10 signs you’re scaring people off because of your strong personality

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They say you have a strong personality.

And while you find nothing wrong with it, you’re now starting to wonder if it’s the reason why people get a little uncomfortable around you.

To know for sure, in this article, I will give you 10 signs you’re scaring people off because of your strong personality (and what you can do about it).

1) They act way too nice to you

People generally like being nice around people. But there’s such a thing as BEING TOO NICE it certainly doesn’t feel normal at all.

And when it gets to that point, it’s more likely to be motivated by fear.

Perhaps they’re afraid that you might go off on them or make everyone feel bad.

This is especially the case if you’re someone who says things straight without bothering to mince your words or sugarcoat them to make people feel better.

And so, in order to “keep the peace” as it were, people would just rather keep their mouths shut and act pleasant.

What to do:

  • Be genuinely nice in return.
  • Make them feel comfortable by not being critical or judgmental during your interactions. It will make them realize that you don’t actually bite.

2) They get tense when you’re around

Even if you are the kindest person in the world, having a strong enough personality will still get people reasonably tense.

One sign you’re scaring people off is when the mood of the room changes when you enter.

People would go quiet the moment they notice you walk in, or at the very least be a bit quieter. It’s almost like they feel like they must behave in your presence.

What to do:

  • Joke about how you’re not their boss and they can resume talking like usual.
  • Try to be as friendly as you can (without trying too hard, of course).

3) They’re scared to cross your boundaries

If you have a solid idea of what your boundaries are and enforce them firmly, you most definitely have a strong personality.

People tend to react in a few predictable ways around that. Some would “try” you and then leave when they get rebuffed, but most would be afraid to cross your boundaries.

If you have chewed them out for waking you at 2am just to chat about their love life, for example, they will take extra care not to do it again.

This is in contrast with weak-willed people, who will allow people to make compromises over their boundaries and end up being, well… pushovers.

What to do:

  • Try to be a bit gentler. Sometimes it’s not the fact that you’re setting your boundaries, but the way you enforce it.
  • Appreciate the people who respect your boundaries by respecting their boundaries in return.

4) They say you’re too ambitious

People with strong personalities refuse to be shoved into a box. So if you have a deep yearning to aim sky high and dream big dreams, you most likely have a strong personality.

But because of this, people who wished they could do what you did would feel fairly threatened.

They would think to themselves how audacious you must be to even TRY to chase your dreams while they refuse to chase theirs. And for that, they resent you.

They will then tell you (perhaps because they’re “concerned” about you) that you’re way too ambitious. They project their own excuses on you to scare you into giving up and becoming like them.

What to do:

  • Shut them down gently, yet firmly. Consider any legitimate concerns they might have, but don’t feel like you have to accept them all.
  • Try to discern who actually has legitimate concerns and who’s just trying to hold you back. Cut away the haters.

5) They say you’re too opinionated

You say what you mean to say. And you don’t bother trying to tone down your opinions just because people might disapprove of them.

And for this reason people might call you a bit too critical, opinionated, or even an attention-seeker.

That’s not what you’re actually doing, of course. It’s simply that as far as you’re concerned, everyone should be able to voice their thoughts as openly as possible without being outright rude.

And hey, it’s not that you’re especially harsh—you’re just direct and honest.

And, well, people don’t like it when you express a negative opinion over something they believe in or are passionate about.

What to do:

  • Give people ample opportunity to share their opinions with you and try to find a resolution.
  • Agree to disagree. Sometimes there’s no point in arguing a point further if it’s clear neither side will budge, or if the topic isn’t that important anyways.

6) They feed you many little white lies

One of the reasons why people with strong personalities are so intimidating is because they have high moral standards.

They expect it of themselves as well as of others. The tragedy, however, is that not everyone has morals as strong as they have.

And if you’re someone with a strong personality, you will see this in others, in all the little white lies people say and assume they’ll simply get away with.

Why are they doing this?

They’re worried that if you found out what they actually did, you’d see them differently and start questioning them about everything.

What to do:

  • Call people out gently when you find them lying, and reassure them that it’s okay for them to say the truth.
  • Be gracious with what they have to say, even if it’s unpleasant for you to hear.

7) They hold their breath when you talk

As mentioned before, people with strong personalities can make others uncomfortable. It just comes with the package.

When you speak, people tense up almost as if you’re about to drop a bomb at any given time.

Perhaps they’re afraid that you have dirt on them and that you’d drop it without a care in the world. Or perhaps there’s something that needs to be said, and they know you’d say it even when they don’t have the spirit to.

Sure, they know you’re nice, but even the sweetest coating can’t make a bomb less dangerous.

What to do:

  • Try to lighten the air with timely humor. Being lighthearted can do a lot to dispel any heavy aura around you.
  • If you do have something heavy you need to say, try to settle it as privately as possible.

8) They tear you down—behind your back

An unfortunate side effect of having a strong personality is that you have people eager to knock you down a peg.

If they see you making mistakes, they will zero in on it and never let you live it up. They will latch on whatever will drag you down.

And then when you turn around, they’ll gossip about you.

They will want to see you struggle and fail no matter how hard you try, and maybe even just give up and say goodbye.

Simply because you’re unapologetically you, they will lie and hurt you.

It’s not like you’re doing anything wrong—and hey, being ambitious is always a good thing—but people are irrational. They don’t like how you make them feel, and that’s simply all it takes.

What to do:

  • Gather evidence, and if applicable (such as at work) report to the proper authorities or departments.
  • Try to remind yourself that lies are simply lies and rumors don’t reflect who you are.

9) They get threatened by you

The presence of someone with a strong personality can set off people’s insecurities really hard. And they will project those insecurities onto you, thinking that everything you do is a challenge.

If they see you studying, they might think that you’re aiming to take their place as the top student or top employee.

If they see you doing extremely well at work, they might feel like you’re trying to take their position.

What to do:

  • Try to reassure people by working with them and listening to what they have to say.
  • Share what you learn and try to reassure them—in the subtlest way possible— that your win is their win, too.

10) They threaten you

Given everything else described on this list so far, it should be no surprise that one way or another you’ll end up having people straight up threaten you.

Perhaps it would be something simple like “I’m going to report you to HR” or “your post offends me. Take that down or else”, but it can also be as bad as outright death threats.

You might falter a bit here and consider lightening up a bit on the way you carry yourself or to back down from whatever got you heat in the first place… and nobody would blame you!

What to do:

  • Consider how serious their threats are and try to de-escalate if it’s not something you can just ignore.
  • Don’t be afraid to call on the authorities if their threats are severe enough.
  • If you need to, find a way to escape the people threatening you.

Last words

People with strong personalities often struggle in a world where being meek and inoffensive is often seen as ideal.

Everyone likes things to remain peaceful and stable, after all. The last thing they want is to see someone rocking the boat.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stop being yourself just to exist in society. It’s not easy, but it’s possible to learn how to get along with people while still remaining unapologetically yourself.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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