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How to Know If a Guy Finds You Intimidating

by Nina Edwards, studioD

Knowing if you intimidate men can mean the difference between getting the guy that you want and being passed over for your friend. You’re an attractive, smart and successful woman. You’ve been told so for years by your friends, family and even strangers. But men seem to be literally afraid to get close to you. Finding out if you intimidate them can be the key to attracting Mr. Right.

He Turns Away

There are some obvious signs of intimidation. If men are intimidated by you, they will often look at you but seldom approach. Alternatively, they will look at you when you are not paying attention; but when you notice, they will look away. When a man averts his gaze like this, he may be communicating that he is afraid of you, according to Reginald Adams and Robert Kleck in a 2003 study in “Psychological Science.” His nonverbal behavior is telling you to avoid him, rather than approach him.

He Won’t Follow Through

Men can also be intimidated after you start dating. They may be intimidated if they email a few times but then suddenly stop. Guys may also flirt when they meet you but often neglect to ask you out on a date. When you are out on a date, a man may be intimidated if he suddenly becomes quiet early in the conversation. These examples of a man suddenly becoming inhibited can signal that he is feeling less powerful, say psychologist Dacher Keltner and colleagues in an article published in the journal “Psychological Review” in April 2003.

Assess Your Interaction

A guy who is intimidated by a woman’s beauty may be nervous in her presence. He often won’t even attempt to invite her out if he assumes she’s out of his league. But if men that you find very attractive are consistently not approaching you, then they are probably not intimidated by your beauty. According to Michelle Jacoby, a dating coach and matchmaker in Washington, D.C., it is a certain type of energy and lack of femininity that repel men. Specifically, men may find your style of relating to them restrictive, says research by Eleanor Maccoby, professor of psychology at Stanford University. Restrictive styles of interacting tend to derail conversations and involve contradicting, interrupting and boasting.

Enable Conversations

If men are not approaching you, consider being more inviting when you see someone you like. Smile at him while making eye contact. When you are out on a date, make a point to lengthen interactions with him. An inviting, facilitative style helps achieve this. Let him know that you are listening by nodding your head and asking questions. Don't be argumentative if you don't agree on a point; simply politely agree to disagree. And when he tells you a funny story about moving to a new apartment, simply laugh. Don’t follow with a funnier story about your latest rental fiasco.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

Photo Credits

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