Growing up, I was a quiet kid. I dreaded public speaking, kept to myself, and tried to limit my interactions with people as much as possible. I know I wasn't the only one who did this, and I think it's normal for kids to go through this. People just develop at their own rate and it does not follow them as far along in life. Regardless, here are the signs that let you know someone is quiet, and thus could use a little affirmation.
1. They are a different person behind closed doors.
No, they are not two-faced. This just simply means that when they are with close friends and family, they are a chatterbox. They are silly, have fun, and show their true self comfortably. Around everyone else-- distance relatives, people on the same team, other kids in my classes, these kids can seem rude or even mute.
2. They are introverted.
These people tend to be introverts. They use time alone to recharge so that they can face the world a little more calmly.
3. They are intimidated by strangers.
When they walk by people they know and are close with, they do not hesitate to shout their name, or run up and hug them.
But when they walk by people they know, but are not close with, they become nervous and tend to opt out of the situation by ignoring the person. They just keep walking, staring at the ground.
Personally, I remember feeling like they thought I was weird, so why would they want to talk to me? I didn't want them to recognize me in the hall and say "Hi" because they felt obligated to. I convinced myself they didn't want to, so I just solved the issue by ignoring them and hoping they would ignore me. I ignored them because I didn't want them to think I was weird, but, in doing so I just seemed even more bizarre. That's a thing my younger self never realized. This is why it is important to reach out to people who may feel this way.
4. They often feel judged, but cannot define why or how.
Quiet kids often feel like they are being judged. For what? I can't honestly tell you because I don't know. For breathing? I remember that's how I often felt. I was often worried about annoying people, so I would retract from a situation. I would apologize and not know why, just because I felt I had to have done something wrong.
People will tell you many reasons why they do this, but it all boils down to one thing: Insecurity. This is why you should talk to the quiet kids, and include them as much as you can. Show them that they are of value, but don't show them pity. Everyone deserves the opportunity to walk into a room and feel welcome, regardless if they know anyone there.