To some people having an intimidating personality might seem like a negative trait. But for me, an assertive personality where one knows how to stand their ground is the most endearing quality. Being intimidating and assertive is not only helpful while dealing with people in various situations.

But is also beneficial in living a complete life where one can express their thoughts and opinions freely. So, how to be intimidating and assertive in a society where it comes across as rude?

Here’s a list of some strategies which will be beneficial in getting that edge and control while interacting with people. Although it might not come easily to you as your personality takes some time to mold.

However, at the end of the day, you’ll see that being intimidating and giving that ‘Don’t mess with me’ signal will come in handy in certain situations.

So, without further ado let’s dive straight into it.

5 tactics to have an intimidating personality

1- Be confident

Confidence is a virtue that everyone might not possess. However, once you know the strategies to be confident you’ll get a lot more respect and value in your social circle.

Being confident is essential while putting your opinions across the table whether in professional or in personal setups. But, when dealing with people who are known for manipulating others it is necessary to be confident. According to the Oxford Academic Journal Confidence enhances your motivation because you have trust in your abilities. So, confidence is a valuable asset for people suffering from indecisiveness and poor grit.

Staying confident even when you feel anxious will make people aware that you can’t be taken advantage of. Maintain firm eye contact. Adopt a relaxed posture and never fidget or move around a lot. Talk slowly and breathe frequently. This will help in demonstrating that you are not rushed or pressured nor do you feel anxious about their presence. Always bear in mind that you need to hold your ground and stay firm to be intimidating.

The importance of confidence stems from the fact that if you are not able to assert yourself you are not able to live a complete life. People having low self-esteem not only face problems psychologically such as anxiety and stress. But also suffer in building healthy relationships and in achieving the goals they aimed for.

Related; How to be confident | 7 smart ways to change your life

2- How to be intimidating- Never tolerate rudeness and willful ignorance

People with strong and intimidating personalities never tolerate disrespect or rudeness. They firmly believe in the saying of ‘You reap what you sow so you better not try to mess with them.

You have to embark on a journey of self-improvement. Self-improvement is a lifelong process. For this, you have to realize your value first. You can’t just entertain everyone and everything that other people say or do. Only after you realize your worth would you be able to identify when someone crosses the line. Always keep in mind that respect is earned. It is like walking on a two-way street. Respect yourself first, give respect to others, and even if then someone disrespects you simply walk away from the scenario.

Oftentimes people have emotional reactions while dealing with disrespect. But, the trick is to keep your integrity intact and handle it with confidence. Emotional reactions just break all the loops loose which is not what you want right? You have to be confident at the same time without thinking about the consequences. Practice equanimity and never think of the position or status of people before reacting to disrespectful behavior.

At the end of the day if you don’t stand up for yourself no one else will. Realize that you are the sole authority over yourself not your parents, spouse, or your boss and you decide what you accept and what you don’t.

Therefore, to be intimidating you have to set boundaries between what’s tolerable and what’s not. Only then people will feel that you have a strong personality and they won’t be willfully ignorant in front of you.

3- Practice silence more and talking less

You might have noticed this while giving an interview. When you answered a question of the interviewer but their silence and gaze were such that you were compelled to say more. This is the power of silence. It makes you uncomfortable and people are forced to say more than they intended to. Giving away information that was not meant to be said.

To have an intimidating and strong personality you have to remain calm and composed. This at the same time means being friends with silence. Talking only when it is necessary and intellectual. Stop engaging in small talk or gossiping.

This will make people assume that you would be available to hear them out whenever they want. However, talking less will make people vary from the fact that you are not interested in the small talk. They will be more cautious around you the next time. Maintaining a steady gaze and being silent also translates to you being in control of your emotions.

People who practice silence more and talk less are often valued. In my observation, their opinion is more sought after and respected.

So, if you want to be intimidating you have to be comfortable with silence and talk less.

Related; why self-esteem is important in life| 5 ways to improve self-esteem

4- How to be intimidating- Be kind

Often times an intimidating person is misconstrued as being mean. But that is not really the case. Being intimidating means knowing your worth and therefore not settling for anything below that. You do not have to scream at the top of your lungs to intimidate others. Even the slightest but the strongest and firm gaze can have the effect of alarming others.

Coming to the point, you can be kind and intimidating at the same time. It’s just that you exude a powerful aura that makes others fearful of you. Being kind to people doesn’t equate to being a doormat. It does not mean accepting whatever the other person suggests because you are too kind to say ‘No’. In fact, it is one of the most powerful and effective ways to stay in control in a situation where others are trying to take advantage of you. It displays that you are in control of your emotions and you are not affected by anything.

Think for a second why ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Hillary Clinton, and Emma Watson are labeled as intimidating women. They are powerful, strong, and hard-working women. People like them know what they want and how will they achieve it. Being capable of achieving everything might be intimidating to some people. But in essence, it is extremely inspiring.

So, if someone calls you intimidating someday know that you are on the right track!

Related; How to stay positive | 10 smart habits for a positive mindset

5- Dress like you own the place

Heard of the term ‘Power dressing’? Well, that’s exactly what you need to practice to be intimidating. Groom yourself a bit. Take good of your clothing and personal hygiene. Dress to the best of your ability. This does not mean that you have to wear a suit all the time. But, looking graceful even when while being in loungewear is the trick.

Taking care of your clothing and hygiene displays that you value yourself. It says that you are confident in your appearance and you want to look the best as you are confident in yourself. So, to be intimidating you might want to dress way better and different than what everyone else does.

Some other tricks to be physically intimidating are by being expressionless most of the time. It can be a little hard to achieve a neutral facial expression if you have a habit of conveying your feelings through your face. But, once you practice maintaining neutral facial expressions you’ll come across as more intimidating than before.

6- Flaunt your achievements

One of the most notable signs of intimidating and strong people is that they never shy away from flaunting their achievements. Whether it is through their conversation or through displaying their certificates and distinctions in their office.

If you have an impressive academic background. Or if you were socially active back in your school and college. You should always be confident about your achievements. Know how to take compliments gracefully instead of denying them or getting into the compliment battle. Say ‘Thank you loudly and clearly. Be mindful of your nonverbal behavior.

So, to be intimidating display your achievements however possible. The next time when a coworker stops by your office and glances at your achievements they’ll be inspired and intimidated by you.

Knowing how to be intimidating can be helpful in getting that edge over your peers. Let us take a closer look at the benefits of being intimidating and assertive below.

Is it good to be intimidating?

Being intimidating is just as good as being kind and gentle. It means that you are in control of yourself. An intimidating person is hard-assed, strong-willed, outspoken, and confident. So, for me being called intimidating holds more value than being complimented as beautiful.

Despite the fact that being intimidating and assertive is being characterized as a negative trait, it really is beneficial to be that way in order to assert yourself. It not only boosts your self-confidence, but also enhances self-esteem, and makes you understand your own feelings. But also compels people to respect you and value your opinion. In short intimidating people’s opinions are more sought after and people seek their approval in many instances.

Along with gaining professional approval you also benefit from it in your personal relationships. Whether it is setting boundaries in romantic relationships or speaking up for yourself while making important decisions. Being intimidating helps prevent problems as you clearly know what you want. Nobody can impose anything on you or force you to do a certain thing if you do not want to. You are the controller of your life.

Also, people tend to take you more seriously. Once you practice being intimidating you’ll realize that people will actually listen to what you have to say. On the other hand, being cuddly and a people pleaser will get you nowhere than being seen as a doormat only.

All in all, being intimidating is beneficial for your overall life because it helps you in gaining respect from people who otherwise won’t.


Learning to be intimidating isn’t easy at all. It takes a lot of time, practice, and patience. You will be required to change your approach towards life and people in general. You have to realize your worth. Understand your feelings and stop being meek. It wouldn’t be an overnight shift of personality nor would the journey be easy. But, at the end of the day, it is more beneficial to be a badass than a damsel in distress.

So now instead of wondering how to be intimidating, practice these tactics and don’t let anyone mess with you ever!

About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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