“You’re always so quiet.”

“Don’t you have anything to say?”

“Why don’t you ever talk?”

These are things I hear on an almost-daily basis from friends, family, and strange people I hardly know. Sometimes, on those especially special days, people will notice and think I’m just being more quiet than usual when it’s a typical day for me. I don’t talk a lot. And there're several reasons for that.

And, if you’d care to listen (or read, whichever works best for these words before you), I’ll give them here.

1. I’m a thinker.

I don’t say every word that comes to my mind. In fact, I only say very few of the words that come to mind. Many people talk and talk and talk, not even caring what they’re saying, just caring that something is coming out of their mouth.

2. I value my privacy.

I don’t say everything because I don’t want you to know everything. It would be too difficult to explain everything anyway when asked: “Whatcha thinking about?” So I really honestly despise that question.

3. People don’t listen.

It takes me a little longer to process and develop answers because I prefer having all the information and thinking things through before verbalizing and, well, people often don’t have the patience necessary to wait for me to speak. If they do wait, and if they do let me speak, they often don’t truly listen to what I’m saying and that’s frustrating. So I don’t say anything.

4. My words do not come out the way I see them in my mind.

I can write essays and novels and speeches without a problem, but when it comes to getting those words in my cranium out of my mouth and into the ears of those around me, it’s…it’s just bad. I’m getting better at this one. Being eloquent is something I aspire to be, and I’ve got a ways to go, but I do want my words to be art (in writing and speaking).

5. Listening is a preferred method of communication.

I enjoy hearing what others have to say. I enjoy hearing about your life and what’s going on. I’d rather hear about you than talk about me.

6. It’s more comfortable.

By watching and not talking, I can take information in, keep myself to myself, and just sort of relax. Is this a good thing? Maybe not, but it’s true.

7. I don’t want to say just anything.

I aim to be picky about my words. I don’t want to be foolish or rude or tear anybody down by my words. I don’t want to spout off angry nonsense. That’s not who Jesus Christ calls me to be.

8. I’m stuck in my mind.

This isn’t such a good one. Often I don’t talk because I render myself unable to do so by how much I think and overthink and think some more. If you personally know me, please draw me out of my mind. Thank you in advance.

9. It’s who I am.

I’m just a quiet, not-very-talkative person.

10. I prefer writing.

My thoughts are communicated most clearly through this art. And I prefer to keep it that way. (This means phone calls are a bane of my existence. Please text me.)

So, as you can see by this list, I’m a growing human being. I have my faults. I have things to still learn. I actually really do love to have meaningful, deep conversations with people. I absolutely adore being listened to by those few people who truly listen and weigh my words like I do theirs. Please don’t see my not talking or my being quiet as a flaw or as something that needs to be changed. This is who I am and I’m okay with that. I love to listen and to observe. But please don’t hesitate to talk with me. I do like to talk as well. Just not all the time.

And that’s okay.