What I am talking about is the cruelest thing that you could ever say to someone that is shy. And everyone says it! I'm really not sure why, but for some reason, people think that if someone isn't talking very much, the best way to get them talking is to tell them how quiet they are. There are so many problems with that.
- If someone who is shy is talking to you at all, it's taking a lot of effort. It is really hard to talk to someone new, when you are afraid to talk to people, give them credit for not running away from the conversation altogether.
- If someone is quiet, they probably know. In fact, they are probably wishing in this scenario that they weren't. Pointing it out is just cruel. Would you go up to someone and say, "Wow, you don't shut up"? No, probably not. Unless you're rude, in which case, feel free to keep pointing out how quiet people are.
- I know you think you are helping. I know you think by addressing it, you will suddenly get us to talk. But when you think of it, how in the world do you answer something like that. There just really isn't a good answer, which means if you are me, you either say nothing or give a one-word noncommittal response, thus becoming even more quiet.
- Nothing makes me want to stop having a conversation faster than having someone tell me that I'm quiet. It is basically saying, "Wow, you suck at this, either talk more or just give up" So yeah, generally, if you say that, I will probably walk away, and avoid you for rest of whatever event we are at.
- A lot of the time, I think I am doing really well and I am trying really hard to talk to you. But, when you point out how quiet I am, that pretty much just makes me want to give up.
- A lot of times this sentence is said in a weird jokey voice to cover up the fact that what's being said is just plain rude.
Luckily I haven't heard this in a while. However, I still remember countless awkward scenarios where someone said this to me and I felt like a spotlight was shining directly on the part of me that I am trying so hard to fix. And, I can't tell you how many conversations ended with that phrase.
I'm done ranting now. If you've said this to me before, don't worry. I promise there is no latent resentment that I feel for you. Just please, for the sake of shy people, stop saying it.
All the best,