Monday, May 12, 2008

Selfish silence?

"It wasn't that I was stupid (although a lot of teachers thought so when I first entered their classes), or that I didn't like people. It was just that there didn't seem to be a lot to say that someone wasn't already saying. I liked listening." ~Zinny in Chasing Redbird

Last week at a curriculum meeting some people were discussing their true feelings about such-and-such and/or so-and-so while I sat quietly. They commented on my silence, saying that they wish they could sit quietly without sharing their thoughts all the time.

Last summer my graduate professor told me he thought I was being selfish by not sharing more in class discussions. (This is because I did well on the written assignments and virtually never talked in class.)

If I would have been smarter in either situation, I would have told him what Zinny said.

Is silence always selfish? Is it sometimes selfish?


  1. I am generally quiet at school and too loud in social situations. I wish that I was more quiet in social situations, because I often feel like I'm saying one sentence too many for the conversation to be good/funny, etc. I don't think that it's selfish of me to be silent, often my thoughts have already been spoken aloud, as it's difficult to get 27 different reactions to a poem, a new idea, etc.

  2. i'm right there with you. i basically don't do very well in social situations where there are more 7 people or more(that number comes from much research). if there are 6 or fewer it just seems like i feel like i have to give imput. however, when i'm around my family with 13 people i don't have a problem, and i'm sure you don't either, so i would say it just comes from having a relationship with the people you are around. i hear you when it comes to meetings at school and such because you always have those people who think that everyone else wants to hear their every opinion and they just love to hear themselves talk, and talk. so, i'm like you, i'll just sit back and listen until someone says something that i firmly disagree with and then i'll speak up.

    sammyb: i really do enjoy your thoughts so please don't hold anything back.

  3. i am right there with all of you, and i agree with bryan; sammyb, keep your insights coming. they make me think, and that's always good. skyler and keep 'em coming too.