A Manifesto for Quiet Connections
Because we all deserve to feel seen and heard
We’re living in a culture that, in general, expects quieter, more sensitive and socially anxious people to ‘step up’ and share their stories, raising their voices to match the volume of the room; to position themselves so that they can be seen and heard by others. And for the Quieteers in our society, flexing so far from our true nature can feel like self-betrayal and even impossible to achieve.
The societal ‘norms’ of communication sends us the message that we are not good enough. That we are perhaps different or broken causing us to shrink and stay small. But society's approach to the quieter ones among us does a disservice to the whole of humanity. What we need is to create an environment where quieter and more sensitive people can flourish too.
While we wholeheartedly advocate personal growth and stretching our comfort zones as individuals, and naturally we believe in personal development to strengthen our confidence, wellbeing, and authenticity, we do not believe that we should have to stretch ourselves as far as it seems we do at times. It is not our job to match the louder, chattier, or more dominant people in the room so that our voices can be heard, and we feel anger that the onus is so often on the quieter individual to develop themselves, ‘fit in’ and accommodate others’ communication styles.
As we personally know, it can so often mean being spoken over and interrupted; being the person who listens to other people but isn’t truly heard; and ultimately feeling like we aren’t valued or important and don’t have something worthwhile to contribute. But we do.
Quiet voices matter too
It is not up to us to show up in a way that’s inauthentic just so that we can be seen and heard.
What we do believe is that it is our responsibility to take up space and allow our questions, stories, and perspectives to be heard because what we have to say is important; our voices, curiosities and wisdom as quieter, more sensitive people deserve to and need to be shared. This is the way we can improve society, increase wellness, and create a fairer world for ourselves and for others: by bringing all our voices to the table.
But it is not our responsibility to create that space so that we have somewhere to step into. This is about inclusion, fairness, and equality. This is about temperament rights.
- It is the role of educators and employers to provide time and methods for more sensitive and reflective communicators and avoid shaming when go-to styles shut people down.
- And the chattier friends of the quieter ones pausing, asking questions and inviting them to share, showing that they are interested in them as a whole person, not just as a listener.
- It is parents, teachers, partners, friends, and colleagues noticing and celebrating quieter strengths and qualities and the value this brings to their lives, and places of work and education.
- It’s all of us recognising the quieter voices in the room and gently inviting them to the table and offering permission to take up space.
- It’s all of us noticing when voices are overshadowed and shut down, and mustering up the courage to shine a light on what is happening.
- It’s all of us recognising when we speak over and silence someone and inviting them back into the conversation.
- It’s realising that we all must be flexible in our approach to communicating and having the courage and compassion to create space for others and step into that space ourselves.
And behind that kind, brave action, it’s all of us seeing and believing that all personalities are equal; we all matter, and we each have something valuable to contribute because of our uniqueness.
It’s knowing that we are better together. Always. This is why Quiet Connections exists: to amplify quiet voices because they matter. We would love you to join us!
So if you consider yourself to have a quieter voice, we want to offer you permission to step into your power, take up your rightful space, kindly educate the 'stage hogs' in your life, and invite other Quieteers to the table.
And if you have one of the louder voices in the room, please consider all the ways that you can use your existing power and position in the spotlight to make sure that all voices are heard and offer gentle invitations to the quieter ones.
On behalf of all Quieteers, thank you for joining the mission to amplify quieter voices 💙 We would love to hear what action you're taking in the comments below 👇
Join us at our next Quiet Meet Up
If you live in or you’re visiting Cornwall, we would love you to invite you to join us at our Quiet Meet Up's!
Our meet up's are for gently connecting those of us who consider ourselves to be quieter, more introverted, highly sensitive, socially anxious or shy, in a space where it's okay to talk and it's okay to be quiet too.
Stay quietly connected with us 😊
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