Do You Worry About Not Talking Enough? Here is a helpful paradigm shift for you.
Often I work with people who have anxiety about being in social situations. One of the things that they worry about the most is not having enough to say and how people will judge them based on that.
“What if people think i’m too quiet or too shy?”
“What if people think I’m boring?”
In society being seen as shy or quiet can be assumed to be a negative trait and being loud and having a lot to say can be seen as a positive trait. Obviously I don’t agree with this assumption!
What if we actually viewed shyness as a positive thing and something that is a good trait to have? That’s right being quiet and a good listener can actually be a strength!
It is really important to remember when you worry about being shy or not talking enough that actually listening can be such a strength. And if you are a good listener, people actually are really going to connect with you and like you. So instead of focusing on what you are going to say and worrying that you're not talkative enough, try looking at you listening as a strength. This means that you can take in more information and therefore you are much more aware of of what’s going on and can be more reflective and thoughtful about things.
So I wanted to offer that point of view because I often do get people worrying about what they're going to say in conversation and how people are going to see them if they're not talking enough. There are studies that show that people actually really appreciate being listened to and that is what helps us connect with and like others
If you want to learn more about this I highly recommend reading‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking or watching this Ted talk.
As a society I think it's really important that we reflect on how we talk about people (and children) who are a bit quieter or shy because I've also had clients who took on those labels as a negative and felt embarrassed and ashamed to be referred to as shy since childhood. This can then be taken in as a story them tell themselves throughout their life.
Lets continue to reflect on the language that we use around people who are shy and maybe prefer to be a bit more quiet and prefer to listen. Let’s actually think about the strengths that they bring to the conversation.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you are someone who feels shy or prefers to listen try not to be so hard on yourself. Look at this as a strength.
If you struggle with anxiety in social situations you may want to check out my other blogs on social anxiety or get in contact to find out how I can help you.
I am always here for a chat or to help, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Samantha Dhu is a Clinical Social Worker, Counsellor and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist working in private practice in Fremantle and Cottesloe. Her work focuses on helping adults and teens live happier, more meaningful lives. She is passionate about self-care, confidence and overcoming anxiety and depression. When she’s not working on her counselling business, and doing the work she loves she’s busy running around after her fiercely headstrong and fun-loving toddler (teaching her to be assertive has clearly backfired.) You can read more about her work on her website www.samanthadhu.com.au