I’ve been thinking this week on some feedback that’s been given to me a couple of times and in very different contexts. I have been told by several people at different times that I am quite intimidating. Each time I have been shocked by it and I find it really hard to reconcile their perception of me with how I see myself.
I have always thought of myself as a really shy person until I am comfortable to be me, and then I guess, watch out! I’ve had to be a lot braver and much quicker to make myself comfortable since Claytie died, but on the inside I’m usually an anxiety riddled mess! I have adopted the idea of ‘Fake it til you make it”, but feel like an imposter all of the time. I mean really, who am I and what do I know about anything?
Apparently at work, both past and present jobs, people have been intimidated and feel like I am not approachable to answer any questions that they might have. I have been told by friends in the past that I come across as stand off-ish and hard to crack. I have also been told that I am intimidating in the romance department – it seems that knowing what you like and speaking about it scares people. For some reason, it seems that people are put off by my pretence of being confident…. Because it absolutely feels like I am pretending… all the time… except when I’m comfortable and by then they should know me well enough that I shouldn’t be intimidating any more!
I’ve been reflecting on it and have given my personality some thought. I do know I am quite black and white in lots of ways – I don’t tolerate fools easily and rules are rules; but I am also very empathetic and see all sorts of shades of grey. I often play Devil’s advocate as I can usually see both sides of a story. I think I am approachable and easy enough to talk to – I certainly like talking to most people, I don’t often get offended, I think I’m reasonably intelligent and I’m incredibly loyal to those in my friendship circle. I know that I can sometimes be quite direct when speaking – did I mention I don’t tolerate fools (?) and I make up my mind quickly most of the time, but I am open to being corrected if I am wrong and I do like to learn new things. For some reason I’m really struggling with, and don’t like being called intimidating…
I am wondering if this is something I can change or should change? How do you change how someone else sees you? Am I responsible for their reaction to me when I am just being myself? And why am I so taken aback by the word intimidating? Maybe I should, as The Captain says (I’m a fan and follower of his advice on Facebook and Insta) see it as a compliment?! – and funnily enough the below comment came up on my newsfeed while I was writing this post….. seems like a sign from the universe!