What I discover in myself first is a seriousness, an austere and implacable seriousness, for which I do not understand the reason, but to which I subject myself like to a mysterious and crushing necessity […] Even when it bothers me I cannot hate it; it is myself. It is what controls my life. And first it prohibits me from that which is not essential […] Simply I am not able to give myself up to pleasure. I carry this refusal in all the words that I say, and that is why I don’t speak much. To say useless words makes me suffer like a diminution; at length I weigh each word as well as each act; before going to see a friend, writing a letter, etc. I have to deliberate slowly. I hate conversations precisely because they take me off guard and do not permit me to translate my profound sentiments very exactly. People sometimes believe that my reserve is disdainful; it originates on the contrary out of my respect for others. I am ashamed to give them what I do not consider important (and they ask me for that alone).
[From Simone de Beauvoir’s Diaries]