I’m not shy; I just don’t talk so much. I hear this all the time: people ask me why I am so quiet. I don’t know what they expect my answer to be. I don’t even know if they expect an answer at all. I’m not embarrassed to speak up or anything like that. I’m only quiet so I can be listening. I believe in listening.
There are people who judge other people right off the bat. I’m not the kind of person who would say I hate someone by the way they look. They’ll talk: I’ll listen. I may like what they have to say, I may not. But I’ll still listen to them anyway, because that’s what I like to do. Finding things out is my favorite hobby.
I can be close with certain people, yet still be quiet around them. A few weekends ago, my volleyball team and our coach went to Gainesville for a team bonding session. Our coach wants us all to be closer, which was the point of the trip. We were all sitting in our room and everyone was talking but me. It wasn’t because I was shy around them; I just wanted to learn more about my team mates…my friends. But after a while of everyone else talking, they wondered why I was so quiet. So I told them the truth: I’d rather be listening.
My parents always wonder why I do excellent in some of my classes, and not so excellent in others. When I’m listening to something, it usually only sinks in if it’s something I want to be listening to. I could listen to everything in my chemistry class and never get bored, because I like it. But history: that’s another story. Its not that I don’t try to listen, it’s just hard for me since I have no interest in it, but school is not my main interest in listening.
It’s great to just sit back and listen to the way people talk to each other. I love finding out what I have in common with other people, and I may not even know them. I probably know more about most people than they think I know. I love learning what other people have in common with other people, and they may even hate each other. Why I like to listen: I don’t even know. I just think knowing about people, and what they mean to me, or to other people. I think people have such great potential to make things better between themselves by just listening to each other.
When I listen, it makes me happy. I learn new things, I relearn old things. I learn about other people, and I can learn about myself. Listening is my hobby, and it will never change. That is what I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.