If I don’t take offense to your constant talking, why do you take offense to my quiet reserve?

If I’m okay with you ignoring my quiet, then why can’t you be okay with my ignoring your need for noise?

I come to work and I sit in meetings and it’s becoming a sort of game to me.

How long until this person takes offense to my note-taking? My thoughtful silence; my stillness? How long can they go without me nodding my head or making eye contact or giving any kind of verbal affirmation?

Why do you need me to give to you?

Why do you interpret my silence and stillness and calm as bad? As negative? Why have you been told my difference is bad, but I’ve been told to be more like you? That your difference is acceptable? Is good? Why am I the one that’s asked to meet you more than halfway, but you never once consider my quiet in a different way?

I am invited to a group lunch and the anxiety is tangible. I have to sit among people and interact and engage with their voice and their body and their presence. I have to carefully ration out my responses. Carefully ration out my time.

You get frustrated with me because I don’t “invite you to do things.” I don’t gesticulate enthusiastically or show excitement or make noise.

I get frustrated with you because you won’t let me be.

I don’t interact with the world like you do. I don’t live vicariously through others. I don’t put much value in gains from external stimuli. I’m quite alright on my own. I’m quite alright finding stimulus from within myself. I’m quite alright not envying anyone anything, or searching for another lived experience to supplement my own. I’m quite alright here in my slow, still way. Will you ever attempt to understand that? Or will you continue to feel slighted? Will you continue to call me out? Will you continue to test my patience?

I just think it’s fucking rude. And selfish. And narrow-minded. And yet again…another example of the favoritism so inherent in our world. Privilege exists in all forms.

I’m not you. My brain is vastly different. We are not the same. Stop projecting your shit on me. Or making assumptions about my behavior of which you have no point of reference. You’re translating my world with the wrong code. I don’t usually resent this about you. I’m just frustrated that you seem so oblivious to your own bias and perception of me, whereas I have taken careful steps to be in touch with you.


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