‘Why Are You So Quiet?’ 6 Answers for INFJs

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.”

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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  • Great article! I do hate that question and I have never been able to have a good answer for it. Thanks for some good options 🙂

  • David Bley says:

    In a conversation or discussion, I am listening to all participants and then take time to formulate a response. Usually the conversation moves on while I am formulating response and I don’t voice response. In some situations I have been able to suggest use of a “talking stick” which gives everyone a chance to contribute.

  • JT says:

    1, 2, 3, *especially*!

  • Maria says:

    Personally, I plump for ‘I’m observing my prey.’ For best effect, maintain a poker face and let them wonder if you might not be kidding.

  • Answer: “Why are you so nosy?”

  • Janie Jones says:

    “I’m waiting for someone interesting to show up. Have you seen anyone?”

  • nateleephillips says:

    Why am I so quiet? No. How about why are you so loud? I need to talk more? How about you need to shut up more? (Seriously, though – I hate loud noises, especially when they continue for an extended period of time. I’m almost always wearing my earmuffs at work, even when the machines aren’t running, because my boss plays his stereo way too loud, and plays music I either hate or have grown tired of after hearing it for the millionth time)

  • Rachel says:

    Why am I so quiet? Two words: “Am I?”
    I hope that this response invites the other person to think and to hopefully ask a better question. If that doesn’t work then they usually just walk away and I’m always very happy to let them.

  • Carol McManemy says:

    I like Rachel’s the best: Am I? Of course my sarcastic side likes Why are you so nosy? Or I like to think before I speak.

  • dmgolive says:

    It seems no matter how you answer it, it just becomes awkward, or you end up sounding defensive, mean or stuck-up. Ugh, why must they ask this obnoxious question?! The next time I’m at a get-together, I’ll answer: “I’m listening to the voices in my head and they’re telling me to get another drink.” You can add all kinds of endings to this sentence, depending on your mood. How about, “…they’re telling me to leave’, or “punch the next person who asks me why I’m so quiet.” LOL

  • jwarrenjr says:

    The best way to start a deep conversation is to ask a person about their passions. What are your dreams? What are your interests? What does your life revolve around? A person who asks, “Why are you so quiet?” doesn’t know how to break the ice with you, so break the ice with them.

  • I’m never as outspoken in large groups. Especially among more extroverted people are sometimes run the conversation. It can be hard to get a word in sometimes (from both the nerves stand point and the rapid flow of conversation stand point). I do think that with longer term acquaintances and new friends, its fine to say something along the lines of “its harder for me due to my personality be as vocal in larger groups.”

  • karthi says:

    I hear a lot of that ,why r u so quiet?
    When someone ask me this,I m demolished completely inside. I start to go very emotional and it takes many days for me to recover
    After reading this article it made feel better and realize that I am not weird

  • karthi says:

    I heard that a lot ,I get frustrated when someone ask me why so quiet.
    I tried to change myself by thinking constantly about what to talk ,it left me with nothing but exhaustion and anger.
    I had lot of self doubt and hate with me but aftet reading this article I realize that I am not weird and not alone

  • I have a number of replies, usually depending on how much I like the person asking!

    “I’m just tired”
    “I’ve nothing to say”
    “Do you have a problem with me being quiet?”


  • littl3girl says:

    I got this kind of question about several times when I’m in reunion event and it’s quiet annoys me. When someone asked me I simply answered “because you don’t have mind to talk with me”

  • Betty says:

    This connects to me so much. Usually my response is an awkward smile and a “Sorry…I was thinking,” but I’ve managed to avoid most large social events (thankfully). Mostly it’s just family friends or acquaintances asking, so they tend to leave me alone if I try and participate in a conversation for the next minute.