The phrase “don’t be so quite” is one I have heard countless times. Teachers used to love mentioning that I didn’t really talk much in class, highlighting it in my report cards, at parent teacher conferences and to my face. In my friend groups, I’m usually known as the “shy, quite one”. At both of my last workplaces I was often told, in sometimes a joking matter, that I “need to talk more”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m quite. I’m like that by nature, and it’s in part due to my anxiety. Often, I don’t want to say something stupid in the fear of being judged, so I don’t say anything at all. I’m very good at working alone, and so often times I’m so engrossed in my work I don’t even think about making conversation.
I also like being quite; it’s how I observe the world. I express myself through the written word much more than through the spoken word, just as there are plenty of people who are the opposite. In general, I’m just a quite person. Sure, I could work on it a little, but at the end of the day it’s something that I was born as. Just as some people are born loud and outgoing, I was born shy and quite. There’s really not a whole lot you can do to change that.
And I don’t want to, either. There are times where I wish I had the guts to speak up, but for the most part, I’m happy being me. I enjoy observing the world in my own quite manner, and I actually like spending time with just myself. I’m a proud introvert.
There are some things I want to say to all those who have told me to be less quite in the past, so here goes:
Telling me to not be quite is like telling me to change part of my identity and personality. I strongly believe that I was born a quite person, it’s something that makes me me. Just as there are outspoken people in the world, there are quite ones. It’s not somethings I can just change from one day to the next. That’s like telling a naturally outspoken person to not be so loud, telling a confident person to be more self conscious, telling a inate friendly person to be less kind. There are some characteristics we are born with; mine happens to be being quite.
I understand that in some situations, I really need to work on being less quite. When working in a group, or when I’m out on the field with my football team. Everyone has things they could work on, and believe me, I push myself hard sometimes to be less quite.
But I can assure you that you telling me to be less quite is not going to change me. In fact, it makes me feel really self conscious and uncomfortable, and will most likely shut me up completely. I can also assure you that I get down on myself for not being loud or outspoken enough on my own, and I don’t need you to remind me of it some more. I know that you’re not trying to be rude, or maybe you are, but just remember your words to me have power. They stick in my mind. So please think twice the next time you critique someone’s personality.
To finish my rant, I would like to point out that this blog post, and many of my other written works, show that I’m actually not a very quite person at all. I have a lot to say, and have the guts to say it. I just prefer to do it through writing. That doesn’t make what I have to say any less legitimate, it just makes it a little different.
Can you relate? If so, let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear it!