A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

The silent judgement

Posted by Pepper on December 3, 2014

There are a few things that I keep mulling over time and again. This is one of them. It started off with my aunt complaining to me about Mint and how he doesn’t talk to her much even when he meets her. Again. Yes, this is a complain I have heard fairly often. That Mint doesn’t talk. I have tried telling people several times that Mint is a quiet person. And that I can’t change it.

The underlying truth is that this does bother me. I fear people mistaking his quiet, placid temperament for unfriendliness. Besides, it is much easier to bond with people if you talk to them. I think he misses out on that bonding. Engaging in conversations gives people around you an opportunity to know you. Verbal communication goes a long way in depicting your character and personality. I feel a little bad that people don’t know him too much only because he is quiet.

Even if I don’t enjoy talking, I still try to participate in conversations if we are socialising with new people. For example, I try to pick on common themes and share anecdotes from our own lives. Infact, when I find Mint not participating much, I even speak on his behalf. ‘Oh you take long in the shower too? You should see how long Mint takes. I’m always getting hysterical while waiting for him to come out!’, I chip in. I wish Mint would speak at such times and say that he takes long to shower too, and thereby connect and bond with the person who is jestingly complaining about his wife’s reactions to his long showers. I mean, I see that as the perfect opportunity to bond. We have the same story. Mint on the other hand will only laugh and give me a look that says, ‘Sounds familiar?’.

So he stays quiet in most intimate gatherings, talking mainly for the sake of politeness, not much else. I used to resent it a little earlier because I know he is a friendly and favourable person, and I wanted him to come across as one. I realised a little later that Mint absolutely does not care about how he comes across to the world. He does what suits him and gives a damn to the rest. Thinking about what impression he leaves behind in somebody’s mind is not his concern. Quite a good way to live your life, so I stopped thinking about it..

There is another little problem I face. I am chatty and I discuss my life with people around me often. Mint who is obviously an integral part of my life, is a different person when is with me. He is fun, talkative and awesome in general. So I find myself sharing those awesome snippets of our happy and playful life together. I even talk about how Mint has always spoken up for equality, how open minded and fair he is and more. Now when the same people meet Mint, I worry about my honest claims not being validated in their eyes. On one hand I truthfully tell them about how loud and playful we are together and how my husband raises his voice to protect me from the wrong doings of patriarchy, on the other hand they meet a guy who is serious and doesn’t seem to speak up too much. This contrasting picture bothers me at some level..

Anyway, I am gradually learning from Mint and letting go of my need to seek validation. Although at times I still feel like a child wanting to show off my shining trophy. He says as long as I know what I have is awesome, I shouldn’t want to prove anything to anybody. I know he is right. But the final straw for me came when my aunt kept praising my cousin’s husband. She said ‘He is such a nice guy’. Now, he is a good talker and a pro at connecting with people. He does come across as friendly and genuine, but I know from internal sources that he is a chauvinist pig. He ill treats people around him. And he is known to be nice only because he talks well? Quite sad, if we judge people by their ability and willingness to talk.

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28 Responses to “The silent judgement”

  1. D said

    don’t bother…:) Mint is absolutely right when he says that as long as you know how awesome he is, there is no need to convey to people around always! I like his mantra..I am somewhat like that myself. My husband is generally an introvert. He seldom talks to people, specially whom he meets for the first time..like my side of family/ friends etc. I get to hear a lot of complaints from people..but I just say..that he talks less. Though initially I did ask him to try to have small conversations with these people as well…which he did…but now I am kind of OK. As far as he is polite and courteous…I let it be…

  2. My Era said

    I hear you Pepper. I am the quiet one just like Mint. It takes me conscious effort to make small talk and to warm up to people outside those who are very close to me. Though I am working hard to change this, because I have slowly started noticing Pari doing the same.

    • Pepper said

      It is not easy for me either. But I try atleast. In Mint’s case, he doesn’t try because he thinks the effort isnt worth it and because he doesnt care about how he comes across!

      Pari is so young. I think little kids take time to open up anyway, no?

  3. A.D!! said

    This makes me want to copy and send it to my husband :p I hear the same things from family and I’m in a confusion. I don’t like forcing him but sometimes I think I do hehe:)

  4. Vaga Bond said

    Cool guys talk less (or mumble) and act more 😛

  5. I would say never mind them.

    I have an aunt who believes that if you spend more, you are better placed in life. Me and Simba are not thrifty, may be calculative and I see it as a good thing. And we also do spend on vacations and nice restaurants and all but we don’t broadcast it to the world!! So this aunt always, without fail, brings up a cousin’s husband who takes her for limo rides and fun holidays and overseas trips, etc. and then *advises* Simba to loosen up. He gets so uncomfortable around her, even I find it difficult to hold a conversation where judgment overflows from each sentence.

    I tell him not to let it affect him. But somehow, he takes it personally and goes into thinking whether he is doing enough for me and whether my family appreciates it. It took a lot of convincing from me, my mom and my sister for him to remove his doubts!

    Some people are like that. They may have their heart at the right place or so I assume but don’t have acceptance for people who think / act differently than them.

    • Pepper said

      Well to be fair, my aunt isn’t like that. She genuinely wishes Mint would talk to her more than he does.. and she maybe naive enough to only view things from the surface…but that is what troubles me. Most of the world is like that..Then how will people who deviate from norms ever be recognised for the good they do..

  6. Kanthu said

    I could relate entirely with Mint. It’s the same case with me. While my younger brother is a charmer, talking his way into people’s mind. I find it difficult, and tiresome. I have had my mom and close friends come to my rescue at times. “No, no. He is bit reserved in the beginning. He’s much more fun once you get to know each other and get closer”, they tell others about me. Once a relative was surprised that my parents had an elder son. She thought my brother was the only son to my parents. 😛

    Also I speak the truth with people to their faces. Doesn’t really go well. And also I don’t care what they think. Again, another detriment for social skills.

    PS: From what I have read on this blog, Mint seems to be quite fun and awesome. He should definitely stay that way. 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Speaking the truth with people to their face. Sounds like Mint again. Not everybody can take it well, so I tell him to be less blunt, but then I dont want to curb his honest and free spirit either.

      And well, thank you 🙂 Mint is awesome. No denying.

  7. RR said

    You have written all my thoughts so well Pepper. This is my pet peeve too. Infact I myself am an Introvert. Sometimes I find that both of us are silent in group gatherings and think what will people think about us.
    But as I am aging, I am telling myself that it is better to be comfortable and be myself rather than to feed to people’s thoughts and opinion.

  8. namita said

    Sounds like me and hubby, just the other way around. After 12 years it still frustates him occasionally. However he has realized there are more positives to silence. I never end up speaking anything ‘wrong’ 😉

  9. I can so understand how you feel, for S is same as Mint. He is very quiet among new people whereas quite talkative when he is with me. Most of my relatives have come to terms with his silent nature and some keep reminding me that I should make him talk more. Now how is that possible? I just ignore them with a smile. And yes, I should stop seeking validations too. I know he is a great guy and shouldn’t bother what others think of him, just like him 🙂

  10. gowri said

    Hi pepper…this seems so much like my situation…my husband is exactly how you have described mint….its frustrating when his own family sometimes confuses his quietness for disinterest/indifference…but I guess their way going about their life is so much better…not bother with the world…

    BTW you write really well…have been a silent follower for sometime but this post called out to me…do keep writing

    • Pepper said

      Yes, misunderstanding and misinterpreting the silence is the most frustrating thing. But again, it comes down to not caring about how you come across to others. Let’s try and get there.

      And thank you. So happy you could this post made you comment 🙂

  11. There, that last paragraph helped answer your own concern. Pepper, you are so better off not having a MCP husband pretending to be a charmer in public. That would be revolting.

    Mint was very sweet and likable from the first time we met you guys. Him not talking much did not make any difference, if you ask me 🙂

  12. Bhavani said

    Your last couple of sentences says it all Pepper. Ok I have only heard about Mint from your blog…and the only judgement I can give is ‘he is awesome’ 🙂 So just take it easy…it is only natural to expect good validation from all for a feel good factor..thats all…

    -Bhavani

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Bhavni.. I am glad you agree expecting validation is natural. I dont want to sound like some insecure ass. But even so, I think I am really learning to not care 🙂

  13. omg..can relate so much to this. I have the need for validation you mention. Once maybe a year into our marriage when my folks visited us in the US, we had a big group of friends over and there was a lot of lively convo. My husband instead choose to spend a large part of the evening browsing on his phone. He knew all the guests but just choose to stay mum that day. My folks were more than a tad disappointed. Last week, I attended a wedding with my folks and they were full of praise for the vibrant, talkative groom. Such charm , they said. Again, I felt a tinge of sadness that perhaps they didn’t think the same about their own son in law. Like Mint, my husband doesn’t give a damn what others think. With me and a few close friends he is lively and full of beans, cracking us all up with his sudden jokes. I have a long way to go though in getting to his don’t care about the world state of mind.

  14. mevsrogue said

    Hmm the more I read your blog, the more I realize how alike Mint and I are. It is stupid that I haven’t given it a thought earlier.

    “Quite sad, if we judge people by their ability and willingness to talk.”
    Unfortunately, this is how the world is and I hate it. On the other hand, I don’t care what they think.

    • Pepper said

      Ofcourse, same blood and all. But then, you guys are also quite different in many ways. Anyway, this being a little quiet with other people is the most common trait you both have, we’ve discussed it too na..

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