitcoms don’t encourage to be loud with them.
Actually, one reliable (but not absolute) way I’ve come to recognize gregarious introverts and extroverts is whether they *actively* encourage me to also be gregarious. Even the most passionate introvert isn’t likely to be disrupted if you don’t share their passion. But an extrovert will be visibly ruffled.
Another great comment, Chatman. I agree that loud, outgoing people can be entertaining. Personally, I can only handle so much of those with very loud personalities before I’m totally exhausted. Pretty much I can accept anyone provided they don’t judge me or try to change me. 🙂
I agree with your post michaela, totally. The comment above that said
‘it’s no coincidence that the people who make this statement most are the same people who rarely listen or ask thoughtful questions.’ really amazed me because its just more than true.
Being an introvert, its not that i don’t like talking, i just want someone to hear and pay attention to what i am saying. so when people who are just good at talking without listening, i feel repulsion from them. If i am talking to anyone, making them so important by sharing my thoughts, they should realize how important are they to me. i have the loudest mind but the silent tongue. And thanks for sharing such post. 🙂
Thanks for your great insights, Shehroz! I feel the same way – we introverts put a lot of thought into the words we do say, so it can be very annoying when people don’t listen. Great to hear your experience with this.
By the way, I read all the comments and must manually approve them before they go up in order to avoid spammers, so they don’t necessarily go up right away. 😉
Yes I consider myself a quiet soft spoken individual. I have a hard time being heard since my voice is not as loud as I would like it to be. I have been friends with someone who is very loud and overpowers a conversation I am having with someone. It really upsets me, I don’t get why she does this. I think it is so rude. For example, we were at the church get together and someone walked in we had not seen in years, I was so happy to see him and we were talking and she walks right up in front of me and starts talking very loud to him drowning me out. It is almost as if she is doing it on purpose, like some kind on competition. It does not make me feel too good and I should learn to not let it bother me. This is not the first time
@Shehroz Aslam I love that statement you made “I have the loudest mind but the silent tongue.” I feel you on that! I am an Introverted person as well. I am the same way when it comes to sharing my thoughts with others. The one thing that seems to bother me the most about people that is that they tend to think theres something wrong with you. I get very uncomfortable or embarrassed with people that love to make the comment are you ok? is there something wrong? I’m sure we have all got that one just as much as you’re so quiet comment.
Great post, there are a lot of things I agree with here. Being in these types of situations annoy me the most when I’m a captive audience, and don’t have an “exit strategy”, for example when at a family get-together at a cottage in the middle of the woods (speaking from recent experience). Those can be brutal.
I find one-on-one conversations with chatty extroverts more manageable (in small doses), and can sometimes use their “fill in the void” speaking time to figure out what to ask them next, when I get my three-or-four second window to say something.
Asking questions can be a nice way to get your point across, even if your point ends up being verbalized by the person across from you. It is strange, but introverts can actually control a conversation this way, even if they are barely doing any of the talking. At least, it works for me some of the time 🙂
Hi Phillip, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m noticing that a lot of introverts use questions as their primary conversation tool (me too!). I think it’s a good thing, but of course, it also prevents us from getting our views across.
I have always been quite even when I was young I would walk away from some people because I new as soon as they looked at me .I would say to my self here it comes your quite what’s up .Because I am quite they think something was wrong with me .And o you are quite the quite ones are the worst and yes I am still the quite out of all my family.
Absolutely, Michaela. It always takes me a long time to settle into the energy of louder people. Strangely through my life I’ve often gravitated towards quite ‘large and loud’ people and can work well with them (once we understand one another), but in large groups not so good.
I know exactly what you mean, even though you know being quiet is absolutely normal and fine, it still hurts when quiet is used as some kind of defamation of your character. And it’s the direct addressing of it that then creates awkwardness. There are ways of drawing people into a conversation that don’t involve pointing at them, making everyone else look, publicly defining them with a label, and then watching as they squirm uncomfortably overwhelmed by the pressure to suddenly say something more than ‘oh am I being quiet? Thanks for pointing that out…sorry.’
Well said, Andy! Thanks for sharing your insights on this. Couldn’t agree more with your description of how it feels when someone points out our quietness. 🙂
Hi, I like your post and the blog! I have a question. I allways felt better with not talking so much, because when i`m silent I work on my music or poems or stuff… But a lot of times, I was like hanging out with extrovert people and they kind of gave me this “Don`t be so quiet-feeling!” So I tried learning to talk (my normal talking would be melodies or singing,but not many people do that), because of the pressure “Becoming normal”i sometimes start talking a lot, but after this I m complettly exhausted and feel like sleeping for ages (at least three days). And most of the time when i have conversation with extrovert people, theire words are like stucked in my mind, so I m full and I dont have much energie working on my stuff. So I starded avoiding people, I can do this cos because of my “sickness” i dont have to work! But still I search for ways handling the whole loosing to much energie really fast. I m also always feeling other people energies really strong and this also is something i wanna learn to handle! Maybe u have some kind of ideas. So I just regordnize this wasnt a Question. How do u handle this? greetings from germany Anna
Hi Anna. Great question! As a quiet, creative introvert I can completely understand what you mean. Spending time behaving like an extrovert really does drain our energy and thus makes it harder to concentrate on creative work. To be honest, I still struggle with this too. For me, what has worked best is to accept that I won’t always be able to strike a perfect balance. Sometimes I’ll spend a couple of weeks visiting friends, dancing and going out a lot and then I’ll spend two months really focused on my creative work and hardly going out at all. Also, I find it really helps to go on shorter outings. Instead of spending the afternoon socializing, just do one or two hours at a time. 🙂
I’m in the same boat 🙂 When people talk too much to me about things not necessary important to me or argue with me, i kinda feel tired,i mean their voices sound loud in my head and even when i’m alone,i find it hard to focus on my plans…Also when people blame me of being a dreamer (and stuff like that ) instead of being realistic blah blah blah i feel bad …their critical voices sound so ….arghhhh….Anyway,i just finished a book called ”Little Voice Mastery: How to Win the War Between Your Ears in 30 Seconds or Less and Have an Extraordinary Life! ” written by Blair Singer and it helped me to detach myself from other people’s unpleasant voices…i’m still working on it but maybe this book can help you too ! … We are so powerful ,but because all of this noise coming from the outside ,it’s hard for us to see the hidden gems inside of us…
Hi Dominic, good to hear your thoughts on this. And thanks so much for the book recommendation. I’m sure a lot of introverts could benefit from that book. 🙂
Great article and it’s the same for me, i have moments when i don’t want to talk ,but it depends on the person …Interesting thing i’ve observed about me : when people judge me or judge my words( in one way or another) or simply don’t try to listen and understand what i’m sayin’ ,i immediately go back in my shell , just like a snail 🙂 …and i don’t want to talk anymore.Sometimes i try to explain my point of view but a lot of times ,even if i know i’m right (or almost right) i just shut my mouth and remain silent .But on the other side,when people don’t judge me (like i do with others ) and really listen and pay attention to what i say, i go to the other extreme ,i mean i get out of my shell and i cannot stop myself talking 🙂 In general,i don’t like to talk about uninteresting things aka fluff talk 😀 I just need the right people around me (at least open minded people who can understand anything i might say ) , the right topic and i can have great conversations …(and talk like a salesman lol 🙂 )
I think you expressed the way a lot of interests feel very well, Dominic. Get us in a trusting environment with the right people and we really open up. 🙂
This is great cause most the time people seem to ask me why I’m so quiet ? which is a part of me . I know that some of them are just curios on what am I thinking. I’m trying to evaluate them to see who really cares cause not all person around you will do the same for you..
Thanks for your comment, Ryuji. Great to hear your thoughts. 🙂
I’m impressed with your blog. Unfortunately I do not write well in another language and I thank the google translator. I have a blog here in Brazil and talk about shyness, loneliness and introversion. And loved here so find relevant topics and few discussed in my country. I hope to reach a number of readers as well and managed to make us accept ourselves more introverted.
I almost daily, especially where I work, I listen to just that. It is very tiring and I mostly just do ‘a look’ at who directed me. It’s terrible to have to stay forever explaining comentendo us as if we were some sort of offense.
Tks for all
Hi Dani, great to hear from you all the way from Brazil. I’m so glad you found my blog 🙂 And that is wonderful that you have your own blog for shy people!
Even as a kid, I was quiet most of the time. I also had interests and inclinations, like wanting to be alone most of the time, preferring to spend my time reading rather than going out with friends. For the longest time I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Until I read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet.” What a liberating feeling it is after 55 years of existence to be able to finally accept myself as an introvert! Also, how fortunate I am to be married to someone who, even before I can accept it, knew that I was an introvert, always giving me the space I needed to be by myself
Thank you for your comment, Matt. I’ve heard from so many people whose lives have been totally transformed because of Quiet. I’m so glad that you’ve finally come to accept your introversion and that you have a loving partner who supports you in that. 🙂
“One way ticket to Wonderland” lol. I have done that so many times when talking to someone, or in a small group of people with a loud talker. I stay actively engaged, but if I am quickly cut off I just shut down and withdraw into myself. Always felt alone in this regard and chalked it up to a lack of concentration on my part. Large social situations can be very draining. I just got back from a wedding. I was being quiet as usual and there were many loud talking extremely extroverted people. Fortunately, I had found this blog and done some reading before going so I was not feeling as guilty as I usually would.
Hi Josh. Great to hear from you. And I’m so happy this blog helped curb feelings of guilt at the wedding. Weddings are a special breed of overwhelming for introverts. All those people, activities, loud music, photos – talk about stimulation overload! :O
I smiled and laughed while reading this post. I can relate 100%. I’ve been told all of my life “You’re quiet” or “You’re shy.” At first I was self-conscious and accepted that I was shy because everyone said I was.
It wasn’t until I was old enough to understand introversion that I was no longer bothered by people mistaking my introverted personality for shyness.
People drain me when I’m around them for too long, so I retreat and become quiet all of a sudden. Loud, hyper people suck all of my energy. It seems I can’t get away from them fast enough when this happens.
Thanks for sharing your experience with this Asia! 🙂
I would regard myself as an introvert, as a person that gets their energy from being alone, although I have some extrovert characteristics.
Yes, introverts may be quiet much of the time. But that’s because they want to make sure what they do say is meaningful and has value. I was at a coffee morning earlier today, someone commented that I was quiet. It’s because I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to say in relation to the conversation.
Exactly, Chris! Meaning is what matters.
Hi, I read many interesting comments about people who are quiet, or introverted. I have been a teacher for over 30 years and my job was to communicate with many on different levels in different ways.
I am married to a quiet guy! Social situations were very hard for him, he rarely jumped in to a conversation. He does better with smaller groups , one on one. When teaching, I did some choral work with the students etc. My observation is that some people are able to quickly relay thoughts through speech, others have to take more time relaying their thoughts into a conversation. I agree people loudly talking or rudely interrupting conversations is a turn off. However, many times quiet people don’t say anything when normal conversations are taking place. Communication is important at home, work, or play……Find a balance, and enjoy your life.
Gday again m8. The loud ones eh i can normally pick em. As a rule i wont talk to em now. There is nothin worse than someone who tells you you ar to quite but when you open your mouth they cut you off. Time wasters m8. I nay not say much but when i do its nice to be listened to.
I totally agree…it’s almost as if u don’t exist when u finally open your mouth
When people tell me I don’t say much, I ask them what they want me to say. They can’t think of a response to that.
That’s a good one, I’ll have to remember that! ?
You just helped me realize something about myself ! i always wondered why i could hold a convo or why i couldn’t care enough to join a convo that means nothing to me . OR why i felt like i was forcing convos .. its not because i like to be alone , its just that i don’t have anyone to share my real feelings with or have a real convo with .. Thanks for this post . now my search continues ..
Most of the masses around me often talk in excess about all that stuff that is all non-sense to me. I talk or become a part of convo only when I feel that my input is necessary. Being an introvert in no way means that if I’m quiet in a convo, I don’t have anything to say. Infact we do have, but who cares about non-sense convo’s. I listen from one ear and throw it away from other one.
Believe me, shyness in no way is awkward. It is a treasure concealed within us. The bottom-line is that “Empty boxes make more noise”
I like your post. Since childhood I have been known as the quite one and to be honest not much has changed 🙂 i can be very chatty and expressive but withdraw around people I don’t know or am not comfortable with, I have done extroverted friends but naturally I feel inclined towards introverts. I have always felt I was weird because I was quiet but it’s nice and a relief to know there’s nothing wrong with it.
At school I feel really uncomfortable in some of my classes because of the kids in there. Many of them are naturally loud so I always feel vulnerable and expected to be the same as them. It’s really hard for me to connect with people due to that issue because I always feel as if they’re going to judge or ridicule me if I do muster up the courage to speak. Of course this doesn’t apply to all of my classes, because I still have several close friends whom I’m able to open up to. Your post is really relatable and I’m glad there are so many introverts out there:)
Hi Joanna, I’m glad that my post resonates with you. I remember feeling the same way in school. Classroom settings often work against introverts. You’re not the only one! xo
So So SO true! I’ve noticed that usually in parties, its the people in the CENTER who call out tome. Something I find odd is that I am significantly more comfortable around guys then gals (and I’m a girl!) So if you have any theories…
Could be that you’ve just been around men more. I used to feel this way, I think because I have two older brothers. 🙂
hi im just really to quiet from childhood 20 nw still quiet and sad all the time
I can relate to,so much of this post. However the teachers at School And My Peers haven’t grasped this concept yet. Some of the teachers Seem to try to Clausen als much discomfort and ridcule for me by sitting me at the back of the classroom And complaining when they Cant Hear what i am saying.
Haha i understand both of your point of views. I get this too, a lot. Most times we just need the quiet time to be alone and recharge; there is a lot in our head, its just the way we are. And when we are with people, we tend to listen more attentively and observe and make connections to the things they are saying, only chipping in where it is relevant. But rightly so, reason, at times we just want people, especially those who feel the constant need to keep on yapping to validate themselves, to just shut up and bugger off already will ya 🙂 Liked the saying too; chose the people around you carefully for the ideas they have can and will get into your head, better to get more right ideas in.
hi i have always been quite and have had it said to me many times which gave me an infiriority complex i am also creative and having dificulty finding my place because always on my own i have also been called antisocial and live in adream world i encourage my self and hve few friends i find people bully me because im quite and i can get angry when people try to make decisions for me about my life and relationship choices .
I have encountered so many people telling me that I’m quiet over the years, as if it’s some wise epiphany they’ve stumbled across. It annoys the hell out of me. I overheard my boss telling someone (with much hyperbole) that, oh my god, isn’t she quiet! Ooh my god! OK, I don’t work in the same office as her, so I don’t know how much noise I’m supposed to make! Maybe I should start mooing and screeching when I go to work. It would be more intelligent than the content of what comes out of the loud mouths that occupy space there. The reason for said loudness must be overcompensation for how vacuous they are inside. After all, truly interesting / whimsical / imaginative thoughts don’t require external validation from the audible dimwits by the water-cooler.
YES!!! I know exactly what you mean!!! There’s a girl that literally talks all day. If someone doesn’t respond right away she’ll ask if anyone heard her. And then someone responds and everyone starts talking at once and it drives me up the wall. And the boss says we are too quiet and he wants us to talk more. Most of the people I work with do talk a lot, but I know that he mostly directs that comment at me. My next career is not going to be in an office environment I am tired of the politics.
Your statement (“Maybe I should start mooing and screeching when I go to work. It would be more intelligent than the content of what comes out of the loud mouths that occupy space there.”) absolutely killed me. Hilarious!
I think some people also have the mistaken idea that, just because we’re quiet, we’re sticks in the mud w/no sense of humor. Not true! You just have to get to know us better & see our goofy side. I’m always making my family laugh, but people I don’t know well may only see a glimmer (if that) of my sense of humor.
This is the story of my life
I have always been a quiet person but I seem to always attract talkative loud people for friendships or relationships. I always eventually felt exhausted and felt like I had to give up being me to keep the friendship or relationship. I always felt like the sidekick. As a grew older I discovered I enjoyed being around other quiet people a lot more than loud people and staying true to who I am and being independent was very simple around quiet people. I am now in a 3 year relationship with a wonderful quiet man and for the most part only spend time with my quiet friends or just my quiet self . Life is so much better.
Wow should we have a gathering for ourselves, the introverts? Lol
I’ve been a person with my mouth sealed most of the time eversince I was a kid. And people always told me “why the heck are you so quiet?” Or “please don’t be too quiet” which really breaks my heart even though it’s true. The most painful thing is that I can’t blame anyone for that and I have to get used to being called “quiet” so many times. I sometimes overthinking myself as why I can’t speak my mind like others do and what makes me so quiet like this and I often got stressed from the overthinking. But now, I feel much better, because I know that I’m not alone. In fact there are still many introverts who feel the same way as us do. So let’s keep our spirit and be proud of who we are. Thanks for your blog, Michaela. Introverts ftw!
Exactly Kaito! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I support you kaito am an introvert too
Im so glad I found this article. Ive started a new job in warehousing.. and im just quiet and work or think or dont think at all sometimes and just glide along observing. Its been a month now and i think people are starting to wonder if they’ll ever get to “know me” i dont have anything in common with anybody so i stick to myself…i stick to myself anyway in general. Im starting to feel slightly insecure. I started wondering if i need to “be someone else” there because everyone else is so in tune with eachother. i always end up quitting or running after about two months of starting a new job because things start getting weird.. I dont like how people make me feel, your article explains it exactly. When you’re an introvert, you have the capacity to feel what others might be feeling about you and you have the ability, if you’re listening to them closely instead of daydreaming (sometimes a challenge) you can decifer what they REALLY mean when they speak. Its usually not pretty. it gets old after a while of being around 80percent of people who are so loud and their inner issues are so loud that you can pick up on it.. When they dont even pick up on it themselves.. i need an article about how to survive in this world as an introvert and not feel down about it at times. when im alone im soooooo great. When im around… most people.. i lose my center.
I was pleased to see this blog . Quite frankly it’s one I aim to follow. I like reading and I’m a writer too and I enjoy plugging my headphones and going into my own zone. People always I am too quiet but once in a while I try and engage in or start conversations and usually get drowned out by others so I never bother trying again. My family especially think I am mostly quiet because I have epilepsy, they think I am sad. My father often tells them “T.J has been an introvert since he was a kid, way before he had epilepsy. Why can’t you guys accept him for who he is?”
I am partially introvert In a new place with all new guys n girls I never utter a word and just observe
I can’t talk to girls at all thought. But then I don’t hear from anyone of them telling me that I am quiet and ignore me like I have no presence . I don’t feel bad though , gotten used to it . I am like how the heck do these guys talk back to back getting involved with each other.
I might be late but idk if i am an introvert or not. I’m a quiet person myself. I usually have nothin to say which bothers me i want to be able to communicate more with others that really listen and are interested in whatever i do talk about. Whenever i do talk to people im usually around my friends or family. I do not have that many friends but im always the guy that sit and observes the situation. I believe that what my friends talk about dont interest me and if i pretend to be interested that will make me feel like im being fake so i dont really show much interest. But my problem is that i think im not interested in anything people say because i really dont respond to back. I just want to be a people person why is it so hard for me to be able to have people come to me for advice and have real connections not just a similarity because we ingest ganja.
I’m an introvert and I know that in some ways that’s a good thing. However it does seem to disrupt my world. First of all I’ve noticed that my quiet side gets replaced by a cheerfully talkative side whenever I drink — or at seemingly random points through the week. When being talkative is really the only way to ACTUALLY meet a significant other, or even just friends, I begin to believe that the only way I can actually put myself out there so that others can learn who I am is via a few glasses of wine (obviously this is a problem waiting to happen).
I see people carry on conversations and enjoying life and yet they’re all apparently just not interested in asking me what I think about **such and such**. Given the fact that I don’t feel that it’s right to just spew my thoughts in the middle of another’s sentence like a lot of other people do, I’m left involved in watching and listening. How does an introvert combat this situation?
For me, sometimes i find it tough to cope with outgoing people, most of the time i feel like im offending my friends if i don’t talk to them but then i feel like im being left out if both of my other friends get along well. To me, i also want friends, people that would understand me but this isn’t the case. I have a very difficult time expressing my emotions.This is where it gets complicated because my feelings begin to overwhelm and i tend to overreact. I feel like im always talking to my head, daydreaming or just sitting quietly and listening to other people’s story. Sometimes, i just don’t know what to say and so i usually keep quiet but really, most of the time i just don’t find anything really interesting even in what people say. i feel like im offending alot of my friends and i blame myself for this so i try to force myself to speak but it doesn’t and when it does, it comes out wrong. My friends probably think im a joke. I feel like im being a fake. my emotions tend to wear me out plus friends, i feel like i hate myself and life
I respect your right not to talk but it’s a social gather why come if you feel like daydreaming, stay home please. Your observing eyes and lacks of words are observation and that’s uncomfortable, so others return the favor to you by asking “WHY?”. We want too know if you are not going to engage why are you here with PEOPL; no one wants to be observed like a animal in zoo. Your vibe drains energy from the room for those that want to have a good time.
I completely agree with this. I have had so much trouble at work over my introversion. I think people took it as snobbery at first but after 8 years, most have come to the realization that’s just who I am. Still it has been a struggle since most of my coworkers are very extroverted. I agree that loud people drain me ..I can’t say I find them entertaining at all. I prefer reading and writing as opposed to actually talking unless the topic of conversation truly interests me. I will never understand why people are so uncomfortable with silence.
I totally agree with your statement about drifting off into daydream land when you quickly figure out that your conversational partner is not interested in what you have to say. One sided conversations are so maddening to me that I think I just have this self-preservation measure that kicks in so that I don’t have to feel the burn resulting from the ignorance of people who only want to talk about themselves, what they’re doing and what they’re interested in. I’ve found out in life that the best friends are those that ask you questions and have a genuine interest in you and your life. Who knew?
Hi just come across this seems great finding something where other people share my shyness issues! There are days where I think I’m quite outgoing but for some reason there’s others where I really struggle to be talkative. Sort of feel it starts a ball rolling where I start to doubt myself. I then become frustrated and upset. It affects my confidence! Luckily I’ve got some lovely friends that seem to accept me the way I am but there have been people in the past that have commented on my shyness. I’ve had comments like oo aren’t you a dark horse. I’ve had my shyness made into an issue all my life. Even my mother has joked about it to people. It was interesting reading about how with introverts certain people or situations can make an introvert feel overwhelmed. Sometimes feel like I’ve had enough and that I really dislike myself
I hear many people talking about my quietness ans silence. They seldom tell that to me on my face though. When I am in a class of students, teachers have noticed only my quietness, when many others were silent too. They ask other girls about me, but never ask or tell that directly to me. It does not disturb me much, yet, do they suppose me to be too strict, a freak, too aristocratic, or timid? Though I am quiet academical at school, and I also happen to be a prefect, I don’t start the conversation, so I guess people are afraid to speak to me. Is it so?
Hi Michaela, I am pleasantly surprised to hear that your stance on being introvert is more supportive than trying to be an extrovert instead. I find being an introvert satisfying as my experience with some people that are extroverts are too loud and they don’t leave any room for back and forth conversation. It’s almost like they’re starving for attention and in my head I’m kind of thinking “hey don’t panic don’t worry about it there’s plenty of time and room to talk, I want still no time for you but if you don’t want to make no time for back and forth then you lost me. ” So naturally I lose interest talking to them. I really only have interest of talking to people that listen well and truly mean it and also have things of substance and depth to talk about. Thanks for putting all that out there for us to relate to you and for you to relate to us. You are inspiring.
Hi M. I’m married to an introvert. In many ways, I’m an introvert too but when lack of sincere, loving & open communication prevails, I begin to feel I’m not needed or my wife isn’t interested in me anymore. I know that every once in a while, one is propelled to enter “quiet world” to do “some emotional house cleaning” but it’s important to communicate that to one’s partner, if not you’ll gradually create a gulf between yourself & partner that one day might be too wide to fill. Thought to share my experience. Cheers.
Hi I just read what you said about you being quiet and some of it is why I’m also quiet in school! I’m an 8th grader and turning 14 and I’m a very shy and quiet girl in school. Lots of people ask me why I’m so quiet and I just tell them ” because I don’t like talking much ” or ” I don’t know “? But the real reason why I don’t talk is because of what people will think of me when I say something. One time I was talking to this girl in gym about stuff and this boy came over to us and just stared at me in a weird way so I asked what’s wrong and you know what he said?
” you can talk? ” I answered back of course I can talk! I mean really he’s in my first period class and we talked to each other once and he didn’t even remember talking to me!
Then my art teacher says I’m her #1 fav student because I behave and I’m always quiet and I’m supposed to like that compliment but instead I get angry inside for some reason. I always try to talk but I never do. When ever we have to present in class or read in front of class I get super nervous I start to sweat and my heart beats fast, like really fast of fear! I Dont know if that’s good for your heart but really I get so nervous that I could just run out of the classroom. Then my teachers tell me to speak up and no matter how hard I try I can never raise my voice.? I’m loud at home all the time and no one believes me. My art teacher asked me if I’m loud at home, I said yes and she didn’t believe me! I just don’t understand how hard it is to people who are loud that can’t stay quiet for a minute! I hate when people ask me why I’m quiet or when they tell me to say something. Hey it’s my life I choose to be quiet or not just please let me be me! If only they could understand!
Hello Giselle, it is good to meet someone who shares my problem. Well, you see, I used to be the most talkative girl once, as a very young girl, but gradually, various sorts of incidents and situations changed me. I am an awfully quiet girl now. I am quite loud and friendly and warm at home, when I am in my family circle, but really quiet and almost inexpressive when I am outdoors. It also appears that I have become unfriendly. Some of it is because I have always been different, but realized that, and tried to fit in with all sorts of people. There have been times when I have not raised my voice, to be gentle or just to avert any jeopardy. People often mistake my gentleness for my weakness, so guess what, I started taking pride in my silence, and raised my voice every time I found something absolutely unjust.
You see, I have an advantage, I am a sincere and intellectual student at school, and my fame has spread to places. Yet, I remain quiet, and angelically tender, and maybe even coy, most of the times, seldom speaking, but believe me, when I do, they say that I speak volumes.
It is quite understandable that you do get angry when people comment on you, but let me tell you something, mate, take pride in it, and yourself. That is what I do now. I take pride in every positive aspect of mine, or which ever I find positive. I remain confident, but remember, never be too pride to accept your downfall. I remain just as I am, and never pretend. Love yourself the way you are, and remember, if you don’t put something unnatural, you are perfect. So be what you are and love yourself. Let the people say what they have to, never let their baseless judgement affect you.
Thanks Eve it feels good to know am not the only one
Hey Ruth, I think we are friends, now that we know that we are not the only ones, or alone. Right? Its good to hear from you.
I was at a high school gathering this year and out of the 6 of us girls, 3 were getting married, and we are 25 this year. The topic of the night was constantly about weddings and housing, me being single and not over the break up was dying during the conversation and I simply just could not contribute to anything. Soon everyone started digging into their food and someone just couldn’t let me off the hook. One of the ladies who was getting married next year suddenly asked “why are you so quiet today?” Not wanting to tell my pitiful break up story, I just replied “I’m usually this quiet”, and lo and behold, I got the most offensive response in my entire life. “This kind of answer you also dare to say? Did you see the look on the faces of others when you said that?” wow. just wow. did i really deserve that?
Hello, Eleanor, I have got to tell you mate, these kinds of people are the purest of hypocrites. I mean, don’t they think of others when they blabber their own fairy tales on their faces? What makes them so conscious of others feelings so suddenly? Let me tell you, you did not deserve that, not at all. And, maybe I would like to suggest something, though I am much younger to you, and maybe I have never had any relationships, yet, you should never express your weakness over any break ups. You might be broken inwardly, and also unwilling to share your personal matters, yet, never give them way to bully you.
Im just too quiet and sad in any conversations all the time in a group is it a bad thing i always get comments as mentioned earlier is it a bad thing how to get out of it ?
When I feel uncomfortable in a group conversation, I leave before it gets too awkward. Lol, I would be more more comfortable talking if the conversation were not always about personal stories. I don’t have much to contribute so I just leave. I prefer to talk about things that excite me like finance. It’s more abstract and “safe” for me.
im lost and silent all the tym
Well I see to it that others want me to think the same way they do about my shyness. I see that they want me to look at myself as a stuck up profile because that the way the treat me,like I’m a stuck up person. But I don’t want to see it like that.
same here. 🙁 i find it difficult to have to say something or reply to something people said. ‘you are quiet’ probably is one of the sentence that i heard the most and i hate A LOT. sometimes it really really gets to my nerve. also my name in chinese means quiet so i get this ‘is it because of your name makes you a quiet person’ thing a lot. i just hate it when people say that insensitively to me. And to make things worse english is not my first language and i am currently studying in UK. Sometimes i just don’t understand what people said, sometimes i just don’t have anything to say at all because of different culture backgrounds, sometimes i just don’t feel like i want to talk at all and also i know i always hold back a lot of what i want to say. i am working on talking a lot more and usually when i think i should be talking. but when i dont want to talk i just shut up.
That’s exactly how I feel all the time, especially when the professor was expecting me to say something “revolutionary”, or while having a dinner with housemates. I really do not want to say anything when I really nothing to say, but I don’t see being silent is anything wrong though rather than faking out loud a seemingly revolutionary statement (while in fact not at all). But I do feel apologetic sometimes, especially to the professors, as it might seem really rude or disinterested.
“You are quiet” used to be my nightmare. I have 4 uncles and 3 aunts, they all have 2 childrens, and my cousins are mostly married, even have their kids, so everytime we have family gathering it’s really crowded. I often find an empty room to hide, cuz the thought of greeting 30+ people makes me sick. I dont talk much with them. Then one day one of my uncles said I was too quiet and maybe I had some mental problems. I was shocked, hiding in the bathroom and cried like hell but in silence cuz I dont want my mom heard it, she used to make fun of me crying before. I was depressed for a long time, thinking I was mentally ill, until I read Susan Cain’s book about introvert. Now I feel much better, but still feel uncomfortable when someone says I’m quiet. Well actually when I’m with my BFF or with strangers who really want to listen to me, I can talk for hours. I don’t think I have problem with interacting with pp anymore, just that Im not interested and I dont want to waste my precious energy on them. I met a teenage girl who is my parent’s friend’s child when we went on vacation. She’s extroverted, so energetic, smiled and talked a lot, everyone loves her, except me. On a rainy day I wanted to stay in the hotel and read some novels, her mother came to my room and told me to take care of her. Then she wandered around my room, asking me a lot of stuffs and insisted me to go out with her. She kept talking even when I was putting on my makeup or go to the toilet to change clothes. The next day we went to the zoo, she just…um..like a monkey jumping from this to that, and then I felt tired and wanted to sit down she kept pulling me, insisting me to go with her. I even had to hold the pole next to me. That was a weird scene. After a while she gave up, and from then on I felt scared of her. When the vacation ended her mother told mine that I was too quiet and weird, she’s kinda feel pity for me. Ok I get used to it so it doesnt hurt much like last time but I still feel sad. Now when someone tells me I’m quiet I just smile and say “yeah”, then they are quiet too :))
I’m usually very quiet until I get to know you better. I don’t have much to say most of the time but when I do speak it’s because I feel my words will be meaningful. However, the reactions I receive from people every time I open my mouth cause me to speak even less. I often get negative reactions to my opinions or comments. I try only to speak when I’m sure of something and I guess people just don’t like that.
I agree with “they are the reason why my lips are sealed” I was with my buddy yesterday & his friend was a jokester. Which was funny the first 10 minutes. But once you start bashing people for too long I get irritated. I don’t believe in that structure of conversation. It’s unessary, a waste of breath. If you’re not saying anything stimulating. Then I have no reason to speak on it. My voice literally can not mix with ignorance.
Most people I hang around elaborate on conversations that I find either demeaning or bullying. I don’t understand what’s the joy of it. It gets so intense at times that I learned to drive my own car alone to encounters in case my limit has reached its max. Despite their annoyance, they have their qualities and as a social being, I keep my hopes up to find others like me that I wouldn’t if not exposed.
Ooooh wow! I read all your stories and I can relate. I’ve always been an introvert (at least I didn’t know what was wrong with me as a child) and I didn’t like being around people. I had close friends which I used to talk to. Generally though, I would be quiet (we were a group of five friends). By the time i was a teenage I was only left with 2 friends. Even at home I was very quiet…I still think that my family don’t know me (i’m 34 years old now).
I’ve been told I’m quiet in varsity so many times (which is translated into rude). and it used to annoy me and I ended up avoiding people. I managed to make at least 3 friends in four years of varsity! I really battled to fit anywhere. I relate so much with most of the stories told….After varsity I decided to do something about it. My main battle was when I attend conferences/seminars. I can’t network to save my life!!!! and people in my career path have always told me that’s the only way to get noticed. So i learned to at least start getting involved in conversations (i honestly had to research how to make conversations) LOL! scientist me! Even though i can chat to my friends i get choked in a group of more than 3 people. I actually want to be invisible in large groups. If i can manage to sneak out, i really do take a chance. I guess i don’t care anymore cause people already thing that i’m rude anyways.
Since i can get involved in a conversations, I’m now like a yoyo. One minute i will be chatting and the next minute I’m quiet, because i get exhausted from chatting! Its too much energy….I have to say, i see most of you have made peace with it. I’m really having a difficult time cause people interpret it as being rude…I’m so happy i found this blog. Your stories have helped me so much. Its like i found the answer to all the questions and i now know being quiet is still okay….
Hi am an intern in one of the big companies.I do talk to people at work especially to my supervisor even though am an introvert sometimes so my boss who was on leave and came 2 days ago is always on my neck that i am so quiet i don’t have much to say to him because we rarely interact with him so each day he always says that and i feel so much intimidated i just don’t understand what he expects from me
I agree 100 percent. If I’m busy thinking I’m probaly constantly observing them and no inputing for a reason and there can be a thousand of those. I like meaningful things half the time people asking about a quiet nature display negative body language and what a put off that is.
I’m a very introverted person because I can’t talk to others about me because I feel sad and depressed almost everyday because when my childhood boyfriend moved away I felt this way ever sense but when he was around I always felt comfortable to talk to him everyday because he made me feel happy and I loved him but now that I haven’t seen him in 10 years when people talk to me I can’t always say what I want to get out because my mind wanders and I think about the good times I had with them and it’s very hard to forget about it but people in school make fun of me for anything and I don’t bother no one I just like to keep to myself because I don’t really wanna talk about me as a kid in fourth grade because I feel sad and think about but I know if I say anything about it no one will believe me except for God and my family ?
I am an introvert working in a multi-national company where extroverts are recognized and applauded most of the time. One time, I opened up to my boss that I am an introvert and he mistakenly took it as shyness. So, as my development plan, he suggested that I do presentations to Management to overcome my shyness. I pointed out that i’m not a shy person- I have been performing, acting, singing, doing debates on stage during my primary and secondary years in school. My bosses also thought I was mentally slow because I don’t really talk a lot during meetings. Most of the time, my voice gets overpowered by loud people with strong personalities, whose ideas I find quite shallow,lacking depthness. And sometimes, I share my ideas with the team whilst other members would get the credit because they manage to express my own ideas to top level management. So in the end, I made a point to never share my ideas to others, keep them to myself and wait for a time so that I get the credit.
I just last night realized that I need to recognize and celebrate my introverted qualities more. People really do mistake being introverted as shyness, and may even conclude we aren’t enjoying ourselves when in reality, we are just observing and digesting our surroundings. I went to a political rally last night with the guy I’m dating. On top of it being my first major event like that, I also met 8 of his friends, all at once. I was extremely frustrated last night as I felt that he was constantly calling me out for being quiet and not yelling/expressing myself like the rest of them. I was totally fine with it, it was his comments that bothered and upset me. Naturally, I withdrew even more and ended up separately myself for the most of the night. I think it’s important that people DON’T try to push us to be something we are not. I read countless articles telling people how they can become more “talkative” and extroverted. Why isn’t it okay to be introverted? I think people mistake introverts for being weak, opinion-less people when in reality, we still have very strong beliefs and views. We just choose who we share them with and when we want to do so. Not everyone is worth wasting out time on.
Hi, I stumbled upon your article and I completely understand. Ever since I was a child people rarely talked to me and at times it was my fault because a lot of my classmates are very loud and outgoing people and love looking silly no matter where they are. I always felt uncomfortable around those types of people and now as a teenager I’m embarrassed to be around them when they’re ‘acting up’ (no offence to any loud people hear). After a while I’ve kind of became accustomed to being silent and just being ‘that person’ that hides in the background. Although when I’m with my friends or sitting at the dinner table with my family, as I watch them have conversations without me I start to feel lonely. What’s worse is, nearly, every time I try to start a new conversation topic or try to add to the topic everyone seems to either ‘not hear me’ or interrupt me in mid-sentence or before I can make my point. It’s emotionally exhausting when this happens and, to be honest, kind of makes me feel unwanted. Because of this I can hardly count my ‘friends’ as friends because I barely know them and I have a terribly social relationship with my mum and a not-good-but-not-bad social relationship with my dad. They only person I have a good to terrific social relationship with is my older brother and I thank him everyday for that. Although I do wish people would talk to me more or allow me to express my thoughts and feelings more. If you have any advice on how to make it easier to cope please reply
I am a very quiet person. Depending on the situation, I can be very outgoing. When people tell me I’m a very quiet person, I feel like it makes me talk even less. It’s not that I don’t like talking, I just don’t have anything to say! Although, I don’t particularly like the way my voice sounds. My sister is very outgoing, has to be the center of attention, and very loud, so I feel like that has affected the way I’ve developed as a person. I hate being in the center of attention since I never get it, and I don’t talk loud because I have to balance out her loud voice. Also mom and sister always scream at each other, so I hate yelling and can barley do it when I try. My mom was a cheerleader in high school and my sister hates being alone, and my dad was on the baseball team. While I on the other hand, hate hanging around people unless they’re awesome, and generally want to make people shut up. I wonder if I was in a different family, if I would be different, or if it’s just the type of person I am.
I was always quiet as a child (or so my teachers and elders always said about me) but it seems as I got older I became even “more” quiet.
The reasons for this are:
1. One too many people have for whatever reason viewed me as their personal “ego booster”, that is, someone who felt they could use me at their expense; and
2. One too many people have used personal information for exploitative reasons. This is NOT the same thing as identity theft, but rather, the use of information against the person to whom it belongs. Naturally this has had some highly destructive consequences. Once bitten, twice shy.
Am I an introvert in general?
You bet I am. Everything else “quiet” about me is the direct result of personal social conditioning.
Its nice to see there are other introverts but what puzzles me is none of the posts so far are intensely negative stories. at my age47 I have probably had 45 jobs and 66 addresses. When I enter a new workplace there are usually three things that can happen. 1) people say “why are you so queit” 2) a person will march right up and get in my face and say “YOU are a really CALM! person. 3) when I walk into the work area for the first time most people will say hello and make eye contact or shake hands except one person. #2 and #3 persons you need to watch out for they both have the same body language and a grimmis on their face and the same words come out of their mouth.
The antagonism is about to start.
I am the nice guy, the quiet guy, they guy that will help you anytime with anything and not complain, I have an inner peace about me I acquired at age 24 or so. I don’t yell , scream but I do handle stressful situations well. I don’t cause others problems or put them down or engage in negative talk. I work hard and im good at what I do. I scored 10pts above the national average on both of my registries. I am single, male, thin, barely have a friend, no kids but have always wanted a family. because of this I fit about 15 negative stereotypes non of which are me. I have been screamed at about 14 times on the job, assaulted 4 times, set up and fired twice, I have had several departments just gang up on me and bombard me with negative comments or do just the opposite and give me the silent treatment, lately it has turned to cell phone tapping, cyberstalking, vandalizing both vehicles and a broken calculator. and I am still the nice guy who just wants to live and work in peace and can’t treat other anyway but nice. I will be changing careers this year to go up the ladder and try to get away from the nutty nut jobs. People have told me that its just hate and jealousy as to why people go crazy on me. So why am I so quiet? I had parents that divorced at age 3, granddad died at age 10, no dad for 9 years, an older brother who was jealous and mean, a mother that yelled screamed at me 23 times a day ( I logged it ) I didn’t participate in church, sports or school activities. I tried little league football but nobody came to watch me so I dropped out of sports. so there were bad things and trauma and growing up alone. I think I have a reason to be quiet. I think I will now seek a career and a job that will let me work in a space by myself or own my own business. I found this sight because I am just now trying to contact people to see if they have had similar experiences. I keep pushing myself to go back out there but its getting old and I am getting even more quiet around people now. Thanks I hope you all find your peace someday. Maybe Dr phil can explain this.
Thanks for your thought. My situation is different from yours but I somehow understand your words. Any nobody cares either, that’s the part that stick with me.
Let the loudmouths and abusers do their worst. They will feel retribution, and then some.
I thought about your post overnight as it had stayed with me after reading. I’ve been in the same situation before. People are, beneath the societal norms and apparent intelligence still simply animals. There is a psychological need to project and dump our psychological rubbish on the apparent weakest individual in a team. It’s a test to find limits. I too have had an entire department of 10 walk out on me, leaving me all alone to “answer phones” over lunch. No words spoken, they arranged it over email and messenger between themselves. I waited until they all got back, and walked out on them. My lunch started the moment they all got back. Thing is, much as though I wanted a disneyesque world all my life of peace and harmony, most people cannot help themselves. Through therapy I have developed a “garden gate” that closes off anyone who thinks I’m a dumping ground for all their trash. I take the attitude that they are trash, not worthy of my time or consideration. The key to disneyesque peace is to be flexible with the switch – as soon as their attitude changes to nice so does yours. Mirror them. Suddenly the other person understands simple limits – and so do you in terms of trust moving forward. To clarify, the garden gate is the fact that people will run all over the garden in your mind (the perfect life) and trash it, knowing there are no consequences. You have to close the gate by various means. Short answers, no eye contact, beyond the obligatory Good Morning in the workplace wether you like someone or not, a distinct lack of personal information. I have had arguments with CEO’s, been hounded out of a job that took months for the perpetrators to complete, but by the time I had finished the bosses reputation was in tatters. He got fired too. People will learn you have limits and a shadow, which equals a backbone. I wanted the world to be a different place, and it can’t be. So define limits, Chinese walls and create your ideal life within them. As people transgress and violate, learn the art of proportional response (a full and equal measure) while keeping to your core values and learn that trust is earned.
They all say that shyness isn’t a bad thing,but how can you say that but be surrounded by others that are much more outgoing and then say its not. I’m guessing I should stop thinking and say whatever regardless of what it means to others.
I think introverts are so wonderful because they have their own world, just certain people who really know them.
Hello all, so nice to learn there are so many other quiet people out there! Nah, I don’t think we need to justify our preference for being quiet. We exit, we are real and we are great! We’ve got it all sorted in our heads, made all the important decisions, know what we would do in any given situation… nothing left to talk about. Everything is organised in our minds and in our hearts. I’m not quiet because I have no opinion – I’m a typical Aries and over-running with ideas and opinions and if people try to give me a hard time because they think I am quiet, a woman on her own and whatever else… recommendation is approach with care and respect.
I am quiet because… such a lot of reasons… people can be so negative, like dementors they suck the life force out of you… I am so happy, so contented, so many hobbies and interests and I like new information and I am openminded and compassionate…
There is no need to judge others or ourselves. We are beautiful just the way we are – however that maybe; we exist therefore we have our purpose and right to be here.
Social control likes people who play along and form controlled groups – living with and bending to the wills of others in order to feel ‘belong’; the Quiet Ones are in some ways the dark forces, the unknowable, the lone wolves that think independently, question the status quo and resist control. Our silence is uncomfortable and threatening… nuff said.
You are right when you say that people do not stand silence. I am a quiet person for many people and they think I am a weird person. But this in not my opinion and being an introvert has a lot of good side : I feel comfortable traveling alone AND I like meeting new people when I am abroad , I have a deep and good imagination and I need that; I often like drinking a coffee somewhere or eat in a restaurant alone ; I appreciate a good meal and take the opportunity to think a lot…this is a fresh breethe for me. I don’t know why this world always need noise and constantly tchating , people gossip all the time and there is not always something good at the end. Silence is the enemy of our society, but for introvert it is not a problem at all : silence is important, it is relaxing… I like having lunch alone after a lot of noise around me in my office, it is like a fresh breethe….But even if people think I am weird I don’t care. I am comfortable with myself and I know I have a nice personality, I am open minded, but I speak when I really have something to share….Introvert are probably more mature than some extrovert people…
When I am quiet , I am thinking about something and I find it very annoying when someone interrupts my train of thought to say something like ” say something” because that usually just starts me thinking ….why would someone demand i say something instead of saying something thoughtful that would make me want to say something. Starting a conversation with another person isn’t hard if you are interested in getting to know who they are..otherwise don’t waste my time. lol thats how I feel.
Thanks for sharing your experience on being quiet and introvert. I feel the same and in my young age I had encountered “you are quite!. You need to talk”
In school kids make fun of me calling “tortoise”. I had no friends. Later I found I am very anxious and uncomfortable while talking to any one. When I was kid I like to “think” a lot, like understanding how things work and liked science subjects.
In my opinion there is nothing wrong with being quiet. You are perfectly capable of being good friend and doing things as extroverts. But there is a good chance that society treat you like “we don’t understand you.”. Your success depends understanding this behavior in advance and do not get depressed.
Now I have good job and salary. I was depressed and affected me. I wanted an engineering degree but could not get. I found an excellent book in amazon Shyness: A Bold New Approach by by Bernardo J. Carducci Ph.D. (Author), Susan Golant (Author) . I found this helpful.
Today’s society is getting more and more ignorant, there is nothing wrong with being quiet, at least I don’t “Mouth off” all the time like some folk who have, it seems, only ‘half a brain’. Quiet people are decent people.
People who yep yep yep drain the life force out of me. Up until now I have always just sat there and taken it, I’ve pretended to be interested and I was not.
i’m not going to let loud mouth loonies drain the life force out of me anymore. I like my peace and quiet, I like people who are sane, positive and balanced.
I like it when people have something to say that I find uplifting, useful, or into resting.
From now on unless somebody has something to say that I genuinely find interesting I’m not going to sit there and listen to their crap.
Are usually feel like I don’t want to offend them by not listening to their crap.
But I should think about my feelings first.
I can be that quiet person, but I can also be the loud person, depending on the situation. I don’t think it’s fair to blame the other person for not asking you the right questions. I’m often afraid to ask questions about things someone doesn’t want to talk about, so I end up not asking questions. I just kind of hope that they’ll talk about themselves in a way that *they* want to, because that’s what I do. Just because I’m not asking questions doesn’t mean that I’m not willing and happy to listen. It’s a balance that I’m personally working on. People ask stupid questions all the time, so I’d rather talk about myself in my own way, and then let the other person do the same. Trying to think of questions to ask is tiring.
i prefer a quiet environment every time i hear my neighbors blasting music of hear there kids being loud outside i get irritated and angry really fast and it makes me stress i told land lord and my neighbors to turn it down but neither party cares and i can’t call the cops because the land lord said they have a lawyer , so it’s really hard for me to do something about it , worst part is i get horrible migraines ): and i’m 19 years old. I just wish i had a quiet place to live where there’s no sound x.x
This is so inspiring Ma. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. This just gets my spirit up after a hard week of most people saying “you’re so weird” or “why you so quiet” even by family members , sometimes I just hate myself I cry secretly but try to smile when they say those things .
Just as you said if someone’s doesn’t feel interested in talking to me I just quiet down. I find it hard to feel comfortable around new people I just see glazes of judgement in their faces .
Thanks again for sharing
I am a very quiet person. So quiet it scares some people. People have talked about my quietness behind my back, I have over heard them talking about it when I worked. I quit my lost few jobs and haven’t worked since. They said I was someone to “watch out for”. They said I was a serial killer, all sorts of horrible things. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s when I was 13. I’ve become so insecure, I barely leave the house unless my mom is with me. It’s pathetic I know.
Sometimes say or ask something to inspire them to be louder
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I am in such a weird situation right now because of this. I used to be a person who talks a lot and loud in my childhood, but as I grew up I was not talking as much and after marriage even less as I realized my husband is not a chatty kind of person, he likes to talk only about work, current political/economic affairs and stuffs like that. A talk without any purpose always ended up in arguments. After my mother’s death. I almost gave up talking. It’s not like I am quite purposefully, it’s just that I don’t have anything to talk about. But recently my in-laws came to live with us for sometime and my not talking is now a concern and has ruined all our relationships. My MIL talks a lot like really a lot! I sometimes find their table discussions slightly insensitive and not funny but still keep quite because I think everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and if I don’t like it then it’s my problem not theirs. I like to rather be quite than saying something that will create an unpleasant situation. But everyone is making a big deal out of the fact that I don’t talk. I don’t know what should I talk? I really don’t have anything in my mind to talk about!
Today I had my yearly employee review at my job and my boss told me I need to be friendlier with my co-workers. By friendlier, he simply meant smiling and saying hi to people I don’t normally talk to. However, he gave me an oustanding remark about my customer service skills.
I’ve never been the first one to say hi to someone new. If they greet me first, then I will be polite and greet them back.
I don’t really know what to do now.
This brought me here
Thoughts arrive like butterflies; oh he don’t know, so he chases them away.
I used to be able to talk to people in the office, but for almost 2 years now, I probably do no say more than 10 words the entire week, if so. They talk and talk about work and discuss silly things and I just find myself standing up and politely closing my office door so I cannot hear them and focus on my work. I have a lot to do and they keep giving me more and more. It started 2 years ago of just being extremely busy and do not have time to talk. but it turned out that I got used to be silent and I found it tires me less and keep me away from getting into trouble or conflicts. Later I got used to it more and I became silent in the house too. When I am forced to attend a work meeting which I do whatever I can to avoid (and I actually managed to avoid most of them) I keep silent and listen to others so it will be over as quick as possible. People got used to me like that and no one asks me to go out to lunches or office functions. I never attended the business parties like Christmas or an office lunch or tailgate or anything like that. I always felt I do not belong with these people and I never felt comfortable around anyone at work. I am an immigrant to this country, and I have been here for 27 years and I never had a friend since I immigrated. Am I just an introvert or there is something else wrong with me
I’m not sure if I am introverted. When I’m in a group I just listen or just think something for myself. The bigger the group is the less I talk. I often think the parts others would say out loud. I’m used to not being part of a conversation. I rather don’t say anything than getting ignored. When I’m with friends or in a good mood I’m not like that at all. In fact I really like to talk in front of people and don’t have a problem with being in the center when it comes to it. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say. When I try too hard it just ends up awkward. I don’t know what my problem is and I don’t know how to fix it. Sometimes I just talk but often I don’t. I tried to change. Many times. It just doesn’t work.
Thank you for sharing this post
” If someone doesn’t seem interested in listening to me early on in the interaction, I won’t bother trying again. Instead, I’ll buy a one-way ticket to wonderland (a.k.a my own imagination), and let them continue their solo conversation without interruption.”
too damn true!! there are so many freaking narcissists these days! the art of conversation has been lost! everyone would rather one up each other than actually communicate and connect. we’ve forgotten how to love and respect each other and it’s a damn shame!
This article is very true for me. One time, I was talking to my more gregarious friend for three hours and didn’t say more than a couple of words during the session and at the end of the session you told me that I am a quiet person. Sometimes , people have asked me if something waa wrong because I was quiet during our conversations.
I can totally relate to this, so thank you! My ‘friends’ are so loud that it makes hanging out with them just mentally exhausting. The conversation is specifically catered for, who can speak the loudest or make the funniest wise cracks. I find it far less stressful to sit there and watch their bottomless pit of neediness being part fulfilled. To be honest, my friends are too busy attention seeking to notice the quieter ones of us not participating iin the conversation. I’ve got to the point now where I’ve had to bve honest with myself and admit that I actually prefer my own company. Because lets face it, I mnmnay as well be in my own company. An old friend has recently tracked me down and I’m actually looking forward to meeting up with her. Perhaps because she holds a two way conversation and listens, as well as always giving tried and tested great advice. I’m beginning to realise that I don’t have a problem as such. They do.
sometimes situations make people quiet yet they are not introverts as such. i had people in my life that i called friends but they disappointed me and spilled all my secrets, so i decided to keep my private life personal and talk to a few i think i can trust. i also edited my friends’s list. people think am quiet but am not, and i like it that way anyway.
People who talk the most always have the least to say.
I can relate to most comments. I got tired of reading though. It was too much repetition.
I’ve always been quiet in social settings. Even among my friends. I don’t last long in one on one encounters though. Matter of a fact, I have no relationship like that among my friends. Which I fully understand. Even through all the social media. The only time someone texts or messages is if they have a trivial or simple question.
I dislike talking/replying to redundancy. I have trouble keeping a conversation going because I answer too blunt or simply. It’s as if my unconscious side refuses to waste energy to explaining details. I sometimes wish I could.. feels as a curse at other times. I’ve lost several opportunities with beautiful and lovely females because of it. To the point where I feel destined to be single. Which leads me to saying.. How does one find love when there is a communication barrier?
It may seem I have a little to say, but honestly.. After I’ve said something to an individual.. like the common decencies of greeting and goodbyes. Or the background story of childhood and young adult life. Likes and dislikes of food, drinks, places, animals etc. It ultimately leaves me with nothing more to answer.
Most conversations seem rhetorical now. Even with jobs… I end up having to find new ones to keep me interested or happy. I’ve even had to make a self rule of staying with a company for 1 year before find a new one.
How do we overcome this loss of interest? Should we read more books? Continue to look forward to something in the news or publishings? If you think hobbies is a answer. You’re right, but wrong in my situation. A hobby doesn’t keep my interest long. I.e: My self rule for a duration of employment at a job.
At times as a introvert. I feel so lost. Perhaps, I only share some characteristics in observatory, quietness and the likes of being alone most of the time. Maybe someone can relate to me.
I am no longer sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic.
I needs to spend some time studying more or working out more.
Thank you for great information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.
I really enjoyed reading this and seeing all the comments of people who struggle with the same problem. At times it feels as though I am the only one who isn’t ‘loud’ and not as involved with the people around me. Everyone else makes talking seem so easy. It’s nice knowing that I am not the only one who struggles with this conflict.
I’m glad that, somewhere in the deep recesses of the internet, an article like this exist. I very much relate to the experience that you have mentioned. Some of the comments I also relate too. Like I usually have nothing much to say to a certain topic. But the one thing that I struggle most is when I want to tell a joke but can’t because I don’t know how. It seems a struggle to me, often overly thinking what to say, just to bring out a punch line. While others do it like second nature. Ofcourse comedy is another topic on its own. All in all, I’m glad I’ve read your article. Kudos.
This is so me I’m so tired of being told I’m quiet I can’t make myself loud, I can’t worry less I can’t automatically be more confident. It actually makes me upset, I wish I could be louder but am more of an observer or listener. I feel I start a conversation more than others and it’s annoying when they don’t really converse back. The worst I had today was a colleague say why would a personality quiz say I’m an extrovert just because I go out more than them but they are louder and more out there than I am, and constantly reminded I was nervous at my interview and that I should pick people like me – so why didn’t I get picked for the job now you see how good I am?! But never get told they regret the decision they made. Constant battle that doesn’t help with friends who don’t suggest going out, I’m always suggesting and it tires me out I wish others would make more of an effort.
Recently beeing quite has made me feel extremely empty and driven me crazy.before i was comfortable with myself and the awkward moments would past after leaving a social situation. Know that i overthink about this problem i am realy bored,and i hate others see me as a boring person.
i happen to be quiet and an introvert too. In my family i happened to have traveled around the world the most for education plus for work. Had been away from the country for about 5 years. So back home my family has always talked big about me to friends and other relatives.
One of the hardest times i faced is when i returned to my home country and i meet these family friends and relatives who already have this big imagination of me and expect a lot of stories from me and life abroad and a lot about my experiences . But due to my nature of being quiet, they don’t really get as many stories from me as they expected. I usually see the disappointment in their eyes and makes me feel bad about myself most times. But I’ve slowly started to accept the way iam, coz for my honestly conversations am forced to have really really drain my energy.
These days if someone tells me “your too quiet”, i just tell them, “yeah thats not news, am well aware of that fact”
I don’t know what just had happened to me now. Since i was in high school, I got a lot of friends,a jolly person, an extrovert,a very active being and in just a single word i can make my friends laugh. I don’t care what they call me, instead I usually say to myself that I bring joy to my friends and mates, whenever they are bored or have a problem they just approach me and tell funny things or just comfort them. Years pass, here I am now a silent type college student, Everything change because of judge mental people around me. Since now I felt alone, I’m down, i feel that i have no friends, i feel that I’ve change a lot and it’s hard to adjust from being extrovert to introvert. It’s almost a year being a quiet type of person. I’m afraid to speak up, because someone else try to criticize and judge me again. People think that I’m weird, crazy, and freak from being a introvert.-Breathes deeply-
My colleagues at work always told me when I’m with them the words “you’re so quiet”, “why are you so quiet”, “please talk”. I know they love me at some point but they are all extrovert. I’m hurting whenever they said that and when they bullied me. But I’m still smiling even it really hurts. I don’t know what to do. I’ll just pray and ask strength from God for every hurts, trials, and problems.
I googled the subject and this came up because I too am an Intovert. Not so much around people I know but more so at work and in large groups of people. Here is my thought, so many people around me talk, talk, talk and never listen. I like to listen, observe and give a comment when I feel it is really needed. But thank goodness for us introverts or imagine what this world would be like!
Thank you for this post, much of it resonates with me. Up to being 11 years old, I was always very quiet and inward. My Mum and teachers would always be telling me to speak up, and make myself heard which made me sad. At 11, I moved to a new city and was bullied terribly at school for being posh, quiet, creative and intelligent. When I moved schools aged 13, I consciously made the decision not to be bullied again, and became loud, hard and the centre of attention. I stayed like this for most of my adult life, but over the last few years, I have been depressed because I feel I am not being the ‘real me’. I tried counselling which didn’t hep me at the time. I eventually crashed and burned and needed time off work. During this time, it has dawned on me through lots of internet and soul searching, that I am yearning to be my true introvert self. I adore time alone, and the love of calm and quiet. My problem is, that most people know me as being a big personality, and the starter of many menial conversations. I need to be my true self to feel at peace at long last, I am 53 now, and have realised that the original me – quiet and unassuming – was the real me, I need to let her out again. Thanks for the thought-provoking article. xx
When I was younger I never knew that I was an Intervert. But over the years I have discovered my personality and bitch Face :).
On many occasions I have Heard that I am so angry or look angry, even family feel that I am often angry even when I am just being normal.
Nice to have a description and hear that other people also have faces that look bitchy but are quiet normal.
Stephen, I relate to your comment so much. I did not realize that I am an introverted person until my adult age. I find that people and even family think I am quiet because I am stuck up or snobby. The reality is that I am just quiet and observant. When I force myself to talk I feel like I say everything wrong and that people make fun in their minds. Being an introvert makes me feel like something is wrong with me. I’m struggling with this a lot. I seem to be fine at work but in social settings I feel like I make everyone not want to be around me.
Hello. I’m a 6th-grade student and people always say ”You’re too quiet, can you talk?” Hearing this makes me feel like there is a hole deep inside of me. It’s not like I want to be quiet. I just don’t want to be annoying. I can talk. I feel very lonely. No one really talks to me because I’m so quiet. Even when I’m in waiting in line, someone thinks I cut them. Probably I’m too quiet people think I’m a ghost. I have friends but they don’t talk to me a lot. When someone notices that I look lonely, I feel my heart lightened up. Look, the reason why I am quiet is that I don’t want to bother anyone. When teachers are taking the attendance, I raise my hand and I say ”here” but all they do is look around like they didn’t hear me. I just wish people would be more observant. This is why I like to stick to introverted friends. When I’m asked to pick a partner for assignments, I am usually the leftover one. My *friends* pick my other friends and I’m the only one left out. I’m actually an extrovert at home but I spend time sitting on my chair and doing homework or listening to music all day. I’m hitting myself hard for posting this but I only want to spread this word out that I hate being struck out as a nerdy person. (not to mention I love anime but I hate people calling me names for this and thinking that I’m weird so I keep this a secret). I will keep myself anonymous for now.
Hello. I am quiet sometimes but people instead f supporting me say “Helen is quiet we can not imagine her another but quiet. If I do something that I want and I am not quiet they are very surprised of this.They think that quiet must be always quiet and merry must be always merry.I WANT TO TELL TO THOSE PEOPLE “BE QUIET FOR ME BECAUSE I AM VERY SURPRISED WHEN YOU ARE BEHAVING LIKE MAD”.
Hello, I too am a quiet, introverted person. But I’m having a hard time understanding something. I’m not that quiet of a person where I won’t at least be polite and say “Hello, how are you doing?” or just simply have little conversation with someone and try to get to know someone. But i do get irritated when I’m being judged for being too quiet but no one really listens to me when I have something to say. It’s like I can’t win for losing. No matter what I do it’s not good enough. If I’m quiet something is wrong with me, but when I’m ready to speak, people will try to cut the conversation short and end it or do majority of the talking and ignore everything that I have to say. This also causes me to be lonely. Sometimes extremely lonely. I know deep in my heart and soul that I’m doing everything in my power to be social and engaging with people. I’m not even as quiet as people claim me to be now that I think about. Maybe I’m simply not saying what people WANT me to say. I also don’t feel like I have the support of people in my life like I should. For example, I am an aspiring R&B singer/songwriter and I recently performed at the Apollo. The biggest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. My performance was not that bad but not that good at the same time. It was good enough that I didn’t get booed and I got the crowd into me, but you can tell that I was nervous. This was the very first time I’ve performed in front of a live audience and it was streaming live on Facebook so all of my family and friends saw my performance. I was cheered the least out of everyone who performed. In my mind, it was pretty bad, I felt like I embarrassed myself. Plus, I didn’t have anybody I knew there in the building with me to physically support. I’m kind of annoyed with the half ass support that people in my life are giving me. They really don’t believe that I can achieve this dream. Although I had some people tell me that it was a really good performance and it was just a great opportunity to perform at Apollo in the first place, that really wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to at least be 3rd place. I live in Baltimore. I don’t have much going on for me here. I work a job that’s not really what I want to do in life, I have no friends, no girlfriend, I really do not have anyone in my life currently that I can relate to in any capacity. I have some people from my aunts church who helps to uplift me and encourage me, but that’s about it. I don’t have anyone who I can talk to on a constant basis. But to get back to the point I was making, despite that fact that I’m an introvert and a quiet person, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to accomplish my goal and dreams of becoming an R&B singer/songwriter and inspiration to people who are like me. But it’s hard for me as a single black male to do things all on my own. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing as a human being. And all I want to do is love and be loved. I’m not a bad guy at all. Excuse me for this long message but I feel like I need to put some things out there because deep inside of me, I feel really bad and I don’t want to feel this way anymore.
And hopefully it can help inspire others.
It’s great that you elaborated on how introverts can be very perceptive in a way that it’s easy for them to tell if the person they’re talking with is genuinely invested into the conversation or not. You also pointed out that introverts won’t bother giving that conversation a second shot. I’m very anxious for my son’s welfare because I can see that he’s having some difficulty engaging with kids his age. Sadly, we have to move one too many times because my husband is a private contractor and we have to go where the business is. Moving around a lot possibly caused my son to be this way. Still, I am hopeful that it isn’t all that bad and that if he participates in more social activities, he’d get along just fine.
My fiance is an introvert and he is so wonderful. We have been together 8 1/2 years and we complement each other. I’m more of an extrovert but I have come to really treasure Doug’s introvert ways. He is an amazing communicator, he is genuine and real, and he is loyal to the end. I’m truly blessed.
awww… that’s such a beautiful and inspiring story … thanks for sharing … if we learn to accept each other albeit those who hurt and harm, then maybe the world would be a better place.
This was very comforting to read; my thoughts exactly. I’m tired of people pointing out that I’m quiet, asking why I’m such a quiet person, and feeling they’re judgement and analysis. It makes me feel really anxious and self conscious. I want to ask them if I’m the first introvert I’ve ever met in their life, or if they can think of a more creative way to start a conversation. I’m really not even THAT quiet. I’m very chatty with my friends.
I feel sometimes like the people that point out that I’m quiet only want me to talk to make them feel more comfortable, or to give them an excuse to talk more. I also often get interrupted by these types of people when I do try to speak. I also can’t stand some of the rude questions people ask or their complaining as a topic of conversation.
Thanks for sharing. I think there’s a good reason for some of us to be quiet, an introvert. I am too chatty with those within my comfort zone – right now this leaves me to only my children now.
Why is it that the people who feel the need to tell us we are quiet also seem to think that we should aspire to be like them…loud and dominating the c onversation? Crazy!
From one introvert to another , I agree with you totally.
Girls have it better than boys an extrovert can actually like and ask a quiet girl out but for guys! its very down bringing, I feel that I must change open up more enjoy life by getting a girlfriend
People including those who think a quiet, shy person is a disorder that needs remediation of some sort aches me to my core and one reason of me now seeking to become a hermit – avoiding all people as much as possible. I tried changing many times to become more social with damaging results ruining my whole life each time gaining more enemies.
One of my best friends is an introvert. But I hardly ever see her really because she lives on the other side of the country. I spend a lot of time on my own, and I prefer being on my own most of the time.
But when I see her, yes I do want to want to talk to her a lot because I feel like it’s the only chance I’ll get for ages, She usually only stays a couple of nights, but she’s ready not to talk anymore buy the 2nd day. I understand the need to be quiet if you spend a lot of time with someone, but not if you hardly see them.
You could be right, it could be me. But that would be quite a horrible thing to hear from one of your best friends who has come especially to see you.
Nice Post Again! informative Article. I really love this kind of blogs.
well done! keep the good work up. 🙂
The reason why I’m so quiet is because it just made things easier for me. I started out as an extrovert, not shy around anyone, but gradually with people constantly talking over me, interrupting me when I talk or when I’m speaking they seem to be listening but then they’ll say “Can you say that again? I wasn’t listening”. So now for the most part I just keep quiet and keep my thoughts to myself? I’ll go places with friends, but I try to hide in the background until I’m addressed directly. I see no reason to talk if people don’t seem to value what I say.
You precisely described my personality.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful description.
Sooo relatable i dont speak much because i am so afraid that my friends will not like what i am saying and ill be judged or my words are not worth listing too.
I’m exactly the same way, and my first name is Michaela too, spelled the same way. It’s easy for me to hold a conversation if something is important or if it’s about a topic I’m passionate about like writing or reading books; but if not, I really don’t have much to say, and some people don’t get that. 🙂
Thanks for sharing that. It’s great to hear from another Michaela! 🙂
I’ve been told, countless times, that I’m quiet and/ or anti social. On the flipside, I have been known as the loud mouth, as well; figure that one out. I mostly quiet because I’m always tired, other times, it’s because the people I’m around don’t normally have anything good to talk about. When I say good, I mean non- negative. Other times if I’m quiet, I’m upset with something or someone, and I don’t want to talk. I sit back and observe people, and think about my next move. Sometimes I don’t want to think at all, just sit and…
When I attended the higher vocational school I was victim of mobbing in the first year.
So the entire time of my 4 years I was there I turned quiet.
But I must say it was a good decision. I learned so much more about my culture my city (how people speak what some words mean that I only knew from dialect). I was rarely involved in dialogs for atleast the first 2 years since the mobbing.
In year 3 I spoke with a girl because I liked her. Turned out she had a boyfriend and found me too be a stalker what somehow was true, since I was interested to know where she actually lived but I never did something like that again even If I knew where a girl lived.
Just the too many e-mails, instant messaging was from me something obvious that I also did latter on, but I got better. THis year I wen to psychologist that diagnoses Autism ADHD and so on. Turns out it seem I was born with Asperger all my life without knowing. And I’m in my early thirties now.
But too come back to the topic again: It was very interesting to listen when others spoke and all the small talk they had. I really learned something from this experience(besides the fact that if you wont to make dozens of friends when you come to a new school it probably will fail if you try that with showing off-you will only gain laughter and embarrassment).
And in the course I attended before being diagnoses there where alot of people that had troubles that lead the losing their jobs. 2 I met there where really introvert. And all the time I thought I was shy and or an introvert since I couldnt handle job interviews very well and had low-self esteem since my time on the vocational school and till present. One of them replied that she doesnt like to say much in discussions because she is never sure when to talk (so she said she didnt want to interrupt anybody). Wow so much too think about why people are quiet. Its sometimes just good manners and I never thought about that aspect before.
You have just taken the words I wanted to say out of my mouth.
I hear lots of comments telling me: “this room looks like a tomb!” “You were completely silent, if A or B were here the situation would be much different” “This silence is unbearable”.
All this makes me feel guily and to make me ask if I am really worth for anything.
But on the other way I can change a lot when someone really interests me, although I am generally quiet and speak little.
This “social anxiety” leads to lower self-esteem and feelings of guilt when you do not accept yourself as you are.
I agree that one can only change yourself to a certain extent and beyond that there will be simply more anxiety and identity loss.
This is so relatable. I am 24 and I am a completely quiet person. I find it incredibly hard to speak to people whether in a large crowd, a small group, or one-on-one. Do you have any tips as to how to start minimal conversation without getting so shy or nervous around people, especially if there is a love interest on the line.
Here is a conversation cheat sheet that will help: https://www.introvertsocialskills.com/
As an introvert I understand exactly what you mean. Today my 100% extrovert “friend” was talking and talking and talking about the most boring things on earth while I was trying to get my Spanish homework done. I don’t even think that she noticed that I had something important to do before she came up to me to dump all her problems on me.
What would you ask of me?
Well i am shy, or just straight up tired
Usually I can’t relate to other people so I keep to myself, which I have been doing my whole life up to now.
To be concise, I noted a comment from your text above, “In my mind, their words are dripping with judgement.” However, you end your article with: “Instead, I’ll buy a one-way ticket to wonderland (a.k.a my own imagination), and let them continue their solo conversation without interruption. Do you react similarly to people with loud mouths and even louder personalities?” I suggest your position is uncharitable regarding loquacious people.
My daughter is very introverted. Before we moved, she had a small friend group, all of which she was very close with. Irene wasn’t a very confident person before, but after we moved, she made no friends, began to spend more time in her room, writing stories, or she’d go outside and simply stare into space forever. I’m not the smartest mom, unfortunately, it took me forever to actually notice. Irene doesn’t open up much to me or her friends. I said she was bottling up her emotions and she told me that they weren’t even there when she didn’t focus on them. My girl is very smart, a straight A student and very self-aware, but I feel like she still needs help from the outside world. From anyone. All she has are her superheroes and her dog. I want her to be happy, but I just don’t know how. She turns down interactions because interacting with strangers makes her nervous. What do I do? And don’t tell me to give her more space, because she’s have over a year of space before I actually realized that something was wrong.