7 signs you’ve got a bold personality that sometimes intimidates others

We live in a world where conformity is valued; where individuality and independence are sometimes frowned upon. 

Hence, people will often hide their uniqueness just to fit in, cautious of stirring the pot. 

When the occasional bold person comes along, we might be taken aback by their presence, not fully accustomed to such spirited assertiveness. 

If you have a bold personality, more power to you. You have a gift. You just have to harness that energy the right way.  

After all, bold people add some much-needed color to life; they’re the ones who take risks, gutsy enough to start trends and create real change. 

Having said that, when you’re too full on, too bold without moderation, some people may find it intimidating. 

Like anything in life, when it comes to boldness, balance is key. 

Let’s get to it! 

1) You have an overly direct communication style 

We all know people who rarely express what they genuinely think for fear of upsetting others. 

They’ll consistently play it safe, being extra cautious not to ruffle any feathers. 

Not you though. 

You tend to speak your mind, never shying away from expressing opinions, even if they may be unpopular. 

While your directness might be interpreted as uncomfortable and brash to some people, particularly those who are more conventional and reserved, others admire your tenacity and honesty. 

Voices like yours are especially important in a world where injustice is rampant–and an unsettling amount of people prefer to stay apathetic, and even wilfully ignorant. 

Take it from South African anti-apartheid bishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

2) You make too much eye contact 

Guess what? When dealing with people, body language is a big deal. 

Experts claim that body language and non-verbal gestures account for the vast majority of the communication in our face-to-face interactions. 

And there are few bodily gestures more intimate than eye contact. 

While making a bit of eye contact is generally a good thing, when it’s done to excess, it can backfire. 

So if you tend to maintain intense or prolonged eye contact when you’re dealing with other people, that can make them feel uneasy and awkward. 

3) You tend to dominate conversations

When you have a bold personality, you tend to be passionate about certain things. 

This passion sometimes means that, during interactions with others, you often aggressively take charge of conversations, speaking far more than you listen. 

I’ve been around people who take a bit too much airtime in conversation, and while I appreciate their intensity, they can be tiring to be around for long periods. 

Getting along with a wide range of people requires grace and finesse–and the ability to read social cues. 

When you tend to overwhelm people through conversation, they will sometimes avoid you, preferring to have you around only in “small doses.” 

4) You’re overconfident in your abilities  

I come from a family of bold personalities; people who are all equally overconfident in their abilities and value… and frequently act like it. 

As you can imagine, our family gatherings can sometimes get pretty contentious. 

My relatives clash, constantly trying to one-up each other to prove who’s the better, more enlightened person. 

Although they generally mean well, having to witness them argue in person can get exhausting. 

While I do agree that I have some talented and intelligent relatives, I also completely understand if others perceive them to be arrogant and lacking in humility… because, well, they sometimes are. 

5) You’re relentless when chasing goals 

Have you seen the documentary series “The Last Dance?” 

Well, in short, it details the story of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls as they dominated basketball in the 1990s. 

Even if you aren’t particularly into basketball, I recommend it; it’s incredibly well-made, highly watchable, theatrical, and engaging. 

The documentary revealed that, to his teammates, Michael Jordan wasn’t the nicest, most approachable person in the world. 

He was intensely focused on becoming the best at his craft, took no breaks, and tirelessly (even ruthlessly) wanted to bring the best out of his team. 

This made him a highly polarizing, intimidating figure to those in his vicinity. 

Sure, his work ethic was admirable and it resulted in both team and individual success, but it also made some fearful of him; while others disliked him altogether. 

Moral of the story? 

Sometimes, when you’re overly focused on achieving goals with little regard for anyone or anything else, it can be unsettling for the people around you. 

6) You’re unwavering in your views

If you want to get along with people in life, you generally have to make some compromises here and there.

I have friends who are completely on the opposite ends of the political spectrum to me, but we still make it work. 

How, you ask? 

Well, for starters, we are respectful of each other when we interact, and despite often disagreeing, we typically find some common ground. 

We never leave things on a hostile note. 

If you rarely change your mind, remaining unyielding in your beliefs and decisions, it can rightfully come off as stubborn, arrogant, and inflexible to others. 

Hence, they’ll likely make it a point to avoid you

7) You can’t stand small talk 

Look, I get it: small talk can be pretty tedious, particularly when you aren’t in the friendliest of moods. 

But part of being a grown-up is occasionally having to deal with things in life you may not find appealing–such as small talk. 

Maybe you prefer getting straight to the point; maybe you prefer to only talk about deep topics, not fluff. 

The thing is that we all have to deal with small talk, whether we like it or not. 

Knowing how to get along with people is a major asset in life. 

So while wanting to evade small talk might be understandable, it will also make you seem distant and uninterested in other people–which ultimately isn’t a great look. 

Final words 

While you may mean well, the reality is that without a bit of nuance and moderation, your boldness will put people off. 

Getting along with others is a big deal in this world. 

Sure, be bold by standing your ground and setting boundaries, but you can also be courteous and respectful. 

Once you find that balance, and make the distinction between being intimidating and genuinely bold, there will be no stopping you. 

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Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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