To hate it when people say that I am quiet?

(51 Posts)
silverphotoframe Sat 19-Oct-13 21:35:40

I am naturally quite a quiet/shy type of person. When I am around people I know well or people that I just feel comfortable with, I feel confident, and comfortable in my own skin. But mostly, if I am around people I don't know or am not too sure about I tend to keep to myself. I consider myself to have reasonably good social skills however, I ask about the other person and don't ignore people etc. But every now and again someone will point out that I am really quiet. They'll say something like "why are you so quiet" and this always makes me feel so bad, I take it personally like a criticism. It is usually said by someone who is quite loud and brash and it feels like they have picked up on my nervousness or something and that they are using it against me to make me look stupid in front of other people.

One particular instance of this happened at a work do, I had been chatting happily with my colleagues during the evening and had felt reasonably relaxed. There is a guy at work who is very loud and domineering. Has something to say about everyone, thinks he is important, patronises everyone etc. All of a sudden he starts with "ooh, silver is so quiet, why are you so quiet?, I've worked here for x years and I have never had a conversation with her" blah blah. I was sat right next to him while he addressed this to the whole table. I just felt so undermined. I had actually spoken to him as at one point we worked in quite a small team together. I appreciate that I can be quiet sometimes, but AIBU to take this as an insult and be really annoyed by it. Do other "quiet types" also find it massively irritated to have it pointed out? Is it actually rude or AIBU? Also does anyone have any good replies/comebacks?

AmIthatHot Sat 19-Oct-13 21:45:03

There was a not too dissimilar thread last week about this. I recall the consensus was that the types who feel the need to pass remarks about the demeanor of others are twats of the highest order.

People that need to comment on others, whether it be the "cheer up love" shite, or how quiet someone is, should be pitied

TEErickOrTEEreat Sat 19-Oct-13 21:47:12

Well, so what? You are quiet. They aren't lying, are they?

"Better to be quiet and thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it."

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 21:47:12

Yes it is rude. I am also quiet in large groups that I don't know. It's normal and often sensitive, intelligent people are more quiet than loud, domineering people.

You could say something like

"yes I know, still rivers run deep"

or the more aggressive

"I prefer to remain quiet, so you can make a fool of yourself"

Sometimes very loud people feel uncomfortable with a quiet person because the loud person is often acting and playing a role and they feel intimidated by the quiet, genuineness of the quiet person who they think has sussed the role playing.

It can also be cultural. Some cultures are much louder, but often English people are more reserved and quieter.

JohnSnowsTie Sat 19-Oct-13 21:47:53

There's nothing wrong with being quiet. (Said as a quiettype.)

Yes, it does seem rude to point it out, especially as by their very nature quiet people tend to avoid drawing attention to themselves, so it's certainly no one else's place to do it. I'm sure the man you refer to wouldn't have liked anyone pointing out that he's a brash obnoxious prick, although I'm sure that's what most of the table were thinking (they just had the decency to keep it to themselves).

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 21:48:50

Another aggressive comeback is

"an empty vessel makes most noise"

SomethingOnce Sat 19-Oct-13 21:50:33

I'm not a quiet person but I don't care for the loud, brash types either. I have an acquaintance I avoid, not because she's horrible but because she's rather OTT and I sort of recoil in her presence blush

And I know exactly what you mean about the ones who make an issue out of others' quietness. I do think it's quite rude, actually.

Bumblequeen Sat 19-Oct-13 21:51:29

I understand that it can make you feel very put on the spot.

It is not a crime to be quiet. Very rarely are loud people told "you are so loud. Why is that?"

I am naturally quiet and hated it as a teenager but have now accepted this is me. I am sociable when with others but need a lot if me time. Someone once said "You do not say much about your family, do you?". I thought "No, but then you do not let anyone get a word in edgeways".

FrauMoose Sat 19-Oct-13 21:53:38

Perhaps a bit of irony. 'Unfortunately I don't have your particular set of social skills.. But thank you for that helpful contribution.'

Pickle131 Sat 19-Oct-13 21:54:24

Gosh I think I'd have looked at him, paused in disbelief, and pointedly turned to the person next to me and continued my conversation as though nothing had happened. He must be a very ill mannered person and / or drunk. Sometimes there really isn't something to say around strangers, and that's ok. I find that sometimes the chemistry just isn't there. Other times it is, and the conversation flows better. I've decided not to lose sleep over it any more, I'm just not always capable of small talk. Life's too short to make friends with everyone or to give the time of day to rude, loud people!

Bumblequeen Sat 19-Oct-13 21:57:23

I struggle with the school run. Some most of the mothers seem to gravitate towards one another and I cannot wait to meet dd and get going. I smile and do the niceties but I feel awkward.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:00:27

"ooh, silver is so quiet, why are you so quiet?, I've worked here for x years and I have never had a conversation with her"

The following line is likely to end his conversation

"Because you're boring"

silverphotoframe Sat 19-Oct-13 22:01:45

I'm glad that its agreed that he was being rude. What I tend to do in these situations if just sit there like a lemon hoping the earth will swallow me up and not really say anything. Sometimes I wish I could say something like "why are you so loud?" or something really agressive but would be scared of looking like a massive arse so end up saying nothing then feeling terrible afterwards.

HelpMePleaseImConfused Sat 19-Oct-13 22:04:43

I know exactly how you feel and i dont think we abu! I am sick of being told im quiet or 'what's wrong with you'? And just as you say, i often feel like it's done to make a fool of me.

I am louder and more confident with people i know well too, but can be quiet with work colleague or on nights out with friends of friends etc. I actually enjoy meeting new people though and will make an effort to talk and be friendly.

However, I can think of numerous upsetting occasions where i have felt like im doing 'well' chatting to lots of people and being friendly etc, only for one person to shoot me down with a "you're not saying much" or "cheer up" or "try to look like you're having a good time" and i just feel like its so unjust and can sonetimes ruin my day/night. It is as though they are criticising your social abilities and it can be humiliating. Some people seem to enjoy putting quieter people down in this way. What do they expect you to say in response?!

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:04:51

You could try saying something aggressive in return but say it with a big smile on your face as if you are joking, then he won't know how to react

so with a big smile you could say to him "because I find you boring"

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 19-Oct-13 22:05:42

'One can barely get a word in edgeways' would have been my response.

quoteunquote Sat 19-Oct-13 22:07:55

Just say, "Nobody plots a murder out loud"

Then give them your best paddington stare.

and pop along to your local Quaker meeting, and find people who embrace silence.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:10:33

'Some people seem to enjoy putting quieter people down in this way. What do they expect you to say in response?!'

I have met some very nasty, unhappy people in my time, who were the life and soul types but it was all an act and they were in fact totally stressed out by the situation and having to act over the top. They are usually the ones who pick on quieter people and tell them to cheer up as it makes themselves feel better and gives the impression to others that they are actually enjoying themselves as opposed to acting.

So if someone says "cheer up" or "you're quiet, what's the matter?"
you could always show that you have got their number by saying

"stop acting the fool"

JohnSnowsTie Sat 19-Oct-13 22:11:57

That's the thing isn't it - some people mistake loud for interesting/quiet for uninteresting, when often is entirely the other way around.

Ugh OP - I really can't stand people who make you feel as though you have to justify the way you are to them, but I'm afraid to say I often respond in the same way as you, i.e. by feeling/behaving embarrassed and explaining myself which just gives them carte blanche to think they're justified in putting people on the spot!

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:17:41

I am a Scorpio, so I don't forget.

What tends to happen is the first time someone does that to me, it takes me by surprise and I am too polite to react. But, as a Scorpio, the sting is prepared, and the next time they try it, I am well prepared and they feel the sting.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:18:49

What star sign are you? Are you a water sign?

Pusspuss1 Sat 19-Oct-13 22:19:21

Very irritating! Suggest pointing out that they say empty vessels make the most sound...

P.S. I think the eejit probably fancies you!

ZangelbertBingeldac Sat 19-Oct-13 22:21:45

He was rude.

I'm a pretty outgoing person, and will chat to lots of people, though it takes me a while to feel confident with them - but I tend to fake it til I make it, I guess.

One of the other Mums at my DC school who I have known for a few years is just as you describe yourself - polite, friendly, warm, not loud, but very definitely friendly and lovely to be around.

She is one of my favourite people in the playground - very sweet and very genuine, I would love to get to know her better, actually.

I envy people like you who can come across with as very warm and friendly, without being a gobshite or putting your foot in it as I frequently do.

Nothing wrong with being quiet at all, you sound lovely smile

YouTheCat Sat 19-Oct-13 22:25:51

OP, are you me? grin

I'm quiet and get comments sometimes.

MomentForLife Sat 19-Oct-13 22:29:16

How rude of him. Absolutely nothing wrong wih being quiet. I'm quiet, not really shy. I just prefer to people watch and will happily chat to people when I feel like it.

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