This used to happen to me a lot when I lived at home and was still in school. People would complain, "You're too quiet!"
Maybe I should have retorted, "Well, maybe you're too loud!"
I never did, though. I just slunk away in embarrassment as though being called "quiet" was as bad as being called "loser."
In this noisy world, if you are not noisy yourself, people assume something is wrong with you. But it could be that you're just shy. Or you prefer books and animals to people. Or you're having a bad day. Or maybe you have a lot on your mind.
But will people assume this? Noooo...they'll assume you have a PROBLEM...or that you don't like them, or that you think you are "above it all." Who knows? The point is, your quiet makes them uncomfortable, and people do not like to feel uncomfortable.
It's not that I was always quiet. I would talk a lot - even get quite loud, around people I knew. However, around people I didn't know or big groups of people, especially strangers, I would clam up. That's because I liked to observe, first...get the "lay of the land," so to speak. Figure out who exactly I was dealing with before I disclosed too much information about myself.
Sometimes I wish more people would be this way. Due to the whole reality show culture, there's way too much TMI these days!
Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this "wait and observe" philosophy. Even as a mom and a wife, off living my own life now, I'm still a little bit this way in a new situation.
Maybe some would even say I'm a little (gasp!) socially awkward. Oh well.
If you too have run into this situation where someone is demanding to know why you are "so quiet", perhaps you have been rendered even MORE QUIET, because you didn't know what to say back.
Or maybe because the person made you feel super uncomfortable (after all, this question does seem like a bit of a "judgement call") ,it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy...you become even MORE quiet, thus proving them right!
Perhaps you wanted to say something back. Perhaps you thought their comment was rude and uncalled for.
After all, isn't it your business if you feel like being quiet?
Maybe you wished you could think of the perfect thing to say back to such a comment, and you want to be ready next time it happens.
Not that you want to be rude yourself, and belt out, "WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?"
That might make you feel good temporarily. However, you know it's not very mature, and could cause you to lose friends or even a job, if you are yelling this at your boss.
Following, are five not-too-rude things to say back to those annoying people who demand to know why you are so quiet.
1). THAT'S JUST HOW I ROLL!
This is a fun and carefree thing to say. It's cool and will make you seem cool.
2). I LIKE TO OBSERVE.
This is a very intelligent answer (I think). Almost "scientific" in nature! It explains the sort of person you are - which really can't be argued with.
3). I'M NOT A MORNING PERSON.
This works best, of course, in the morning. (Although it might be funny to say it in the afternoon or evening....I just thought of that! Then people might just think you're crazy, and leave you alone for that reason. Or you could tailor this to: "I'm not an afternoon person," or 'I'm not an evening person). I HAVEN'T HAD MY COFFEE YET is another variation of I'M NOT A MORNING PERSON. This one is good for the office when those disgustingly cheerful people demand to know why you are being so quiet at 7:30 in the morning.
4). I AM SAYING A LOT. RIGHT HERE (THEN POINT TO YOUR HEAD).
This is a clever, sort of geeky response. It will prove the point, however, that you have a lot of stuff going on in your head...you're a busy person - too busy to talk right now. Maybe you're even gossiping about that person inside of your head...that's the beauty of this response. It's slightly mysterious. Keeps em' guessing!
5). I'M SOCIALLY AWKWARD.
This will certainly stop someone from bugging you. It will also no doubt make them feel embarrassed for picking on you. After all...you have a real legitimate problem. Seeing that egg on their face is worth trotting out this response.
So there you have it. You are ready! Feel free to pick the response that suits you best. After all, it's your right to be quiet if you feel like it. Subtly let people know this without antagonizing. You'll end up the nice quiet winner!