The smartest person in the room

A month ago I was inspired by a holiday themed post about how to deal with family over the holidays. It noted that the quietest person is often the smartest, which really got my wheels turning.

I sat back, thought about it, and had to dive in a little deeper. I thought about the people I know from different cultures, their views, accomplishments and how they interact with others in social settings. I did some searching of my own and have come to the conclusion, not only are the quietest people in the room generally more intelligent, they are also those who are more open to change, culture and experiences, they are also the least hot headed ones who remain poised in a debate.

Here’s why:

The OVER talker:

The person who is always talking (or trying to out talk others by talking louder) doesn’t really know what their talking about. Sure, they might be talking about something that they personally know of, however, they are too wrapped up with their own thoughts and opinions, they can’t hear any other perspective on it in order to really understand the topic -they see it one sided and their views are likely not to change. They also seem to always revert back to this topic, even if the topic of conversation has changed, they will find someway to always revert back to their comfort zone, as though to appear as they can talk about a range of topics, while really sticking to only what they know.

The OVER talker in the room is trying to over compensate. They feel vulnerable that the topic may change to something they don’t know much about or that those around them may start to think less of them, so they try to overcompensate by over talking (or actually speaking loudly) to make others believe that they are the smartest/know what they are talking about.

You will also find that the loudest person in the room strongly voices their opinions on topics, and will not have any room for others opinions or an open discussion which may bring up valid advantages and disadvantages to the topic. They are stubborn enough to think that only their opinion is right, and there is no discussing a topic without them getting angry. They are usually also ones who are appalled should you disagree with them, even if you casually disagree, without causing any debate, merely stating that you disagree usually gets them flustered and confused.

These are generally the people who are all about ‘selling themselves’. They are the ones who care most about status and positioning and think that the louder and more they talk, the more respected they will be. They are the ones who speak to make others feel or appear ‘dumb.’

The QUIET one:

Those who are not talking or trying to be the loudest are able to listen, understand, assess and analyse what they are being told. They then enhance their understanding on a range of topics and strengthen their brains through listening rather than speaking. This engages their mind into strategic thinking, problem solving, and gathering evidence which strengthens their overall mind.

The one who is the quietest is able to assess their surroundings and peoples demeanor in order to react/communicate better with those they are in contact with. Chances are, the OVER talker actually has no idea who they are really communicating with as they are too busy thinking of what they will say and how they will defend their thoughts. Whereas, the QUIET one is able to really understand the people they are communicating with, thus able to communicate more effectively and have a better understanding of how the others perceive them and their points.

The QUIET ones also don’t have anything to prove to anyone. Their demeanor isn’t overbearing and they aren’t constantly trying to control the conversation and persuade others to ‘believe’ them. These are the successful ones who know from experience to wait until others ask about something, knowing that at that point do they really engage and are open to your thoughts and ideas.

The QUIET ones are those secretly owning the room. They are allowing the OVER talker to think that they are giving into their tactic and letting them think they are the smartest, this is when the QUIET one can take advantage of their positioning by having no one feeling threatened.

They are those who speak to add value to a conversation, to make progress, to learn something themselves and to ensure that everyone benefits from the conversation (learns something).

So which are you? The QUIET one or the OVER talker? Do you agree? I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say! xo

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