Being perceived as intense is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, your magnetic energy draws people in.
On the other, your occasional mania pushes the same people away.
No one is perfect.
Yet, learning to temper your extreme ways can work in your favor, especially in professional settings.
Here are 8 signs you have an intense personality that can sometimes turn people off.
If you want to foster more positive relationships, read on.
1) You express yourself passionately
When you’re passionate about something, you let everyone know.
Your enthusiasm is palpable and infectious, encouraging people to follow in your footsteps and get hyped.
It can also be overpowering, leaving others exhausted by your intensity.
I remember once telling an ex about a movie I was very into.
I talked and talked and talked until I finally realized I had been babbling for ages and apologized.
He told me I had nothing to apologize for; he liked that I was passionate about movies and enjoyed hearing my opinions on the subject.
In contrast, I rambled about the same movie to a friend a few days later, and I could tell she was less invested in my rant.
She didn’t complain, but I changed the subject.
Some people will be obsessed with your intensity, while it might rub others the wrong way.
You can’t please everyone.
But maybe you can tone it down if they’re not particularly invested in whatever you are?
2) Your body language speaks volumes
If you have an intense personality and become passionate when talking to other people, your body language is probably all over the place:
- You use dynamic gestures when recounting exciting experiences (broad arm movements, animated facial expressions, and so on)
- You maintain prolonged and intense eye contact
- You like to touch others during animated conversations
- Your face reflects your every emotion (the poker table is a dangerous place!)
- Your laugh is colorful and loud
This is good and fine among friends. But when it comes to strangers, you might not make such a positive impression.
When you’re in a more formal setting, pay attention to the cues and reactions of those around you.
If you notice discomfort or withdrawal, consider adjusting the intensity of your body language.
And, whatever you do, respect others’ personal space.
You can share your enthusiasm without getting all up in their faces.
3) You have strong opinions
Your strong opinions are definitely a strength.
They might also make it challenging for others to voice their own sentiments.
I have an uncle who doesn’t tolerate any counterarguments to his points of view.
Whenever someone challenges him as we discuss something in a group, he cuts them off.
Other times, he changes the subject or leaves abruptly, probably in search of someone he can bully into agreement.
Additionally, his intense desire to express his thoughts means he dominates conversations.
It’s impossible to get a word in before he finishes *all* he has to say.
Are you the same way?
While it’s great that you are willing to defend your strong opinions, there’s a chance you leave people feeling unheard or undervalued.
Perhaps that’s something you can work on.
4) You’re reluctant to compromise
On a similar note, people with intense personalities have trouble compromising.
It’s either their way or the highway.
This determination is a driving force for success and achievement.
Take it to extremes, however, and it can negatively affect your relationships.
Embracing an all-or-nothing mentality means you might miss the nuance of a situation.
What’s the point in trying to reach common ground with someone when you’re obviously in the right?
Trouble is, compromise is a crucial aspect of conflict resolution.
In a professional setting, being reluctant to compromise limits your opportunities for collaboration and teamwork.
In your personal life, doing solely what you want can strain relationships.
You don’t have to compromise your values, but there can be multiple valid approaches to a situation.
When that’s the case, embracing flexibility will only enhance your interactions.
Plus, it will show others that you care about their well-being and appreciate having them in your life.
5) You’re blunt
People with intense personalities generally have a direct communication style.
They value honesty, don’t sugarcoat the truth, and have little patience for small talk.
This bluntness can lead to more effective communication, true.
Unfortunately, it can also ruffle some feathers:
- It can be perceived as insensitivity when discussing delicate topics
- Messages may be misinterpreted or taken more negatively than intended
- It can lead others to believe that you lack tact
Words hit hard, so try to be more mindful of how you use them.
I’m not suggesting you give up your direct ways.
That said, maybe you can incorporate more considerate language in your delivery.
Rather than pointing out that someone was late to meet you, ask if they had difficulty getting there.
A little empathy goes a long way.
6) You’re impulsive
If you have an intense personality, you are likely impulsive, which can sometimes turn people off.
Your eagerness to pursue goals or experiences may lead to quick decisions – the kind made without fully considering potential ramifications.
You don’t mind taking risks (yay!), but you’re also known to make moves without consulting others who will be affected by them (nay!).
A potential solution?
Pause and reflect.
Whenever you’re about to do something impulsive, allow yourself a small window to make a list of pros and cons.
Is there anyone who will be negatively affected by your action or decision?
If so, you might want to consult them before taking the plunge.
7) You’re impatient with inefficiency
People with intense personalities often display zero tolerance for inefficiency.
Since you get extra passionate about things, you can’t wait to dive into new projects or take on new endeavors.
You can be hyper-focused on your goals, so you get easily frustrated when confronted with what you perceive to be unnecessary delays or obstacles.
Yet, not everyone can keep up with your hectic pace. And putting others down because they can’t match your energy won’t take you far.
It will make you come across as dismissive and condescending.
Finding a balance between passion and patience is key.
When success involves working alongside a diverse group of individuals, harness your intensity in a way that encourages collaboration.
You never know: if someone moves slower, they might spot errors you’ve missed as you rushed to the finish line.
8) You have high expectations from others
In an ideal world, everyone would be as passionate and intense about things as you are.
When you love someone fiercely, you expect them to return the feeling.
When you discover a new hobby, you want your closest friends to participate.
When you take on a new challenge, you believe your loved ones will support you no matter what.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
If you insist that your partner of two weeks is your soulmate, you might push them away.
If you bug your friends to go hiking with you day after day, they’ll eventually kick you out of the group chat.
And when you embark on a fresh quest every week, your loved ones might have more urgent matters to attend to.
You can’t change how you feel, but you can cut the people you care about some slack.
While not everyone will mirror your intensity, there’s magic in accepting and celebrating differences.
There is nothing wrong with having a strong personality, standing up for your beliefs, and relentlessly pursuing your passions.
In fact, it’s admirable.
When interacting with others, though, moderation is key.
Learning to dial it back when the situation calls for it enables you to come across as more balanced and put together.
Alternatively, block out the noise and just do you.
It’s impossible to make everyone like you anyway.