Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes and is a generalised view on how introverts can intimidate others. This post is not a substitute for professional advice, but general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you.
Let’s recall that one moment when you are intimidated by someone. What is the thing that makes the person seems daunting? Is it their body size? Their booming voice? Or perhaps they evoke memories of someone who spooked us in the past?
Each day, we experience some level of intimidation in our social interactions. Often, people are intimidating through their physical appearance; other times, they are intimidating because of their intelligence, wealth, or social status. No matter what it is, we rarely discuss it publicly, so the people who intimidate us often don’t know how we feel about them (Latson, 2019).
With that said, below are 6 ways introverts intimidate others:
- They are mysterious.
Have you ever encountered a person who seems so quiet and unapproachable? Perhaps they have unfriendly facial expressions that make you think twice before starting the conversation with them. You fear that if you approach them, your presence will be unwelcomed. If you can relate to the above scenarios, most likely, you have encountered an introvert. People who are introverts tend not to open up much or don’t try to continue the conversation. It is hard to understand what introverts think, which causes people to become self-conscious (Frothingham, 2022).
- They are low-key and prefer to avoid drama.
Do you ever encounter a situation whereby a person throws a hissy-fit in public? How do you feel? Do you feel drained and uncomfortable? Unnecessary drama and the idea of rocking the boat stir the feeling of uneasiness in introverts. They prefer to be low-key and rarely cause trouble. Generally, they don’t go looking for conflict, and they don’t prefer to be in the spotlight. The truth is that they sometimes seem intimidating when they do speak up or assert themselves in situations involving tension or disagreement between individuals (Dembling, 2015). For example, consider an introvert who wants to rest after a busy day at work and refuses to accept an invitation from a friend to go out. Consequently, the friend feels rejected. Instead of trying to go out and neglect the need to rest, the introvert expresses their need clearly but in a considerate way.
- They think before they speak.
Introverts don’t just speak on a whim. Before doing so, they carefully consider what to say and what not to say. An explanation or opinion will only be offered after they have gained a deeper understanding of the concept. People tend to value their words for this reason. Introverts’ words seem more meaningful and impactful. People may be intimidated by those who oppose their views and principles due to their ability to make powerful statements. (Cherry, 2022).
- They are motivated intrinsically.
Have you ever known someone who is prone to acting out of their more profound convictions rather than those which are superficial? In this sense, they are not easily swayed by people’s judgements of how they ought to fulfill their dreams. Their choices are less likely to be affected by what everyone else thinks. Their motivational drive is not derived from shallow rewards. They are less likely to get motivated by encouraging speeches and recognition. An introvert appreciates a compliment – but he will not use it to motivate as much as an extrovert would.
- They are good at reading people.
“Quiet people always know more than they seem. Although very normal, their inner world is by default fronted mysterious and therefore assumed weird. Never underestimate the social awareness and sense of reality in a quiet person; they are some of the most observant, absorbent persons of all.”
Are you able to read people accurately to determine whether someone is being truthful or not? Are you observant and able to read people’s body language? If you do, it is highly likely you are an introvert. According to a study by Andrew M. Leslie titled “Effect of Introversion on the Detection of Deception”, an introvert is less likely to be involved directly in the events around them and more likely to analyse a situation internally. Their objectivity and the ability to be less likely to be affected by certain emotional cues make an introvert to appear intimidating to other people and make them likely to be manipulated or swayed.
- They don’t need people to feel happy
“Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.”
Do you know someone who enjoys solitude and likes to be in their own company? Perhaps the person enjoys losing oneself in one’s own private world, reading books for hours while a Persian cat curls on their lap? Those who enjoy being alone to contemplate and clear their mind of excessive noise are highly likely to be introverts. Introverts’ ability to be happy and comfortable in their own company makes them seem intimidating While in solitude, they find contentment and joy from within themselves, without depending on another person to provide it.
Though introverts may be perceived as intimidating due to these qualities, they simply have different priorities and values. This is the way they are, and it works for them. Introverts do not intentionally intimidate others; they just tend to get caught up in doing so inadvertently.
Cherry, K. (2022). 8 Signs You Might Be an Introvert. Retrieved 28 June 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-you-are-an-introvert-2795427
Dembling, S. (2015). The Conversation Introvert-Extrovert Couples Need to Have. Psychology Today. Retrieved 27 June 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-introverts-corner/201501/the-conversation-introvert-extrovert-couples-need-have
Frothingham, M. (2022). How You Can Tell That You’re an Introvert. Simplypsychology.org. Retrieved 25 June 2022, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/signs-you-are-an-introvert.html.
Latson, J. (2020). The Intimidation Factor. Psychology Today. Retrieved 25 June 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/articles/201908/the-intimidation-factor.
Leslie, A. (n.d.). Effect of Introversion on the Detection of Deception. Academia.edu. Retrieved 27 June 2022, from https://www.academia.edu/6401474/Effect_of_Introversion_on_the_Detection_of_Deception.