Quiet People Have the Loudest Minds…
I find it interesting and yet troublesome that quiet people get the quick label of an arrogant person, or having an air of superiority when in fact, more often than not their silence is a quality of their character–meaning they’re introverts.
The dictionary defines introverts and extroverts as follows:
Introvert comes from Latin intro-, “inward,” and vertere, “turning.” It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others.
Quietness does not equal arrogance; research shows that it equals in higher intelligence; Many people are socially shy, introverted or instead observe. The quick labels are a lazy tactic applied by those who want to avoid the discomfort that silence brings.
I was reticent growing up; I never attended a school for more than an entire school year until about high school. I began shutting down and keeping from making too many friends because I didn’t know how long I was going to be at a specific school. Silence became a habit for me, to keep to myself and to hide my nose between the pages of a book.
Quiet people have the loudest minds. -Stephen Hawking
The Medical Daily explains the science behind it:
In the 1960s, a psychologist named Hans Eysenck theorized that extroverts had a lower level of something called “arousal.” Eysenck believed that extroverts required more stimulation from the world in order to feel alert and awake, while introverts were easily over-stimulated. This helped to explain extroverts’ sense of risk-taking, challenges, and constant social company to keep them stimulated, while introverts often had to seek out alone time in order to lower their over-stimulation — thriving best at home, in library corners, or in peaceful parks.
Usually, if you’re quiet, you are labeled shy or bullied, however, if you’re pretty and quiet, it is more probable that a person may be labeled a bitch, conceited, or arrogant. Unfortunately, I experienced a lot of bullying because I was quiet, and I came from a different country. I was self-conscious about my English proficiency and insecure about not having a solid group of friends. I was always the “new girl at school.”
However, I found that people have not changed very much as adults. When encountering a new situation, people are expected to be outgoing and friendly, and group work is an emphasis at school and work. Meanwhile, the individuals who choose to work alone, or are introverts are often confused as arrogant individuals. Why do people resort to these quick labels? Because it’s easy and we don’t want to take the time to observe closer. We have been conditioned to think that fast equals efficiency.
We all come from different walks of life, and different cultural backgrounds. I experienced this from a state that claimed to be one of the most diverse in the entire US—California, and still, I always felt like an outsider due to the labels placed on me early on.
It took self-development to realize that it’s ok to be an introvert and an extrovert, it’s ok not always to have something to say, it’s ok to want to spend time in solitude.
I am very comfortable around friends and family, but when encountering a new group of people, it may take some time to adjust. I know a lot of people like that. When I go to an event, and I see someone in the back merely observing their surroundings, I am instantly drawn to that individual because it reminds me of my younger self and I have a better understanding of how they may be feeling.
There’s still a lot of research being done to explain the causes, and defines of personality. We are not all one thing; we have many traits and characteristics that shift our day to day personality. One day you might feel like an introvert and the other like an extrovert. It is probably best to find a balance between the two. As Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explained, his most artistic patients often drifted between introversion and extroversion: “[They’re] usually one or the other,” he wrote, “either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show.”
This chart sums it up. Extroverts VS. Introverts:
This video is a fantastic TED talk about the Power of Introverts: