Shy people are stupid

Shy people are stupid

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This is a discussion on Shy people are stupid within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; This is something I've encountered a lot. Whenever I say something smart in class, or people find out I d ...

  1. #1
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Shy people are stupid

    This is something I've encountered a lot. Whenever I say something smart in class, or people find out I d well on a test, or somehow demonstrate that I know anything at all about what we're learning, people are always really surprised. This happened to me just yesterday. I was in my Sign Language class, and we were playing a fingerspelling practice/review game. Now, I admit, I am really good at fingerspelling, so it wasn't surprising that people were impressed. What bothered me was when someone said "Wow, she's so quiet, but [insert compliment here]." This isn't the first time I've heard that, either. It's all the time. "She's so quiet, but she fingerspells really quickly!" "She's so quiet, but she's actually really smart!" How are these things at all connected? Why do people assume that shy people aren't smart, or aren't good at things?

    I know they're probably not even aware that they're doing it. Like, nobody consciously comes to the well thought out conclusion that I must know less. I just wonder why people think that subconsciously.

    Or maybe it's just me, maybe I give off a stupid-vibe. :P Shy people, do you get this, too? I would say "quiet people," but I've had friends who are quiet but not shy, and everyone thinks they're the genius of the class. That might make more sense, though. When people are more talkative, the smart things they say get drowned out by all the other things they say, if that makes sense. So if someone's more quiet, they're only going to talk when they have something useful to say. Their "intelligent comment" to "off-topic comment" ratio is a lot higher. That doesn't explain why people think I'm not smart, though.

    I don't want this to come across as a rant, like "wah wah I hate everyone they think I'm dumb nobody understands me they're all judgmental jerks wah wah please agree with me." I'm just honestly curious if this happens to a lot of other shy people, too, and if so, if any of you more outgoing people (or other shy people) have some insight as to why.
    Latte, Doom, FreeBeer and 14 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    People generally associate communication with intelligence. I tend to speak quickly, therefore people assume I am more intelligent than I really am (disregarding the many, many types of intelligence in existence). It is sometimes assumed that people don't contribute to a conversation because either they lack the mental ability or are simply to lazy to care about the topic. Both of these case point to lack of intelligence, and when one jumps to the conclusion that a person is not speaking for one of these two very limited reasons, many improper associations are made. I also think the word "dumb: has something to do with it, as the word used to deal with one's ability to speak as well as think.
    Kanerou, dejavu, Neverontime and 11 others thanked this post.

  3. #3
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by raichu View Post
    This is something I've encountered a lot. Whenever I say something smart in class, or people find out I d well on a test, or somehow demonstrate that I know anything at all about what we're learning, people are always really surprised. This happened to me just yesterday. I was in my Sign Language class, and we were playing a fingerspelling practice/review game. Now, I admit, I am really good at fingerspelling, so it wasn't surprising that people were impressed. What bothered me was when someone said "Wow, she's so quiet, but [insert compliment here]." This isn't the first time I've heard that, either. It's all the time. "She's so quiet, but she fingerspells really quickly!" "She's so quiet, but she's actually really smart!" How are these things at all connected? Why do people assume that shy people aren't smart, or aren't good at things?

    I know they're probably not even aware that they're doing it. Like, nobody consciously comes to the well thought out conclusion that I must know less. I just wonder why people think that subconsciously.

    Or maybe it's just me, maybe I give off a stupid-vibe. :P Shy people, do you get this, too? I would say "quiet people," but I've had friends who are quiet but not shy, and everyone thinks they're the genius of the class. That might make more sense, though. When people are more talkative, the smart things they say get drowned out by all the other things they say, if that makes sense. So if someone's more quiet, they're only going to talk when they have something useful to say. Their "intelligent comment" to "off-topic comment" ratio is a lot higher. That doesn't explain why people think I'm not smart, though.

    I don't want this to come across as a rant, like "wah wah I hate everyone they think I'm dumb nobody understands me they're all judgmental jerks wah wah please agree with me." I'm just honestly curious if this happens to a lot of other shy people, too, and if so, if any of you more outgoing people (or other shy people) have some insight as to why.
    Did you ever watch speeches given out by Susan Cain or read her book Quiet? She mentions that this is an innate bias in American culture where quiet people are seen as stupid and cowardly among many other things and fast-talking people are seen as intelligent and daring/brave. You're dealing with a cultural bias.
    jbking, Pete The Lich, Neverontime and 8 others thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INTP - The Thinkers

    People don't really don't seem to understand that being quiet actually improves listening. And when you get bored in your head you are bound to pay attention with enough focus to really learn.
    Ellis Bell thanked this post.

  5. #5
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I agree. It's amazing how much effect it has on others' perceptions of you, to the point where it's a bit ridiculous, especially in academia. The professors I've had seem to be biased in favor of loud girls and quiet boys, and my grades went up substantially when I started contributing more in class - it didn't seem right that that's all it took :/ Granted, not many people contribute in classes, so maybe they grade just in appreciation of making their jobs more interactive and engaging. Personally, I tend to regard chatterboxes as somewhat less intelligent...
    Ellis Bell, Entropic, Absolute Foodie and 1 others thanked this post.

  6. #6
    Unknown Personality

    I would say "unassuming" rather than stupid.

  7. #7
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    "Wow, she's so quiet, but..."
    And you just banged the nail with that statement.

    It comes down to our horrible social stigma that 'extroverted' = good, 'introverted' = bad. They took one 'negative' trait and wrongly inferred that it means you have others, even if it was an unintentional slip.

    Also, another issue I think is that outgoing people are far more likely to blow their own horns, hence they appear smarter. In reality, there is little to no difference.

    However, I personally have not had this problem; although in school I was by far one of the quietest people in my year, I was still unanimously in top sets for everything. I might not have been the brightest penny in the class, but that still doesn't mean anybody could brand me with the 'stupid' label.
    Neverontime, Tophthetomboy, Ellis Bell and 4 others thanked this post.

  8. #8
    ISTP - The Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by funcoolname View Post
    I agree. It's amazing how much effect it has on others' perceptions of you, to the point where it's a bit ridiculous, especially in academia. The professors I've had seem to be biased in favor of loud girls and quiet boys, and my grades went up substantially when I started contributing more in class - it didn't seem right that that's all it took :/ Granted, not many people contribute in classes, so maybe they grade just in appreciation of making their jobs more interactive and engaging. Personally, I tend to regard chatterboxes as somewhat less intelligent...
    Isn't it amazing how, for as long as I can remember, grades have been predicated on classroom participation? I get the motivation, sort of--participation shows that you understand the material--but there has to be another way of showing it besides endless talking.

    But yeah, the cultural bias in favor of extroverts/talkative people is extraordinarily stupid. But to play devil's advocate for a minute, you really only get a brief moment to impress people--and sometimes people only have whatever comes out of your mouth to judge you on.

    That said, though, not everything that a not-shy person says is all that intelligent.... sometimes it's just hot air.
    funcoolname and HAL 9000 thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Yes, I got this a lot. It's been said that I "Seem so quiet/shy, but I'm actually a hard worker and very smart...." as if being quiet or shy is what makes someone a stupid, lazy worker. Teachers also used to say (in parent-teacher conferences) that I was too shy, but "actually very smart", and I should learn to participate more in class discussion. My grades were just fine. It's not as if I was failing... so obviously I understood the material.

    Yeah, it seems to be a bias which appears to be very strong (at least) in American culture. Interestingly, being quiet or shy wasn't seen as a terrible trait when I lived in Asia. Boisterousness and over-confidence were seen as a bad thing. In America, a very opinionated and forceful person will be seen as strong and confident, but in some parts of Asia, that may be seen as arrogant or rude. I really depends on the culture or people around you and what they value or see as normal.

  10. #10
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mind Swirl View Post
    Yeah, it's a bias and an assumption which appears to be very strong (at least) in American culture. Interestingly, being quiet or shy wasn't seen as a terrible trait when I lived in Asia. Boisterousness and over-confidence were seen as a bad thing. In America, a very outgoing and forceful person will be seen as strong and confident, but in some parts of Asia, that would be seen as arrogant or rude.
    That's not particularly surprising. Emphasis on individuality vs emphasis on community?


 
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