“Why are you so quiet?”
I have been told these words countless times. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that I should be more talkative with people, in general. To be more expressive. I usually smile but inside, I’m secretly screaming! Those words are always fingernails across the chalkboard. I can’t think of a way to be more expressive. I am expressive even in the way I breath. However, being expressive has nothing to do with face-to-face talking. There are greats ways of communicating which don’t have to do with conversing with other people. I am in a season of my life right now where I feel frustrated beyond endurance almost all of the time, for always explaining to people that being silent doesn’t mean that I’m angry or anything negative.
I’m probably just busy helping the Winchesters hunt the monsters (in my head). As the saying goes, quiet people have the loudest minds, I always have something on my mind. Because every single minute I am thinking and analyzing all sorts of things.
Once a friend told me that I’m very strange, that sometimes I’m as silly as a two-year-old and other times I’m as boring as her grandmother. I seem weird to most people.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being quiet (read: an introvert). However, there is everything wrong with trying to turn introverts into extroverts. I am an introvert and I love being that way. I enjoy being on my own. It’s a unique part of my personality.
When people first meet me, they assume that I’m the same around strangers as I am with close friends. If I’m quiet, they assume that I’m always quiet. If I’m sociable and engaging, they think that I’m always like that. Three people could meet me at three different times and walk away with an impression of three different people. When I find myself in a group of people, I turn into a silent observer. I be sitting there not saying much, not really adding anything to the conversation. I stay quiet and listen. Large groups of people are not my thing. Then there’s always that one person that just has to point out how quiet I am. And they think that I’m stuck up. I’m that awkward girl that doesn’t know what to say sometimes. The thing about these people that I’ll never understand is why they can’t seem to understand that we people exist. People that just do not have the talent of conversing easily with people they have never met before. When it’s with people I’m close to, I can give a full hour speech without even getting close to the introduction. Only the conditions have to be right.
I have tons of acquaintances but only a handful of people who I’d actually consider close friends. Those whom I only need to stand silently next to me when I’m embattled with loss. Those who don’t alter my personality but enhance all of the great parts of me (hello Vicki). Those who never make me feel any different than who I really am. Those who make hanging out with them feel like the most comfortable thing ever (Tante Kler, I see you). Those who come to my rescue and do the talking for me (I salute you, Jaz). They are few, but that’s really all I need. These are the people who have reached to a point where they personally know me. They know that although I’m not party-loving or don’t like social gatherings, I can be relied on for anything, anytime, anywhere. They know that I’m friendly in person. I remember things that matter to them and anticipate how they might be feeling before they even tell me. And I’m such a bad friend when it comes to communication, like if you don’t try to contact me, you won’t hear from me for months. So, people I can go months without contact with and that’s ok, make the best friends for me.
It’s not that I don’t like people, I only don’t like the usual ways of socializing. Small talk exhausts me. I just don’t talk unless I’ve something to say. And I have thought about jumping out a window to end a conversation. I’m against the usual rules of society. I don’t like parties or doing large groups activities. I like other ways of getting along with people. Ways that most people consider weird or unusual. I don’t speak much in words. I’m not good at talking because I just have difficulty forming words and making them come out of my mouth. I prefer nonverbal communication: texting, emails, social media (thank you technology!).
Seriously though. If someone would give me the option to stay at home reading an interesting book or going out to a huge party, I would definitely stay with the book. When people think of a good way to spend their time, they think of going out. I think of staying home all day, watching movies, cook something to eat, write and sleep. I like to be alone (it’s my preferred mode almost all the time) more than I like to be in large groups of people. Spending time in large groups of people is draining and sometimes even frustrating. I find outside stimulation to be unpleasant.
I am, basically, like every other happy person. Yes, I can talk. And if you want to talk to me, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.