Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Benefits of Passive Behavior

Okay, so I know I haven’t posted in awhile and I hoped to get this post done by boxing day but it’s become clear to me that if I set a day to have something up I won’t do it. I need the freedom of being able to write when I’m in the mood. But in any event I apologize for this post being so late. I’ve also made a new year’s resolution to make 50 posts this year.

Okay so this ‘killer post’ as I believe I quoted in my last post is discussing or defending the people who are quiet. I received my school report in the mail some weeks ago and in almost every class the teacher has written “Quiet student who...” or in one case in particular, “student portrays reluctance to articulate her own opinions’” (Religion Teacher wrote that so I was kind of expecting it)

So, in my defence or in defence of quiet people; I’m not sure I like that defence part because I shouldn’t be defending who I am but here goes:

“To be a quiet person is to always be defending your right to silence”. No, there is nothing wrong with me. If I have nothing to say, I won’t say anything. I often think a lot and I’ve been told over the years through my schools “friends program and building social skills class that I am forced to take” that being quiet is a form of insecurity, that quiet people have confidence issues, that quiet people are non-assertive and that quiet people are the people who often have low self-esteem.

‘It’s having a pre-school teacher who wants to hold you back because you don’t socialize with the other kids. It’s having a teacher tell you, “I always worry about the quiet ones.” It’s riding in elevators, knowing you’re supposed to chat about how hot it’s been but not being able to bring yourself to talk about such inanities. It’s dreading going to the hairdresser because you know she’ll try to talk to you about your plans for the weekend and what movies you like. It is being cornered by loquacious people who talk and talk and talk and you nod and “Uh, huh” and don’t know how to stop the verbal diarrhea spewing out of their mouths. It is being told you are a good listener.’

Sometimes friends call and I have nothing to say, I’m not tired, depressed or angry, I just have nothing to talk about. We don’t have to fill up the room with empty talk. Fill it up with undemanding quiet instead.

Perhaps this is why I have developed my “on” personality. I turn that part on when I have to be on stage and entertain and interact. It started out being a fake part of me, but I’ve used it so much that it is more real. I can flip the switch and be outgoing and confident and funny. But I can only power that personality for so long before I need to flip the switch off again before I get mentally fatigued and irritated. I just want to go home and lie on my bed and just stare at the ceiling, just let the quiet put things where they’re supposed to be, or on the way home simply stare out the train windows. The value of doing nothing is underrated.

Not only am I quiet but I’m also fairly somber which a lot of people mistake for sadness. I get so tired of people telling me to cheer up because I’m not chatty or smiling all the time.

I feel that a lot of individuals who are “quiet” are told by different people in his or her life that something is wrong with you and the pressure to change in order to fit in with everyone else is the real crux of the problem. A person should be respected for his or her traits and personality instead of judged for his or her perceived lack of contribution to a particular conversation. I believe that real social skills involve awareness of other individuals’ temperament and not on trying to “fix” them as if they are a project.

Have you ever thought that maybe the loud people are the ones that are insecure?

In my opinion it’s the people who constantly talk that are insecure about themselves and need to prove how articulate and confident they think they are to others and to themselves, especially people who talk too loud in public. Some of them feel they need to validate their self worth. A lot of quiet people don't.

Quiet people are generally thoughtful people. Even analytical... observing, learning, absorbing information you see a totally different aspect of life if you close your mouth and listen for awhile.

I also think motivation is a quiet thing. How can you find out what you want to do in life if you’re always jumping up and down, yelling and shouting? It’s like when you were a kid and you stirred a glass of orange cordial, what happened? The water and the cordial got all mixed up. But if you let it settle and just watched it for ten seconds, you could clearly see the difference between the water and the concentrate. Your desires and aspirations are the same. Take some time just to be quiet, and watch how things become a lot clearer.

I am quiet. I’m not broken or sad or depressed or a serial killer. I’m not ignoring you or shy. I just have nothing to say and when I say something I like for it to have meaning. My words should have value.

‘We talk to say something with meaning, not just think out loud.’

After all, "smooth runs the water where the brook is deep"


  1. The countless number of times I have heard the phrases you mentioned. "its always the quiet ones", or "you seem sort of fragile"

    I agree, as a fellow quiet person (but I'm shy as well). I find that there are benefits to stopping and absorbing the conversations around me before I decide to say anything. I feel like if I do not pause before saying aloud what is on my mind I would get myself into trouble. Waiting can make an argument seem pointless that moments before had me about ready to spit venom.

    So thanks for saying what you have,

  2. Hey Rachel,

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one :)

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Of course you aren't.Sometimes I can spend hours evaluating a situation ,making pros and cons lists because my instinct tells me to think things through but sometimes it is better to just take a risk.when I'm in that 'quiet' mood people who are constantly cheerful and seem whithout a care in the world actually annoy me,though I know they haven't done anything wrong.I guess quiet people just need some alone time once in a while

  4. Wow, this sounds a lot like me too. People sometimes say "what's wrong?" but all I'm doing is staring out the window thinking, why do I need to be talking every second? Your last five paragraphs are perfect for me :)