Silences and Sociability

One of the fundamental norms of human social interaction is – You must talk when around others; if you don’t, you’re either shy, taciturn or anti-social.

Instead of ranting on how idiotic this is, and how it doesn’t take into account how some people actually like to listen and how the world needs such people, I give you Douglas Adams:

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?  At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour.  If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.  After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one.  If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. 
– The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

It’s not called being silent, it’s called being quiet.  Something that this too-loud world desperately needs more of.I have a spectrum of

*  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  * *  *  *  *
Not everybody is the same, and not everybody has the same level of energy to socialise, and sometimes people just need their own space.  However, refuse to go out for a couple of dinner parties or choose to sit reading an interesting book instead of gossipping, and you get termed grumpy and anti-social.  Classification fail.

If you are going to apply labels to people, please learn the Sociability Spectrum first:
Nuclear-bunker-er paranoiac in NW Mongolia
Mountain-cave Hermit
Selectively sociable
Party animal
‘Celebrity’ with their own reality TV show

For the record, I’m selectively sociable (despite any rumours you may have heard to the contrary).  I will meet with friends at random hours and often go out of my way to do so, and it’s sometimes difficult to shut me up at such times.  But I also like my space and make no apologies about wanting – and enjoying – it.  After all, all those books need to be read.


3 thoughts on “Silences and Sociability

  1. We just want to chatter-pitter-chatter with you *blinkingeyelashes*
    You can keep ranting all you want about this…you were Grumpy in college and a whole lot of us will testify to that! 😀

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