Sunday, 8 April 2012

Quiet Discomfort

I am, of course, famous for being quiet, introspective and deep.(ie an off with the pixies, space cadet who can't think of a single original thing to say) which means that I do not find myself making faux pas. In fact my biggest faux pas seems to be the fact that I AM so quiet. It seems to bother people tremendously.  This has led to the following situations and observations.

When an outgoing, talkative person leaves a job, their co-workers are genuinely regretful to see them go, not only because of their work contribution, but also because of their wit, conversation skills and general friendliness.  People descend on them with loud exclamations of "Sorry to see you go!" and promises to keep in touch and meet for coffee.  There are lots of 'in' jokes on the farewell card about all the crazy times at staff and Christmas Parties.

This is in stark contrast to a shy, quiet person, (ie. me). When you leave a job (assuming you can get one in the first place) people make such heartwarming comments like:

"Oh well, we'll miss your work, but not you - you're too quiet."

When the farewell card goes around the office, everyone politely signs it, all the while wondering:
 "Who is she?"

Other stuff that has happened:

People routinely talk about me as if I'm not there.

People who would never dream of telling an overly loud chatterbox to just shut the hell up, think nothing of telling me that I SHOULD NOT be so quiet. That I MUST come out of my shell.

Frequent jibes heard are:

"It's always the quiet ones you gotta watch."

 As if being quiet means I am some sort of weird psychopath waiting to happen, who could potentially snap at any given moment. Well, just so you know, I personally keep my collection of sawn off shot guns right in between my collection of Carpenters cds and Lucy Maud Montgomery novels. NOT.

"Stuck up bitch!"

I heard this a lot growing up

 Me? Stuck up? I live in Boganville for christ sakes.  Me? A bitch? I honestly wish I could be one.  Even just for a day, just to see what it feels like.

"You're the quietest person I've ever met/known." 

 Hmph.  Don't they know any dead people.

Other stuff that occurs to me:

People whom I've met several times and by now could reasonably expect they might remember me, look at me bewildered, frantically searching their memory banks and coming up they have forgotten my name.

I spent decades of my life being nice, polite, sweet and giving to other people who wouldn't even like me if I gave them a Ferrari, only to be informed during a so-called Confidence Building group thingy, that quiet, shy people are selfish and self-absorbed. This didn't particularly build my confidence, come to think of it.

In a recent social situation I was my usual quiet, unassuming self. Meanwhile, a group of young women were chatting away incessantly. The bulk of the conservation seemed to involve bitching about other friends and acquaintances who were not there. At times the comments were not only bitchy but downright racist. I said nothing. Maybe I should have. Nobody else said anything. Then, in amongst all this racist bitchiness, somebody turned to me and exclaimed loudly :

"You're the quietest person I've ever known! You're never gonna change, are you?" Hearty chuckles. How am I supposed to respond to such statements? I have no idea, but I probably gave her look that would freeze hell over.

Apparently being bitchy and racist is far more socially acceptable than being quiet. I don't get it. I never will. Sigh.

Selective mutism is, of course, part of having Asperger's Syndrome. I was just lucky enough to score a genetic hatrick of traits. I'm introverted, shy, quiet AND an Aspie, so therefore, is it any wonder I am so quiet? Maybe I should wear a sign on my chest or something informing people of all of the above, so they won't make a federal issue of it.

Ultimately, the older I get the less I care about what random people think of me. Hallejah! About time. Occasionally, I frustrate the fuck out of Micky Blue Eyes with my silence. I DO care about that. I don't know how he puts up with me, sometimes. But then again, I don't know how I put up with him either. Interesting. Apparently we like putting up with each other.

Okay, I think I'm done.  Back to what I do best.  Shutting up.  Try it some time people.

Linking up with Kirsty from  My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Are you a talker? Too quiet? Or just right? What's so wrong with being quiet, anyway? Any thoughts?


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  6. Oh bless you lovely Ness, we could sit there quite together just fine I bet!

  7. You're a beautiful person Ness and screw anyone who thinks otherwise xx

  8. Luckily for you, we'd be fine if we ever met up in real life as I talk enough for two people! Some people just can't be happy or nice - as Tegan pointed out above, screw them!