Are you intimidating or are they just intimidated?
Perhaps both, but it’s a matter of reframing the idea.
For years, I was made to feel that I needed to shrink my presence so others would not feel so intimidated. However, I thought to myself, it is what it is.
Why would I lessen myself into manageable pieces just so other people won’t feel intimidated? Why is it that I need to accommodate their impression of me?
Inviting them in my life under these pretenses won’t be sustainable anyway, right?
Do you agree? Am I resonating with you right now?
If so, let’s talk about it further.
Here are 16 signs that show you have a fiercely independent personality that some might find intimidating.
1) You know your worth
Let’s start off this list strong. You know your worth.
You know what you want and what you deserve. You make yourself unavailable to any other outcome than the one you want.
Why people find this intimidating: Because it looks “too much” for them. Because your resolute knowing of what exactly it is you deserve is scary to others.
Because they don’t go for what they want the way you do, or maybe because they can’t. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to, or they have tried and failed.
2) You don’t seek validation or approval from others
Other people’s validation or approval is not important to you. You don’t seek it, you don’t wait around to impress others.
Why people find this intimidating: Because they can’t control you this way, because your self-image is not hinged on what they think of you.
You are entirely up to you.
3) You question the status quo
You observe, you question, you ask for change, or you start the change. All these could be difficult for a lot of people.
Questioning the status quo is powerful, but also terrifying. It’s where comfort ends and innovation begins.
Why people find this intimidating: Because they’re comfortable with the status quo and because it’s easier just to let it go.
Because the status quo is favorable to them and your choice to rock the boat threatens their current reality.
4) You like your alone time
You enjoy being by yourself. You carve out moments in your day specifically to spend it by your lonesome.
Why people find this intimidating: Because we live in a society that pities those who choose to be alone. We live in a society that pushes the idea that being alone means being lonely.
And to be proven otherwise means they need to rethink their beliefs and that’s too tiring to do for other people.
But look at you thriving and prove them wrong, right?
5) You’re ambitious
You have dreams and goals so bright that it lights up your way forward. You know what you want.
The kicker is you also work for it. The level of ambition you possess is not for everybody (and that is okay). And so is that level of determination.
Why people find this intimidating: Because a lot of people aren’t audacious enough to dream big. Because there are people who feel threatened or resentful of people who get to follow their dreams.
6) You figure things out by yourself
Let me use metaphors for this: You’re no damsel in distress, you don’t wait to be saved.
If a dragon is guarding the tower you’re locked up in, you don’t wait for a savior. You scale that tower. You find a backdoor.
You ask the dragon to let you out. You fight the dragon yourself.
You’re your own savior. You figure things out.
Why people find this intimidating: Because it can make them feel unneeded.
7) You don’t settle for less
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of people who have told me to lower my standards so that others will approach me more.
Uhm. No. Pass.
And that might also be something you’ve heard your entire life. Learn to settle for less. Lower your standards.
However, a side effect of knowing your worth is the inability to settle for less than what you deserve.
Why people find this intimidating: Because they might find it easier to settle and cannot understand why you don’t.
8) You have a small group of friends
You believe in quality over quantity when it comes to friendships.
You keep a small group of people close to you, those who have stood the test of time with you.
Why people find this intimidating: You might feel closed off to other people. You might seem unfriendly and uninterested.
9) You’re financially responsible for yourself
You make your own money and spend it the way you want.
Bills, bills, bills? Yes, you pay that, too. You’re financially responsible for yourself.
Why people find this intimidating: When you have your own money, it’s one less way for other people to control your move (especially in relationships).
10) You advocate for yourself
You don’t stay quiet when you’re being disrespected. You speak up for yourself.
You assert your rights, needs, wants, and boundaries in any given situation but most especially when it’s being crossed.
Why people find this intimidating: Because not everyone can do it and not everyone wants to do it. Silence is, after all, easier sometimes.
11) You’re emotionally mature
You’re emotionally mature.
You roll with the punches. You’re a steady rock that others look to when the situation turns for the worse.
You’re accountable for your emotions, own up to your mistakes, and accept responsibility for the aftermath.
Why people find this intimidating: They can’t lure you in with mind games. They can’t upset you with petty means. They can’t shake you.
12) You’re confident
You’re confident in yourself and all that you have to offer.
You’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and confident despite all that.
Why people find this intimidating: Your confidence can trigger their insecurities. They can feel inadequate.
13) You’re not affected by peer pressure
As cliché as this might be, you dance to the beat of your own drum. Peer pressure doesn’t work on you.
You do your due diligence when making decisions and they are not affected by the opinions of those around you.
Why people find this intimidating: They can’t influence you.
14) You have things under control
You take charge, especially when you have to.
You don’t panic, especially when the going gets tough. You keep your cool, you trust yourself to get through it.
You keep things under control.
Why people find this intimidating: Capable people could feel intimidating as equally as they could feel impressive.
It’s a tough mix to handle if someone is a jealous person.
15) You can sense other people’s bullsh*t
You don’t waste time with people who are not genuine. And you know when they aren’t, right?
You have that gut feeling telling you so-and-so is bad news. Your gut tells you that they’re insincere.
Why people find this intimidating: Those who wish to fool you or manipulate you can’t do it because of your bullsh*t radar.
16) You like who you are
In a world that tries to make you conform, liking yourself is rebellious.
This world is out to bleed you dry, and mold you inside a cookie cutter to be like everyone else.
There’s nothing wrong with conformity, so long as that’s your truth. And that’s the essence of it, as long as it’s your truth.
As long as you like who you are.
Why people find this intimidating: Because there are people who don’t like who they are. Because there are people who can’t wrap their heads around the concept of accepting oneself.
It’s possible, though, aren’t you proof of it?
Before you go
The right people will accept all these parts of you that others have rejected. The right people will find you endearing.
And see, none of us were intended to please everybody anyway. And you know what? That is okay.
What’s important is that you stay true to who you are and that you like who you are.
Do that first, the rest of the world will catch up soon enough (well, if you want them to, of course.)
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