That’s me. All three. To the casual outsider, there is no difference between the three. But to those of us who are one, two or all three, there is a definite distinction. I am married to a sometimes quiet but mostly outgoing extrovert. My children are a curious blend. My oldest is the opposite of me- he is much like his dad only more chatty. My middle kid is a shy extrovert- something that is not easy to be. And my youngest is most like me- he is a quiet introvert but he’s not shy in the least. Raising these distinct combinations has given me much insight into dealing with these different personalities in all areas of my life.
I used to think that I was just shy but over time I identified the different components and it gave me a deeper understanding of who I was and why I act and react the way I do. With this understanding came self-acceptance and the realization that I don’t have to change myself to suit anyone else’s needs, including society’s perception of quiet, shy and/or introverted people.
I have spent my life being misread and misunderstood by people who mistook my silence for everything it isn’t. It appears that in recent years it has come even more into question, even by people who have known me for a long time.
I have so many thoughts about this but being me, I prefer to let someone else say it.
- “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” -Stephen Hawking
- “Sometimes it feels better not to talk. At all. About anything. To anyone.” -Unknown
- “I think a lot, but I don’t say much.” -Anne Frank
- “I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception.” -Unknown
- “Watch out for people who are always bragging about who they are, a lion will never have to tell me it’s a lion.” -Unknown
- “A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.” -Unknown
- “We must find quiet moments to seek greater light and truth.” -Cheryl A. Esplin
- “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” -Unknown
- “Sometimes, not saying anything is the best answer. You see, silence can never be misquoted.” -Unknown
- “Often the most powerful statement is your dignified silence.” -Unknown
- “I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.” -Margaret Donnano
- “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” -Anne Lamott
And finally from Susan Cain, author of Quiet-
- “Don’t think about introversion as something that needs to be cured… Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”
- “Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.”
Have a good one!