Why Ignoring Quiet Alana Could Make You A Fool

In December, Alana Spencer, a quiet 24 year old from Mid-Wales, secured a £250,000 investment from the famous business tycoon, Lord Sugar. By competing in a series of gruelling business challenges against 17 other high-flying candidates, she eventually won the UK’s 2016 edition of The Apprentice.

But throughout the process, she was constantly underestimated.

She didn’t blow her own trumpet or undermine the other competitors, and so she was repeatedly overlooked and snubbed. But Alana was knowledgeable in her area and articulate when she needed to be. And I, for one, am thrilled that she won.

Quietly Competent

I’m quiet too. I find it difficult to offer my opinion in a group. I often let the louder characters lead. But that does not mean I’m incompetent.

Actually I have some really good ideas.

If you give me the opportunity to speak, you’ll see that I am following everything that you’re saying and can often bring a different perspective or idea. I am thoughtful and analytical. I have accumulated a lot of knowledge in my chosen field, and I’m happy to share it with you.

But when you talk over me or act aggressively, I find it difficult to contribute. Just because I don’t push my ideas in your face doesn’t mean that I don’t have some great solutions.

Please don’t ignore me.

Quiet Yet Confident

In my recent Christmas blog post, I mentioned that I’m quiet and a number of my readers were quite surprised because I seem so confident.

The truth is, I am confident; I’m more than happy to deliver a pitch to a hundred people, just like Alana. But it’s face-to-face, spontaneous discussion that I struggle with.

Quiet Alana Spencer The Apprentice Winner 2016

Blogging solves that problem; you get to share your opinion and discuss with others, but you have chance to think about what you want to say before it’s sent out into the world. I find it easier to get my thoughts on “paper” rather than cobble something together when everyone is looking at me. It means that I can think through what I want to say and order it effectively.


It’s a shame that society so undervalues us listeners. It is so often the ones who shout the loudest that influence decisions, but the people who consider what is being said and produce a calm, informed opinion can be so beneficial.

I’m not saying that we’re better than our louder counterparts. I just think we all have a role. There have been hundreds of times I’ve been grateful for my more outgoing colleagues who are comfortable with confrontations and able to negotiate with aggressive clients.

But I sometimes wish the thinkers were appreciated a bit more too. I’m more than capable if you’ll just take the time to look past this one issue.

  • I’m reliable
  • I’m experienced
  • I’m hard-working
  • I’m educated
  • I’m approachable
  • I’m skilled
  • I’m confident
  • I’m organised
  • I’m methodical
  • I’m creative

I’m good at what I do, I just struggle with pushing myself to the front. Please forgive me this hurdle that I’ve been trying to conquer all my life. Please give me a chance – I might just be an Alana and surprise you!

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Add yours
  1. 3
    Squirmy Popple

    Agreed! I’m a lot like you in that way – naturally quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less capable than my louder counterparts. Give me a task to do and I’ll get it done quickly and efficiently, no fuss. You’ll never see me coming! #ablogginggoodtime

  2. 5

    I think writing is a fabulous outlet for the quieter ones. We aren’t all quiet I know but I bet a lot of us bloggers are quieter in person than perhaps others would imagine. It’s not that we are hiding behind our words but that we are able write a post without being interrupted or shouted down – it’s a good feeling. Lovely post #ablogginggoodtime

  3. 6
    Twicemicrowaved tea

    I was rooting for Alana because I’m a quiet person too and could see exactly what was happening to her – the same thing would always happen to me at work. I was so pleased when she won, and saw it as a victory for all quiet people! Maybe her win will make people think twice about underestimating us! #ablogginggoodtime

    • 7
      Lucy At Home

      Yes let’s hope so. I have to admit, I didn’t think she had it in her because she really struggled in the early rounds, but I think she just stopped worrying about what everyone else was thinking and got on with proving herself, and actually she was fab!

  4. 9
    Mess and Merlot

    I can’t bear The Apprentice due to the high volume of ‘very confident’ (usually deluded) candidates but Himself loves it so I do see bits and pieces of it and was glad she won, she seems like a very normal, down to earth person. Your post reminded me of one of my early posts in praise of introverts so I completely agree with you that there’s a lot to be said for just turning the noise down and listening sometimes! #TheList

    • 10
      Lucy At Home

      My hubby gets really worked up with the characters on The Apprentice. Every year he vows that he’s not watching it this time around, and yet he inevitably ends up plonking himself next to me on the settee to see what’s going on, and then getting hooked! Hahaha.

  5. 11
    Nicky Kentisbeer

    I really enjoyed this! I am a big Apprentice fan although I have to say the candidates aren’t quite what we got in the early days. I actually met Paul on the train whilst the series was still on. Had a very interesting little chat. And I’m totally with you on this. I felt sorry for Alanna, she always seemed to be the fall guy and it was delightful to see her win. She actually had a very good idea and it was great to see the tables turn. She also did a good job of holding her own in the interviews. There is always room for different characters – too often people are condescending when one is perceived to be ‘shy’ or ‘quiet’ as though they are flaws. Well done for a great post #PoCoLo

    • 12
      Lucy At Home

      Yes we love The Apprentice in our house, and we felt really sorry for Alana because she was overlooked so often. I think those candidates will think twice before overlooking the quiet ones again… then again it’s The Apprentice – those candidates are too full of themselves to ever learn anything!

  6. 16
    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    I think there are more of us like this, I’d put myself in the Alana camp, and less of us like the regular pushy Apprentice types. I wonder how many they interview to find enough pushy TV frinedly folk to make a series? #BigPinkLink

    • 19
      Lucy At Home

      Yes absolutely! I would consider myself a confident person because I know what my abilities are and I know that I can deliver what I promise. But I just don’t like pushing myself to the front or shouting over other people to get my point of view across. I don’t do groups, but that doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job. Ahhh – that’s life…

  7. 20
    This Mum's Life

    Aaah, I love this!! You could also be describing me too! And people have a huge misunderstanding of the type of person I am, because of the type of blog posts I write (apparently, this is what I’ve been told by those I’ve met!) I’m incredibly shy, and quiet, and also find it difficult to voice my opinion, if there’s someone in the room who I find in any way loud or aggressive. I liked Alana a lot too. I totally overlooked her in the beginning, and halfway through, wondered why she was still there! But towards the end, she really came into her own, and she was amazing in the final. Quiet people should definitely not be underestimated!

    • 21
      Lucy At Home

      Yes we had our doubts about her at the beginning too, but the way that she handled the interview stage and final challenge was brilliant! You sound very like me – I just don’t like confrontation and I freeze if I think someone is getting cross with me, even if I know I’m right. I frustrate myself sometimes! Haha

  8. 22
    Heather Keet

    I’m one of the loud ones and my lifelong best friend is one of the quiet ones, the world is a better place with both types of people. And my quiet friend often surprises everyone when she moves in for the win! #bigpinklink

    • 23
      Lucy At Home

      That sounds like a great combination. I think most of my friends are quite loud too. But it is fun to suddenly just speak up and everyone is shocked that you actually confronted someone for a change. That can silence the whole room!

    • 25
      Lucy At Home

      Exactly my sentiments – we all play a role, with our different personality traits, but I wanted to take the opportunity to champion the quieter ones who take the time to think things through – they definitely have something to offer 🙂

  9. 28
    Mrs Lighty

    Yes!!!!!! I totally agree with this! I am exactly the same and was often overlooked st school. I’ve been fortunate that since graduating I’ve only ever worked for small companies, and this has allowed me to find my voice a bit more. Interestingly, have you found that your children have a similar personality? I’ve started drafting a blog post to this effect… #DreamTeam

    • 29
      Lucy At Home

      Yes I’m much better in smaller groups too. And when I know that something is my area of expertise. My daughter (6) has a very similar personality to me in many ways, but seems to have avoided the quiet-in-groups trait. At the moment, she is very happy to put her hand up in class or argue her case for something.

  10. 30
    Random Musings

    Sometimes I think if people under estimate you, you can use it to your advantage. It certainly worked for Alana. She wasn’t seen as a threat, so there was no tactical assaults on her. She just quietly sailed in and took the prize!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  11. 31
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    You are definitely an Alana. Someone (pretty awesome) once told me that it’s actually the thinkers that run the show in the broader sense. The thinkers tend to be very good observers and listeners, they don’t rush in and make the wrong mistakes quickly. They tend to take their time, make the right decisions and also unpick the mistakes of the doers/extroverts in the process. Right or wrong, it’s food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam. Fab post 🙂

    • 32
      Lucy At Home

      This is exactly right. The thinkers time the time to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, and to work out the possible pitfalls. Of course sometimes we just need to kick up the backside to make a decision, so there’s pros and cons with all personality types. But I’m proud to be an Alana!

  12. 33
    Laura - dear bear and beany

    You could have been describing me. I don’t speak up in group situations and I let the talkers to it all. But over time people have realised that I do have something valuable to offer and bring to the table. They also know that I won’t stick my oar in. So now they will take the time to stop and ask for my thoughts or my view, which is great. But taken a while to get. x #bloggerclubuk

  13. 35
    Susie at This Is Me Now

    Oh I was a massive Alana fan too – never underestimate the quiet ones, they often surprise you. I know we’ve said it before but we sound so similar Lucy! Though I wouldn’t say I’m quiet, but I hate confrontation and would always felt scared to push myself forward at work. Blogging is definitely great for giving us confidence because of the lovely comments and new readers we find who can relate. But is it bad that some days I’m still scared to publish because I know a high proportion of my Facebook likes are real Facebook friends – and I still worry what they might think?! I need to get over that!! #bigpinklink

    • 36
      Lucy At Home

      Yes I don’t think I’d exactly describe myself as “quiet” either – I just hate confrontation and my mind goes blank when I’m put on the spot. I much prefer to think things through first.

      As for the fear of posting – you’re braver than me. I am such a coward because I haven’t told any of my “real life” friends that I even have a blog! Haha. *hangs head in shame*

  14. 37
    Morgan Prince

    I love this because it’s totally what I’m like too. I’d much rather listen to people than argue before having all the information. Great post, thanks for linking to #pocolo (sorry for the late comment!)

  15. 39
    Victoria - Lylia Rose

    This is me all over! You explain it so well. As I’ve discovered recently a lot of ‘loud’ people I know aren’t actually very confident. They are loud because they are anxious/insecure! I can be quiet, but I’m quite confident in myself. #thelistlinky

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