I'm quiet. I used to be 'shy'. Now, I just talk less than most people around me. What I didn't realize until yesterday at work is, how coworkers have labeled my personality as 'reserved', just a bare 1/2 inch better than shy, I'm guessing. Long story short is, we got a new guy in the office that is quiet, so some comparisons to me were made, and it kindof shocked me, because I thought I was a pretty good participator...I rarely bother others, rarely initiate long diatribes on anything, but I respond when called on or when I have a common idea to share, and I occassionally throw out a story or 2, when I am feeling particularly jovial, maybe.
Anway, I thought I was becoming more outgoing as I aged...and indeed I have. But its that relativity thing, that comparison to 'the norm' that none of us are supposed to engage in, that's where I lose at the game of loose lips.
Dammit, I'm not an axe murderer with bodies massed in my closet (he's a quiet sort, keeps to himself; I'm not surprised he was the one killing our neighbors...), I just don't run my mouth like some of you do. Is there anything wrong with that? What if we all carried on like many of the blowhards I know at work...we would all turn batty as loons in no time, nobody would be able to think straight. It's us quiet types that keep the rest of the loud asses from going totally overboard...I guess they notice they are the only ones trying to convince all in ear shot of how smart/hard working/rich/clever/funny/whatever they are, and slowly decide "that guy isn't chiming in...I may be making an ass of myself. I'll breathe now and pick my chance to exit back to my cube...without giving up the social gains I think I just earned for myself so obnoxiously, of course".
So we are the pacesetters in the game of life. Be proud of your skills at holding back, reserving yourself, knowing better but not blurting it out, and be aware of how your silence adds a bit of serenity to the world, and think "yes, I'm doing my part to help mankind, making braggarts aware of there overbearing methods, helping the cronic funny man wonder if he's really funny after all, and teaching pro story tellers that silence can tell a story too".