intimidation get over it

Intimidation by any other name remains the same and it’s not a good thing. Here are some aids to help get over it easily.

Most of us have been intimidated at some point, whether we care to admit it or not. Some may have experienced bullying as a child in school and now as adults find it difficult to free those negative feelings that were ingrained in our mind and spirit. For others it could have been a parent, a sibling or a guy on the bus that didn’t want to stand up for the twenty minute ride. By using a few simple techniques you can turn the tables and come out the victor.

The word intimidate comes from Medieval Latin and apparently originated somewhere between 1640 and 1650, as thought to be by some The Age of Reason. Not surprising at all when you look at history. It was a time of extensive tensions among powerful governments, horrific conflict and slaughter between Catholics and Protestants, yet by the same token, an era of great artists the like of Rembrandt and profound philosophers such as Rene Descartes. All of which are daunting on their own.

As a verb, intimidate means to make timid or fill with fear. Therefore if we are intimidated we are allowing ourselves to be influenced by the intimidator. Make sense? Intimidation is considered to be more of a mind game we play with ourselves than anything else. So, how does one become empowered to avoid being put in this situation?

Who or what is causing the intimidation, when and where does it occur?

First, the reason for experiencing the emotion has to be pin pointed to be understood and put in perspective. There are countless situations which arise that can cause someone to feel intimidated. It may occur when being ‘nudged’ by an employer to do things their way, when its believed there could be a more viable alternative. Taking an oral exam in a group situation when one participant is obviously doing better with the challenge than you is a sure trigger. Maybe it’s being asked to give a speech in front of a group of your peers. That thought alone could send a usually confident person into a tailspin. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a social function where you won’t know many of the guests or you worry about what to or not to wear. You’ve joined a bowling league and throw three gutter balls in the first game while team mates get strikes and spares hand over fist. Whatever it is you can get over it.

Why is the next question.

Secondly, why you’re feeling intimidated should be addressed and is, quite possibly, more important than who, what, when and where. Are you fearful of losing your job if anything contradictory is verbalized to an employer trying to sway you to the dark side of their opinion? Or what if the idea isn’t as good as you think, how demoralizing would that be in front of co-workers? Do you feel you lack the knowledge to answer questions posed to you in a test setting? Or do you think others in the group are simply smarter than your average fifth grader? Are you afraid you’ll stutter and stammer when public speaking or break into a sweat that requires a towel to mob you brow? Do you worry about mingling with guests you don’t know and ending up blending in with the furniture? Or worse, making a fool of yourself by saying something as introduction like Baby did to Johnny in Dirty Dancing, ‘I carried a watermelon.’ Do you wonder if by having a lower average than team mates you’ll let them down? Or not getting the trophy at the end of the season will be your fault? Again, whatever it is you can get over it.

How do you empower yourself to overcome intimidation?

Experts have varying opinions on how to overcome what is most often a lack of self confidence or self worth.

Case in point, remember high school finals? It wasn’t necessarily that you didn’t know the answers to the test questions. It was that you allowed yourself to be intimidated by your own lack of self confidence or trust in your knowledge. You crammed for countless, sleepless nights and knew everything inside and out. Yet when faced with a piece of paper with multiple choices you froze. Had you known how to empower yourself you would have aced the test, no problem.

How could you have done that, how can you empower yourself in any situation where you feel intimidated? Put yourself back where you were when you felt comfortable and confident, where you knew you were in control. We all have our own fear factors, and triggers for those fears, which can manifest themselves into intimidation. If we allow intimidation to take control we lose confidence in who we are and what we’re capable of.

The only person who should have influence on our self worth is the one we see in the mirror every day. Don’t become your own worst enemy. Instead become your own best advocate.

When you sense intimidation rearing its ugly head because you’re nervous or lack confidence think about the times you didn’t. Recall situations when you encompassed the role of an expert, a teacher. Whether it was coaching little league, teaching your kid how to ride a bike or cooking the best pot roast ever matters not. At any given moment in your past experience you empowered yourself to be confident in the knowledge you knew what you were doing and exactly how to do it. Make that memory your happy place and revisit it often. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your confidant, strong side take you to where only you can go. No one else knows that place, no one will know where you are in your heart, soul and mind. Within that happy place is the moment of triumph, when you take control of your fears, shine and show your true colours and come out victorious.

The best piece of advise I ever received was from my dad, a Scotsman. He told me when I was very young that if I ever felt intimidated to picture the queen sitting on the throne… not the actual throne, but a porcelain one. It works like a hot damn! I’ve stood in front of large crowds and imagined them all sitting on a toilet, pants down around their ankles, toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoe and I become calm and content with the knowledge that when it comes down to basics we’re all the same. And there’s nothing more basic that nature calling.

Be careful when going through the process of overcoming intimidation, however, that you don’t become the intimidator, it’s a fine line and one that can be too easily crossed.

Now, get over it and git ‘er done!

More by this Author


Comments 32 comments

Brad 7 years ago

Thanks for this. I am easily intimidated. Today at the gym, I got into a pick up game with some guys that were obviously already friends and were all confident in their abilities. It was clear that they doubted mine. I practice a lot and consider myself a pretty good player, but today I really sucked. I lost all confidence in myself and couldn't make a shot, couldn't defend well. It was like I just let myself get run over and was too scared to play as well as I know I'm able to. After reading this, I feel confident about going back down tomorrow and playing hard.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Hey Brad, I hear you! I'm sure you didn't suck, we all feel like we suck when we're put on the spot... or foul line... whatevs!Close your eyes; picture making that shot from the other side of the court... swoosh... it didn't make it this time... shit happens... tomorrow it WILL make the hoop! I know someone said it before me, but be the ball! Go out on that court with the right attitude... I'll be with you... and kick some ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Believe I will be with you in spirit, I promise and one thing I never do is break a promise. Let me know how it goes. Don't forget no one is better than you unless you allow them to be.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I am also one with confidence 'issues', but thanks to this hub, I am going to try to git er done!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Hey lorlie6, atta girl! Let's git er done together.


smarleygrl7 profile image

smarleygrl7 7 years ago

I have pretty good confidence in myself, I do not usually let my doubts control me. Mostly because I have control issues! There are those moments tho, just as all of us have! I guess that that is another key, reminding yourself that everybody has these issues with something. We are a people who like to appear that we have it together, I think in reality we have it more together when we can admit that we don't.


smarleygrl7 profile image

smarleygrl7 7 years ago


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Very wise thought, thanks for sharing it with me.


krwest 7 years ago

Thanks, Carmen, for sharing your thoughts on overcoming intimidation. It really makes sense... to imagine ourselves in a positive, successful setting. Now... to develop that habit!

I really like your statements about becoming our own best advocate! Thanks again, for your ideas.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thanks for visiting krwest. It does take time to develop the habit of being positive and there will always be times when you have to kick yourself to get back to it. We should always try our best to be our own best advocate because in the long run we can, for the most part, only rely on ourselves. If we're lucky we have support from family and friends to help us remember that we do have something to be proud of and share with others.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

It is true, we do need to be our best advocate. For too many years, I let fear and intimidation rule and ruin my life. I am finally learning to stand up for myself, although inside, my knees are knocking!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 6 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

When your knees knock ignore them and concentrate on something positive.


lira 6 years ago

this is helluva helpful old lady,i never abash myself these days...


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

intimidation get over it: well it's not so easy because your hubs are so world class I feel like a third world orphan next to you!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 6 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Awe, you're making me blush, thanks epigramman!


Jim 6 years ago

Yours is the best essay I've seen so far on intimidation. (I've been googling.) But it doesn't dig deep enough to help me. I'm 60 years old, and the intimidation that I suffered was in high school. I never got over it -- defense against it became an ingrained part of my personality. I've spent a lot on therapy over the years, but somehow this issue never got resolved, or even discussed as it should have been.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 6 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thank you so much, Jim, for your comments and compliment. I'm so sorry you can't seem to overcome your problem. Keep trying, its never too late for help to arrive.


Stand Up 6 years ago

I am having to deal with a horribly rude and intimidating attorney about a legal matter i have. He is SO rude, but when I give it back to him he tells me I can no longer call his office...hum...that is intimidation...He can be as rude as he wants, but I will take to heart this article and stand as tall as I can and take up for myself.

I am TRYING to tell myself, that when I feel intimidated, it means I am in the big leagues...and not in trouble:)

I would love to talk to any of you, as we could bolster each other...I think root issue is that at some time, when we stood up for our selves, a significant person shamed us for it, so when we stand up for ourselves, and thus feel intimidation, our tapes tell us that we are doing something very wrong to make this person angry/intimidating. I think this is my issue anyway


Wavecritter profile image

Wavecritter 5 years ago from Cocoa Beach

I enjoyed your hub Carmen and hearing your readers responses are equally as great. Seeing the inspiration created from writing is magic. Thanks =)


ChristineVianello profile image

ChristineVianello 5 years ago from Philadelphia

If one looks at me the wrong way I feel intimidated. It is something that I am trying to relax about. BE confident, I say to myself.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 5 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Wavecritter, thank you for considering my writing inspirational, that was my goal.

Christine, I hope you overcome your feelings, be proud, stand tall and yes, be confident. It will shine through the feeling of intimidation.


soaps profile image

soaps 5 years ago

thanks to this hub


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Very great writng and information you have here. I am sure many will benefit. I look forward to reading more of your work.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

I couldn't help but read this again because they are very good tips. Worth reading again.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 5 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thanks so much lyricwriter!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, Carmen. Great read. Very informative; deep; and researched thoroughly. Voted up and away. I admire your talent as well as your IQ. This hub was the work of someone with both, talent and high IQ. And so true. Keep up the great hubbing. Merry Christmas!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

PS: @Carmen: And a Happy New Year!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 5 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thanks for your kind comments Kenneth and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Carmen, my pleasure is making my followers and non-followers happy. I enjoy this more than eating my favorite dessert. I am not "putting a trumpet to myself" to make people believe how 'good' I am, just being honest. Thanks so very much for following me. This will always be cherised. God bless.


Nurse Educator 3 years ago

DHi, Carmen. Thanks for this read! In my profession, I am sometimes perceived as the intimidator! As Mr Avery stated above, how I interact with my students comes from a good spirit, not a boastful one. I am honest and truthful with my intentions. I do not sugar-coat expectations and I am fair. But comments on evaluations are words such as , `used fear; demeaning; I feel intimidated or single-out; I cannot meet her expectation (which is really just the program outcomes). Any advise would be appreciated.


Kenney V. 3 years ago

I'm easily intimidated but thanks to everyone here I'm stronger and wiser. Thanks!


Sallhohenue 16 months ago

Wonderful issues altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your put up that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?


gepeTooRs 8 months ago

A person necessarily help to make significantly articles I might state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular put up incredible. Magnificent process!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working