Quiet or Shy when we prefer to be, but always resisting Silencing: A project of multi-storied descriptions and directions— Troy Holland, Trisha Nowland, Jennifer Swan, Susan Lord, Jamilla Johnson, Annette Dudley, Jesse Langer, Michelle Dang, Colleen Beazley, and Belinda St Clair


We are facilitating a collective narrative practice project, gathering multi-storied descriptions and understandings of the preferences, experiences, histories and effects of Quietness and Shyness in people’s lives. Thanks to the generosity of co-research participants, we feel clearer about what types of stories are important when we speak with someone who is experiencing Quietness and/or Shyness. We have seen and experienced the harmful effects of dominant discourses that describe Quietness and Shyness in single-storied and negative ways. We agree that stories of troubling effects of Quietness and Shyness on people’s lives need to be included; however, we have found that it is equally important to include stories of what Quietness and Shyness can contribute to people, families and communities. We are clearer that Quietness and Shyness are experienced and responded to politically, contextually, culturally and relationally. These experiences do not occur on equal grounds, and we intend an intersectional analysis of the ways people might sometimes experience silencing or choose Quietness as a survival skill.