The Quiet Ones


Hannah Webb, Staff Writer

What do you hear in your typical high school classroom before class starts? I’d be willing to bet you’d give me an answer that’s something like, “the sound of about 25 kids talking.” In the media, movies, and TV shows, high school classrooms are almost always portrayed as loud and chaotic places with everyone in the room talking at top volume.

In reality, usually not everyone is speaking. There’s probably one small group of kids or at least one kid not saying anything, and instead is buried in a book, their phone, or some other form of entertainment while waiting for class to start.

Most people tend not to notice these kids, or overlook them completely. Don’t get me wrong, this can be easy, because after all they’re not making a sound in a room full of kids making all the noise they can. However, it’s become more than an issue of overlooking them. As a society we’re slowly but surely losing our abilities of quiet contemplation, working by ourselves, and seeing the beauty of being an introvert.

It’s become a joke for someone to just want to keep to themselves. Those who are considered introverts by others are patronized and outright teased because they’re thought of as indifferent, rude, or even snobby.

It has become an insult to be called “quiet.”

These assumptions our society tends to make about introverts are very simply and completely false. There’s a large difference between being an introvert and being “rude” or “snobby.”

Personally, I consider myself an introvert, and I speak this from experience. Introverts don’t remain silent because they feel better than others or above them, they’re quiet simply because they don’t have anything that they feel needs to be said. Unlike most, they don’t feel the need to be speaking at every moment of the day.

Introverts aren’t indifferent people with no thoughts, either. Being an introvert is usually an indication of being a relatively deep thinker, and being someone who simply prefers to think to themselves. This isn’t to say that extroverts aren’t deep thinkers. Extroverts typically just prefer to immediately voice their ideas to others, while introverts prefer to act on their ideas in their own way, sometimes solitarily.

Another common assumption is that introverts are shy all the time, and can’t be friendly, which isn’t always true. Many introverts are far from quiet once they get comfortable around someone. The difference is that introverts just prefer to know people on a deeper level before truly opening up.

Introverts also have the same ability to be friendly as extroverts. Personally, if I’m approached by someone who wants to start a conversation, I’ll happily try to get to know them better. Most introverts just want to know that people want to get to know them before putting themselves out there for others.

Whether introvert or extrovert, everyone deserves to be treated the same way, and everyone deserves to be proud of who they are. We need to start accepting all categories and varieties of people, even those who prefer to be quiet. Let’s stop making “shy” an insult and start making it something to be proud of.