More threads by rebecca8


Has anyone else ever had someone ask them this question? Whenever I enter a new situation someone will eventually ask me this kinda dumb question. Sometimes I feel like asking them why they are so loud. Someone asked me this at my new job.....I knew it was coming. I just smiled, and shrugged. It's not really a job where you need to talk a lot, and their conversations are not exactly intelligent. I'm sure they think I'm so weird now just because I'm quiet and shy. I'm trying not to care because it's only a temp job, and I don't plan to stay there. Just wondering why people are compelled to ask me WHY I'm so shy or quiet. I don't know what kind of answer to give them. Anyone else experience this?

just mary

Hi Rebecca,

I have had that happen to me too. My response was similar, just smile and shrug (and kind of look at them disbelievingly). ;) I mean, we're quiet aren't we, did they really expect us to go on and on with some long, wordy answer, sheesh. :rolleyes:

I think the best route to go is to just be yourself.

So, you're quiet, I find most people are okay with it. Every now and then you run into someone who has a problem with it and they're really not worth the time or effort. Just smile and shrug.

As an alternative, I guess you could ask them "Why do you talk so much???"

Take care,


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I've had this happen to me, too, frequently in my life. In my younger days, I found it a bit embarassing. Now I just say something like, "I'm a man of few words" or "I like listening to what other people have to say" or "I'm just hyperfocused", depending on the situation.

It is a little insensitive for someone to ask a question like that though...


I hate that question too, it is right after the question of why are you still single as though being single was something to be ashamed about. I never know how to respond to either queston, especially the last one. What makes it worse is married or coupled people who try to push you to do on line dating when you dont want to do that. They make me feel like there is something wrong with me, though I do admit that anxiety over both of these issues makes me just want to stay home by myself.. Gosh, I would never ask someone why they talked so much or start questoning a married person about their relationship.
that's really a strange question. it would never occur to me to ask a quiet person that. i just figure it's their personality.

Edit: :lightbulb: here's what you could say: "is there something wrong with being quiet?" :)


I agree moonriver and like Dr. Baxter when I was younger I found it a bit embarassing especially as I would always blush and being of Scandanavian background I would then look like a beet which would draw even more attention. Now I find it easier to deal with and sometimes when I am particularly annoyed I will also say
"I'm a man of few words"
which is particularly effective since I am a woman. Good-luck. :heart: Mari


Account Closed
I have had the same experience myself but I have never been asked directly as you have Rebecca. When people do notice how quiet I am I tell them I am listening. Even better, they change their tune when I can repeat back to them almost word for word what they have said, or respond to them in such a way that they know I really 'got' what they were saying.

And if I have inadvertently tuned out, dissociated and caught it - I smile and as naturally as I can, change the subject to put the focus back on them. :D
I used to be asked this almost daily. Awesome fun.
Alternatively, it becomes a statement - "You're being really quiet." For some reason, they then want a response to their statement... "Yes, I am. How very observant of you," doesn't quite cut it (after all, eight words is far above the average of two, and may no longer fit the definition of "quiet".)
"Would you rather I be louder?"
After some people asked, I used to repeatedly bounce a ball in my hand just above the table, so it would make one of those noises that people get irritated by. Then they couldn't say I was being quiet! :tapfingers: (Probably not the best idea :p)
To top it all off, my friends were speaking in Cantonese for the majority of the time, so I didn't have a clue what they were saying. I'm guessing it got to the stage where they were like, "Oh well, she's not going to say anything anyway, let's just speak in a language we're more comfortable with." ... and then one of them still wonders why I'm quiet??? Sheesh.

Anyway, I think the compulsion to ask "why" is to do with them feeling awkward or frustrated.
1) They don't feel good about leaving you out of a discussion - perhaps you don't like the topic, *change of topic* nope, still not talking, *give you a choice of topic* nope... okay, why?
2) They're trying to keep a conversation going - after receiving a number of fairly repetitive, short responses to questions (How are you? Ok, yourself? ...What did you do on the weekend? Not much, you? ...Did you watch ___ last night? Yep. What did you think of it? It was okay. etc.) they begin to wonder why they're having so much trouble and having to keep thinking of things to say. (This may be a fairly unusual position for them to be in, so we have to be nice. ;)) They may reason that this difficulty isn't something that they're doing wrong (after all, they're usually such successful speakers) but is instead something to do with you. And the best way to find information is to ask for it, so why indeed are you foiling my plan to have a conversation?


I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. I really like all of your suggestions. I'm going to try a few. I also turn beet red when I'm embarrassed. One time, this guy was giving me a hard time about blushing in front of a group of people. So I told him he was just jealous. And when he asked what he could possibly be jealous of. I replied with a playful attitude, "Well you just can't change colors like I can." The whole room was cracking up. And then he started blushing a little. Hehe.
Oh, and moonriver, I've also been asked why I am single. Except, it went a little more like this: "Do you have a boyfriend?" no. "Why, what's wrong with you?" I just laughed, and asked what's wrong with him for asking me such an ignorant question. My new response is jokingly throwing my arms up in the air and gleefully replying, "I'm a free woman!" I often notice a hint of envy in their expression.
Anyway, I read something where this lady explained that she seeks mostly quiet people for her book club because they are most observant, and when they do speak, they have the most profound things to say. I just love shy, quiet people. Most of us are like treasures waiting to be discovered. Would anyone else agree?


Hehehe. My devil horns are starting to pop up. But, it looks like I won't need to say anything else to these people anymore. One guy in particular who was kinda bothering me said out loud a few days ago how he thinks I don't like him. So, here comes this voice out of me that sometimes I don't recognize. I said, "How do you know I don't like you?, I don't really know you that well, how could I not like you already? Don't jump to conclusions so quickly." I was smiling and paused for a second then said, "I'm just a really shy person. It takes me awhile to get to know people." He felt better. Today, I was talking up a storm (well, for me it was a lot) Then, all of the temps find out that we won't be needed anymore at this place. Go figure. As soon as I start to get to know people, I'll have to go out and get to know some more new people. And also, I guess I've been feeling like I'm coming out of my funk, so I asked a friend if he wanted to do something for Halloween. He invited me to this party. I actually kinda wanted to dress up just for the sake of dressing up, and Mari, I went as a man. That was interesting, but then anxiety took over again. Although I think this anxiety was the good kind because before we went, my friend apparently need to get pre-drunk. I don't even know what that is. So, I just dropped him off at his party, and went home. I told him that I feel uncomfortable around drunk people. He understood. So, anyway, my point, I wonder if I'm selling myself short by hanging around the wrong people. Maybe, I do need to find a more intelligent crowd, Dr. Baxter. Oh, but where? Anyone have any suggestions as to how a good shy girl meets other good smart people? I'm nearly clueless as to how to meet people.....a little deficient in my social skills, face to face that is.


Mmmmmmm, that's a good start. It would be very nice to have a smarty pants boyfriend someday. For now, I'm looking for more female friends. I really don't have any, and in my heart I suspect that my male friends are mainly sticking around because they think they might have a chance or something (even though I've made it clear I'm only interested in their friendship.) This might be wrong of me, but it's either them or no one at all right now. I get so very lonely sometimes. The few females I tried hanging out with were either crude, or didn't have a mind of their own. It's so unbecoming, not to mention embarrassing to be in their company sometimes. I guess I might be getting off the topic a bit. To tie it back in.........are very many shy people often lonely? How do they go about finding new friends when their old buddies have outgrown them, or vice versa?

Daniel E.
How do they go about finding new friends when their old buddies have outgrown them, or vice versa?

Of course, the trend has been the use of social networking sites. is one way to find social clubs, especially in larger towns and cities. It's like using the newspaper to see when the next book club is meeting.

On a more one-to-one basis, there's also Friendster, Facebook and MySpace. Some people also put up ads in the "strictly platonic" section of Craigslist. Of course, one has to be really careful by meeting such strangers in public, ideally with another friend:

craigslist - Google News

That's one reason why would appeal to me more.

More traditionally, people meet each other at their churches, schools, and workplace.
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Aww, I'm sorry you're lonely too Phoenix. Let's try to follow some of the suggestions given. I didn't really know that it was becoming more common to meet people through the internet. I do live in a very big city. I didn't know about any of those sites except for myspace which I forgot my password to. I'm not that internet savy, or whatever you call it. If you want to talk to me, I'll listen. I understand how it is to be so lonely and bored that you just want to crawl out of your skin.


I hear you too Rebecca, I feel single in a couples world. I totally dont like the idea of meeting people on the internet, I am sure it works great for alot of people so good for you for being willing to try it. I have tried to meet people the old fashioned way, but its hard to get the nerve to go and do things by yourself let alone talk to other people. I would be happy and interested to know if you have success


I looked up I joined 2 groups. A HSUS Animal Rights Legislation group, and of course, a group for people who are very shy. I hope one day I will have the courage to attend a 'meetup.' I'll post something about it, if I get the nerve to go, that is.


hihi girls, you're so cute.

Anyway, in case you are shy and scared i don't think it's the best idea to date through the internet, there are many psychos and perverts on the net, just think about it why would a young man try to pick up chicks on the net when it's a lot more simple and natural to go to a bar or some nice place.

Especially if you live in a big city there's a lot of opportunity to get to know healthy - minded people. Also it's a lot more practical, because you see the guy and can decide whether u like him or not. Just think about the preparation it takes to make a date through the net, and what if you don't like him.

So it's a lot more safe and logical for a shy girl to try to pick up guys in the normal way. Of course it's just my opinion


There is real danger in arranging a face to face meeting with someone with whom a relationship has been formed on the internet, in many cases.

Unregulated venues such as chat rooms where individuals can claim to be anyone without verification, are known for predators to be seeking out vulnerable and shy individuals.

These predators are skilled manipulators who exploit well meaning, innocent admissions by unsuspecting people wanting to make real friendships.

People have been known to lose their life savings, and even their lives not to mention the psychological trauma of betrayal as a result of these internet based liaisons.

That's not to say there are not opportunities to forge real and long lasting friendships through internet encounters, but one must be very cautious and even skeptical when an internet acquaintance wants to meet in person.

A good rule is to not to rush, and if a meeting is to take place, make it in a public place and invite a third person to come along until the stranger's intentions can be evaluated.
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