I remember in my twenties when I was studying for activities guidance, I was a quiet person. The first year was a bit-confronting year. First in the class, we talked about characters, personalities. And being quiet was negative. I felt upset about it. I went home with the thought, being quiet was bad. I only went once a week to school and worked the rest of the week.
The whole week I was kind of upset about it. Was being quiet really negative? Should I be more like my sister, outgoing? Should I change myself? And how? I decided to ask it in my class. It was a huge step, because I just didn’t like the attention, being in a spotlight for a moment. But I realised, I needed to know, was it really a negative thing to be quiet? As it turned out, no it was not. Not in my case. According to my classmates, my quietness was my strength. I listened very well; I was always capable of making a good summary of what has been talked about in the class. I can sense people’s emotions well. And they said, when you say something we know you going to say something that makes sense or something I had thought over and over about it. It felt good to hear that and my worry felt away. I was proud and happy that I did tell them, but it was also because I felt safe in the class.
Another problem about my quietness arose before summer holiday. I went to school one day a week and the rest of the week, I worked. And I had a talk with two people at my work. About how things were going at work. And again, about me being quiet. If I wasn’t going to change and open up a bit more then the manager wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Will I be able to socialise with all different kind of people and not only those that were coming for a day. Because if I want to grow as activities guide, I have to socialise with everyone. And that was my problem. At the same time I felt, I have to change because how strange it may sounds I loved working for old people. That was my turning point and I changed. It wasn’t easy but I did. And I got the diploma. During the years, I have worked for different elderly homes and enjoyed it. However now looking back at it, I realise it had costs me a lot of energy. I was very often very tired and in the weekends, I really needed to recharge, to have me time and a lot!
Now knowing that I am an introvert I look differently at it. Then I didn’t knew I was an introvert. If I knew, maybe some things might have gone differently, but on the other hand, I might never have grown and overcoming my difficulties to make me who I am today.
One thing I have learned, being quiet is not negative, is just who you are and be proud of it!