If you see me on a night out, and I’m amongst people I know really well, chances are I’m the loudest one in the group.
If you see me on a night out and I’m amongst one or two people I know well, and the rest are strangers, 100% I’m the quietest in the group.
When I meet people for the first time they find it odd that there’s someone around who isn’t loud, who isn’t drunk and, according to them, isn’t “having a good time”. Here’s the thing, I am having a good time, in my own way. It doesn’t look like it because it’s more internal.
If I’m in a big group of people, most of whom I don’t know, then chances are I’m observing the heck out of everyone. I don’t know why I do this, but it’s something I’ve done since I was very young. I want to see them interacting with others and figure out how best to approach them myself, if I ever meet them again.
Here are a few things you should know about people like me:
- Just because it doesn’t look like we’re outwardly having a good time, doesn’t mean we’re not. Just because we show it in different ways (although admittedly I may not show it at all), doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way. There is no wrong way).
- We can understand and appreciate people checking in to see if we’re alright, but under no circumstances should you feel sorry for us and, I must request: please don’t pressure us to ‘mingle’ and please don’t assume we ‘need help’.
Because I’m OK being the quiet one.
Until I get to know people I am more than happy to sit out on the sidelines.
This is who I am. This is how I’ve been for 24 years. I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong, but I will say I’m done apologising for it.
I’m done feeling guilty because “It doesn’t look like I’m enjoying myself” or because “I should get stuck in and get to know people better”.
The funny thing is, I’m more than happy to do that. Just allow me to do it in my own time.
I may not be like you, but that’s OK.
So please, let me be “The Quiet One” until I’m ready to become “The Loudest One”. It may take a few months, or it may never happen and if that’s the case, then just let me be me.