How many times have you heard this annoying and utterly frustrating question: “Why are you so quiet?”
Honestly, I stopped counting after a thousand.
Every INFJ personality type has heard this tiresome question many times in her or his life. It goes without saying that it makes us feel nauseous every single time. Sometimes we draw ourselves into an endless cycle of explanations and justifications, but with no result. To some people, we will always be “the quiet one.”
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How INFJs Feel
As introverts, we think before we speak. We carefully choose our words, and when to say them. Being INFJs, we are people-oriented, so we choose words that we think won’t hurt anyone. Our natural analytic nature means that our words are usually considerate, caring, and full of understanding.
When we hear the “Why are you so quiet?” question, it triggers a chain reaction in our mind, making us doubt ourselves. We start feeling that there is something wrong with us, that we are not “good enough.” Not to mention the feeling of guilt, which floods us because we feel that we should talk more.
Let me share with you an example of something that happened to me a couple of years ago:
Imagine this situation—I am standing in the corner of a large party, silently observing. All of the sudden, a bunch of people surround me. Like a choir, they ask me that dreaded question, plus offer me drinks to “cheer me up.” When I reply, “I’m okay,” they don’t believe me. They start implying that I am bored. They ask, what am I doing here in the first place?
Sound familiar? Those people at the party didn’t understand, nor did they try to. They didn’t know what I am about to tell you.
Why This Question Annoys INFJs So Much
The “why are you so quiet” question annoys INFJs because it implies that choosing your words carefully is a bad thing. INFJs will only say something when we are ready, and when we feel the time is right. Our INFJ personality, although introverted, is oriented towards people. So when we are criticized for our quietness, it literally hurts us from the inside.
It can become even more vexing when we try to explain but receive no feedback whatsoever. In this moment, anxiety and self-doubt kick in, and we fall into a whirlwind of emotions. Believe me, it’s not easy to make an INFJ upset, or even angry for that matter. But this question can completely throw us off balance.
A large number of INFJs face this struggle on a daily basis. I know I did. But don’t worry, there are ways to handle this dreaded question.
6 Responses to “Why Are You So Quiet?”
1. I am not quiet. I talk when I have something to say. I’m an introvert, which means I am simply involved in my inner world more. I love the feeling I get when I dive into my inner world.
2. I don’t like small talk. I would rather talk about deep, meaningful subjects. For example: “What makes you happy?” or “What keeps you awake late at night when everyone else sleeps?” (Watch carefully the facial expression of the person who listens to this—the two of you could have a lot to talk about.)
3. I think silence is beautiful. Having a conversation is also amazing, but silence can be just as wonderful, if we use it the right way, and with the right people.
4. Even when I am quiet, my mind constantly talks. I love sharing with meaning and purpose. I choose words that evoke kindness, as well as understanding.
5. I don’t like the social barriers that certain situations create. I am open-minded, and always ready to talk, but not if speaking up goes against my values.
6. I refuse to gossip, because I deeply respect the person who is not present. If I do have to say something about her or him, it will only be in a kind tone.
I would like to emphasize that all these answers are formed in a kind, considerate tone. As INFJs, we respect everyone. This is who we are. When you hear: “Why are you so quiet?” give your response with an honest sense of understanding, because this is what makes you a unique and authentic INFJ gem!
What Do You Think?
What responses would you use to counter this annoying question? Please share your thoughts and insights in the comment section below.
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Read this: 10 Type Secrets of the INFJ Personality Type