There are many advantages to being an independent person and deciding your own path in life.
But having a very independent personality can also intimidate some people without you even realizing it.
Here are the top signs your independent nature might intimidate others.
1) People stop giving you advice
The first of the signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that people stop giving you advice.
They may have tried to get your ear and tell you what’s best, but they’ve given up.
You no longer get a kind word of advice from an old trusted friend.
Your partner no longer comes to you about an inspiring new spiritual idea she saw a video on.
Your parents stop telling you ideas for how to save more money for retirement.
People have given up on trying to help you out or give you counsel.
2) People say you’re overly stubborn
The next of the signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that they openly say so.
You’re known as stubborn and obstinate.
You don’t take advice and you do things your own way.
Your reputation precedes you, and while some might admire it, the majority say that your stubbornness and independence can be tough to deal with.
If people say you’re overly independent and you notice it from various acquaintances in your life, they’re probably onto something.
3) Friends and family start reaching out less
Next up in the disturbing signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that friends and family start reaching out less.
Having your own path in life is a very positive thing, and being overly dependent certainly isn’t healthy.
But when you’re so independent that your friends and family feel like you don’t need them it can be far too much in the other extreme.
Friends and family may feel that you consider yourself too good for them, or that your life no longer has a place for them as it’s so full of your own goals and objectives.
This is a sad thing to behold and is definitely one of the clearer signs you need to rethink your approach to social life.
4) People say you need to be more of a team player
Next up in the convincing signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that people say you need to be more of a team player.
From a young age you may have been strong-willed and had your own ideas about what to do and why.
Sometimes you were on target, sometimes your ideas went well.
But either way you’ve always been someone who’d rather do it your way, even if your way was wrong or poorly thought out.
As Frank Sinatra sang:
“Yes, there were times I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.”
Now Ol’ Blue Eyes was making a very valid point about the importance of owning all your decisions and being proud of what you do even when you end up hurting yourself through a bad decision.
You own your slip-ups and you keep on trucking: well, sure!
But Sinatra was also expressing a kind of egotism that can sometimes go too far.
So if others say you’re taking it a bit far with not being a team player, sometimes it’s good to slow down and see if they might have a point.
5) People let you have the last word even when they don’t agree
Next up in the signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that people fake agreement with you.
When you debate or discuss something, you notice that your strong opinions and stances are met increasingly by “mehs.”
People just kind of shrug or smile politely and walk away.
This is a definite sign that you’re throwing people off with how hard-headed you are.
Now one or two people being like this is not necessarily a mark against you, mind you, but if it keeps happening and happening, people likely see you as kind of intimidating in how strong-willed you are.
6) People don’t bother debating or discussing with you
Next up in signs your independent nature might intimidate others:
People don’t even discuss things with you at all.
They see you coming and make a beeline for the door.
You get blank stares when you bring up a point at your business meeting and you get a shrug when you ask your husband his opinion.
Your girlfriend tells you “whatever” when you ask about what she wants for dinner and your best friend refuses to say any opinion on what you should do next in your career.
This isn’t just having reserved people in your life, it’s usually because they’ve learned that you’re so independent that you’re going to do what you want either way.
7) People exclude you from group activities and endeavors
Next up in the clear signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that you’re left out of group activities and projects.
You don’t get the invites and calls that other people do.
You’re seen as a kind of loner who probably won’t come anyway.
This can definitely be a bad feeling and feel pretty unfair.
After all, why should be independent mean that you don’t also like to hang out, socialize and collaborate on things from time to time?
8) Romantic partners say you make them feel locked out
Next up in troubling signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that romantic partners say they feel shut out by you.
You don’t communicate your feelings or intentions much, and when you do they say it feels one-sided or like you’re not really hearing them.
This can be a fair or unfair criticism.
But either way it’s certainly an indication that you’re intimidating some of those close to you with being overly independent and them not feeling seen or heard.
9) Business colleagues say you don’t listen to them enough
The next of the signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that people at work also tell you they feel shut out.
They may say you never listen to or appreciate their ideas.
Your boss may tell you that you don’t take criticism well or always do your own thing regardless of other people’s advice.
Sometimes this is merited, such as if you’re working for a very unethical or slimy company.
Sometimes it’s just you being too stubborn when you should be more receptive to the input of colleagues and superiors at work.
10) You make big decisions in life only to end up alone
The last of the big signs your independent nature might intimidate others is that your decisions in life seem to end up with you being alone.
This is a tough one and being alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Many of the greatest things I’ve learned have been alone, and decisions that lead to solitude are often the most genuine decisions.
But sometimes – just sometimes – seeing that you often choose the solitary path is indeed a sign that you’re intimidating others with your headstrong ways.
Are you overly independent or should you double down?
If your independent nature is intimidating others, you have a choice to make:
Do you rein it in and become more approachable, or do you double down on being just as independent as you want.
The truth is that it really comes down to who you’re alienating or intimidating.
If you’re intimidating those you care about and who mean a lot to you, it may be time to soften some of your rough edges.
But if you’re intimidating narcissists, codependent people and emotionally manipulative individuals, then your independence isn’t the problem, it’s the solution.
Take a look at your life and decide which it is, because if you’re alienating the right people there’s no reason to change a thing.