Why is it that if someone is quiet, people automatically assume that person is nice, but a little shy? That may be the case most of the time (that timid people are nice, but perhaps stuck in their shell). However, I would like to suggest possible alternate causes for the silence.
I would assert that some quiet people are quiet because maybe they feel aloof to the situation or their surroundings. I know of individuals who think themselves above certain topics or circumstances. They would rather remain silent than lower themselves to the level of discourse
On the other hand, I know of cases where silence was mistaken for pretentiousness. In reality, however, the person was intimidated of the particular situation and that caused the individual to be reserved. This example goes to prove that silence can be tied shyness, although it may be misdiagnosed.
This train of thought, though academic, is not my ultimate destination. My main point is that many times silence can be a signal of danger. For example, ninjas are very quiet. Their silence stems not from shyness but from their stealth. A ninja can be completely silent, but very deadly. In this way ninjas are like human flatulence, silent but deadly. In other ways, however, ninjas are totally unlike flatulence, even though scientist have shown that ninjas have the ability to break wind. Although, no one has ever smelled a ninja fart and lived to tell the tale, as ninjas are able to creep up on their victims faster than the gaseous emissions. Ninjas arrive to kill the person before the foul scent can reach the unsuspecting nostrils. (This raises the question if a ninja lets one rip, but no one is around to smell it, did they really pass gas?) That is why ninjas are able to get away with eating so many soybean based food staples. But you would never get a ninja to admit that they eat gassy food, since ninjas cherish their silence so much that they would rather kill you than talk to you. That all feeds into why ninjas are so quiet, and so dangerous.
For another take on this topic (silence, not farts) check out this comic: Weasels Aren't Shy!
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