Have you ever been asked “Why are you so quiet?” Most of the time extroverts fail to understand why the quiet introvert loves their alone time. Why they would rather think and write than talk aloud.
Being a quiet introvert is normal
Being an introvert, I hate it when someone asks why I’m so quiet. There is nothing wrong with being quiet. My quiet nature makes me more observant, thoughtful, and in tune with my inner world. In fact, researchers have found that around one third to one-half of the population are introverts. Although not all introverts are quiet, most introverted people tend to possess traits that make them avoid small talk and be more meditative and relaxed.
Yet the quiet introvert is wildly misunderstood by the extrovert. Education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig say “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert.” and that’s the main problem. As extroverts dominate the public and social life with their endless fervour for attention and socializing, introverts are seen as “social misfits”. In our extrovert-dominated society, being a “people person” is considered to be a compliment. Where extroverts are seen as vibrant, confident and warm, introverts are mistaken as arrogant, reserved, and private. Introverts are considered to have a small personality.
However, that is far from the truth. The quiet introvert has a rich and profound inner world that extroverts will never understand. Young author Lotus Kay writes “Just like anything else, when you’re different from the typical person, people are going to call you out on it. And at times ignorantly. But something I’ve learned… is that what other people say does not redefine who you are.”
The problem with silence
Introverts love silence. Introverts love the calming silence of the mind, heart and nature. This is perhaps the reason why the quiet introvert feels at home when they are out in nature. It feeds our soul. It empowers our spirit and enables us to explore our inner selves and the intricate world that resides within us. But the same is not applicable for extroverts. Extroversion and silence don’t go together.
Michaela Chung, a bestselling author and comedian, writes “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.” And it is out of this discomfort, they become desperate and say meaningless and absurd things like “Why are you so quiet?”
But they need to realize 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,” adds Michaela.
Why the quiet introvert doesn’t talk
One of the main reasons for that is most introverts simply hate small talk. The fact is, small talk is to an introvert what Kryptonite is to Superman. Just like the Kryptonite drains Superman of all his powers, talking unnecessarily drains introverts of their energy. “Whether you call it chit-chat, banter or chatter, small talk has the same troubling effect on introverts. It pushes us to the edges of a room. It is the reason we are reluctant to meet new people,” adds Michaela Chung.
Read also: Why Introverts Absolutely Hate Small Talk
But it’s not just about small talk. There is another more prominent reason why the quiet introvert prefers to stay silent. It’s the people. It’s the people with loud voices and louder personalities. Michaela writes “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.”
People can either inspire you to talk or they can leave you fully drained. And the truth is, most of the time, people who ask introverts why they talk so less or tell them to speak up are the same people who are inherently loud, incapable of being thoughtful, fail to appreciate the beauty of silence and do not possess any listening skills. It is their overpowering and loud energy which makes the introvert want to stay quiet. “None of the introverts I know will battle their way into a conversation. Myself included,” adds Michaela.