For many people, it’s challenging to relate to those who I’ve come to call ‘Quiet Thinkers’. Quiet Thinkers are often among the most creative and active contemplators, but are frequently dismissed or overlooked because they rarely share their thoughts with others.
For many people, it is particularly hard to understand a Quiet Thinker. To those of us who feel compelled to express our thoughts verbally, it might even seem like the Quiet Thinker has nothing important or meaningful to say at all.
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking
But, on the contrary, the Quiet Thinker is always deep in thought— they just don’t verbalize these thoughts the same way that a Loud Thinker would. Unlike the Loud Thinker, whose thought process is enhanced and refined by vocalizing the inner workings of their minds, the Quiet Thinker chooses to work things out in the privacy of their own heads. It’s only after a period of quiet contemplation that the Quiet Thinker feels comfortable enough to vocalize their thoughts to others.
To the Quiet Thinker, this selective response is a polished and tested product of their rigorous internal thought process. To the Loud Thinker, a Quiet Thinker’s minimal verbal responses and choice of words can come off as disinterest, emotional unavailability, or even callousness.
Both types of thinkers have a lot to learn from each other. The Loud Thinker must realize that the Quiet Thinker does in fact think as deeply, or perhaps even more deeply, than the Loud Thinker does. The Quiet Thinker must understand that the Loud Thinker often sees their lack of vocalization as a form of unavailability, and must share their thoughts with the Loud Thinker if they want to build good relationships.