Earlier this week I did an exercise with a few of my sorority sisters where we chose words to describe each other. One of the girls got to me and she said "powerful." At first, I was really confused. No one has ever used a word like that to describe me. People that have known me for a very long time might say "confident." I've even had people use the words "mysterious" or "intimidating," but never powerful.

She went on to explain that, while I'm not necessarily powerful in the sense of being physically strong or even bossy, but that my being a naturally quiet person doesn't make me weak. And after I thought about it for a second, I realized that she was completely right. I'm not weak. I don't let people walk all over me. I stand up for what I believe in. The older I get, the less afraid I am to be who I am.

I'm very thankful to have people in my life that understand that and see those kinds of things in my personality that I don't always notice about myself. But her statement also got me to wondering, how many other people see me and do think that my being quiet makes me weak? How many people see true introverts in their lives (I consider myself to be more of an ambivert) and think that they can be easily swayed or taken advantage of?

I am writing this article for those people. The people that believe that any girl that isn't always "loud" or "goofy" is somehow less than or has less of a personality. The people that think they can determine someone else's emotional strength based on how outgoing they are. The people that are convinced that someone who is quiet can't be a leader. The people that think that because I don't always have something to say that I'm scared to speak, or not confident. The people that never even take the time to get to know the more outgoing side of me because they label me from the beginning as "quiet."

You are wrong.

I am not weak. I am not a pushover. I am not a follower. My quietness doesn't mean that I am afraid to lead, or that I can't. I have seen and experienced things that some of you will never understand. I am not bored or uninterested. I am not stuck up.

So maybe I'm not always smiling. Maybe I seem a little intimidating or mysterious at first. I don't mean to seem rude or bored. Silence doesn't bother me. Sometimes, I just prefer to listen. It's a lot easier to get to know someone when you simply listen to what they're saying. It's okay to be a listener sometimes. Having a quiet nature is just a part of who I am. It is not all that I am.

I am also confident. I am a good listener, which makes me a great leader. I am funny in a way that you don't notice at first. I care about people. I stand up for what I believe is right. I am unashamed of who I am. I have a story to tell and I will not be ignored or interrupted. You cannot walk all over me.

I AM powerful, not in spite of my quietness, but because of it.