Have you ever had a man tell you that you’re intimidating and that you should try to ‘tone it down’ a bit? Well, guess what? Almost every strong woman at some point has been subjected to this dialogue.
The problem is NOT you, girl.
After four years of dipping my toe into the dating pool, I’ve recently taken a full cannonball plunge into the depths of the single scene. I feel open and ready to genuinely explore the possibilities with curiosity.
But while I’ve met a few wonderful guys, most of the men I’ve connected with voiced a common objection to my company that I found quite perplexing at first.
Being self-employed as a Certified Professional Life Coach, I’ve done more than my fair share of networking, public speaking, and teaching.
So, I feel very comfortable meeting new people face to face and speaking confidently. I prefer to discuss big ideas and thoughtful insights instead of small talk, so if there’s ever a time I mention my accomplishments, it’s reflective rather than hubris.
I own my weaknesses as well as my successes since they’re all part of who I am, but while some men feel my confidence and openness make me approachable, and even inspirational, a great number of men tell me that I’m … intimidating.
One guy even went so far as to advise me on how to tone down my confidence so that men might find me more desirable in the future.
When I look at it from the man’s point of view, I understand how hard it is to put yourself out there. The expectations about what it takes to “be a real man” these days is convoluted and confusing.
Related: 15 Things Alpha Women Do Differently
Men want to know they shine amongst the competition, so it’s disheartening when they show up ready for validation only to find that the beautiful woman across the table is just as successful, can meet the basic needs in life herself, and is looking for something deeper and more profound than what the conventional paradigm offers. Accomplished women are just harder to impress.
But, let’s be crystal clear about something here, ladies: When a man says, “You’re intimidating”, what he’s really saying is, “I’m intimidated.” And there is a BIG difference between the two.
When women feel criticized, we inherently look within to see if there is any truth to the harsh judgment, we can’t help it.
As such, women often instantly assume that because a man said it, that comment must be true. We’re the problem. And that’s nonsense. You can’t “make” anyone feel a certain way.
Short of arriving with hell hounds at your heels and blood lust in your eyes, there’s no way you “make” a man feel intimated. Every person comes with their own story about themselves (and their own self-worth, or lack of it) and what they want in a partner. We are rarely privy to knowing any of that during the introduction stage of a relationship.
The hot guy who thought you’d be impressed by his dedication to a job he hates and his lackluster (contractual) involvement with the kids who live with his ex-wife is bound to feel intimidated by the woman who has made the best of her new beginning, is willing to put herself out there in service to others, and does it all with a smile on her face and happiness in her heart.
What can a guy like that offer to the woman who is already taking pretty good care of herself? In his mind, not much.