Intimidating feelings

Intimidation is more about presence and looks than personality. We can walk into a room and feel intimidated by someone in the corner staring back at us. Their presence can make us feel like we don’t belong, long before they’ve even opened their mouth.

Intimidating people stir up emotions within us, without us knowing or understanding that’s what they’ve done, with us having feelings like we’re not good enough, interesting enough, or we’re not confident enough.

What we need to know is that they are intimidating and that we don’t have to take it. When someone chooses to intimidate, their intimidation is about them and not about us.


11 May, 2015

6 thoughts on “Intimidating feelings

  1. I can relate to this. When I started working as a graduate, my colleagues were all hugely more experienced than me and I really felt lost and their confidence really intimidated me.

    There was one person in particular who was physically large and very loud and he used to pick on junior and quieter members of staff. As my ability grew so did my confidence and I realised that i didn’t have to feel that way and I decided not to let the office banter bother me. I think this in itself had a positive effect and I slowly became part of the established team and my opinions mattered.

    I put that experience to good use when I met someone who was extremely intimidating and used that as a tactic daily in business and in his personal life. His ‘tricks’ never got to me, although I was aware that it did intimidate others hugely.

    1. Yes I can relate too. I’m not sure why, but this form of behaviour does seem to be more prevalent in the work place. Perhaps it’s got something to do with people’s egos.

      When I first started work, unfortunately the same thing happened to me. I agree with you… feeling intimated is usually down to a lack of confidence. As our confidence begins to grow, so does our ability to recognise other people’s behaviour.

      It’s definitely a case of the more confidence we acquire, the less intimated we will be.

  2. I grew up always being intimidated by people, especially my parents who were supposed to be the ones to help me be confident!

    My own mother went out of her way to break my spirit so I would follow her orders without question. It’s not surprising that most of my relationships have been with women who were intimidating. I finally decided that I didn’t have to put up with it, which made my life so much simpler and less chaotic.

    Now at this point I have to work on getting rid of all those tapes that play in my head when I have to deal with people. I tend to be highly sensitive especially around people who I feel are looking down their nose at me.

    I grew up being forced to cater to people like this and be nice to them, when all I wanted to do was tell them what I really thought of them. I know it is going to take time to get used to the fact that I don’t have to put up with being treated that way anymore.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, I think we’ve all grown up around people in the way you describe. I felt intimated by our neighbour when I was growing up, because she was always outspoken and very direct with her words.

      When we’re small it’s hard not to feel intimated by grown ups to some degree, particularly when they’re not talking to us on our level, but agree there are just some people, no matter who they are, that are always intimidating.

      The upshot is they will be intimidating with others too, not just us.

  3. I consider people that intentionally intimidate others to be a bit arrogant. It can be difficult being around such people if we lack self-confidence.

    In the past, I have felt intimidated by people. It might have been because of the assured way they carried themselves. Also because I have a physical disability I have felt intimidated for not being able to do things others are able to do.

    It’s still a struggle sometimes, but I have come to accept that others’ reality doesn’t necessarily have to be mine and be proud of how I have adapted to my own reality.

    1. Thanks Maria. I totally agree with you. People who intimidate do seem to be slightly arrogant. I also agree with you about disability, although I’m not sure how much we are conditioned by our own upbringing as far as disability is concerned.

      If we are conditioned to believe that we are as good as an able bodied person, but that we deal with a disability there is no reason in my mind why mentally we should feel intimated.

      We feel intimidated when we feel less than adequate and that starts in childhood regardless of any disability.

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