It’s Always the Quiet Ones
Sometimes people have preconceived judgments or assumptions about shy or quiet people.
I remember an instance like this in my 9th grade health class, for example. I didn’t really have any friends in this class except for a person or two that I would occasionally partner up with, and most of the class was divided into distinct “groups”. I mostly did my work quietly while the others around me would get in their social group and talk all period.
A new girl came to our school, and ended up sitting behind me. I was sort of friendly at first, but then the more annoying she got the more I withdrew. She would stroke my back weirdly from time to time or pull on my hair even when I told her to stop. She was loud and wasn’t afraid to make offensive remarks about people it seemed.
One day, she asked me something like, “You know, the quiet/shy ones are the ones most likely to commit suicide, or shoot their classmates.” I was flabbergasted (yes, I said flabbergasted) by her comment, and was angry at her for even thinking that, let alone saying that to me. Just because a few people who have been shy or quiet have been the culprits of school shootings or have committed suicide doesn’t mean that being shy or quiet makes you more likely to do something like that. Also, shyness is not necessarily linked with low self-esteem, depression, or anger. I have a fairly healthy self-esteem yet still feel shy. Sure sometimes I’m afraid that I’ll embarrass myself or get those anxious thoughts, but really it’s all because I want to do well. I like who I am, even if I do want to improve myself. I’ve always been one striving for personal growth, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’m not depressed, though I have felt down from time to time like all people do. I’ve never felt any hostile feelings toward others; nothing is bottled up or repressed. And I don’t think it’s fair to assume that someone is feeling any of those things just because you see them as a shy or quiet person. It’s not “always the quiet ones”, as some people like to say, even when they’re just joking.
What do you think? Do you think it’s fair to assume the shy or quiet ones are “up to something”? Does that comment ever annoy you when you hear it?
Some interesting discussions I found about it here: