Sometimes you don’t know. And 20 years later you meet an ex-student and over a cup of coffee or a drink they tell you, “do you remember when you were my teacher and I dropped your class? Well, I was terrified at your personality.” Some people are really good at hiding their impressions.
Usually, one can read some obvious signs of intimidation, such as nervousness, avoidance or even animosity. Other times, the signs are more subtle and confined to body language. Intimidation can be an intentional action (and we see that a lot in the teaching profession), or an unconscious one. As a teacher, I never intended to intimate any of my students; on the contrary, I used to plan and introduction for the first day of class in which I tried to present myself as friendly as possible and my courses as easy as possible. Ironically, all that had the opposite effect. Most of my students were terrified by me.
I could understand that from my first 4 years as a teacher because I was young, inexperienced, hot-tempered and impulsive; I did not have patience for slackers and procrastinators; but then I understood that every student has a style, a personality, a method and a different kind of intelligence. I was not paying attention to the signs. The unconscious intimidation was probably caused by my training. At the university where I worked until this semester that just ended, there were few faculty members in the Modern Languages Department who had studied abroad. I spent 7 years in the states and no matter how friendly and available I wanted to be, my students never got passed the fact that I was too demanding and they felt a priori that they were not up to the challenge.
I understood that because I have felt intimidated by other people too. Thus, I knew what it meant to feel “under-dressed” for the occasion. Knowledge, beauty, social/political position can be very intimidating. Even a very smart and inquisitive student can be intimidating if we don’t learn how to channel whatever it is that makes us feel uneasy.
By knowing what I do when I feel intimidated by others, I can tell when someone is intimated by my personality. That awareness helps close the gap and overcome the hurdles (usually self-imposed barriers) that can ruin a perfectly harmonious friend/work/family/social/love relationship
Because of the reaction the other person has. Normally we can discover it by the non-verbal language, by the proxemic or quinésica that is carried out at the time of the encounter. We must say that to intimidate means to frighten and this reaction we can awaken it in another unconscious way or on purpose. In my case, I have observed that I can intimidate some adult men or women, and because of my work, I am a teacher.
Normally, people who feel intimidated have a hard time getting close, so they stay some distance away and have a hard time communicating with the person who is intimidating them. They tend to stutter, sweat, turn pale, try to talk, and when they do, they can sometimes be incoherent and erratic in their speech. They usually have a hard time looking into my eyes, so they keep their faces down or their eyes direct them to another point, well away from me. A person who is intimidated will not want you to know that you are intimidating him, so he will look for a way to hide his nervousness and in this he may make the mistake of being noticed or made more obvious. They may also agree with you on everything, trying to ingratiate themselves and not arouse any feelings on your part.
As a woman, I think you can bully without realizing it, whether it's because of your beauty, social position, intelligence, academic degree, even your way of looking at life; ideally you're not going to frighten people like a monster, so you could try to be the person who builds bridges or bonds with other people, understand that you can awaken bullying and seek to resolve the situation. I admire those people who have approached me and said, "Though you intimidate me, I want to know you! Indisputably, that person is brave!
Lol. I actually had it today when someone I was talking too who went all defensive. Normally when someone is intimidated they change and it is subtle things like body language.
Today was a prime example as I was asking direct questions and the one I was quizzing wouldn't look at me. I knew that I had the upper hand, but I wasn't trying to intimidate him.
If I really want to impose myself and intimidate i can but I don't normally try and do it. I have a reputation that precedes me in business and I am direct. i like things done correctly first time and don't like mistakes. I don't beat around the bush and know what i am doing and they know I can smell a lie a long way off.
Normally when someone is intimidated they will firstly avoid eye contact. They will then talk slower as they are unsure if you will believe them and are carefully choosing their words. They will try and get rid of you as quickly as possible.
You know if a person is intimidated by you by how such person behaves around you. Some people will act shy and refrain from speaking if they are in the company of someone they are intimidated being around. Some others may behave disrespectful and hostile so as to hide their insecurities, some may behave too nice and friendly, some others may behave very respectful and want to do whatever you say, etc.
But I think it's best for you to make those that feel intimidated by you to feel at ease and comfortable around you by being nice and friendly. That way you can make help ease the tension in them and make them to be free with you
The look on their face could potentially be a giveaway. Or if they outright tell you. Ha!