How to Not Be Intimidated Around People

by Maggie McCormick
Increase your confidence in yourself to feel less intimidated by others.

Increase your confidence in yourself to feel less intimidated by others.

Sometimes it just feels like everyone else is smarter, funnier and better looking than you are. This can negatively effect your life, building poor self-esteem and preventing you from going after the things that you want in life. If you're constantly feeling intimidated by other people, it's time to make some changes in your life. By building yourself up — rather than tearing others down — you can feel more confident when interacting with others.

Dress well and pay attention to your grooming. You don't have to have expensive clothes, but you do need to present yourself looking your best. If you're dropping your kids off at school in your pajamas, while all the other parents are dressed for business, you may feel intimidated by the other moms and dads. Put on a nice pair of pants and a pressed shirt, though, and you'll feel more confident.

Do something that interests you. Others' lives may sometimes seem more interesting than your own. If you're stuck in a routine, you may feel that your life pales in comparison. By picking up a hobby that interests you, you'll have something to talk about and maybe even get the chance to meet new people.

Get inspired by those who intimidate you. Rather than being intimidated by the people around you, Psychology Today suggests that it's better to use those people as an inspiration. The qualities that you find intimidating are probably the ones that you wish that you had yourself. Use the "act as though" perspective and adopt those qualities in yourself. For example, if others' ability to speak in front of people intimidates you, you can act confident the next time you have to do so. The more you "act" the part, the less intimidated you'll feel around others.

Take baby steps to improve yourself. Being intimidated by others could mean that there are things that you need to change in your own life. Rather than trying to tackle everything head on, though, you should choose one thing that you want to change about yourself and focus on that. For instance, if talking to people makes you feel anxious, you could make a goal to talk to one new person each day. Over time, you'll feel more comfortable doing it and will feel less intimidated when you speak to others.

Speak up if you're feeling bullied. In some cases, intimidation doesn't just come from you own perception of others being better than you; people may actually be using intimidation techniques to bully you. If this is the case, it's important to discuss it with someone who can make a difference — a boss, family member, human resources manager, teacher or guidance counselor, for example.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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