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I'm tired of people being dismissed. Is it easy to be an ass to a person because they don't always feel the need to be verbal? Just because I don't have a severe case of logorrhea like 99.99995% of the population complete with an inability to listen to anyone else other than my own gum-flapping, doesn't mean I'm a fucking moron.

I think is why "it's the quiet ones". Quiet people are often more observant. Many of us are very intuitive and VERY much in tune with what's going on. Yet we're harrassed, written off, dismissed. People talk down to us because they assume we probably don't know what we're doing.

But sometimes we DO come out of our shell to speak up. We actually have something worth saying. It might be something we've kept stored up. Oh, but then someone, usually the most verbose person in the room, has a counter reply, or a better idea and naturally the rest of the group tends to gravitate toward the person who speaks the most, I guess because they have no choice since this person is usually the one who does the most talking. I guess if you talk loud enough and talk long enough, people may assume you know what you're talking about.

You know what they used to call a mute person in the old days? DUMB! Now think of the current context of the word. Synonymous with stupid, moronic, idiotic, I could go on, but you catch my drift. I can tell you that thinking that someone who doesn't often speak up is not the most intelligent person can be a wrong assumption. The guy who never puts down his books is usually absorbing more knowledge than Average Joe. He is often listening to more than what is on his pages, too. He's a fly on the wall, paying attention to everything. Hearing it all. He also pays very close attention to how words are used, being an avid reader, how words are conveyed and how one change in a phrase can change an entire meaning. The one who hasn't said a word during the meeting has not only been paying close attention, but has been investigating the room the entire time and knows more than you think about everyone in it. The shy girl in the back of the class is not always sleeping off her hangover. Believe me, you can see a LOT from the back of a room.

Here's what I observe a lot in my everyday life: Person A is very outspoken. Loud, gregarious, social. Person B is very introverted, pretty much the opposite. Person B often reads instructions, tinkers with the equipment to troubleshoot and finds out exactly how things work. When said equipment has an error, Person B usually knows how to fix it. Person A being more outspoken, will take over the situation, they are a take-charge person, anyway and are sure they can find what the problem is. Person B tells Person A that they already know the solutuion. Person A, figuring that because Person B has never said anything before, they don't know. Person A undermines Person B and goes about things the hard way rather than just listening.

It's not that I don't say enough, it's that I often find that nobody is really listening anyway. After this becomes repetitive and tired, you tend to just say "fuck it". Why bother? Some people get very frustrated as a result and go on a rampage. Some may just become bitter and annoyed with everyone and everything, becoming those grumpy old folks that we all just brush off as old fogies. Some probably put their pent-up philosophy to better use via other means of communication; visual art, writing. Words on a page or a picture can often speak louder than any human.

Now don't get anxious, I'm not saying I'm going to go postal. What I am saying is that I can understand the mentality all too well. Maybe I DON'T say enough. Maybe I DO need to be more forceful sometimes or just more assertive and I'm trying. I guess my social skills are limited, because I often don't know how to say something without sounding too blunt. I've offended people this way and therefore lost whatever it was I was trying to accomplish. The ideal situation would be that if those who spoke more would listen more often and that those who listen would speak more frequently. This is in a perfect world. A perfect world does not exist. I can only focus on myself, then. All I can do is try harder and if I make an ass of myself sometimes, then I have to let that not bother me as much.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm fairly quiet in person. But the way I look just intimidates people.
Aug. 30th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC)
I think if I were a guy the intimidation thing might work better for me. I'm sure people think I'm just a weird, moody girl. I think one day I'll have a moment like the trainee in the end of the movie Waiting. The guy who kept getting cut off all day and then finally yells at everyone at the end. Although I don't have the proper equipment to do "The Goat".
Aug. 31st, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)

Once upon a time, I knew a lovely girl - she really was - whose husband was physically abusive. It was frustration - “TALK to me!” She told me what her deal was: She was silent as a houseplant much of the time, because she did not speak until she knew exactly what she wanted to say, and if the time it took for her to assemble her sentence ran into minutes, and killed the conversation, well, c' est la vie. Okay: Knowing that, I had no problem with it. We had long, companionable silences; I was willing to wait. She appreciated that - enough that she'd have left her husband for me, if I'd been more in those days than minimally functional myself.

Y' know, guys appreciate quiet girls - as long as you're not sulking, be as taciturn as you wish. It's the pouty-faced, “Something's wrong but I'm not going to tell you what because you should already know” act that gets infuriating.

Sep. 1st, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
I hate when anyone pulls that crap. Nah, when I'm mad, people know and know why. That's the one time I have NO trouble being blunt at all.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Elizabeth Ashbury

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