Appreciating quiet

Throughout my life I have experienced feelings of not quite fitting in. Whether it was at school, with friends and family, or in the workplace – there was always something that made me feel like I was on the outside. It was frustrating. I desperately wanted to connect with others, yet there were very few people with whom I felt genuinely able to. 

In my teens I convinced myself I was boring, telling myself that was the reason I didn’t have as many friends as others had. When I started working, I told myself I was too quiet and that I needed to ‘market’ myself better to get noticed by my colleagues. With friends and family I thought I wasn’t outgoing enough. 

I began to put on an act – I started to be someone that I wasn’t in the hope that I would be accepted. If that meant being louder, I would do it. And I gave it a good go. To an extent it worked, but I quickly realised how tiring it was trying to be someone I wasn’t.

I started to wonder whether there was something wrong with me. Why did others find it so easy to make friends and be the focus of attention? I started to explore self development books and courses. I read for hours. I even got myself a coach to help me ‘think on my feet’ better so that I could make useful contributions to conversations. Very often I would listen, reflect and then think of something after the moment had passed! I was determined to use these resources to help me come up with a plan and achieve my goal.

Then about eighteen months ago I came across a wonderful book by Susan Cain called, ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ and something immediately clicked. I always knew I was an introvert but I hadn’t truly appreciated what this meant to me in my day-to-day life. It helped me start to understand myself, notice my strengths and see the benefits of simply being me – no pretending, no acting. And most importantly I realised there was nothing wrong with me!

So now, my approach has changed. I am learning to connect in ways that are much more suited to my personality, and where I am being true to myself. And that is what this blog is now about. It is about my journey to connect with others, myself and the world around me in a way that is meaningful and right for me. The quiet me.

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6 thoughts on “Appreciating quiet

  1. M2L says:

    I’ve often wondered if there’s something wrong with me, too. Was there anything you learned from the coach that you did find helpful? I’d love to be better at thinking on my feet. Great photo, by the way – did you take it? Where is it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theconnectedoutsider says:

      I think over time I have simply learned to be myself and that is when I am at my best. I’m still not good at thinking on my feet but this doesn’t bother me so much. Thanks, yes the photo was taken by me when I was in Scotland 🙂

      Like

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