#AtoZchallenge Q is for Quiet

Q

“Our culture is biased against quiet and reserved people, but introverts are responsible for some of humanity’s greatest achievements.” –Susan Cain

Famous Introverts-

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Rosa Park
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • JK Rowling
  • Al Gore
  • Mahtma Gandhi
  • Michael Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Charles Darwin
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Emma Watson
  • Courtney Cox
  • Laura Bush
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Candice Bergen
  • Roy Rogers
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Elton John
  • Lady Gaga

and the list goes on and on.

I consider that an impressive list and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m very quiet. I can sit at a meeting and never feel the need to speak. I hear things that no one else does because they are all talking. There is strength in being quiet and I think it intimidates those who are not. When I point out something that I heard, people appear shocked, as if my ability to hear and think is directly connected to my participation in the dialogue. It is interesting what you hear when people are talking and they think no one is listening. (I know, why are they talking if they don’t want to be heard? Well, maybe you can tell me!) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a comment, not meant to be heard by the entire group, uttered loud enough to be heard. Now, I’m talking about a meeting setting where a group of people are sitting around a table, with multiple conversations taking place at once. Almost always, people are talking over each other and as I look around the room, I wonder if I’m the only one listening. It’s draining and probably a good thing that no one expects me to talk- except sometimes I do have something to say…

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” -Susan Taylor

And then there is the other quiet. In a world that is filled with chaos, craziness, and sensory overload, I cherish my quiet time. I especially find myself seeking quiet places since so many of my days are filled with an energetic, talkative two year old! There are times when I find myself in complete silence, no tv or music, no talking- just quiet time. And although music is like an instant anxiety reliever, the silence around me really energizes me and gives my batteries the recharge they need.

I’m sitting in my family room right now, my Netflix show having been paused for a half hour now, listening to Ari’s breathing getting deeper and more relaxed as she settles into her nap, hearing the wind blowing,making a whooshing sound down the fireplace. The ice maker just whipped up a fresh batch of cubes and they clattered into their bin. There is ticking from the clock and creaks and groans from the house as it settles, although I’m not sure why it’s still settling after standing here for over 70 years…

I have approximately an hour before my two year old buddy awakes from his nap, and then it’s back to building block towers, pounding out tunes on the xylophone accompanied by singing and dancing, and all the noise and energy that little guy brings. And my quiet time will come to an end until later tonight, when it will be much needed- AGAIN!

Hope your day is filled with quiet or chaos or both- it’s up to you!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

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“I’d love to, but…”

I’m an introvert through and through. (I’m also quiet, reserved, shy…. but that’s a story for another day.)

While this might not be true of all introverts, this is a fair representation of what goes through my mind (and sometimes questions I will need answered) when I am issued an invitation:

If it’s a friendly invitation-

  • Do I want to go out?
  • Who is going to be there?
  • Is it going to be just us?
  • Where are we going?
  • Is this a busy time? Will there be a lot of people there?
  • Is it loud?
  • What are we going to be doing?

If it’s an invite to a party-

  • How many people are expected?
  • Who are they?
  • How long will it last?
  • Does it require a certain dress code?
  • Is it a wandering around, making small talk affair or a sit down meal, making small talk affair?
  • If it’s a sit down meal, who will I sit by? (Large sit down gatherings are torture. Anxiety skyrockets at the thought of being trapped sitting by people I don’t know that well and being required to carry endless meaningless conversations. Even worse is being trapped with people who talk over and past and around me.) What food is being served?
  • If it’s a more casual, walking around affair, who will I talk to? Is there a place where I can escape? Is there a good friend who understands my dread at these gatherings and won’t abandon me?
  • Is anyone going to be there that I want to see?

If alcohol is served at either-

  • Will I feel comfortable enough to have a drink around these people?
  • If I choose not to drink, are these the “cool kids” who don’t give non-drinkers the time of day?
  • If I choose not to drink, how long before I’m surrounded by intoxicated people?
  • If I choose not to drink, how long do I have to stay?

If it’s a meeting-

  • How many people will be there? (If it’s more than two or three, I know I won’t be speaking much.)
  • Who are they?
  • Is this an open meeting where public might be attending (in other words a CROWD)?
  • Will we get the information ahead of time?
  • Are we expected to make a decision on the spot?
  • Will press be present?
  • Will someone be video recording the meeting?

With all invitations-

  • Do these people understand that I’m just quiet- not a bitch, stuck up, rude?
  • How long will it take me to recover from this?
  • Will I be able to get to sleep or will it stimulate me to the extent that it keeps my mind racing for hours afterwards?
  • Can I mentally prepare myself so it doesn’t overwhelm me?
  • Do I really need to make the rounds and personally say hello, goodbye and inane small talk with every single person there?
  • Can a friendly smile replace any or all of the niceties listed in the previous question?
  • What am I going to wear?
  • Is my face going to be flaming red the entire time?
  • Is this something I am required to attend?
  • Do I have to go?
  • Do I want to go?
  • Is there a chance this might be cancelled? 🙂

It took me a long time to realize that there was nothing wrong with me. I do not enjoy large social gatherings or going places where there are huge crowds. I did not realize how draining it was for me in these situations and finding out that it was because I’m an introvert was life changing. I no longer had to apologize for who I was. And in a family of extroverts, I was not a freak- just alone (but happily so!)

I love to spend time with select people. I like to spend time with others. And then there are some who I prefer not to see. I am thrilled to be invited, even if it’s something I’m not going to do. Everyone likes to feel included, right? I like to have the right to accept or refuse. There are invitations that I cannot refuse due to commitments I have made. There are also invitations I will not refuse because the person who issued the invite is that special that I will step out of my comfort zone for them. And there are invitations that I might refuse knowing I’m risking being struck from the list, but that’s okay.

The people that really truly know me, understand that I’m at my best one on one and that the frozen person who is silent in larger groups is not the real me at all. I really am a social person- I just prefer my social interactions to occur in very small groups (which might not even be considered groups) for short periods of time.

What about you? Do you love invitations? Or are you an introvert like me and invitations cause some major minor anxiety?

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

This post is inspired by Daily Prompt- Invitation

Shhhhh

quiet-shy-introvert

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!

-Kat

Q is for Quiet

quiet

I am shy, introverted and quiet. All are three are different. I’m sure there are people who will say they are one or two of these things but not all three and then there are some like me who are all three.

The shy part keeps me from putting my foot in my mouth and saying something I’ll regret most of the time. I’m too anxious about having the attention on me. I worry too much.

The introverted part tends to be where most of my big time thinking occurs. I tend to process everything I hear- depending on the quantity, it might be delayed and when I’m recharging it will pop into my head. Down time is vital to my existence. The longer I am in highly social situations, the more exhausted I get and the more introverted I get.

And I’m just quiet. I don’t have much to say unless I’m one on one with a person. Besides, growing up, weren’t we told that if we don’t have something nice to say, to say nothing at all? Circumstances in my life lately have had me living by this credo. And so there is many a time when I open my mouth to speak and upon (very fast thinking) and closer consideration, I decide that it is better left unsaid.

Although I feel that I am often misunderstood and people can’t really read me or even know me, I’m okay with how I am. Being all three has given me a major advantage at family gatherings and board and committee meetings. I hear everything while everyone is talking- sometimes all at once- and most everyone else present hear very little because you can’t really speak AND hear at the same time.

Thanks to posts written by Deborah at Notes Tied On The Sagebrush, I have been introduced to Susan Cain’s book- Quiet: The Power of Introverts and The Quiet Revolution. Until recently, I lumped those 3- quiet, shy and introverted into one group. It has been incredibly therapeutic to sort them out and learn more about the introvert aspect of my personality.

And for the record, I DO think that quiet people have the loudest minds. We have just as many words to say as anyone else. They just pile up into a huge mess and then it gets really loud in there!

What about you? Are you quiet, introverted and/or shy?

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Kat Got Your Tongue- Introvert or Extrovert?

Welcome to the Kat Got Your Tongue Challenge!

I hope you’ll please  join me!

katgotyourtongue

katguidelines

I am an introvert. (Surprise!) Actually I’m the double whammy- introvert and shy all wrapped up in one quiet bundle. I don’t say much if there are more than 2 people in the room (outside of my family). I don’t like crowds. I need downtime after a social setting. Any socializing that lasts 6-8 hours probably could have been done in less than 2.

This article pretty much sums up how I feel-

An Introvert’s Open Letter to Extroverts: 5 Things You Should Know About Me

Thanks for joining in last week- Dani at BloomingSpiders, Meredith at Meredith’s Musings, and Emma at Once Upon a Littlefield.. We ended up with one ability to speak all languages and two flyers! 🙂