Could you just quiet down?

We introverts have an internal meter that automatically kicks into gear in public spaces. It is a mechanism that alerts us to behavior insensitive to our temperament – when people are too loud.

I live in a loft downtown Columbus. Like most public housing, hallway noise and noise within the units are apparent to those around me. So out of respect for the other residents, most of the time I keep my noise to a minimum.

I soften my walk on the hard floors, slow down activity in the kitchen when handling pots and pans, am cautious of drawer and door sounds. Talking out loud is usually handled in my “6-inch” or personal space voice.

All this behavior supports my need for quiet, so in reverse, I suspect there are others like me who appreciate the same standards.

Whether we are early-morning or late-night people, there will be the times when noises will escape us. But within a few minutes, I can tell whether someone is respectful of those around them or not.

If not, that’s when the common courtesy question is handy to use:

“Excuse me, you probably don’t realize I’m having difficulty hearing/sleeping/working with the noise in your area. Would you please lower the noise level?”

No, people will not read our mind. Yes, we can influence others’ behavior. When your internal noise meter goes off, wait to see if the noise level persists. If it does, speak up and ask for quiet.

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On April 18th, 2012, posted in: introverts, quiet style, quiet the voice, respect by