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The truth behind the quiet ones

People are always making assumptions about certain types of people. I used to be the quiet one in the classroom that everyone made assumptions about.

My peers made a lot of stupid comments about me. One of those was that I was plotting to kill the class. I have never heard something so absurd; it is a stereotype shy people commonly face.

“People make up so many stupid things about others jokingly. Unfortunately, those jokes become rumors and people actually begin to believe them. I remember after everyone thought I was a serial killer, people would not talk to me anymore. And they would just keep saying more and more things about me. Just because I am quiet does not mean I plan on hurting anyone. It just means that I like to keep to myself and focus on the lessons that the teacher is showing us,” said senior Mai Nguyen.

It is as Nguyen said – after one rumor is started, more rumors start. My classmates especially thought I was full of myself. They figured I did not talk to anyone because I believed I was “better than all of them”. Nguyen and I agreed that this was just as absurd as the last rumor.

She mentioned that people who are cocky are loud and obnoxious. They want everyone’s attention on them. I do not think that sitting quietly is asking for attention.

Whenever group work comes around, people automatically flock to the quiet person. They want to be in their group because they believe they are the geniuses of the class. However, quiet people are just like any other student in the room. They are not smarter than anyone else and do not necessarily get good grades. The only advantage they have is that they pay attention because they focus on the teacher.

Another common stereotype includes the rumor that they are bad behind closed doors. I know for a fact those who are shy are not hiding their true selves from everyone. They just prefer to keep to themselves. When they go home, they have a family and pets to be with; they also have friends to hang out with after school.

One final point to make is that they may be quiet in school, but that is not their true personality. They are just keeping to themselves, too shy to talk to anyone, or waiting for someone to talk to them. Even though they are quiet or shy, they are most likely different with people they are more comfortable around. For me, I am more comfortable being loud and outgoing with my friends than in front of my classes or people I do not know.

I am in a few classes with senior Hadeer Hassan, and she does not talk or participate.

She said, “I don’t really like putting myself out there. I just prefer to keep to myself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am always like that anywhere I go. I am only like that in classes I’m not comfortable in. I am so different around my friends or classes I am comfortable in. It is all about whether you are comfortable or not where you are or the people you are with.”

Are you a quiet person? What stereotypes do you face? Do you agree with Hadeer?

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