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More than I care to admit, I’ve been told I’m intimidating – like it was something that I needed to fix about myself.
A few things that have actually been said to me:
“You’re intimidating to be around.”
“I wanted to ask you out, but you were so intimidating.”
“Why did you ask so many questions? It’s kind of intimidating.”
“So and so doesn’t want you included, you kind of scare them.”
It used to bother me a lot. The fact that my personality would fill people with fear and keep them from including me in things. I don’t want people to feel that way about me. I want to be liked and to be included, but I also want to be me.
I’ve finally realized just because you’re intimidated, doesn’t mean I’m intimidating.
I’m smart and witty.
I’m confident and opinionated.
I’m assertive and strong.
I hold my ground and don’t let people push me around.
I will admit when I’m wrong (which I’d like to think isn’t a lot, but it is). I don’t manipulate people. I don’t ever intentionally try to make people feel bad or hurt them. Rarely do I yell or raise my voice, nor would I be considered physically intimidating. I also don’t walk around with weapons.
And most importantly, the people I’m close with don’t seem to mind the way I am.
To these people who have called me intimidating, I’ve always wanted to ask:
Why does my opinion intimidate you? It’s just what I think.
Why does the fact that I ask questions fill you with fear?
Why does standing up for myself make you shy away from interacting with me?
So before you decide to call someone (especially a woman) intimidating, ask yourself why you feel that way. You may find it has more to do with you than it does with them.