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To HATE the perception of 'quiet' people?

(72 Posts)
SugarMouse1 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:07:34

AIBU to HATE, HATE, HATE it when somebody asks 'why are you so quiet?'.

What is the point in this question?

Especially when its just because you dont scream into peoples faces like others do. Its such an ignorant thing to say, FFS.

I mean I can be making a lot of effort being, polite, freindly etc, and then everything gets ruined by this question, it makes things worse, I never want to talk after someone says something like that.

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:58

I hate this too. Especially at parties or weddings where the 'mad extroverts' try to force you to join in the sing song or the dancing or the Karaoke when you're quite happy sitting chatting with a couple of friends and soaking up the atmosphere.

Elongase Thu 17-Jan-13 10:35:15

I would try to reply with "why are you so rude?"

MurderOfGoths Thu 17-Jan-13 10:27:25

I remember being down the pub with a load of people from college, and one of the guys (slightly worse for wear) coming over and begging me to talk because my silence made him scared of me. hmm grin

Nectar Thu 17-Jan-13 09:55:29

I'm glad I stumbled across this thread!

I've often been asked since I was a young child, why I'm quiet. Less so as an adult, although one person I used to work with was v annoying with her constant questioning, "Why are you so QUIET?" Even when we were all chatting together she still said I was quiet, and made me v self conscious. She doesn't work with us now, thankfully!

I have friends, hobbies and love chatting to people, but I'm not naturally dominant in a conversation, prefer one to one and small groups.

I felt exhausted recently as we had my sister in law staying with us. She's a nice person, but just doesn't stop talking! She has an opinion on everything, always has to challenge other people's views, bring every conversation to a conclusion and talks over the TV constantly! She never agrees with the way a programme is presented, who's been picked to present it, the way the judging is done, ie, X Factor etc and it's SO irritating when you just want to watch!

My dh knows I find her difficult but he's more on her side, says she's more 'engaged' with things and has a different outlook on life. I'm 'engaged', but don't feel the need to challenge every little thing and when I get the chance just like to chill out a bit!

I was exhausted after those few days, and she often asks me if I'm ok, or (said sarcastically) 'Sorry Nectar you'll be bored by this I know but I just must say ......'

It's not the fact I'm bored, I'd just like to listen to the programme, finish what I was saying or be able to listen properly to my dd! Everybody's different I know, but I almost give up trying to contribute when she's here, as I just can't get a word in edge ways!

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 09:54:47

starlight Throughout high school I was asked that question so often and it made me feel so alone and killed my self esteem every time I was asked it.

That's interesting, it echoes the process suggested in The Highly Sensitive Person (Elain Aron) which I bang on about on introvert threads. She suggests most quiet/introverted people's self-esteem is actually just fine (or no worse on average than extroverts'), until the rest of the world starts suggesting to them there's something wrong with their behaviour. Anyone would lose self-esteem being constantly told their natural behaviour was wrong! The idea that quietness is a problem comes from other people.

twoyearsandcounting Thu 17-Jan-13 09:45:18

I get accused of being quiet and looking pissed off alot . Just because I don't like being the centre of attention and grin like a loon all the time doesn't mean i am having a crap time. Sometimes in a big group i am happy just to listen, soak up the atmosphere and will contribute if i feel like it.

starlightraven Thu 17-Jan-13 09:25:23

Ah I hate that question! Throughout high school I was asked that question so often and it made me feel so alone and killed my self esteem every time I was asked it. I never knew what to reply.

"Why are you so quiet?"
"Smile, it can't be that bad"
"Why don't you just talk more?"
"You're blushing!"

Leave me alone!!!! You think I WANT to struggle with shyness? You think it's a choice? Grrrr.

Luckily as an adult I'm not asked it as often (still very shy though), but I still don't know what to reply when people do. Makes me automatically not warm to them though!

Eliza22 Thu 17-Jan-13 08:14:35

Sshhhh! ALL of you, FFS!

Callycat Wed 16-Jan-13 22:47:12

"Ooh, you're very QUIET, aren't you? VERY quiet. Isn't she, Janice? Janice? No, Callycat here! Isn't she QUIET? I say, Janice - Callycat's so quiet! Aren't you? You're very QUIET."

Yeah, like they expect me to suddenly start chattering away about how awfully QUIET I am. Sympathies, OP!

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 16-Jan-13 22:04:37

I'm a quiet, shy introvert and I've been perceived as snotty, snobby, distant, cold, boring, dull and lacking in personality. I don't have much confidence in social situations, especially large groups, and in the past I've been ignored, dismissed and talked over. In fact it happened as recently as last week. I wish others wouldn't be quite so judgemental of my personality but I can't change other people, and I'm not prepared to completely overhaul my natural personality just to fit in with the 'norm'.

I'm not the kind of person who speaks just for the sake of it - I prefer to listen. After all, you can't hear other people if you never stop talking. We have one mouth and two ears for a reason.

Snog Wed 16-Jan-13 21:27:38

Sorry murder of goths someone beat you to it ...some years ago now
And Stop it with your weirdly silences you quiet folk who are watching not posting on this thread

MurderOfGoths Tue 15-Jan-13 22:45:59

<stares at snog in silence>

<contemplates eating snog's brain>

<damn, did I think that out loud>

PurpleStorm Tue 15-Jan-13 22:44:48

YANBU. It's an annoying question.

Not seeing how taking up smoking would help with shyness and nerves either.

minouminou Tue 15-Jan-13 22:44:11

They're coming for youuuuuuu, Snog.
They're so quiet, though, that you'll never hear them......

Right, goodnight, ladies.

Snog Tue 15-Jan-13 22:38:28

I find quiet people quite un-Nerving because you can't tell what they are thinking very easily.

minouminou Tue 15-Jan-13 22:32:05

But I WANT to hear your opinions! You're not forcing them on me at all....

I think this is a big difference, and one that's overlooked, between these personality types.

Eliza22 Tue 15-Jan-13 22:18:55

I'm so quiet, I can only wave...smile

Actually, it really pisses me off. I'm NOT quiet, at all. I am thought-full. I don't just talk for the sake of talk. I'm considered and considerate.... I wouldn't dream of pushing myself or my opinions on people.

I'm a real hoot as well, when you know me but NOT with people who ask me or worse, describe me, as "quiet". Even as a child, I was "the quiet one" as oppose to my sister who could talk to anyone/anytime.

We can't all be the same!

My retort to people who enquire after my lack of "volume" is "it's a good thing there ARE some quiet people.... No one would be able to hear a thing, otherwise!!"

NorksAreMessy Tue 15-Jan-13 21:21:11

just in case anyone needs it

SpringTimeRain Tue 15-Jan-13 21:12:49

I started a new job and I'm quite a quiet person anyway but the added nerves of a new job made me a bit more quiet, after working there for three years one of the girls told me

"Everyone hated you at first and said you were stuck up because you were so quiet but don't worry they like you now."

I dated an American and his friend said - what's up you're being quiet to which my boyfriend at the time turned around and said

"Yeah that's why I prefer English girl, they don't feel the need to talk crap all the time like American girls do"

BunFagFreddie Tue 15-Jan-13 21:09:26

Those who suffer from shyness and nerves, smoking helps a lot. Smokers are a chatty bunch for a reason and its not their outgoing personality. *

OK, what do you have to smoke for that? grin

mrsjay Tue 15-Jan-13 21:07:36

I am quiet really I sometimes dont want to say anything and im not 1 for filling space with drivel ( that is what mumsnet is for ) my dh and dd2 are loud and chatting I feel like taping their mouths shut grin

minouminou Tue 15-Jan-13 20:52:59

But why do extroverts not have real conversations?

minouminou Tue 15-Jan-13 20:51:57

I've had some great knob gags from introverts!
Unfortunately, the woman I mentioned is also a bit awkward socially, so I can't imagine a stream o' smut issuing forth!

allgoingtoshitnow Tue 15-Jan-13 20:48:43

We need extroverts to fill in the gaps between real conversation.

YABU OP, because you have been conditioned to see thoughtful silence as a bad thing.

That said though - there are times where the gobshite always wins, and so you need to learn to push yourself forwards and talk over people. Any old shit will do as long as you are talking.

Those who suffer from shyness and nerves, smoking helps a lot. Smokers are a chatty bunch for a reason and its not their outgoing personality.

BunFagFreddie Tue 15-Jan-13 20:45:11

There's a mum at DS' school who admits she's socially awkward and v introvert. I just want to invite her round, get her pissed, and teach her some knob gags. But, I know this'll never work, it's not like she'll suddenly come out of her shell.

What makes you think that introverts don't have any decent knob gags? grin

I'm not an introvert, I'm a closet extrovert. Quiet and reserved until you get to know me - then the full extent of my eccentricity and weirdness is revealed. Queue the stereotype about having to watch out for the quiet ones!

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