Have you ever had it kindly pointed out to you that you are quiet?
I bet you have, and if you’re like many introverts and highly sensitive people it can have a draining effect over time. Welcome to Episode 150 of the Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Podcast. In this show I consider 5 questions we can reflect on when we begin to feel like we are ‘too quiet’ and resent our natural orientation to the world.
We will discover why we must enjoy rather than resent this quietness, and see it as our biggest strength that can actually unlock the door to us making an impact on the world.
A Familiar Situation
You’ve probably been in a situation similar to this. You’re sat quietly, thinking deeply, maybe phasing in and out of a conversation that’s going on nearby. It’s not interesting enough to add anything so you feel happy to just sit and ‘listen’. When all of a sudden the peace is broken as attention turns to you. ‘Is everything ok, you’re being very quiet?’
You launch into a reassuring monologue and splutter out some kind of apology for your lack of noise. The self-conscious feelings rise, and you start searching for something to contribute, to seek ways to deflect the attention from the fact that you are not seeking any attention. And once again you lambast yourself with criticism, ‘you’re too quiet…why can’t you be more like everyone else?’
Quiet = Not OK
This message can chip away at us over time. From school reports, to social situations, and working in groups; being quiet means that something is wrong.
The way it’s so often used today, quiet means shy, lacking confidence, sad, disinterested, disengaged etc. It is an insult or at least something to be fixed. It is rarely seen as something to be encouraged, even when the results of introverted quietness may speak for themselves.
Introverts are quiet in all manner of positive ways: to re-energise, to ruminate about a problem, to think creatively, to take in a new situation or unfamiliar place. Quietness is a necessary part of information and sensory processing.
When we’re made to believe that our natural way of interacting with the world is a flaw, or a demonstration that something is wrong with us, it makes it very difficult to function naturally with confidence.
In this episode you’ll hear me talk about the following questions and why asking them can help us live and thrive in our quietness, even when we’re being told to get louder:
- WHERE is the quietness coming from?
- WHEN are you quiet?
- WHY do you feel ‘too quiet’?
- WHAT difference is your quietness making?
- WHEN is it not true that you are quiet?
Over to You
I love to hear the conversations that these episodes can spark. To get started I like to ask a question. This week it is this: Have you ever been told you are too quiet? How did it make you feel? You can leave a comment below.
Resources Mentioned in Today’s Show
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