i am loud and obnoxious

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Am i the only loud and obnoxious individual who finds the quiet, collected folk a threat? whenever they speak, they sound so much more thought-out, articulate and sure of themselves. i frequently play devil’s advocate in seminars and argue for a stance i am not even sure i remotely agree with because i firmly believe that only by arguing for the other side can you ever really understand your own. however, i also recognize that this makes me look like an ass. so, do all loud people find the quiet people intimidating? and do quiet people recognize that a lot of the time loud people are espousing ideas they don’t believe just to try and get the quiet person to respond? i always want, fearfully, for the graduate student sitting in the corner to tear my argument to shreds, but, on the other hand, i want him/her to. do you think he/she knows that?
what inspired this questioning post you ask? well, on thursday i walked into the italian renaissance seminar complaining about how i hadn’t understand Ficino’s Argument whatsovever, and, surprisingly, the very nice but quiet young man that i sit next to (Bryan is on the other side of me) proceeded to ask me why. well, i said i think it had to do with the neo-platonist presentation of abstract concepts without hinging them on any sort of narrative structure so i can better remember the chronology of the argument. he proceeded to describe to me, in quite a bit of detail, his take on the Ficino treatise. i was impressed. i did not know at the time that this same young man was supposed to be giving the presentation today. when it came to presentation time, i couldn’t believe it was the same person giving the talk. he was obviously very intimidated by the scenario and, unlike myself who proceeds to ramble, make bad jokes and speak too quickly in oral presentations, was unable to deliver the speech he had so painstakingly written out. there were long periods of silence and he was obviously really feeling the stress – which was SO weird because he had been so articulate about ten minutes earlier. more articulate than i ever am when discussing a given topic in philosophy/political science/social theory. i couldn’t understand it. i recognize this is the fundamental difference between the quiet people and the obnoxious people, but i would like to get in their shoes. what is the obstacle they encounter that causes this? i would enjoy your take…
daily update: last night had huge salad for dinner, went to marche aux puces to buy shisha, watched steve smoke shisha while watching Heat (Val Kilmer, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino), went out for breakfast with Isabelle this morning, made sure Lisa had a good time last night with her “darling,” doing some homework before going over to steve’s and out for dinner to celebrate (belatedly) his Dad’s birthday. 

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4 thoughts on “i am loud and obnoxious

  1. Well sometimes I’m quiet. No seriously I have those moments…. But yes I’m usually the obnoxious not always completely clear person… and yes the quiet collected people sometimes freak me out. Maybe they’re too zen for me.

    How was dinner for Steve’s dad?

  2. I’m definitely the quiet guy but I’ve gotten past the unable to talk in public stage.

    Like you said, a lot of the quiet people like to think their arguments through before giving them. They think about what they want to say, what could be answered and how to counter that and end up playing the whole conversation over in their head even though it’s pointless because usually by the first response and for sure by the second the conversation deviated from the imagined one.

    What this does is a create a series of worst-case scenarios that makes you really nervous and you end up spending more time thinking about how ridiculous you might be looking right now rather then what you’re supposed to say and you freeze. Once frozen it becomes painfully obvious that you’re looking even more ridiculous and you’re in for a downward spiral after that.

    So while you think you may be looking stupid standing up and voicing your opinion all the time you should count your blessings because while there are the quiet ones that will occaisonally come in and destroy your arguments, there are the shy ones that are nearly incapable of voicing theirs (in public) without breaking down.

  3. According to The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, (which I’m paraphrasing from memory, so if my description doesn’t make sense you might want to look in the book – it has maps of the brain that explain this all), extroverts formulate their thoughts by talking it out, and then something happens (I don’t understand quite what happens) that they get dopamine hits from doing this, so it makes them feel happy. Introverts think a bit more slowly because thought impulses take a different, and longer, path through their brain, and they don’t get dopamine hits from the thinking out loud process*, so they tend to keep their thoughts to themselves until they’re certain their contribution is necessary.

    *either that or they do get dopamine hits but they’re overwhelming and therefore negative, because introverts are easily overstimulated, while extroverts can handle way more dopamine. I’ve never actually studied psych so I’ve lost about 10% of the plot.

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