My new housemate said something to me the other day that I've heard many times in the past. He didn't say it in the way that it's normally said to me, but the sentiment was the same. After a few too many drinks, he decided it was the opportune time to tell me that he thought I was 'insular' - mildly rude from someone I've only recently met, but I get his point. Now personally I don't believe I am. In this specific instance I probably came across that way for a few reasons. When I'm actually at home in the week, I work from my laptop which is set up on a desk in my room. In the evenings I'll watch an hour of Sky News, make some dinner & then maybe watch a bit more tv if there's something really interesting on (as I tend not to watch much tv). I'll then venture back to my Mac or iPad to catch up with things online, watch movies or listen to music. Add this to the fact that I find him a bit strange & quite annoying & therefore tend to avoid him, then, yes, I guess I come across that way to him.
But in the past I've been told by people - friends, colleagues, partners, strangers - that I come across as rude, arrogant, moody & many other things. All for one simple reason; I don't talk too much.
I'm quite open to people as to why I'm not talking or don't want to. I'm either listening to someone/something, have nothing to say, or am just not interested. The crux of it is, is that I'm not someone that just talks for the sake of it, whether to be polite or fit in. I don't like pointless chit-chat or unnecessary noise.
So far it sounds like I just forever sit there in silence, but this isn't the case at all. I can hold a conversation. I can dominate a conversation if I want or need to. I have a thousand interesting things to say (& probably just as many boring things). I just pick & chose when/where I say these things. If I'm out with one other person, I'll happily chat the night away & regale anecdotes & stories - both silly & serious. But when in a group, people's own insecurities tend to be accentuated & everyone chats more rubbish to show that they have meaningful thoughts, ideas & opinions rattling around in their heads - & this is what I'm not a fan of.
When in a group I sit back & let others chat & when I have a point to make, I'll make it. But this doesn't always come right away, & to others around me that don't know me so well, it can just look as if I'm not interested & just being rude by not joining in. But this can be the case even with people that know me well. I've lost count of the amount of times I've had to explain this exact thing to people I'm in a relationship with - woman definitely seem to have more of a problem with this whole thing - it's like their programmed to fill any silence with meaningless conversation (well, at least some of the ones I've gone out with). No matter how many times I explain that there's nothing wrong, I'm still continually asked "what's wrong?" & "is something the matter?".
Like I said, I will happily have a conversation with someone, but if I put the tv on to watch something, I don't then want to talk all the way through it - I've put the tv or movie or song on for a reason - to watch &/or listen to it. Driving is another one. I enjoy the quiet time when driving somewhere. I like taking in the scenery & what's going on outside. Just because it's a quiet environment, it doesn't mean we HAVE to talk for the whole journey.
I guess this is why I like social media & blogging. I can express my thoughts or make a point without having to give a whole back-story, or rationalise or justify anything if I don't want to. It's out there at the exact moment I want it to be out there. & this is probably why I have a bit of an affinity with Finns. They're similar - no pointless chit-chat just because it's polite or the thing that's 'meant' to be done. No fucking about & straight to the point. Heaven.
It seems that in this day & age of 24 hour tv, phones, traffic, social media etc, people are afraid to embrace & enjoy the rare times when it's actually quiet. People that want to relax, enjoy the quiet & watch the world go by are now 'different' in some way.
So next time I'm not saying much, don't take offense, just either take a breath & enjoy the quiet time, or talk to me about something interesting - not pointless rubbish just to break the silence. If a conversation is forced, it's not normally worth having.