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It takes all types of folks to make the world go ’round, and no matter which type you are personally, I can guarantee there’s people out there who think it’s funny to comment on it in one way or another.
You’re too tall, too short, too loud, or too quiet, et al, but if you’re the last one I mentioned, someone (or a lot of someone’s) have likely said “wow, you speak” to you at some point, feigning some level of shock in the process.
If that bugs the crap out of you, first, welcome to the club.
Second, here are 14 pretty awesome responses to keep in your back pocket for next time.
Because yes, there will be a next time.
I was raised by librarians.
13. Just make sure you can back it up.
Quality over quantity.
12. Confidently own it.
As much as we want to be defensive when people say this, the reason why they point it out is because it makes them feel self conscious. I’ve never really said much more than “yea I’m pretty reserved sometimes”. They learn that it’s who I am, not a reflection of how I feel around them personally. They see I’ve confidently owned it, and they end up respecting that. I definitely understand the frustration though. It’s such an unwelcome shift of attention and this sudden pressure. Witty come backs just read as rude sometimes though. (Even though their question reads as rude to us.)
11. Followed by the stare.
Well, unlike you, I know when to shut the fuck up.
10. If you want to have a bit of fun at a party.
Write “I AM MUTE” on a piece of paper. Convince everyone that it’s true, too.
9. So, you don’t want to sound stupid.
My mother would occasionally ask my father why he didn’t talk more in social situations and my father would reply…
“Sometimes it’s better for poeple to wonder why you didn’t say anything than to wonder why you did.”
8. Was it a joke, though?
I’ve posted this before, but I was teasing a co-worker once about being quiet and a mutual friend of ours piped up, “Maybe he’s just quiet around you because he doesn’t fucking like you”.
We laughed about it, but I sure as hell don’t tease people about being quiet anymore.
7. Learn to pay attention.
This isn’t a retort, but I’ve often found that when a social group considers a particular person quiet, it’s often because they’re not listened too or spoken over in the group conversation so they tend to stay quiet.
I have a few beautiful friendships with people considered quiet by others simply because I engaged with them, gave them space to reply and listened to them. From that we realized that we had cool things in common and friendships blossomed from there. People listening to reply not to hear and engage with what the person is actually saying is one of our biggest shortcomings as humans. We just don’t pay attention sometimes.
6. Simple but effective.
I’ve always been someone who likes to speak very succinctly (why use lot words when few words do trick) and I’ve learned sometimes people take my lack of talking as like a “power move” or something when the truth is I just don’t feel like rambling on for a minute when “oh cool” works just fine.
TL;DR The commentary is unnecessary.
5. You don’t have to go on the defensive.
“Yeah, I guess I’m just not a chatty person!”
9 times out of 10, when someone says that, it isn’t a personal attack. They’re just trying to make conversation, and they go for the only thing they know about you, which is that you’re quiet, because you never fuckin talk to people so they can find something to talk about with you.
4. Dang spell wore off again.
Wait, you can see me?
3. Tried and true for a reason.
“You talk enough for the both of us.”
2. The equivalent of peeing on their leg.
A ten second stare followed by just turning away.
1. That should make everyone super comfortable.
Just start making noises.
I’m definitely keeping some of these locked and loaded.
My great-grandfather used to say that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.”
But apparently Mark Twain said that first.
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