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The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones


Today, let’s take a moment to praise the quiet ones.  

You know who they are. They’re the ones who come in, take care of business, and depart without making a fuss over themselves.

Let’s be clear; it’s not that they’re unfriendly.  They’re friendly. If you need help, they’ll be glad to help you.  But they’re reserved. And they’re never inclined to promote themselves.

I’m honestly kind of jealous of the quiet ones.  Because I’m definitely NOT a quiet one. I can be quiet at times, but I often give in to my natural inclination to be a clown.

The quiet ones don’t clown; they don’t need an audience.  They’re secure enough in themselves that they don’t need your approval.  

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On social media, the quiet ones may be reading this (I hope they’re reading this; I hope everyone reads this…you see, I’m NOT a quiet one; I need an audience!)  But the quiet ones won’t even leave a comment.  They don’t need to. They know what they think, and they don’t need your approval of their thoughts.  They know that their thoughts are valid, and they don’t need you to tell them so.

I love that self-assurance!  I think social media sometimes gives us too much permission to be noisy.  Sometimes, social media actually trains us to be noisy.

Think about how we can’t be satisfied with our vacation unless we have that perfect picture to post for our friends’ approval.  We can’t have dinner without snapping pictures of our food so that other people can approve of our culinary choices. And can we really enjoy hearing our favorite band in concert if we don’t tell the world that we were there?

It’s the same with Jiu Jitsu.  If you’re a noisy person like me, I don’t think there’s one single thing wrong with showing off that new stripe or belt.  But there are times when I wish there were more quiet ones on social media. For instance:

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  • If you’re a white belt and you’re getting smashed every class, every roll.  Be quiet about it. Because it’s normal. Strangers on the internet can’t help you with this.  Your coach can. Talk to coach.
  • If you’re hurt.  Why, oh, why are you asking the internet?  W.H.Y.? Go to the doctor. We’re idiots; your doctor isn’t.  Talk to your doctor.

And Most Importantly:

  • If your sense of entitlement is making you feel passed over.  I’ve already written about entitlement here.  The contrast between the world of Jiu Jitsu and the overly-indulgent world outside the dojo can be a shock.  If you’re new to Jiu Jitsu, it can be a hard pill to swallow when you think you’re ready for a promotion but your coach doesn’t say a word.  Do yourself a favor; keep it to yourself. Admittedly, there’s nothing funnier than the aggrieved posts in which some poor, deluded schmoe asks the social media world if he should storm up to his professor and “demand a belt test.”  While it’s funny for me, it won’t be funny for you if someone traces that post back to you. Instead, you’ll have to live with that embarrassment every time you walk into your academy.

All of these cases involve unhappiness, but I can promise you: rubbing internet salt in your wounds won’t make you feel better.  

This is the time to follow the example of the quiet ones.  Your legitimate training questions can be answered in a one-on-one conversation with your coach.  Your legitimate medical questions NEED to be answered in a one-on-one conversation with your doctor.  And the rest is best left unsaid. The feeling of dissatisfaction will go away with time—unless you decide to commemorate it on Facebook, in which case, it’ll be preserved forever!

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