When people want to tell me what they know about me, the first word always turns out to be ‘quiet’. Initially I disliked being quiet because socially, the quiet ones are immediately tagged dysfunctional. In worst case scenarios, it is assumed it’s the quiet ones who are more cunning, sly and deal the most lethal blows in terms of betrayals, springing personality surprises and the likes. While this might make some logical sense, it is not truth. At times, I ask myself what is quiet?, who really is quiet? Is a quiet person the one slow to talk or respond, the one who only speaks when he is required to or the one who is terrified of being attacked because of what he says? I feel that the difference between you and this guy is not the conversations that goes on inside but his inability or unwillingness to share it. The thing about quiet people is that they fall into these two categories; the unable and the unwilling. And because there are no whites and blacks in this life, there are of course, the in- betweens; those who every now and then swing from being unable to being unwilling.
Time and time again I have to learn how simple life can be if you can just make someone else understand just by using a few words. But somehow, quiet people seem to need to be reminded of this time and time again. I think we(quiet people) all have noisy insides; the conversations happen inside. We say the things we want to say in our heads; the conversations happen inside; and then we rehearse them over and over and over until we have a million and one loopholes where our emotions and opinions and values will be questioned or judged or criticized. And then we back out. Or…. We go through these conversations and think, ‘I don’t have the energy to explain.’ – and we don’t. The thing about quiet people, I have come to realize, is whether you are the unable or the unwilling like everybody else, we all long deeply for that one unbiased ear that just listens, processes what they hear, can take it to heart and still give critical feedback where necessary; a hug, a kiss on the forehead, a pat on the back or just wipe a tear where necessary. The thing about quiet people is that people think they are secretive, shy beings hatching up world conspiracies and plotting nuclear wars in their heads. The thing about quiet people is that they don’t understand all the fuss about talking and they don’t understand why silence isn’t beautiful or appreciated by others.
The thing about quiet people is that they are not always the socially awkward or evil minded ones in the group. They are not the boring ones, they are not the ones who can’t make friends or the ones who are not smart or have no interests that they can talk about in a social setting. The thing about quiet people is that they have their special audiences that we all may not appreciate or understand, or even notice. The thing about quiet people is that they can be deeper and more introspective and hence, can appreciate and feel and experience things at a more intense level than they may have the words or energy to explain. The thing about quiet people is that I am done making a case for them.
Live in your truth and try to care less about everyone else’s reality or assumption. As one of the very quiet species out there, I always try to remember to do that. Here’s to my one man audience, the one who understands the few words and infinite silence, thank you for not thinking me socially inept and helping me embrace all the ‘weirdness’
Love, The Quiet One.