our everyday life

How to Seem Less Intimidating to Guys

by Elise Wile

The word “intimidate” comes from a 17th-century word that meant “to make timid,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. When it comes to meeting men, that’s the last thing you want to do. After all, some sensitive souls who could be off-put by forceful behavior might make amazing partners. Change your approach, and you’ll likely see a change in the results you’ve been getting in your romantic life.

Slow Down

Masculine energy can be a turn-off to guys, says dating coach Michelle Jacoby on the dating site eHarmony.com. Even if you’re a take-charge kind of gal, make an effort to slow down a bit and allow men to hold the door open for you, pull out your chair in a restaurant or help you with your coat. Even if the men you are around aren’t dating material, allowing yourself to take it easy will help you to smooth off any aggressive edges that might be off-putting to a guy who treats women as the gentler sex.

Cultivate a Feminine Appearance

If you’re worried that your looks and demeanor might intimidate a guy you’d like to impress, leave the power suit at home. Instead, go for a feminine look. Wear a dress and light make-up to cultivate a more feminine appearance, advises Jacoby. If dresses aren’t your style, you can still come across as more feminine than forceful. Opt for breezy fabrics and accessorize with necklaces and earrings that don’t have their own zip code for a non-intimidating appearance.

Bring Out Your Nurturing Side

Men like nurturing and kind women, says Jacoby. Think of ways you can express that side of your personality. Perhaps it’s bringing brownies to work on a day when you know everyone will have to work late. Or you might take the time to ask the guy you see every day at the gym how his mom has been doing since she broke her ankle. If you hear that one of your guy friends is suffering from a headache, offer to rub his tight shoulders. You’ll come across as more caring than commanding.

Some Clarification

Don’t get the wrong idea about changing your behavior and style to be a bit less intimidating. Being feminine doesn’t mean being powerless. After all, one of the most powerful women in today’s world – Oprah – is decidedly feminine and non-intimidating. Otherwise, she’d never get her interviewees to open up. It’s all about deciding what you want, and adjusting your style to attain your goals. And just because you choose to play up your femininity at some times need not mean you always must do so. Some of the most successful women are “social chameleons” according to management professor and researcher Olivia O’Neill, Ph.D. Grab the guys at work by their lapels if you must, but adjust your behavior accordingly to put a man at ease in a romantic setting.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

Photo Credits

  • Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images