If a woman displays these 8 behaviors, she has a really strong and intimidating personality

I know I’m a strong woman. It’s something I’m proud of. 

On occasion, I’ve also been called intimidating. I think whether that is a positive thing or a negative thing depends on the context.

Because on the one hand, much like beauty, it’s sort of in the eye of the beholder.

All too often bold traits in women such as confidence, competence, and clear communication are unfairly judged as threatening.

And when they are, to put it bluntly, that’s their problem, not yours.

But as someone with a strong personality, I also know that some less-than-desirable qualities can occasionally creep in and give the wrong impression.

For good and for bad, if a woman displays the following behaviors, chances are she has a really strong and (sometimes) intimidating personality.

1) She speaks her mind

Using my voice has been a part of my character from a very young age.

It meant that I was quickly labeled a “chatterbox” at school.

Expressions like this have historically been used to insult women. But it turns out the female chatterbox who never lets men get a word in edgeways is nothing more than a myth, according to research.

Studies say that in fact, men and women speak about the same amount of words in a day.

Strong women’s words can be impactful as they aren’t ashamed to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others.

Honest and open communication is something they value and prioritize.

Of course, that’s not to be confused with a lack of tact. 

Bolshy people can sometimes hide behind expressions like “I’m just telling it like it is” as an excuse to be rude and insensitive.

Skilled communication always involves consideration for how your words will land. 

2) She backs herself

…And that takes self-belief.

In a world where women can still feel downtrodden, it doesn’t always come naturally.

It demands a healthy dose of self-esteem, and chances are, she’s worked hard for it.

To cultivate this level of self-appreciation, we have to be able to:

  • Evaluate both our strengths and our weaknesses
  • Work on negative self-talk that strips away at self-esteem
  • Practice self-care to nurture positive mental health
  • Learn to celebrate our progress as well as small successes

The reward from doing so is a newfound confidence in your skills and abilities.

3) She goes after what she wants

Being strong-willed is not the same as being stubborn. But some people do confuse the two.

They see a woman who won’t back down and can be quick to label her as awkward.

But knowing what you want and going for it is nothing to be ashamed of. As long as you don’t become pushy to the point of pig-headedness of course.

If she has her eyes on certain goals, she sets out to achieve them.

And that’s going to demand some assertiveness and resilience when dealing with obstacles that might get in the way.

It also means taking risks.

She takes chances and is prepared to give things a try, even if it means facing failure and picking herself up again.

4) She has high standards for herself and others

Let’s start with a caveat.

High standards are sometimes mistakenly synonymous with perfectionism. Yet in reality, the latter never drives the former. If anything it stands in the way.

There is no such thing as perfect and unrealistic expectations only lead to procrastination, overwhelm, and huge disappointment.

High standards on the other hand give us something to aspire to and encourage us to rise to the occasion.

We gain strength from pushing ourselves that little bit further each time.

Certain standards are non-negotiable for a strong woman, such as respect, trust, and honesty.

That means being prepared to draw a line in the sand when someone fails to uphold them, as we’re about to see.

5) She has crystal clear boundaries

Plenty of people in the world act like a pushover.

So much so that when a woman comes along who won’t tolerate any nonsense, she’s sometimes judged as being a bit of a “ballbreaker”.

A friend of mine once left a guy speechless with her honesty and self-respect in upholding her boundaries. 

They’d been dating for a couple of months when out of the blue he stood her up.

Expecting that she’d never hear from him again, she was quite surprised when he slid into her inbox several days later with a pitiful excuse hoping to rekindle things.

Perhaps he was expecting her to politely accept his bullshit out of awkwardness rather than contest it.

Instead, she kindly and calmly told him that she was hurt by what he’d done, that she didn’t hold a grudge and wished him well, but that she wasn’t going to see him again in any romantic capacity.

He skulked off with his tail between his legs, only to pop back up again to apologize several months later and admit to everything she had called him out on.

When you have firm boundaries, not everyone will like it. But importantly, only those who were hoping to take advantage.

6) She takes responsibility for herself

Our ability to take responsibility is born out of self-awareness.

The more we get to know what makes us tick, the more we understand how our life is down to us and no one else.

This has a knock-on effect on a strong woman’s relationships too.

She won’t need you, she’ll want you.

That can be quite unnerving to some people. But it’s actually an incredibly healthy approach.

This emotional self-reliance means she isn’t looking for constant validation outside of herself.

It makes her independent and unafraid to fly solo.

All of which means you’ll have a much harder time manipulating and controlling her.

7) She isn’t afraid to be herself

Real inner strength is a combination of both seemingly tough and gentle qualities.

On the softer side lies vulnerability. Yet this also demands a lot of gumption and is not for the faint of heart.

As Brene Brown powerfully reminds us:

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Women who are authentic and dare to be themselves are ultimately brave enough to be vulnerable.

It can feel quite exposing when we refuse to hide behind a mask. But it’s also incredibly liberating.

It’s also essential for nurturing sincere and close connections with others.

8) She fights for what’s right

Principles don’t simply take care of themselves. Being quietly moral does nobody any good.

Taking a stand is how we translate our core beliefs and values into all-important actions.

That means not standing idly by and letting others do the work.

It demands sometimes putting yourself in the firing line for the sake of doing what’s right.

I have a friend like this.

Others call her feisty, yet all her fire comes from a deep place of compassion and decency for others.

As a qualified nurse, she puts herself in war zones to help the sick and injured.

She volunteers with refugee and asylum charities abroad to provide a voice to society’s most vulnerable.

Sometimes I know others wish she would pipe down and keep quiet when she is speaking up about injustice in the world.

Not everyone wants to hear.

Yet she is my hero.

Even when passion can be misinterpreted as intimidating, this is the sort of grit that fuels change and progress in the world.

One man’s “intimidating” is another’s “inspiring”

…I say that as much as a reminder to myself as I do for you.

It’s for all the times I’ve tried to tone myself down for fear of coming across as “too much”.

It’s for every occasion, I’ve been worried my strong character as a woman may “scare people off”.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to embrace the softness in my strength just as much as I do the forcefulness of it.

That way the power within is more likely to be harnessed for good rather than land me in hot water.

But one thing is for sure, meek or bland I will never be, and if that means ruffling the odd feathers along the way — so be it.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

9 phrases you don’t realize you say that subtly reveal your insecurities

People who instantly command attention and respect never make these 7 body language mistakes