Once in a while, though to be quite fair there have been too many in the recent years, news breaks on yet another killing spree in the US. It’s more a sad state of affairs how my reactions to these news stories are, especially when I hear it’s in the US. My first thought tends to be “Naturally. Where else.”
Then the story tends to evolve into something that always manages to annoy me.
The perpetrators are nearly always described as “quiet, shy, reserved.”
As if any of these particular traits have anything to do with these people snapping and going on a rampage. But it’s also this subtle shade that gives these pretty common personality traits a negative connotation. It’s as if all those who are naturally more quiet, shy, or reserved are a potential psychopath, who too can snap one day and go on a killing spree.
I’m one of those quiet and rather reserved types, especially when I’ve only just met you. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise I’m not shy per se, of course there are situations that make me shy & awkward, but I’ve also noticed that I can be very out-spoken on certain subjects. And passionately so when you hit the right note. At times opinionated. Also when I get to know you better, and I like you, I can be very social & talkative. In particular if you manage to make me laugh. But because I grew up with the label “shy” attached to me, I’ve come to assume quiet = shy.
Well, it’s not.
As I can only speak for myself, I can lay out these things. When I’m quiet…
- I’m observing; be it you, a group of people, or just my surroundings. I’m closely watching what is going on around me, making mental notes along the way.
- I’m listening intently. No really, if I’m interested in what you’re saying, I will let you finish as I’m paying close attention to your words.
- I’m thinking. It may be because you’ve asked a good question, or said something that made me think, and I need to find the right words. Or I just need some time to ruminate, before I get back to you.
- I may not always feel like talking. I could be tired, or have had a bad day, and all I want to do is spare my energy.
- Or sometimes all I want is some peace and quiet, so I can hear my thoughts and put them in order.
I have no doubt I may have more reasons why I can be quiet, but it doesn’t mean it’s something negative. I’m not mad or depressed. And yes, I am quite sick and tired of getting the subtle shade.
There is nothing wrong with me, and I don’t need any fixing as I’m not broken.