Are You Okay?
September 15, 2011 § Leave a Comment
“Are you OK?” I swear this is the most insincere question that the people I work with ask me and I’m asked this question at least twice a week. Why? It’s because I’m not as talkative or as outgoing as the people around me. It’s a question that I’m asked when someone feels that I’m not paying as much attention to them or when I’m not responding in an overly emotional way. I’m a quiet person and this is just who I am. I don’t have time for small talk or gossip and I’d rather sit at my desk and get my work done than to get caught up in office politics. Maybe this seems strange to my co-workers and many of them go out of there way to come into my office to ask if I’m ok.
This question is insincere because it’s not as if they actually care about my well-being or are genuinely concerned that something serious might be going on. Maybe my silence makes them insecure as it does with a lot of people. Not everyone is comfortable with having someone in their presence who talks very little or not at all. This question also implies (in my opinion) that something is wrong with being quiet. One has to be loud and talking all the time to be happy and if a person is quiet then something must be wrong.
In the past, when I was asked this question, I would offer up some kind of excuse for being a quiet person. I would say things like, “I’m really busy” or “I have a deadline”. Not anymore. Now I simply reply, “Yes, I’m Ok” and wait for them to leave. There is nothing wrong with my quiet nature and there is nothing wrong with sitting at my desk and getting work done and I don’t need to offer any excuse for that. I’ve had a few co-workers that I’ve politely requested that they stop coming into my office and asking me if I’m ok. My behavior hasn’t changed from the first day that I’ve started working for this company and there is no reason for them to keep asking me the same question each week.
I find more and more that I’m becoming unapologetically bold in my quest for self-acceptance and in the fact that I want others to accept me for the way that I am as well. Not everyone was meant to be talkative all the time. There are many people in this life, such as myself, who were given the gift of silence and to be a quieter and calmer presence in the lives of others.