t’s been said that quiet people just have more to say. While I find this true, I feel as though that is only half of the story.
I’m quiet—when I want to be. Around acquaintances that I’m trying to make a good impression on—and, in complete contrast—around very close friends, I’m the most outgoing and talkative person in the room. When I am quiet, however, there’s a reason. Others have tried to analyze it, thinking that I either am shy, have nothing to offer, or am too good to talk. False, false, false.
Instead, the reason is two-fold.
One: I don’t want anyone to hear me. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more than a little bit quirky, and sometimes I know that the things I verbalize are guaranteed to earn me quizzical looks. So instead, I mumble, I whisper, or I duck my head when speaking. I quickly discovered in elementary school that receiving judgmental looks was not one of my favorite pastimes, so retreating from a conversation became kind of a protective instinct. Also, it takes a very special person to both understand and appreciate my somewhat eccentric sense of humor. If I feel myself about to spill out some beyond-quirky comment, and I’m not certain my words will be appreciated, my volume drops dramatically.
Two: It’s a matter of reverse psychology. I’m overwhelmed easily, especially by noise. I am a Highly Sensitive Person (which is an actual psychological characteristic). Oftentimes, when those around me are screaming, shouting, laughing, and yelling, I choose to be the opposite. It’s somewhat of a desperate act, in hopes that my own low volume will somehow lower theirs. In addition, I find that if my rambunctious peers truly are interested in what I’m trying to say, they will make an effort to listen. There is nothing worse than spilling out your heart—or even spilling out your best joke—to someone who could care less. It feels like a waste.
So, in fact, I do have more to say. My only restraints are the noise level of the atmosphere and if the person I’m speaking with will appreciate, understand, be humored by, or be charmed by what I wish to say. Just for clarification—in case you didn’t catch my words.