General Question

Mama_Cakes2's avatar

How do you respond when someone says to you that "you're too quiet"?

Asked by Mama_Cakes2 (1446points) September 16th, 2010

I am carpooling with a group of girls (we just met this week) and I have run into this with one girl. The driver called her out on her quietness (which I thought was rude). The “quiet girl” just giggled nervously and said “I know”. It was a bit of an uncomfortable situation and I felt bad for her.

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44 Answers

Seek's avatar

Well, you could scream “WELL F*K YOU!” in their face, but then I’m not advocating that as the height of decorum. ^_^

wilma's avatar

She probably didn’t intend to be rude, just trying to draw the quiet girl out. But If you are a shy and or quiet person that can be embarrassing.
The girls response was just fine for her, and hopefully everyone will accept that she is just a quiet person.

cockswain's avatar

No question the driver was being an a-hole. Obviously some people are shy and quiet, and calling them out doesn’t lessen those feelings. The driver was irritated by her quiet personality, and decided to snap at her. What is the right response? What I’d do doesn’t matter because I’m not shy. The shy girl probably isn’t comfortable being assertive in a situation like that. The best response would be you or one of the other passengers saying “why do you care?”. The shy girl would be relieved and thankful, and the driver would likely get the message. Unless she’s a raging bitch that wants to “win”.

picante's avatar

I’m a rather reserved individual, and I’ve been told on a number of occasions that I’m “too quiet” or “awfully quiet.”

Seems like the “quiet girl” handled this in her own way. My standard response is typically loaded with sarcasm (probably as a defensive move). Something along the lines of “hard to get a word in edgewise” or “waiting to say something really smart.” But that comes with experience.

Certainly other less shy crowd members can carry the sarcasm for the shy person until she spouts her own comebacks.

robmandu's avatar

If this were addressed to me – being a guy – I’d point out that science shows women are more attracted to calm, quiet men.

janbb's avatar

I haven’t heard that in a long time but I certainly used to. Now I would probably say, “No, it’s just that other people are too noisy” but I don’t know if I had the moxie back then.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I get this as well. I just say “nothing to say”.

zophu's avatar

The only time I’m quiet is when I have too much to say. So, it’s usually a regretted provocation.

Austinlad's avatar

Say what Popeye always used to say…


UScitizen's avatar

I simply smile, and allow the provocateur to wallow in his/her rudeness.

marinelife's avatar

What is “too quiet?” You are what you are.

Disc2021's avatar

I say “I’m the type of person that only speaks when he has something to say”. Which is true..

tinyfaery's avatar

I just shrug and give the person my “did you really just say that” look. It shuts people up pretty quickly.

BoBo1946's avatar

That is rude….. People like that should buy Norman Vincent Peale’s book, “How To Win And Influence Friends!”

Coloma's avatar

That doesn’t happen to me often, a rarity. haha

I’m a high energy chatterbox, if anything I have to remind myself to give the quieter person space to speak. lol

muppetish's avatar

The other day I found out a close friend of mine thought I was awkwardly quiet when we first met (we carpooled together to the airport.) Before then, I thought it had been a long time since anyone had looked at me and thought I was “too quiet”.

Before university, I normally responded along the same lines as the girl you observed: smile, laugh softly, and say, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” Now, I’m not so sure I’d wave it aside the same way. It gets on my nerves when people tell me I am too quiet. I am precisely as quiet as I intend to be.

NaturallyMe's avatar

This happens to me ALL the time! Well, except i don’t think anybody has ever told me in those words that i’m quiet, but what always gets said to me is “are you always this quiet?” or “you’re so quiet” or something similar. I just shrug and say yes, i’m always this way.

Having someone tell me that i’m too quiet would be a tad embarrassing, although i’m not sure why. Why must everybody have a lot to say all the time to be considered normal? Meh….

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Oh, I get that all the time. Do people not realize it’s phrased as a criticism??? I always want to say to them “Well, you’re too much of a ****!”
I honestly haven’t figured out what to do besides a nervous laugh and a shrug. I can’t help it if I don’t have 4 hours worth of things to say on the latest celebrity couple…

@muppetish Agreed.

@Seek_Kolinahr But it would feel really, really good for a few seconds…

Aster's avatar

@BoBo1946 Did you mean Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People??” That’s an oldie; I read it when I was little. Found in the basement, it was a very good book.

BoBo1946's avatar

LOLL…oh me…yes. going to get another cup of coffee!

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

People tell me that sometimes. I just smile and nod and ask them, “What do you want me to say?” but in a polite way.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I just shrug my shoulders. No reason to say anything.

TexasDude's avatar

Tell them I’m just busy plotting ways to kill them.

wundayatta's avatar

If I could, I would respond with a loud fart. That is to say that you have no business judging me about my noise level. Some people have social anxieties and it’s hard for them to talk.

I think I would take the driver aside, if I had a chance, and tell her to lay off.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Once upon a time a perfect little baby boy was born to doting and loving parents. The doctors tested him with every known test and said that he was a perfectly normal and healthy baby boy. The parents were delighted, of course.

After living with the baby for some months, the mother was concerned that he never seemed to cry or scream like other babies. The doctor re-checked the baby and again proclaimed that all was well. She should be lucky that he never cried or screamed. She went from his office somewhat relived, but unconvinced.

More months passed, and the baby, though apparently healthy and cheerful in all ways, didn’t start talking baby talk like other babies of her friends. The other mothers reassured her, “He’s fine! Look at him! Babies all develop differently. It’s clear that he’s intelligent, and he can hear you when you talk to him and call him. He’s obviously healthy. Don’t worry!” And yet, she did.

Years passed. The boy did well playing with others, and none of his playmates minded that he didn’t say a word—it meant that they could dominate the conversation. As he started pre-school, then kindergarten and first grade, the teachers understood from the mother that he seemed to be mute, and since he got along well with others, had no health problems, and excelled in all of his schoolwork, everything was acceptable to all. Except his mother.

One day as a 16-year-old, still having never said a word, he sat down to eat a lunch prepared by his loving, but silently grieving and depressed, mother. She distractedly served him a bowl of soup that she had neglected to heat, and turned to other kitchen tasks.

“Soup’s cold,” the boy said to her abruptly. His mother, shocked and overjoyed beyond her imagining, dropped what she was doing and ran to him. She hugged him, then sat beside him and held his hands.

“You can speak! And your voice is so lovely to hear! All these years, you’ve never said a word!” she exclaimed.

The boy shrugged, the way 16-year-olds do, “Up until now, everything’s been sort of okay,” he said.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I LOLed at that one. i have to use that on someone next time

BoBo1946's avatar

you could say, “you talk enough for both of us!”

BoBo1946's avatar

On third thought…

There might be a chance that they are trying to be rude…But I would try to look at it positively….If someone is asking you a question like that, then that means they probably would like to get to know you better, and your not making it easy for them.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I get this a lot. It doesn’t bother me. I am quiet. I don’t view the observation as a rude one. Just a true one. Usually when people say that, I either smile and shrug, say, “I know”, or say that I’ve always been this way.

People who say it are usually saying it in an attempt to draw me out or give me a chance to speak up if I want to. I appreciate the friendliness. I’ve never encountered someone who was actually attempting rudeness with the observation.

Scooby's avatar

I’m usually the quiet one in the group, I like to take everything in before I open my mouth, put me at a gig though, then there’s no shutting me up! :-/
if it comes up I just wink ;-)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would respond with something like “I’m meditating.”

chyna's avatar

“Because I can’t get a word in edgewise with everyone else talking.”

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’ve gotten that from people my entire life. It used to bother me, because it embarrassed me even more (already felt weird for being so quiet), but I’m to the point in my life where I don’t care anymore. I usually just respond with “Yeah, I am.” After that, if people ask why I am (which also happens all the time), I simply say something like, “I’m not really sure. Why are you so talkative?” They can’t answer, either.

ratboy's avatar

I pretend not to hear them.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I cannot speak for the woman that was ‘called out’, but she did well if her intent was to diffuse the situation. Had it been me in her place, and I have been, it would have been:
* “Sorry, but I just don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation yet.” or,
* “I’m just processing what you all are saying while I formulate a response.”

kenmc's avatar

I am a quiet person. It is the way I am. I will say something when I see fit and if someone doesn’t like it, they can fuck off.

MacBean's avatar

This happens to me a lot. I usually respond with, “No, you’re too loud.”

woodcutter's avatar

people shouldn’t annoy “quiet people”

Axemusica's avatar

“Ok, what do you want me to say to that?
Thank you. I’ll take that with cheese and some cup cakes.”

Jabe73's avatar

Try being a guy in this scenerio. It is even worse because guys are expected to be assertive. I get this a real real alot myself (as a very quiet guy). I find this very rude, I usually respond by saying: “well why do you have to talk so much?”, “are you always this nosy?” or (if I’m really pissed) “why don’t you mind your own dam business?” Yes this is very aggravating, I’ve never gotten used to being asked “why are you so quiet?” Sometimes I will say the above things to someone who isn’t even talking to me (when they have to blabber about something they shouldn’t be blabbering about).

Aster's avatar

I don’t recall anyone saying that to me. Do you mean, “during an exchange” or “you have no personality.”

lonelydragon's avatar

I would probably say nothing, or say, “I’ll talk when I have something to say.” But my inner smartass would think, “Well, maybe you’re too pushy.”

MrsDufresne's avatar

“I wish it was mutual.” ~grin~

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