Today’s post comes from a long-term friend of mine who informs us about what life is like for a quiet person lost in a world where loud is proud and noisy necessary for making a mark.
‘Quiet people have the loudest minds’ – Stephen Hawking
Well that’s what I’d say if you were stood next to me right now – just three small words.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quiet and I know I don’t talk much unless in the company of those closest to me. But does that mean that I don’t fit in with modern society?
Yes. I don’t fit in.
You look at everyone nowadays fighting for the most attention. Doing the loudest, and sometimes the most shocking of things, just to gain their 5 minutes of fame!
I’m not bothered by that.
And yes, I’m often called boring or too quiet.
There’s a great difference between what people perceive me to be and what the reality actually is. Quietness is associated with being sad, boring, indifferent, shy and even slow. Quietness is actually just me thinking, listening, daydreaming, recharging, observing and yes, sometimes all at once.
I naturally have a sad face whilst I’m inward. I’ve had many people coming up to me in the street or at school asking if I was okay, saying that I looked sad. This even got me free chocolate from the school nuns because they thought it would get me smiling. They were right, it got me smiling from ear to ear but I wasn’t upset in the first place! My best friend naturally has a bitch face – she just can’t help scowling at strangers when she’s away with the fairies.
Some of us may have a sad face, what looks like a fake smile or a stuck up bitch face but we’re not sad, we’re not stuck up. We’re not antisocial. We’re not slow. We’re not incapable.
I’m treated as if I am fragile and incapable of coping with everyday tasks. It all because of the loud-bias that we’re brought up with in schools. Everything from the layout of the classroom to teacher’s attitudes. ‘The best talker has the best ideas and is the most capable’ – bullshit. Although I did everything I could to avoid being asked a question by the teacher in class, it didn’t stop me getting top grades in assessments.
This is a young me on the far left of the photo.
Something that most people don’t realise is there’s a huge difference between being shy and being quiet. ‘Shy’ refers to lacking confidence whereas quiet people don’t lack confidence, they just prefer not talking. Quiet people like myself may not talk much but we aren’t scared to talk – if we have to, we’ll ask a stranger for directions or deliver a kick ass presentation without hesitation.
I’ve had a life time of people telling me I couldn’t do things because I’m quiet. Being quiet doesn’t restrict you, it challenges you and who doesn’t love a good challenge? I always struggled getting a weekend job because in the interview they’d see how quiet I was but recently I was given a chance working in a loud busy club. Yes quiet me. Now 4 months later, I’m referred to as ‘a star’.
I am ‘a star’ worker in a busy loud environment whilst remaining my quiet self. I believe that no one should feel forced to be someone that they are not. The phrases ‘why don’t you talk more?’ and ‘shout for me, I want to hear you shout’ are the banes of my life. No I don’t want to talk more or shout. That’s just not who I am. If you’re quiet, it’s okay – you’re allowed to remain quiet!
Everyone has their quiet friends and their loud friends. Who proves more successful in life?
We need both quiet and loud people in our world to keep existing.
How successful you are isn’t determined by how loud or quiet you are. Its determined by your ability, your work ethic, your motivation …and most importantly by you being happy within yourself. Whether you’re a loud chatty person or a quiet person, always be yourself!
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(Photos – Ashley Kime, England, 2015)