I can easily describe myself as a quiet person. I wouldn’t go so far to say I’m shy anymore, as that would have been the case when I was a kid. I don’t get nervous in social situations, I’m not quietly judging you, I’m just quiet.
The start of this main characteristic in my life did stem from when I was a kid. Whenever our family went somewhere, in our big conversion van, I took my seat in the far back passenger side and simply looked out the window in total silence. Often I was so quiet that who ever was driving literally forgot I was back there. I became a running joke to scream my name about 5 minutes after we left some place.
As time passed I realized the benefits of my time alone in the back seat. I became aware of where we were going, which gave me a good sense of direction and allowed me to become familiar with my surroundings. I was able to reflect and think about what happened, where we were going, where I was going, and why certain things were happening. Eventually, I developed my musical background one CD at a time in the various portable CD players of the 90s. I remember the difficulty of not having shock protection, a lot of chopped up songs in those days. Most of my favorite bands today were first listened to over and over in the back seat.
Apart from my childhood, today I still notice my enjoyment or just comfort of being quiet. Sometimes it comes off negatively. For example if its the first time you are meeting me and we are in a group of people, you’ll be lucky if I contribute 2 sentences to the conversation. Sometimes this comes off as judgmental to some people, but eventually they realize or maybe someone tells them, this is how I go about getting to know you.
Bottom-line from all of this explanation is simple observation. I love to observe before I insert myself. When someone I don’t know to well is having a conversation with someone they do know, I gain understanding of how that person like to communicate. When I start a new job I observe where weaknesses are present and begin to establish a place where I can be useful. However, sometimes I just don’t have anything to say.
In my experience, it’s better to talk when you have something to say. Everyone knows at least one person who just loves to hear themselves talk. I refuse to be that person. I aspire to be the good listener and try to offer my input where you have lead me to believe it is needed. It might not be perfect but this has lead me to great friendships, good work experiences, and many interesting observations about how each of us go about living this life.