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

You can read the first 5 Things You Can Do To Make A Quiet Person Feel Bad here.

1. Tell the quiet person she should smile more [1]

If you want to make a quiet person feel bad, tell her to smile more, as there’s nothing like being passively shamed into not meeting the American culture’s daily smile quota. The American nation is indeed one of fake laughs, put-on smiles (I’ve worked two office jobs in my life – both of my bosses informed me that I hadn’t learned my Fake Smile yet, which, if I think about it long enough, begins to seem like an insane concept) and objectively erratic behavior to fill silences that have somehow come to mean awkwardness. So – when a quiet person does not smile, the most enthusiastic of us might be tempted to get them back on the train. “You should smile more,” we say, and this perplexes the quiet person greatly, because how the fuck are you supposed to respond to that? It’s a guaranteed loss. Here seem to be the options: a) “Oh, yeah heh, I should,” which is pride-killing; b) “Oh I’m fine, it’s just my face, my face is just this way, I’m happy,” which is in essence a forced apologetic stance for not being excited to the point where one is grinning all the time in social situations; or c) “Oh, I’m fine,” which is perhaps the most preferable of the three, but will likely lead to the questioning party being suspicious that the quiet person is “weird” or a “downer” or something.

2. In a group setting, make a joke that the quiet person is bored or not having a good time

Directing all attention to a quiet person while joking that he is obviously bored and not having a good time is a very poignant, sharp way to make a quiet person feel bad. Quiet people, generally, do not seek such overt, sudden attention and such a statement not only focuses this attention on them like a laser beam, it puts them on the defensive while they’re off-guard, and there aren’t many options for response. The quiet person can scramble into a fake smile: “Oh, no, I’m fine, I’m not bored, I’m having a great time,” nodding his head, to the for-some-reason laughter of the crowd. Or, the quiet person can ‘give up,’ as it were: “Yeah, I’m bored. So what,” which, inevitably, will make everyone else feel bad and definitely isolate the quiet person from the group.

3. Meet people the quiet person doesn’t know and never introduce her to them

Here you can see the quiet person at her most ashamed. Yes – it should be admitted: like everyone, many quiet people have issues, and one of their issues can be Meeting New People In A Group Setting; it would be considerate of you to humor them for this, just as they humor you for your social convention-bending quirks. And so when one person is the ‘gateway’ for a quiet person in a group setting – that is, when one person knows everyone in the group while the quiet person knows no one – it is greatly appreciated when that person has the social graces to simply open the door, as it were; to merely say “Guys, this is Jessica.” Of course, quiet people are completely capable of introducing themselves… I’d hate to implicate them in anything contrary. But the fact of the matter is: take a couple seconds out of your conversational repertoire and introduce a quiet person, because she’ll appreciate it.

4. Ask the quiet person what he wants to talk about

Unless in therapy or some other meaningful emotion-sharing session, asking what anyone wants to talk about should just be banned entirely. As asking someone what they want to talk about is merely an incredibly awkward way to fill a silence which only serves to increase focus on the perceived awkwardness of the silence itself, employing this strategy on the quiet person will be doubly effective in making him feel bad. Understand these things about quiet people: 1) they don’t feel uncomfortable with silence, rather, they feel uncomfortable with others’ discomfort with silence and so often feel, reasonably (out of a considerate manner), ‘forced’ into the world in which silence between two individuals = awkwardness; 2) they don’t say anything when they feel they don’t have anything to say. So asking a quiet person what he wants to talk about (which I admit may not be the most common behavior – I don’t think I’ve experienced this one since high school) will not only compel him to respond with what can only be an awkward statement – something like “Uh, I don’t know, what do you want to talk about?” or “Let’s talk about music, yeah… music” – but, you know, compel him to say stuff he really doesn’t want to. Which would make anyone feel bad.

5. Remark sarcastically that the quiet person “sure is talking a lot” [2]

Sarcastically showing your frustration with a quiet person by passively attempting to goad her into conversation is a surefire way to make a quiet person feel bad. In regards to this strategy, of note is the fact that the two of you are already at odds just by way of your personalities; you desire a constantly yammering individual while the quiet person perhaps desires a one who’s just a bit less energetic. Of additional note is the fact that remarking sarcastically that the quiet person “sure is talking a lot” instantly brings to the open the fundamental difference between the both of you; the irreconcilable situation with which you’re both confronted. This, of course, is likely to make the quiet person feel bad, and good job for that – you succeeded in bringing her down with you. TC mark

image – Fir0002


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  • http://milbetweenus.blogspot.com sidMILB

    I hear ya.

    • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

      I don't. He's too quiet.

  • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Sang

    I hope a quiet person kicks your ass for these articles.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40304029 André Gooren

      seems like you missed the point

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Sang

        well you're obviously sucking the writers dick

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40304029 André Gooren

        Not yet.  I'm hoping to impress him by responding to asinine comments though.  Check back in a week.

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Sang

        well from looking at your face i'm sure he'll be using a glory hole for that.

      • Diddly

        Are you mad or something?

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Sang

        no i'm not mad.. but if i were as ugly as andre i probably would be

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40304029 André Gooren

        nice.  keep going :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=40304029 André Gooren

        We're on the fast track to Godwin's Law now…

  • http://entropicalia.wordpress.com Alison

    You should smile more. Why aren't you smiling? Or my personal favorite the command, smile!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kylelamar Kyle LaMar

    These lists are superb. Except for me it's more like: “5 Things You Can Do To Make a Quiet Person MAD”

  • lillylilacs

    1. Tell the quiet person she should smile more

    This also sucks when friends or even complete strangers say this to you because you have a naturally bitchy face.

    • A.

      “naturally bitchy face.” remind me to use that more often. “Oh, sorry, I  can't actually smile I just naturally look like a bitch.”

    • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

      A teacher in high school pointed me out and said that I had 'angry eyes'. Everyone in class was like 'what the fart?'

  • PhermonousFan

    Ah yes, “why don't you smile, I bet it looks pretty on you.” A favorite line among creepy old men and pick up artists with anachronistic hats. Anyone who takes public transportation has probably been forced to breathe the same air as these socially inept tools. It's so uncomfortable watching a woman minding her own business not only be harassed but also be publicly embarrassed.

    I've heard people say the best solution is to tell them off but I don't blame anyone who doesn't. People are fucking crazy especially when it comes to their macho pride.

    • http://paopucake.tumblr.com rina

      yeah, i don't think i've ever seen the 'smile' request/command/suggestion happen to a man!

  • asjklfsa

    Ugh #4 yes.

  • Mr Shankly

    Really don't understand the concept of introducing yourself to a group of people you don't know. Firstly, your socially capable friend is usually so caught up in phatic catchups with said party that to burst in with the egotistical statement of telling everyone who you are is just ridiculous. Secondly, even after introducing yourself, you have to listen to each of their names, remember them (which gets more difficult depending on whether they're ethnics or not), and then shake their hand properly. And by properly I mean either like a gentleman or like a gangster, dependent on which one they're expecting you to do.

    This shit is too fucking hard. What's the point in even meeting new people. They're all dicks anyway.

    • Jellybeans Rule

      “Ethnics”?  Are you for fucking real?

      • Mr Shankly

        I'm allowed to say it because I'm brown, yo.

      • Pfft

        what a stupid rule

  • Lindsay

    I LOVE these articles. I think every extrovert needs to read these.

  • http://www.thiscellardoor.com/blog/ Mindy

    Brilliant. #4 captured the logic of the situation perfectly. I deal with all of these things at least weekly.

  • brittany wallace

    “Of course, quiet people are completely capable of introducing

    maybe sometimes capable

    • brittany wallace

      these articles are really good

  • http://milbetweenus.blogspot.com sidMILB

    I worked in a fishbowl. People would always stop by and say, “Smile!” What? Did they want me to grin like an idiot as I stared at my monitor?

    I prefer to frown when I think. It's involuntary, actually.

  • dave

    Link is broken at the top, the reference to the first part of 5 ways to make a person feel bad

    • Brandon

      thanks, fixed.

  • Na

    You are welcome.

    A+ article again.

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    it's even more difficult to deflect these when you aren't actually quiet, just bored and not having a good time

  • Astraea162

    Yes to #5. I have an uncle who likes to sarcastically “shush” me  during any period of silence.

    Now that I'm a librarian Thanksgivings have become hell.

  • http://twitter.com/buytoiletpaper Meaghan S

    Reasons quiet people make other people in the group feel

    1. possibility
    that quiet person thinks everyone else in the group is an ass-hole/not
    worth talking to. “hooray, I get so spend time with someone who thinks me
    and my friends are ass-holes. I feel great about myself.”
    2. possibility
    that quiet person is bored. “hooray, we’re spending time with someone who
    thinks we’re boring. And possibly intellectually inferior. I feel great!”
    3. possibility
    that quiet person is in a negative space. “hooray, I get to hang out with
    someone, and I have no way of making them feel better, guess I’d better be
    selfish and talk a lot.”
    4. knowledge
    that conversation is ‘useless’ or kind of ‘dumb’ but would ordinarily be ‘fun’
    gets pointed out through contrast of quiet-person, exacerbating insecurities
    within the rest of the group.
    5. possibility
    that quiet-person wants to be alone, and nothing the group does will make
    person feel welcome. “hooray!”
    6. guilt
    about ignoring quiet-person due to their lack of involvement
    7. realizing
    quiet-person has certain expectations that are not being met by the rest
    of the group, while at the same time failing to meet the needs met by the
    rest of the group – clearly behaving selfishly and not contributing.
    8. non-quiet
    people feel obligated to work even harder to maintain some form of
    conversation/interest level, and possibly feel a fear of encountering


    Everyone in a group, including the quiet-person suffers from
    some neurosis and/or insecurity, and for the quiet-person to feel over-burdened
    in any social situation just means they need to deal with it, or stop putting
    themselves in social situations.

    • Alex Keen

      Ah, but these concerns are only valid if the quiet person in question is usually 'normal' in their contribution to the conversation. Someone who is naturally quiet will mean none of these slights to the louder people around them, and knowing the quiet person well will reveal that they often have a great deal of respect for the people around them.

    • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

      basically all of these worries assume that the quiet person's actions and demeanor are all about you

      I'm not saying this somehow makes these worries “less legitimate” or something, I'm just pointing it out

      • Pfft

        but we have to be oh so careful not to hurt the quiet persons feelings? people should grow the fuck up and stop being such sensitive little children.

    • Pfft

      YES! either offer something, or go sit in the corner by yourself.

    • http://touchofbedlam.tumblr.com Lem

      i don't really think any of these things hold true if being quiet is the person's default state of being. someone who is outgoing is just as likely to think the topic is boring or that the people in the group are assholes.

      and the reason i'm not sitting in a corner by myself is because i WANT to be around people and listen to what's being said, i just don't necessarily have anything worth contributing at the time. jeez.

      right, try telling that to someone who has social anxiety. wonderful privilege fail.

    • Adrienne

      You sound as if you’ve had a very negative experience with someone who deliberately acts stand-offish when they’re bored or when they’re not the center of attention, and I can’t stand those types of people any more than you can. However, this is not the case for the majority of quiet people like myself. I implore you to learn more about introversion before you make such a harsh generalization about an entire group of people.

    • whatever

      Being quiet is not a choice to some people. But you have a choice not to treat them badly.

    • Wcannon72

      For some quiet people, being in a group is not the problem, the things that comes out of some people mouths who just don’t think before they speak is the problem.  People begin to lie when they run out of unimportant things to talk about.  How fashionable it is these days to lie. When they are done lying about themselves, they begin to lie on others. “what fun” not!

      Its a shame to think someone will go out of their way to make someone who is comfortable being quiet uncomfortable so that they can be comfortable. I can be quiet or I can be talkative, depending on my surroundings. People just lack the attention that they need to feel special or noticed, when quiet people are pretty secure within themselves and don’t require special attention to feel like they are somebody.

  • A.

    Can you just write a book of these so I can hand it to everyone I meet? Oh wait, I don't meet people, because I never go anywhere to avoid said situations. Why does everybody have to smile all the time anyways?? I seriously don't get it.

  • Jess

    I was about five lines into #3 when I thought, “Yeah, this actually does happen to me.” 

    Then I saw:  “Guys, this is Jessica.”

    …scared the shit out of me.



    P.S. I shit you not, that is my name..

    • Mr Shankly

      Really? Your name is actually Jessica? What an absolutely insane coincidence.

  • annika_meredith

    Patronisingly tell the quiet person how much they've 'come out of their shell' if they are ever less quiet…

  • annika_meredith

    Patronisingly tell the quiet person how much they've 'come out of their shell' if they are ever less quiet…

  • annika_meredith

    Patronisingly tell the quiet person how much they've 'come out of their shell' if they are ever less quiet…

  • http://twitter.com/r0semarym Rosemary McClure

    PEOPLE ALWAYS DO THIS STUFF TO MY BEAUTIFUL QUIET FRIEND. “Wow, YOU sure look like you're having a good time. Are we boring you? We'll leave if you want.” “No, no! I'm having a good time reallly! I'm just……….chilling?” “Really? Cause you look like you want us to leave.” etc etc

  • http://touchofbedlam.tumblr.com Lem

    oh lord. thank you so much for writing this. all of these things really bother me. it's good to know I'm Not Alone.

  • Sophia

    As a quiet person that can relate to most of these, I actually disagree with #1. Did you know the act of smiling actually releases endorphins? Just moving your muscles into that shape makes you a little happier. I tell people to smile when they naturally don't look happy, because I think otherwise they give off the wrong impression to people — that they're unhappy or angry. That just seems unfortunate for them and for those who misread their expression. If everyone smiled more, the world would be a little bit brighter and more peaceful, I think.

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