It’s time to face the truth.
I will never forget getting ready to go out to my first real high school formal dance. I swanned into my parents’ room to get their approval on my finished look. I remember how much I loved the dress I was wearing and how pumped I was about the make up some nice lady at the mall had piled onto my face. My mom saw me and applauded. But then, she looked a little, well, worried.
“David,” she said to my father, “should we be worrying about her around boys?”
My dad put down his newspaper looked me up and down and made his decision.
“Only until she opens her mouth.”
At the time I was indignant, but the truth was that he was right. It doesn’t matter what I wear or how I act or the way I chose to flirt (or even not flirt), the minute I open my mouth and start a conversation with a man it’s going to go one of two ways:
- He’s going to want to get to know me better.
- He’s going to be totally intimidated by my spitfire way with words and go running for the hills.
It tends to be number two more than anything else. When you’re a woman, like it or not, you very quickly become aware of the things about you that intimidate men. What intimidates a man about a woman is most often stuff we can’t control. When it is stuff we can control, we still shouldn’t always try to change those things.
I asked women what intimidates men about them, and then I turned the tables and asked the men to weigh in. What I found out was pretty darn interesting!
Ladies, first: What about you do men find intimidating?
- “When I speak with confidence and am unapologetic about having knowledge/experience.”
- “Confidence. Talking back. Proficient use of power tools.”
- “My height. My education. My job. The list could go on.”
- “I’m not going to let men assign that to me. If they think I know more or have more or whatever and that bothers them they need to address that insecurity.”
- “My mouth. And I have permanent resting bitch face so that too…”
- “I have been told I use too many “big words,” that I come off as “aloof” (though that is actually shyness), and that I have a tendency to come off as condescending if I correct the use of a word, or if I go off on a really erudite topic.”
- “Independence and knowing what I want. Being able to say ‘No.’ My ex was jealous me being able to speak different languages. I know, stupid. Well, I guess that’s one of the reasons he is my ex. Hard to live with jealousy and somebody trying to put you down whenever he got a chance to.”
- “For me, it’s being strong enough to walk away if I have too. Not putting up with crap, they might dish out.”
- “The fact that I have a social life and friends and like to maintain an independent life outside of romantic relationships and don’t just want to sit around w my s/o watching them do nothing.”
- “That I’m funnier than they are.”
Guys, it’s your turn! What do men find intimidating about a woman?
- “Resting bitch face. I’ve found that most girls with RBF are actually the nicest and sweetest girls ever. I had to remind my ex that she has to be self-aware of it when she’s out places or people will think she’s pissed off at them.”
- “Sometimes people who are a bit quieter or reserved can come off as a bit intimidating. Sadly, if you aren’t gregarious and boisterous and presenting as overtly approachable, this can be misinterpreted as being cold or aloof or disinterested. The good news is this will weed out the guys who aren’t willing to invest the time to find out if this first impression is in fact true.”
- “Some guys might not want to talk to you because you’re pretty. Maybe they think you’re out of their league. Something else though, wearing a “This is what a feminist looks like” shirt is pretty scary. Really though, if you find that the boys aren’t coming to you, go to the boys. It boggles my mind that a lot of people just assume that they have to wait for a boy to come to them, you have the power! Go get ’em!”
- “I’m really only intimidated by women like Ronda Rousey and Cyborg i.e. women who can physically kick my ass. Otherwise, there aren’t any qualities women possess that I worry about.”
- “When a woman is so confident that, even if she likes me, my actions or comments have little to no effect on her attitude/demeanor, that’s intimidating in a good way. Those are the girls I think I’m not good enough for, but try my damnedest to get.”
- “In my mind when I hear intimidating I think of it two different ways. One is just trying to find a nice way to describe a woman that is flat out mean and negative all the time. The other is a more personal one for me, it’s women that never seem to be casual. They are always out in their little black dress having cocktails for a girls night or eating at an expensive restaurant. They never seem to have a moment that’s just relaxed. Everything in their life is an event and they move from one event to the next.”
- “Personally, I’m most intimidated by women that are extremely outgoing and animated, I just can’t keep up usually. Also, women that look unfriendly, or extremely attractive women to a certain extent.”
It interesting to compare both men’s and women’s perspectives about what they believe is an intimidating trait in women. However, remember that just because you may possess one of these characteristics deemed as intimidating, don’t believe that you aren’t an appealing person. Every person is different, and although these are traits that these men pointed out, other men might find these qualities attractive. Therefore, just own who you are ladies!
Originally published from YourTango.