Everyone has a personality, but some people seem to have more than others.
In the movie of your life, there are a lot of people who would melt into the background as extras and stock characters. But then there are the people who would definitely play lead roles.
They have big, strong personalities and are completely unapologetic about living out loud.
At the same time, we have to admit that these kinds of people can be a lot to handle. Most of us are just trying to get through life with our heads down, but these folks draw attention to themselves and can invite both criticism and controversy.
But they can also attract admiration and appreciation. There are so many of us who wish we could live our lives in such a bold way.
Still, their personalities can make others feel insecure and even overawed.
People who intimidate others with their strong personality often display these seven behaviors without even realizing it, and sometimes, letting them know can be a big help.
1) Being loud and outspoken
People with big personalities speak their minds and walk their talk.
Many also speak very loudly, or at least louder than is normal in certain social situations. I call it volume control, and I have a great friend who seems to have almost none at all.
Pam has got to be the loudest person I’ve ever met. She has the lungs of an opera singer even though her frame is tiny.
I’d say you know the second she arrives somewhere, but you almost always know well before because you hear her coming.
She also has a great sense of humor and is more than happy to discuss her private life out in the open. I mean, really open – she’s so loud that anyone around for a mile will probably hear!
When people first meet her, they really don’t know how to react, and you can tell that most people are intimidated by her. But that quickly fades as they realize how fun and friendly she is.
Still, it’s hard for most people to accept how people like Pam speak their minds and talk about personal things loudly and proudly. Most of us will hush our tones when we want to keep things private, but they let it all hang out.
2) Being confident
That’s the main reason why they don’t feel the need to self-censor or hide parts of themselves away from the world.
Their self-confidence likely comes from a lifetime of being true to themselves and doing things in line with their values… and succeeding. Confidence also needs to be based in reality and that means that these people usually are aware of who they are and what they’re able to do.
They build up faith in their skills and abilities, and the confidence they gain only helps them form even stronger personalities.
Ask anyone what they find attractive in a potential love interest, and I bet confidence will be in their top five for sure. But we also only like confidence that’s appropriate, and most of us absolutely deplore baseless over-confidence.
That’s not a problem for these people – their confidence is real and appropriate. And while it can be intimidating to people with less of it, it can simultaneously inspire them to build their own confidence as well.
3) Taking risks
People who are highly confident are much more inclined to take risks.
Not wild, inappropriate risks, mind you, but calculated risks.
They have faith in their abilities and their judgment and also know how much they can afford to lose.
But this habit of risk-taking can truly intimidate others and make their blood curdle. Many people would never, ever risk what these confident, strong people are willing to, and when they see it happen or even get drawn into it, it can give them tons of anxiety.
If you’ve ever watched professional surfers surf 50-foot waves or make huge investments in the stock market and felt like you were going to throw up, you know what this feels like!
4) Taking responsibility/blame
People with big, strong personalities can do one thing that so many others can’t.
They can take on responsibilities and accept blame when things go wrong.
Let’s face it: the more responsibilities you agree to shoulder in your life, like having kids, buying a house, or becoming a leader at work, the more chances you have to make mistakes and fail.
That might make you wonder why anyone would want to become the CEO of a major corporation or President (if it weren’t for money and prestige, anyway!). The responsibilities of these jobs are massive, and the risks of failure are similarly huge.
Yet there are people who can handle both a pile of responsibility and taking blame when blame is due, and these are people with big, bold personalities who have mountains of confidence to rely on.
5) Being fearless
I’m afraid of lions, and I’m not ashamed of it.
It’s not that I run into many in my daily life, but you’d better believe that if I bumped into one on the Tanzanian savanna, I’d be out of there lickety-split. I’m not hanging around to see if that lion is friendly or not.
Anyone who did wouldn’t be called brave, especially in their wake. They’d be considered foolish.
See, that’s not what being fearless is all about.
It’s not about putting yourself into dangerous situations but facing down the trials and challenges of life without flinching.
And this is something that people with big personalities do amazingly well.
If their work tries to cheat them out of overtime hours, they’re not going to keep quiet.
When they see someone facing discrimination, they won’t even think twice before standing up for that person.
They easily enter situations that would intimidate almost everyone else because they’re confident and fearless.
6) Disliking small talk and apparent insincerity
Let’s face it – Small talk can be vapid and without meaning.
That’s kind of the whole point. It’s not the words that you use but the fact that you’re interacting with a new person, feeling them out, and seeing how well you mesh together before you move on to any conversation of substance.
But many people with big personalities find this kind of small talk patently offensive.
Take my buddy Rick.
When he meets new people, he likes to jump straight into more serious topics. He’ll ask someone he’s only just met, “What do you think about white privilege?” or “Are you religious?”
We all know that politics and religion are two things that we’re supposed to leave out of small talk, so this behavior immediately intimidates a lot of people or puts them off talking to Rick right away.
Most people try to quickly answer his questions in the most basic way and then try to retreat back into small talk topics.
But when they do this, Rick is the one who gets turned off. He has told me that he finds this behavior insincere and fake, and he really doesn’t appreciate it.
When I’ve suggested to him that he can ease into deeper topics, he’s suggested that this would only bore him and make him feel like he’s being fake as well.
7) Behaving unusually
There’s an unspoken set of rules that we’re all meant to follow when we’re out and about in polite society. And I’m not just talking about high society balls and fancy dinners.
Even when you go to the store to buy something, there are a whole lot of norms that you’re supposed to follow to help social interactions run smoothly.
It’s almost as if acting any differently will surprise and, therefore, offend others.
When you pop into a convenience store to grab a snack, for example, you’re typically not expected to shout questions to the clerk from the back. It’s also odd to sing a song loudly as you wander the aisles.
In fact, this kind of behavior might actually get you into trouble. It could intimidate the clerk, who might even call for help!
But people who have big, loud personalities often just behave like themselves no matter what the context. They don’t tone their behavior down to match social situations.
It’s almost like they expect the world to adapt to them instead!
Obviously, their behavior can be surprising, intimidating, and considered weird. But to them, they’re just living as their true selves and would never think of doing anything less.
People with big personalities
People who intimidate others with their strong personality often display these seven behaviors without realizing it. It’s just the way they are.
They’re confident and fearless. They’re uniquely themselves, and they don’t give a damn if other people find it strange or hard to handle.
They feel like they’re big, bold, and beautiful, and you’d better get used to it!
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