April 25, 2020 My Friends Think I’m Too Loud And Crazy! Hey Brandon, What do you do if you’re too loud? Sometimes I’m super-noisy and people tell me I’m annoying! My craziness seems to get on peoples’ nerves, and they don’t want to be around me. I’d really like to change, but I have no idea how to do it. I need advice! Wacky, Wild & Loud What’s up Wacky, Wild & Loud. This is an interesting question. First of all, I think it’s smart to be aware of how your personality impacts others. It shows a lot of self-awareness to realize that maybe you need to tone it down so others aren’t uncomfortable around you. There are definitely situations where you don’t want to be too loud and boisterous. In the library, during class, at church. You don’t want to distract when other people are trying to learn, teach, or listen. Or, sometimes there are situations where it’s not about the location but what’s happening. You might just be hanging out, but if one of your friends is talking to the group about her parents’ divorce, or her brother’s cancer diagnosis, you don’t want to be disrespectful. That deserves quiet focus. So, it’s mostly a matter of being aware of your surroundings and what’s appropriate for each situation. Like when I’m volunteering at Fuzzy Friends, there are some dogs who are super scared to be at a shelter, and we have to be really calm and soothing around them. But, other dogs REALLY need to go out in the yard and play tug of war, chase me, and have a crazy-fun time. They need different things, so I try to give each one what they need. But also, sometimes there are like twenty different dogs at Fuzzy Friends. I can’t be someone different for every dog there. I’d go bonkers! I also have to be true to who I am. I think the same is true for you (not that I’m calling you a dog). You don’t want to make people uncomfortable or act inappropriate, but you are who you are, and you shouldn’t change that to be who other people want you to be. (And it might not even be who other people want you to be. It might just be who you think they want you to be. Which is different.) If your natural instinct is to be loud and crazy, but you know that there are some situations where you need to be quieter, maybe it would help to think about how you handle yourself in certain situations. For example, there are places where you might want to be more quiet, like: School during class School during lunch or passing period A library On the bus In a store At a friend’s house, especially if parents are around At a family gathering At religious gathering At a school event, practice or competition When you’re in each of these places, how do you tend to act? Is your behavior appropriate? If not, how would you change your behavior? If you find yourself in a situation where you know you need to chill out a bit, here are a few ideas to bring it down a notch. Excuse yourself to the bathroom or another quiet spot and try to remind yourself how you need to act in this place. If you need to get out a burst of energy, try doing a bunch of jumping jacks, if you’ve got the space. Try to listen at least as much as you talk. This is a good thing for anyone to remember. No one wants to be around someone who’s hogging the conversation all the time. If you know you’ve had the limelight for a while, ask someone else a question and give them a chance to shine. Listen to calming music. If you’re in a situation where you can’t be hyper, but you also don’t need to listen to a teacher, try listening to calming music through headphones. Make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise. You might just have a lot more energy than other people. Try playing soccer or basketball. You could also just walk, job or ride your bike to burn the extra energy. I hope this helps, and that you’re able to feel confident in who YOU are AND learn to adjust your enthusiasm to each situation. Does anyone else struggle with feeling like they’re too loud or too hyper? How do you turn down the volume?