Quiet Considered Snobbish

It is rather funny that people who mind their own business are considered snobbish by our society.

I have noticed often that if I appear to be brooding over something (looking rather serious and contemplating something), then others are “put off”, especially in a public place – let us take the example of a private club or an office environment. I might mean nothing offensive to anyone, it could just be a serious matter occupying my attention for the moment, or whatever – but I have come to realize one thing, and that is people around you would avoid you. They make their own rightful or wrongful conclusions based on how you look and how you “appear” in their eyes.

Can we blame them ? No.

Can we blame ourselves ? Surely No.

Everyone unto his or her own – I don’t think one should change his or her behaviour abruptly to satisfy “everyone” around. It is not needed. At the same time, when the opportunity arises for a gregarious engagement, then one should not avoid it, as people around you need to see you in that light as well.

I do not wish to be disturbed in the Club or the Gym for example. I would rather be left alone, as I am engaged in something very personal. This does not mean I would not try to make friends – on the contrary, I would think the ability to be at peace with oneself in the Gym for example, positions one very well when people engagement is called for. I give several examples of my Gym or Yoga exploits when I am regaling friends with a drink ! I am happy to share my personal experiences with friends that I know.

I have noticed only one key thing in all these experiences, and that is, just the necessity to just wave or say good morning to anyone you come across – it could be the security guard, the club manager, or the Gym instructor. That’s all is required, one does not need to even smile. It keeps the flow of things, and allows someone to say that “yes, we know him – he comes here regularly every day” – may be he keeps to himself, but that does not bother them anymore !

I thought I would write about these observations, because I run into all kinds of folks every day. In a familiar environment, we loosen up a bit and engage well with others. In an unfamiliar environment, it does take time to settle down. There should be no quick conclusions derived about anyone, just because they don’t smile or wave at you. But, people who service you (like the security guard or club/gym personnel) need to be shown some warmth, and that makes their day !

I can be very quiet in a specific environment because of the demand of my personal needs and can be gregarious in other environments requiring serious networking. I think we all develop similar skills as we go along in life. But it is important not to chuck away any individual because he appears remote – it could be because of any number of unfathomable reasons.

Well, something to think about !


Vijay Srinivasan
18th August 2012


One thought on “Quiet Considered Snobbish

  1. Yet the truth is I’ve always had a side of me that has cherished intense solitude. My research work as a political philosopher tends to be done alone among books. I am often most fulfilled when I am deep in thought or writing. There remains something about ”the life of the mind” that appeals to me.

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