Granite Bay Today

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Commentary: Let’s Not Mistake Silence for Meanness (An Ode to the Quiet)

Communication Isn't Always Loud

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Commentary: Let’s Not Mistake Silence for Meanness (An Ode to the Quiet)

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo Andrew Yung

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo Andrew Yung

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo Andrew Yung

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo Andrew Yung

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  One of the many beauties of being a human is that we are gifted with the ability to talk and converse with one another, teaching and learning from each other in so many ways.

  However, while the majority of us are extroverts – talkative and outgoing – there are many who are on the other side of the spectrum.

  I am one of those people – an introvert. It is self-identified, of course, but also seemingly confirmed by the many personality tests I’ve taken over the years. And although I might be in the minority, I am extremely proud of this part of me. It is integral to my identity.

  An introvert, by definition, prefers to spend time alone in order to recharge their inner being.

   

Bashful the dwarf, introverted, but kind, is a wonderful example of someone who speaks when they have something important to say.

   For instance, as a kid I had always been reserved, but also quite talkative and friendly. Then I moved across the country, and as I adjusted to the new environment, part of me became quieter.  As a “quiet person,” I feel that we are, in this overly talkative and connected society, often greatly misunderstood.

  Other students who I barely knew started confusing this introvertedness for being anti-social, and so my peers ended up thinking that I was genuinely uninterested in talking to them. Later, I even learned from my new friends that they thought I disliked them before I started talking to them.

  Initially, I could not understand how they could think such a thing. But as time went on and I heard this same comment from more than a handful of people, I realized that, although I may not see it the same way as them, a lot of people seriously do consider conversations as an act of caring and friendship. Conversely, they also correlate silence with indifference and even dislike.

  This could not be further from the truth. Yes, we introverts might not always be the most engaging in a conversation and often like to keep to ourselves, but most of the time we are simply  not participating because we just don’t feel like talking at the moment.

 It is nothing personal – we just are in a mood where we don’t really want to make an effort to start up small talk.

  Unfortunately, I’ve also noticed that this reluctance to engage in small talk is what ultimately leads people to label introverts as socially awkward, when really, introvertedness is only being shy. It doesn’t mean that we’re not outgoing or that we don’t like being around people. It just means that we will put more effort into talking and being with the ones that we truly care about.           

  In fact, at least for me, I think the only time I partake in small talk is  when I really do like a person. This is because it almost always turns out to become a deeper, more meaningful conversation. And these are the types of conversations we should all be having.

  Because, really, what’s the point of talking if it’s not for a good reason?

About the Writer
Andrew Yung, Co-editor-in-chief

Andrew is a senior, and he is one of five co-editors-in-chief of the Gazette/GraniteBayToday.org for 2018-19. This is his third year on the staff.

 

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