Why do black women only face heat for staying to themselves? Why do we constantly have to be happy and bubbly?
I wasn’t always a quiet black girl. In fact, I used to be the class clown, the loudest girl in the room, the center of attention and I loved it. Talking wasn’t difficult and I could form a conversation from just about any topic. The 11-year-old loud, talkative me and the 20-year-old, severely introverted me are two different people. I almost don’t even recognize myself as I grew older. With anxiety and depression taking over my life and affecting my drive to socialize, it raised a real question in my head. Why are black women judged so much for being quiet?
Being an introvert
Though I used to enjoy socializing, I’ve always been a bit of an introvert.
Socializing has always been something great, in the moment, but exhausting in the end. I never wanted to be around people more than I had to, and I certainlynever wanted to be in a large group of people. Being the center of attention felt equivalent to a death sentence. Forget about going to any kind of function. I was always the quiet girl in every class, event or situation. Even through all of this, I never looked at being introverted as a problem, because everyone has different personality types, right? Wrong.
I never thought of being introverted as a problem, until I realized it was an issue to everyone around me. I’ve heard many say that I seemed mean, standoffish, and angry. People were clearly intimidated by me, and more times than not, people thought this about me until we had a conversation.
I never understood why I was being judged this way by people. I never understood why I suddenly was being looked at as this nasty, aggressiveperson. I didn’t have a mean bone in my body, and I certainly was never a person who was nasty on purpose, so why was I being treated this way?
Understanding microaggressions and stereotypes
The thoughts of my teenage self never made sense until I became aware of the stereotypes placed on black women. Admittedly, as a teenager, I was naive and unaware of just how much scrutiny black women came under on a daily basis. The ‘angry black woman‘ stereotype is tacked onto any black woman who’s …