All throughout my life, I have come across the same label time and time again. I sit through a conversation with a large group of people or I meet someone for the first time and after each encounter, I am told that I don’t talk enough and that I need to speak up. It’s not like I try to do this, either. It just naturally happens that way. I’m not quiet, I’m just awkward.
Okay so maybe awkward isn’t the best word. Shy isn’t a good one either because I like to think of myself as friendly. Maybe the word I should use is inexperienced. College is the first time that I’m experiencing putting myself out there and meeting new people almost every day.
Just like anything else, it takes time and practice to get used to a new skill that you’re trying to gain. You can’t just expect someone to automatically know how to swim when you push them into a pool; we aren’t dogs. First you have to make sure that they’re comfortable around the water and even after that you need to show them the proper arm and leg movements as well as how to float. Right now I’m at the floating stage of my conversation skills; sometimes it works and other times I sink. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t swim at all if I sink, right? It just means I need a bit more practice.
If I’ve known someone for a while, it’s a lot easier to spark up a conversation because we have past experiences we can draw from. Meeting someone new is a bit awkward for everyone and sometimes first impressions can be completely wrong. I promise once you get to know me I’m a fun person to be around. Just give me time to warm up to you.
As far as big group conversations, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m not quiet but I don’t have the greatest timing. I never know when to squeeze in a comment I have in the middle of three or four other people talking. Other times it’s just as simple as me not having anything to say at all. You want to have a conversation about politics? You have the wrong girl.
Most times I genuinely don’t even realize that I’m being quiet! That’s what’s so funny to me. I love to hear what people have to say and often times I forget that I’m part of the conversation too so I just forget to speak. I don’t mean to do it but apparently I do it more often than I realize. Woops.
I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s a big difference between being quiet and just not knowing how to function in certain conversations. My mother can tell you how much I talk her ear off and my friends can tell you all about my corny jokes. It all just depends on the environment and the people. So next time you speak to someone you want to deem “the quiet one” think twice; you never know what we have to say.