Quiet people can come off as aloof or cold. They may also give the impression that because they don’t talk, they observe and judge you, which can be unpleasant. Quiet people can also be disliked by those who glorify extroversion.
I’m a quiet person myself, and in today’s post I’ll try and explain why some people tend to dislike those who don’t talk much.
As usual, comments are welcome, so feel free to share your thoughts and leave a reply at the end.
Are quiet people arrogant?
First of all, let’s address a common stereotype, or misconception.
If you’re reading this, chances are you know already, but just in case — being quiet doesn’t equal being arrogant. Or stupid. Or intelligent, for that matter.
I mean, in some cases, yes, it does. But it’s not like the two things are always related. Those who are quiet are just… quiet. That’s it.
It is a mistake to assume that being (very) reserved, or introverted, is a sign of arrogance.
If anything, it’s the opposite — compulsive talkers are more likely to be arrogant and selfish, just because their behavior shows they don’t really respect other people’s time.
Being quiet is just a personality trait
Some of us are predominantly introverted; some predominantly extroverted.
Some of us enjoy routine, and are perfectly happy living what others would consider a boring life; some are risk takers, who hate monotony more than anything else. And so on.
When we first meet strangers, we like to form an idea of who they may be based on their first impression, and some of their traits.
This is usually a subconscious process, and it happens very quickly (often within seconds).
Nothing wrong with it — it’s a mechanism that’s tied to our own survival — but it often leads to mistaken assumptions. Even in the case of highly intuitive people.
This is why we should never let those assumptions dictate how we see others.
Whether it’s people being quiet or talkative, whether it’s the way they are dressed, their gestures, the way they introduce themselves — we must remember not to exaggerate the meaning of all these things.
You don’t judge a book by its cover, and if you do, you could miss the opportunity to see who the other person really is.
And here are the five reasons some people tend to dislike those who are very quiet…
Some people dislike those who are quiet because…
1. They may dislike silence in general
People who cultivate their spirituality (and those who are calm and balanced in general) are usually very comfortable in total silence.
A good example of this is meditation: most forms of meditation are practiced in silence, and that silence helps you find clarity, awareness, and inner peace. It feels good.
That being said, not everyone enjoys silence. Some people are terrified of it; some even associate silence with the idea of death.
So when they meet someone who is quiet, someone who would rather avoid unnecessary conversations — they naturally tend to dislike them.
2. They may find their attitude intimidating or frustrating
And to be fair, it’s usually the talkative, outgoing, extroverted type that tends to make others feel at ease.
Although I dislike compulsive talkers and intrusive people as much as everybody else, I myself find it easier to relax with friendly personality types (as a quiet person).
The second reason some people dislike those who are quiet is that their attitude can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve just met them.
Small talk and chit-chat are one of the easiest ways to get to know each other and break the ice, but for quiet people it doesn’t always happen spontaneously.
3. They may interpret silence as lack of respect
This is a bit ridiculous, but I’ve seen it quite a few times already, so it had to be mentioned here.
Some people are so insecure they interpret others’ behavior as a sign they don’t respect them, even if logically it makes zero sense.
This includes being quiet, probably because it can be mistaken for arrogance (as mentioned earlier) or a tendency to ignore others.
Although quiet people are usually very good listeners, sometimes their attitude can make it look like they don’t listen and don’t care.
4. They may watch too much TV
Or too many vlogs, or videos on social media.
Meaning: one can become so used to watching people talk non-stop, so used to extroversion being glorified — that anyone who’s quiet becomes a bit of an alien to them; that being quiet becomes unnatural.
And this is one of the dangers of our society: that introversion (and being quiet in general) can be seen as a disadvantage, and that people lose the ability to appreciate it.
Perhaps that’s why people like Susan Cain are on a mission to show the power of introverts, and that there is nothing wrong with being quiet.
5. They may feel they are being observed
Few things are as unnerving as being stared at, being watched silently.
Now, in reality, this never happens. This isn’t what quiet people do. Quiet people may be contemplative, yes, but it’s not like they watch you.
But… at times those who are quiet may give the impression that because they don’t talk much, they are judgmental.
Unless you’re psychic, you never know what others think of you. This is true regardless, but somehow (“awkward”) silence is often interpreted as a sign the other person is judging us.
By contrast, the opposite (smooth conversations) give us the impression the other person likes us. It’s not necessarily true, but that’s our perception.
I definitely lean on the introverted side, and I’m usually very quiet.
Naturally, this has led to quite a few situations where people thought I was being arrogant, or antisocial, or cold, you name it.
In a way, that’s understandable. And there are occasions where I think introverts should actually try and be a bit more talkative, just because it makes socializing so much easier and smoother.
I can think of a few occasions where I had the chance to engage in conversations with people I just met, but didn’t, and then regret it.
That being said, no one is in the position to judge others based on how often they open their mouth.
And I wish people knew that being quiet doesn’t mean anything in particular.
Most importantly, I wish people realized quiet people are quiet because that’s their nature, their personality trait. And that has nothing to do with the people they (don’t) talk to.
Are you an introvert? Do people ever assume you are antisocial just because you don’t talk as much? Leave a comment below and let me know! 👇