The Need for Quiet



An Introvert in a Loud World


I would have included a picture of myself, but introverts are impossible to photograph. Like vampires.
This is not an exaggeration of what life feels like for quiet people.

Train horns, shrieking roommates, construction outside my window that goes on all night. Angry people in traffic, barking dogs, even the scraping of forks on plates.  These ambient noises, impossible to escape from, are all nearly unbearable for a quiet person like myself.

I’m not built for a loud world. My voice is so quiet people often ask me to repeat myself, and I shrink away from those whose speaking voices sound to me like a shout in my ears. As a child, I ran from movie theaters and concerts in tears because the noise was unbearable.

This sensitivity persisted into adulthood. Looking back with what I now understand to be Aspberger’s, I wonder what would have been different if I’d been able to withstand the cacophony of daily life instead of hiding from it. How, though, was I supposed to face my discomfort without fear? Strategies such as wearing earplugs or headphones are effective, but in the end it’s just another way of hiding.

How are any of us expected to keep our cool in a world that just won’t stop screaming? At times, when I’m hiding under my blankets with noise-canceling headphones over earplugs just so I can have a moment of absolute silence, it seems an impossible task. I was just not made for a world that is so unbearably, ceaselessly loud. 

Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.

At times like this, my favorite hymn provides me with an answer.  “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” springs to my mind unbidden, stilling the noise in my head and providing me with a sense of undeniable calm.

This world will never slow down, never shut up. As much as I would like to, I can’t live in a soundproofed cave for the rest of my life. But the Holy Ghost is called the “still, small voice” for a reason. If I bring the peace of silence inside me wherever I go, the uproar of the world fades into the background.

Even without a mute button or a volume knob, the noise of the world doesn’t seem so unbearable after all.

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.