“Sarah, why are you so quiet?”
This is a question I have heard multiple times in my life and I am sure other quiet people have too.
Sometime last year I was at a social gathering with people that I didn’t really know very well. I didn’t say much in the discussions and the only time I spoke was if someone directly spoke to me. Out of nowhere, someone in the group asks, “Why are you so quiet?” My immediate response was. “What do you want me to say?”
I absolutely HATE that question. What I really wanted to say was
I have learnt how to respond with grace thanks to God.
What I really wanted to say was, “What is wrong with me sitting here being quiet? I don’t have anything to add to the conversation so I have chosen not to speak.”
You may also have this issue and feel the same way! Some people may be asking out of genuine care but the majority of the time people tend to say it like something is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong with you. You don’t have to be loud, not everyone is. There is beauty in diversity and there is a beauty in who you are.
Here are four reasons why a quiet person may not be speaking at a social gathering.
1. They have no idea what to say
There are times I do want to talk and I think everyone is so cool lol! I just have no clue what to say and sometimes blank out. This an area I have improved upon greatly but I still have so much more work to do.
2. They are drained and just want to go home
At points in gatherings I have realize that I have spent too much time there and need to leave and recoup. I have nothing to say and my words are failing me. I just want to go home, be myself, read a book or watch Netflix and eat some popcorn.
3. They find small talk awkward
For some people when we don’t know you that well we find it very hard to speak to you. We find small talk awkward and find that it requires a lot of effort on our part. We prefer in depth, more meaningful conversations, so sometimes we would prefer to stay quiet.
4. They feel they have nothing to add to the conversation
Sometimes I just feel like being quiet and listening to conversations. Half of the time if I am listening I just have nothing to add to the conversation.
Some words of encouragement for my quiet lovelies
I know not every introvert is the same, we just gain and lose energy the same way but I hope you could relate to some of the things listed above.
Overall I think it is very important to understand yourself and what sort of person you are to fully appreciate yourself and not compare yourself to others. I have learnt to accept that God created me this way. It has taken me a couple of years to accept it. I used to wish I was the loud, outgoing type BUT that just isn’t me. I am not the life of the party and that is okay.
I know that I enjoy gatherings but not for too long. I find small talk awkward( it is necessary though) and prefer long meaningful conversations about God, life and society. I reflect and think a lot. I enjoy my own company but I also enjoy others too, preferably in a one to one scenario.
I have learnt to appreciate myself and if people don’t like me that is okay. Take on constructive criticism and always try to improve yourself but don’t let anyone take a dig at you for being quiet. Consider your friends wisely and try to choose your gatherings carefully so that you have more meaningful experiences.
Yes, there are definitely areas I can improve (working on it) especially for networking purposes and I encourage you to reflect over this BUT the simple truth is that not everyone talks a lot all the time.
Some people are loud and some people are not. I like a good book or movie. I enjoy looking out of a window and reflecting. I enjoy one to one conversations. I feel exhausted being around people ALL the time and I like my own company. This does not mean I have zero social skills, I have had to build them and will continue building but overall I just enjoy a little serenity.