June 14, 2011

5 Things You Can Do To Make A Quiet Person Feel Bad

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What is the issue?

1. Ask the quiet person why he’s so quiet

Asking a quiet person why he’s so quiet is probably the easiest and most effective way of making him feel bad. “Why are you so quiet,” you’ll ask, a vaguely amused and curious expression on your face, as if the quiet person was merely a cute child serving as amusement for a group of inquisitive adults. “Uh…” the quiet person will stammer, failing to make eye contact, and most likely noticing that he’s failing to make eye contact. “I don’t know. Am I quiet? I’m just this way…” Here follows from the quiet person a string of mumbling not discernable to the listener.

The problem with asking a quiet person why he’s so quiet is multifaceted: a) because severe quietude in social situations runs counter to public convention, it’s not unreasonable for the typical quiet person to be at least somewhat embarrassed for his quietness; as such, by asking why he’s so quiet, you’re essentially asking him: “why aren’t you normal?,” and b) because quiet people generally wish to speak only when they feel they have something important to say, responding to the sudden question of why they’re so quiet (to which they never have a comprehensive answer) is both unsettling and difficult to do. So – if you want to make a quiet person feel bad – start with this one simple question.

2. Repeatedly ask the quiet person if they’re upset about something and/or if she’s ok. When she assures you she’s ok, respond: “Really? Are you sure? You’re just being so quiet.”

Repeatedly asking a quiet person if she’s upset and/ or if she’s “ok” will elicit more or less the same bad feelings of low self-worth and social discomfort as asking a quiet person why she’s so quiet. However, this line of questioning differs in that it adds an element of repeated annoyance and growing anxiety to the quiet person’s emotional equation. Use this strategy if you want to be rid of the quiet person quickly, as her discomfort will grow so rapidly that she’ll feel almost forced to extricate herself from the situation.

3. Introduce the quiet person to a group as a “quiet person” or by saying, “he’s really quiet.”

By introducing the quiet person to a group as a “quiet person” – or by telling the group that the quiet person is “really quiet” – the quiet person is instantly a) categorized without having input, perhaps ruining any chance of making their own first impression and b) denied the option of being seen as a normal social individual, in the case that today is one of the days that the quiet person was planning on trying to enhance his conversational output to “normal.” On top of making the quiet person feel bad, this strategy doubly serves to isolate the quiet person from the group, as humans are generally more likely to desire bonding with those who display characteristics of being open to communication and sharing; it also gives you bonus points for being an inconsiderate dick.

4. In group conversation, stop the conversation to ask for the quiet person’s input

In a large conversation, quiet people are quiet because a) they think everyone in the conversation is an asshole, b) they don’t know anything about the topic at hand and thus would rather let those who appear or pretend to know about the topic at hand do the talking, c) they’re not interested in the conversation, or d) they don’t have anything to say. As such, when you stop conversation to ask for the quiet person’s input, you’re just forcing her to do something she doesn’t want to do while all eyes are upon her. If any type of person talks only when she feels she has something important to say, it’s the quiet person. Therefore, stopping the conversation to ask for the quiet person’s input is an excellent strategy for making the quiet person feel bad.

5. Make fun of the quiet person for being “so serious,” then tell him to “lighten up”

If there’s one question quiet people get all the time, it’s: “Why are you so serious?” There’s possibly nothing more frustrating to the quiet person, who’s simply minding his own business – not bothering anyone – than being assaulted with the sudden accusation that he is being “really serious” and that he needs to “lighten up” because “life’s too short to be moping around all the time” or something. This type of questioning is sure to put you at odds with the quiet person and generally create an uncomfortable situation you both want to get out of. TC mark

image – Fir0002
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