When I hear people refer to someone as a "quiet person" I usually want to knock them unconscious. Because after they say that, it's seldom anything positive they have to add. I often hear people complain about people not opening up, or not responding to them in a conventional way, and it feels strange that people have such rigid expectations for these kinds of things. Surprisingly, people still do not understand that every person is different.
It's similar to when people expect a "thank you." If you're expecting a thank you, maybe you don't deserve it.
I was with someone who asked me what I thought about Halloween, and I said, "I don't know."
They were livid.
How could you not have an extreme opinion about Halloween," they may or may not have said. And it became a whole thing about how annoying it is that I don't have opinions on everything. But hey, maybe I don't need an opinion on everything. Maybe nobody does.
I had a relative get pissed off when they did not receive a thank you note for a gift the gave someone. Yes, I'm back to the thank you thing. This is a tangential miniessay. Let's break down this expectation. You give someone a gift because you want this person to have this specific thing. Great. So you give them the gift. And the interaction ends there. But then you create a second interaction by placing dumb expectations. If the receiver of the gift wanted to create a second interaction by saying, "hey thanks for this gift," then fine, great. But if you are going to get angry because a result didn't happen that you wanted, then well maybe you are still five years old.
So this quiet person thing. I see it all the time with several friends. People close to me who are quiet get ridiculed for not weighing in on things, or not opening themselves up in certain situations. Maybe instead of lashing out, people could learn to listen since everyone "opens up" in their own way.
Some people tell me I am a quiet person. Great. But one time I was in a relationship where the person told me that she hated quiet people. So I suppose I'm not always a quiet person. Wow, maybe people can be multiple things.
I cannot fathom how people put these kinds of pressure on people. Yes, this miniessay is just me not understanding things. Here's a tip: if you know somebody who has a really good story to tell, and you're at dinner or some sort of gathering, don't tell them to tell their story. By the time you say that, it's already ruined.
Don't force people to do things. Yes, now this miniessay is an order. People often think they are supportive or fun when they try to make you sing in front of their friends or tell that funny story or whatever it may be. It's not supportive. It's not fun. You're just annoying.
But hey don't listen to me. I'm just a quiet person.
©2023 Jake Schick