Saturday 26 May 2012

Intimidated... Are You?

I've promised a friend of mine to write about intimidated people and what to do about them, so here goes...

For several months, I've had to deal with a few intimidated-by-me people. I'm used to that; but the ones I'm referring to have been/are overly intimidated... and it seems by only me, in the group of people we all belonged to. Weird? Not really.

Long ago Sigmund Freud (and later other psychoanalysts) noted several 'ego defences' we use. When one's ego is conflicted, threatened, overwhelmed, etc., anxiety starts taking hold of it. In this case the ego needs to do something for survival. Such defence mechanisms take place unconsciously, which is why so many people aren't even aware of what is going on beneath the surface.

Successful, hard-working people intimidate... a lot. I believe many are also intimidated by mystery; the less they know about you and the less you share, the more intimidating you become. Everyone fears the unknown, after all. I'm not referring at all, of course, to abusive intimidating people (that is a topic for later).

One of these most obvious ego defence mechanisms is projection, which is attributing one's thoughts, feelings and most importantly motives to another person. An example would be someone who is capable of stealing, lying or being dishonest... who ends up accusing you of 'stealing', 'lying', or 'being dishonest'. Without crystal-clear proof/evidence, accusing you of such things says a lot about them, not you. Get my drift?

Like a person, who after creating a problem out of nowhere, wants to shift the blame on you, someone being mean to you for no reason, or accusing you of something you did not do. Because a friend, a real friend, will not suspect you of something in the first place, without asking first, without making sure, let alone accusing you, and later not apologizing for it.

What has ever happened to integrity and honesty? Beats me.

Displacement is very close to projection, but you thrust it on a different person/thing. Let's say X accused a friend of yours of lying. Your friend finds X too threatening, powerful, etc. Unable to direct their wrath towards X, they direct it towards a substitute... you or a thing. Smash a vase perhaps, or accuse you of anything... perhaps even of what X has accused them of.

This also says a lot about that person. Someone who is easily intimidated lacks confidence and self-esteem. Very often, this person 'needs to be needed' to feel superior. So, unless they are needed, they feel like they're not doing what they're supposed to do, and the lack of confidence kicks in.... big time. I have also found out (the hard way) that such people are highly judgemental and overly analytical/critical, justifying perhaps to themselves their behaviour towards you/others. They are also probably people with low social intelligence. This is different from being social, as they can be social (for them self-esteem also comes from the number of people they socialize with). Social intelligence is defined as: The ability to get along with others. It involves reading situations, confidence, self-respect, self-worth, authenticity, and empathy.

What to do about intimated-by-you people? Perhaps try and be less mysterious, if this only because of your alluring mystery. I've found that intimidated people (because of their low self-esteem) do better together since their energies and behaviours are similar. Otherwise, I just don't think you can help anyone with major self-esteem issues, unless they're willing to do something about it. Perhaps let them know how you feel... but then again a person lacking self-esteem will not respond well to that no matter how gentle you are (I know from experience). In my case, I've avoided such people completely. Other suggestions are welcome.

And if you are someone who is intimidated by others, ask yourself, why that is; only you know.


Edward Ott said...

excellent article

Anonymous said...

You pointed out some very true and interesting points.

Marwa Ayad said...

Thank you, Edward. =)

Glad you think so, Sanaa. Good to see you again.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you might just be overbearing.

Marwa Ayad said...


Sorry to rain on your parade, but how did you come to this conclusion? By spending a few/several minutes on my website, reading a post (probably by chance) and judging without getting to know someone (me) in real life or what happened?

If you read any of my older posts, you'll learn I'm an INFP AND an intuitive empath. Naturally, I hate conflicts... of any kind and strive for harmony as much as possible. An empath by definition CANNOT be overbearing; it's just not possible. Unless you consider keeping to yourself and staying away from negative people/situations overbearing?! An overbearing person by definition is someone who is bossy, controlling and/or dominating. Now where did you get that idea? Where in my post do I show bossiness of any kind?

If anything, the few people I'm referring to in my case (and my friend's) are the very ones who behaved in a very dominating, if not insolent way. And for someone who picks on people's energies and respects others this was too much to deal with, let alone understand. But life goes on...

I wonder if you passing your (online) judgement without proper knowledge of me or the situation is an example of "projection" or "disposition"?


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