Friday, October 21, 2011

FF - + 6 Misleading Assumptions You Make About Quiet People

It's been a while since my last post, but I've been traveling as well as painfully losing wisdom. (One tooth down, one more to go in a couple of months. :( )  I was going through today, and found an article that really hit home, mostly because it's a source of a lot of frustration for me, and I feel like commenting on it. (Oh, by the way, is an excellent website to procrastinate with.  It's got loads of interesting lists that are often hilarious.  You should check it out!)

The article that made me jump up, point to my monitor and yell "THAT is what happens to me ALL.THE.BLOODY.TIME!" is: 6 Misleading Assumptions You Make About Quiet People

I'm a quiet person, and not because I lack confidence or because I don't know what to say. I just generally prefer not to talk so much -- though I used to enjoy talking people's ears off years ago.  It's different when catching up with friends or engaging in a one-on-one conversation on a topic that I'm interested in, of course, but most of the time I enjoy simply observing people.

So, being a quiet person, a number of the listed assumptions have been made about me at some point or another.  I've had people ask with annoyance "Why don't you just talk more??".  I've had people try to force me into becoming the center of attention at gatherings.  I've even had to say "I'm shy" a number of times even when I'm not feeling shy, just because people don't understand anything else.

It was pretty refreshing to read this list, especially #3: Quiet people want to be left alone.  It's true, most of the time (at least for me), but I still really do enjoy meeting up with people I like and socializing.  However, I tend not to be able to handle more than a couple of hours, not because I don't enjoy their company but just because I don't have the energy left.

This quote explains it well:

One common definition of the introvert/extrovert divide is that extroverts gain energy from being around people, whereas introverts spend energy when hanging around people. So parties make introverts tired, even if they like everyone there and are having a good time. It's like playing a pickup basketball game with your friends. You might have a hell of a time, but you're going to be very tired after an hour (or in my case, a minute) and have to call it, and go home.

So, yes.  For those of you who've got annoyed with me for leaving early or 'switching off', there you have it. ;) And the article also goes on to say that introverts can't handle socializing every single day.  It's true!  And no it's NOT because we're a bunch of depressed people who want to curl up in bed and sleep the day away and whinge about how unfair life is (another common misconception, and one that the article doesn't address).  Hell, while I do enjoy a lazy day in bed every so often, I go nuts if I don't buzz about with some sort of activity, be it exercising, reading, writing, or learning something new.

#2 is "Quiet people are mad at you".  I can't tell you the number of times people have asked if I'm mad at them, just because I'm relaxing my face muscles and not smiling, and I have no clue what they're talking about.  I'm like, "Eh? What gave you that impression?"  Although, I suppose I can't blame them. I do often get quiet when I'm angry as well. :P  Whoops.  I suppose they should look at my eyebrows or something, instead.

However, I must say that #1 is absolutely wrong: Quiet people are smarter/deeper than you.  Of COURSE we are!  Pfft.  That's not a misconception.  Our brains are too busy solving complex puzzles and plotting world domination to talk to to the likes of you.  No?  Don't believe me?  Ah, well. It was worth a shot.