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How Can You Tell If You Intimidate Men?

Group Therapy: Am I Intimidating?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Before I delve in, can I just be blunt here for a moment? I hope no one will find this off-putting and disgusting, and I figure this community would be understanding so I feel safe. I am a very attractive woman. I've been told so for years by families, friends, and strangers. It is only now in my 20s that I'm starting to realize this. I'm coming into my own and shedding some of my teenage angst and insecurities.

But as I accept this fact, I can't help but notice that it's a detriment. I seem to have feeble relationships with my girlfriends (with the exception of a few BFFs/soul mates), and my mother (who is also extremely attractive, smart and wise — sense a pattern?) likes to think it's jealousy. Looks aside (because why should that matter anyway?), I'm also a very good musician, have a very good job, and am really smart. And to put the topping on the cake, I am extremely shy, which means I come off as aloof and b*tchy. I'm not!


Sometimes these girlfriends of mine will say something (about a job, or my music) and I can't help but read into it. They say things like, "Man, I wish I had a talent," or "I want to have your job; how did you get it?" or "I wish I had your closet," and I'm just left sitting there trying to be as invisible as possible because I don't want these ladies to think that I think I'm better than them. I don't. So I just laugh it off.

Read how it affects her dating life here.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
pax4pax pax4pax 4 years
Candygirl132, you yourself seem obsessed with your physical qualities, so, it seems that people focusing on them and judging you based on them comes as much as a response as their own action. So, stop worrying about looks and be a person, hopefully be a "you" that does not measure by looks or by the responses that looks get. Get spiritual, do charity service. Focus on helping hurting people and see if you will start seeing others as of value just because they live. You are special. You are made in the image of God, and can show it and grow it by serving others. Get out there and help! You can then create a you that is really attractive to others, maybe not others in the crowd in which you are currently, but, hopefully, a crowd that values other's lives.
Candygirl132 Candygirl132 4 years
I made an account just to comment on your post girl! I totally understand where your coming from. I almost felt like you were reading into my soul. I related to everything! I get a LOT of compliments and generally people think I'm good looking and should model but I've always had low self-esteem. I'm starting to wonder myself if beauty is a curse. Like I don't feel I am but I know I do have a body a lot of girls would want and people do consider me very attractive but I have a really hard time just like you. I can't keep female friends to save my life. I just always get the feeling they are trying to put me down by sneaking in remarks to make me feel bad about myself because they think I believe the hype I get from guys and compliments from strangers. I just feel like a lot of the female friends try to hurt me as an inside job. Like disguising hurtful comments as observations and healthy criticism and thinking because they are my friend, I won't notice it's coming from a jealous place. Even female family members of mine show sure signs of jealousy but I look past it. Guys generally are drawn into me for nothing more than my looks and outta no where, just disappear and stop talking to me or find an excuse like their schedule. They tell me I'm really beautiful and deserve better and can get any guy but what good is being beautiful if your alone??? Sometimes I really wouldn't mind being ugly if it meant having an easier time weeding out guys who only want sex and genuine friends who didn't feel threatened by me or a need to compete. Looks really don't equal happiness. Looks are just the outside wrapping, if you feel as empty on the inside as I do, they mean nothing. I'd rather have a genuine loving boyfriend and great group of girlfriends than be good looking and have a hot body but nobody around. As far as the intimidation..I really don't know but the dude who just broke my heart would be really shy around me and tell me he felt intimidated by me but it's no excuse because he got to know me and realize I'm not that stuck up girl. I don't know what it is or why girls that are considered the 'prettiest' girls tend to have the hardest time developing lasting relationships with guys and girls.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
I just read Ivy8's advice -- it's fantastic. The last part though about letting people walk over you even for a bit, I disagree. Sometimes we give more, but that's different than being exploited. There will also always be people who are exploitative and will manipulate your desire to get along with them. Do not feel the need to make everyone your friend, either. Make sure friends treat you like gold and give as much as they take too.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
It does get kangaroo court around here sometimes -- nature of the faceless web, superficial knowledge of the person and situation and the aggressive sounding responses it fosters. This isn't all about you. Beautiful and highly accomplished men and women arouse a lot of desire, admiration and respect they haven't even earned! They earn more money, they get more job offers. They also arouse a corresponding amount of competition and insecurity. My first advice is to talk with your soulmate friends. Are you doing something that gets in your way with people? They're the only ones who would know for sure. If they do say something you don't agree with and you feel the impulse to say, "But...!" -- don't interrupt. Just listen. So they can be comfortable being honest with you and be open. Ask them to clarify if what they say doesn't make sense, but don't debate. If there is something to learn, it will not be easy to listen to. And if you really disagree, you don't have to agree. My second piece of advice is to read a book called 'In the Company of Women. Indirect Aggression Among Women: Why We Hurt Each Other & How To Stop'. The authors researched the topic in response to managers asking "Why is it the women who work for me can't get along?" They said they had long snaking lines of people after management seminars who wanted to understand this in particular. You didn't say women are mean to you, but you want to know why more women aren't your friends and you can easily use the information here. It's well researched and written. Pat Heim talks about how to make other women more comfortable with you, there are definite rules. When you have positive traits of any kind, you have to work harder at making others feel more comfortable. My third piece of advice is you need to find a completely intimidating gorgeous, accomplished woman and make her your professional and personal mentor. The more intimidated by her and harder to ask her to be this for you, the better. Approaching her will teach you a lot about how others might feel about you. The part I find baffling is only three men have asked you out? Men play numbers games and love shiny objects. They also tend to think they are more attractive than others perceive them. For an answer here my final advice is you need to talk to a man or several who know you -- not other women. You might even use this question as a line to use on the men you are attracted to and wish would ask you out. Because we are the ones who send out the signals, unconscious or otherwise, that we find them interesting first.
Ivy8 Ivy8 5 years
Hi there. Ive been through the same thing, People never felt bad for me, what ppl have commented above is exactly what Ive been told always and it is used to burn me down too. Look at it this way, its like a communication gap between us shy people and other people. dont listen to people and their opinions coz when u have something that they dont, theyre always going to be biased. First thing, the way you feel about yourself has nothing to do with the way you look or how much youve achieved. No matter what people say, you're not arrogant, youre wounded coz you feel people dont see you for anything more than what you look and do. [and being shy, it makes it worse] but you know what, its true. there's a quote somewhere on the web : "only 4 things matter to the world. what you look like, what you do, what you say, and how you say it." and it goes for everyone! everyone in the world. and its true to the letter. being pretty makes you self-conscious, its your Achilles' heel. Youre pretty, and most people find it hard to handle that( UNLESS youre very important to them) .theres a reason why there are so many blonde jokes in the world. so work on these other points and stop giving ppl a chance to bring u down. Youre shy and all shy people are the same, theyre lonely. but ure a beautiful lonely girl. so even tho youre shy and troubled and dont offer much, you still have an upper-hand above people. so they will always find something to bring you down, its human nature. but u know people are not bad, they like to see good in people too, just not when theyre feeling insecure! they don't stick with u unless you have something to offer to them...the reason why they're not nice to you is because they think you've got everything going for you and you still don't give anything. ( i kno i know thats becoz ur shy) but they expect this from u becoz ure pretty. and that's the key. u get what ppl want? go out of your way to be nice to them, like some people have posted above, do all that. smile and make them feel important. i know its difficult coz its not true to your nature, but fight it out. show them who you are. people want to be a part of you! people love to associate themselves with good things. people call it pride and arrogance, these opinions are biased because that is how someone worth something is always judged, (for lack of a better word) biasedly. youre not proud or arrogant at all, youre defenses are up. the only way to prove them its not arrogance, is by letting these defenses down. and this will take courage on your part.and for this youll have to be brave, accept this position u have been given in society and turn it around to your advantage. its something that goes with being pretty. something analogous to being a member of a royal family. people expect them to be responsible towards society, and dedicate their lives in their service coz they have so much power. Even if they dont want to do it, they have to, coz they have what people dont. otherwise theyre subject to public criticism, no matter what turmoil they go through in their personal lives; to the world , they'll always have to put up a facade of power and responsibility, coz THAT is how the world perceives them! its not easy but its essential, if good relations are to be maintained. So when you are in an intimidating position by being pretty and successful, people perceive you as the ultimate model of happiness. it is your responsibility to share it with other people, be kind, shine and let them share your light. when u share ur heart with them. when u let people in and let them know how nice the world is when ure pretty, they will feel what u feel. and this is when theyl start to feel ur pain too. otherwise you'll always be severely criticized. we appreciate things only that are easy to appreciate. so do things that FORCE people to appreciate you! make yourself vulnerable and pour your heart out. they will love you for that, coz in the end, even theyre human. they will definitely feel you . they might want to walk over you a little in the beginning, but let them do it. trust me. in time, they will stop while you take your time to assert yourself more gently and effectively. good luck
PinkPeonies PinkPeonies 5 years
Hi Dear I can relate to your story and circumstances as I am in exactly the same situation as you. I am told I am very attractive, intelligent( a medic), very kind, but- extremely shy .It can be very frustrating when your friends compliment you on your looks, professional success but you still feel lonely when it comes to landing dates. Reading your post I thought Its written about me.... I have the same situation. I think in my case I have had some exoeriences in childhood /early adulthood where I was constantly made to believe that I am not pretty/intelligent by my sibling and its affected in a negative way:me having low self esteem and my inability to appreciate myself- that I am attractive and intelligent. My inner critic makes me believe other wise as to what people see in me....I find it difficult when people praise excessively as I am not used to all the compliments. When on a date I am conscious and can come across as aloof or disinterested...where as I am just shy and take time to open up. I am not sure if you have had any bad experinces in early life that might make it difficult for you to open up to people. I certainly have been a hostage to my inner critic which was feeded by the people around me in my early life....I am breaking free of this inner critic with the help of some therapy. Maybe its worthwhile talking to a therapist who is body focussed to get an unbiased opinion... I wasn't aware of how aloof I come across to others till my first session with the therapist. We are working on it and its showing very good results....I have come to love myself and to accept love/affection/compliments. I hope things work for you soon. You deserve it. xx People close to me know me as a funny, happy, charming and kind person. I
sciguy5 sciguy5 6 years
OP I find Helen Danger's advice extremely important for your situation. Perhaps your showing too much pride (not that is bad but can seem prudish). I suggest in addition to Helen's advice, that you suggest a more unconventional date of your choice that would show a side of you that reflects the inner you. He will appreciate not having to plan something and he will be ables to see the side only you know. Some may find it odd at first but will grow accustomed.
looseseal looseseal 6 years
I love the advice on how to give more to other people. I don't know if it applies to the original poster, but it sure is helpful to me. On occasion I can be very charming, but a lot of the time I forget to focus on other people and I come off very aloof. The greatest thing about managing to put the spotlight on someone else is that you can avoid the awkward questions and comments directed at you. It's a skill I'm still working on. It's best not to go around assuming people are jealous of you. If they're not actually that jealous, then you would just be being ridiculous. And if they really are jealous, how is your distain of them going to be helpful in any way? Don't get into the habit of thinking people are jealous, not even if it might be true in some cases. Seriously, that just puts up a wall, and it's probably also keeping out people who aren't jealous. It's not good for you.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
I personally think you are doing too much navel gazing. Seriously, 3 guys? Maybe some guys are intimidated....hard to buy, though, because if that was true, you wouldn't have even had a first date. Something about you and them didn't mesh, that is all. The people that I enjoy spending the most time with are the ones who seem confident and are overall happy and optimistic. Something about their positive energy recharges my batteries, whether they are female friends or men that I am dating. People also like to spend time with others who are truly interested in how they are and what is going on in their lives. Maybe this vibe isn't coming across from you, because you seem more intent on looking inside yourself rather than outside at other people, meaning men. Men love to talk about themselves, and getting them to do that is not really have to show them you are interested, though, because if you are not, they will smell it on you like a dog smells fear. I also think you are a bit too sensitive. Some of the responses may have seemed confrontational, but I am sure didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Some of the later ones, though, were harsh, because you come across like you don't really think you are the one with the issue, it is OTHER people that have the "problem" and you are trying to figure out how to deal with them. I think you just need to chill about this, and accept that you are going to have disappointments, many in fact. Stop navel gazing, because if you don't, you will turn into a neurotic, and I guarantee, NO guy will want to date you if that happens. Also, if you have such great female friends, why don't you ask them their opinion? They probably have much more insight into your issues than we might be surprised at what they would say.
darc5204 darc5204 6 years
Let's assume that you have a good understanding of yourself (because I certainly don't know you), you're not arrogant, your friends might be jealous, and men are intimidated. Here is my advice: You have to forcibly get over some of the shyness. First, try some new things, especially things that you enjoy or want to learn, but aren't already talented at. It will give you the perspective of being part of a group where you are just average, at best. If you hate the experience and can't bring yourself to ask for help from those who are better, then arrogance really is an issue for you. If you embrace the experience, you'll have a better perspective and a new topic to talk about. It's essential to have some friends who have different ambitions, and just don't care about competing with you. As far as men are concerned, try taking the initiative. You won't be intimidating if they know that you really are interested.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Beautifully put, Bronzebeauty! Thank you for that quote. It speaks to me too. OP, hon. One thing you could learn from this online experience is that your skin is a wee bit thin. On the whole, these comments are meant to help not harm you. Even the more confrontive (is that a word?) ones are just trying to get through to you. You have nothing to defend against. Still love ya though! Rock on.
bronzebeauty719 bronzebeauty719 6 years
I just read this fabulous quote in Harper's Bazaar UK that spoke to me... They interviewed many people on what they find attractive and Erdem Moralioglu (designer) said this on Confidence: "I wouldn't describe myself as a romantic but my instinctive idea of an aphrodisiac is an empty house, a bottle of wine and the company of someone who is super-confident. Confidence is a kind of supreme optimism and if someone can promise you that everything will be alright, that everything will turn out OK in the end, then that's going to set up of a big spark in me. Behind confidence seems to lurk an unexpected surprise - a good surprise, hopefully." People feed off of our projections, whichever they may be. Therefore if you admit insecurity is part of the problem, work on that, because ultimately you can only control yourself and not the actions of others.
Burkina Burkina 6 years
Another thing when your friends say "Oh I wish I had your voice" you could say "Well I wish I had your eyes. But thats life" and just leave it at that.
CCLn CCLn 6 years
The OP is mad!!! WOW. Maybe she's NOT that nice after all LOL. JOKING. I think you're making a big deal out of not such a big deal. It's only 3 guys. I dated more than 3 guys that end only in first date and it didn't phase me some. Just go out there and keep on dating. If it's like 100 guys in a row and none ever made it to second date, then I'd probably start to wonder too. Maybe you're saying 'yes' to the wrong men. You care too much about what others think about you while contradictly having such a high opinion of yourself. Try to just have the high opinion of yourself and not care that much about what others may think. Again girlie, it's only 3 guys. Just because they may find you attractive to ask out, they may not find you that attractive after that date, IT HAPPENS. I dated guys whom I found attractive (some are classically handsome with awesome credentials, perfect on paper type of guys), but although the dates went fine, we had fun, I didn't find that we would 'mesh' in the future so I'd reject a second date (happened a few times in fact), and sometimes, it's the guys who don't find me compatible for a 2nd date. It's totally normal to lose interest. Competely normal in dating world. Don't worry, in the end, you'll find some guys who will continue on to second then 3rd then perhaps even be your bf too!
Burkina Burkina 6 years
Congrats on your success and talent. My only advice would be to put yourself out more and try to be more outgoing when you are meeting new people. I doubt you are full of yourself but people think that of introverted people. Clearly your friends and family don't, and you know its not true so it shouldn't bother you. If you are 100% secure with yourself you wouldn't even sweat it. The right guy will be secure enough with himself to not be intimidated by your success, talent or looks. Hang it there.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
There's only so much one can glean from a few paragraphs. You begin by emphasizing your looks, so we respond focusing on your looks. Sorry, but tone of voice is a funny thing on the Internet. I'm not sure you have a problem at all. As I said, three guys is not a lot. The more first dates you go on, the more likely you'll find yourself on a second or third date! And I don't see anything wrong with asking the guy out again if you enjoyed yourself (instead of waiting for him to initiate anything). I feel weird about compliments too. Of course I really appreciate them, but being shy I don't like to have attention drawn to me, even positive attention.
atraditionalist atraditionalist 6 years
**also meant to say that while you might not think that you express that "why am i being punished for being beautiful and talented" attitude it might be something that comes off in your body language, actions etc.. or even just a vibe that others pick up on that makes them more distant.
atraditionalist atraditionalist 6 years
I don't know what your question is then if you do everything a good friend/date does what help do you need from us? It's possible that people are jealous of you (it's natural) and men are intimidated (also natural) but honestly, at the end of the day the common denominator between you, your friends, and your unsuccessful dates is you. While I don't think you're an arrogant person maybe you misjudge how you come off to other people. OP: the world is not against you. you're not being "punished" for being good looking and talented.
searching-soul searching-soul 6 years
I get what you are saying and if you look at what I posted, I stated that I validated some of your perceptions. It leads me to believe that you perhaps see your point of view only.Maybe that's part of the problem, right there. I had a friend who is a model, was in a Jay Z-video and was on a show called the "Starlet" a few years ago. She's one of the most stunning people I've seen up close, with a perfect face and perfect body and has no problem getting a guy. I have not met you but I doubt you are more attractive than she is which is why there just might be something else that's going on.Therefore when people are giving you advice and saying there might be some other underlying issues, why not be open to some of their feedback and discount what does not resonate with you? If not, this issue will most likely, continue to follow you.
eugovogue eugovogue 6 years
I AM THE ORIGINAL POSTER of this question. My feelings have been kind of hurt here but that is my fault, and not yours since all you have to judge me on is what I've written. I am NOT an arrogant person. The only way I could reasonably phrase this question was to ask it in that manner, which I thought I accounted for, and forewarned about. I respect a lot of the advice and I will incorporate it, but there is this overwhelming theme that I'm just some pretty girl with no substance and no alluring personality. Quite the opposite. I've talked about my encounters with men, and how around them I am shy. But around people I am comfortable with I am very much open, funny, and easygoing. I'm also not walking around everywhere with a sign that says "LOOK AT ME. I'M PRETTY AND I ALSO SING" The compliments I do get are not because I seek them. And when I do receive them I graciously accept them and nine times out of ten, compliment the person back, especially if it's a girl. I was just having trouble with how to interact with people who keep saying "I wish this..." or "I wish that..." in regards to things I have. With said men, I NEVER talk about myself, or give any inkling that I'm self-important and only into myself. If any guy has neglected me due to intimidation, it is on his behalf--this is what I DON'T understand. I'm not a vapid creature with nothing to offer but a face, as some of you have assumed. I'm quite multi-dimensional, and sure, not all of me is going to come out on the 1st date, not even the 2nd--so why am I being punished for that? I also shouldn't have to be punished for SEEMING unapproachable (I assure you that I greet everyone with kindness). Also--I never said that I don't have any girlfriends because of looks. I just say that I feel WEIRD when they compliment me. I'm a very supportive friend and its almost hardly ever all about me. Infact, two of my friends are in theatre and I ALWAYS go to their performances and support them as they have me. I had to stand up for myself here. A lot of you ladies were painting me as this self-important pretty girl with no brain. I am very shy, sweet, funny and nice. NOT selfish or arrogant. Insecure? Sure. I kind of regret posting this now since no one really understands where I'm coming from. Stop being so quick to judge.
searching-soul searching-soul 6 years
@OP I agree with many of the comments here about focusing less on yourself but I also know what you are talking about with the jealousy issue. It's why the "mean girls" phenomenon exists, so I'm here to validate some of your perceptions. To say that human beings do not have a darker side that can be envious and not that nice, is being unrealistic and in denial. Do some self inventory, though. Are you down to earth or are you actually arrogant? It's okay to be aware that you are very attractive, what's not cool is lording it over other people. So what if you are pretty? It's a blessing but pretty girls come a dime a dozen and there is always someone prettier. Unless you are planning on becoming a model or an actress, looks will only take you but so far.You might get a few freebies here and there but that will stop as soon as your looks fade. Cultivate the more interesting aspects of your personality and don't be afraid to share that with others. Your creativity is the true gift you have to offer. Your beauty, which you had nothing to do with, that's just sheer luck and a blessing. Your situation almost sounds like when you come across a beautiful admire it but you can't interact with it, it can't love you in return. Don't be like a pretty painting on someone's wall that is admired and that's it. You sound like you have a lot to offer, that has nothing to do with your physical appearance. Work on being more confident and perhaps a little less shy. You may not be an extrovert by nature and that's okay but make more of an effort to be more outgoing and approachable.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
One of my best friends is a very pretty girl, but she's also very down to earth. She makes friends wherever she goes, and I have met dozens of acquaintances through her. She's never afraid to look a little silly, she knows how to laugh at herself, and that makes her very approachable. I know if you're not naturally outgoing it's takes some effort, but it's totally possible to project yourself in a more approachable way.
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 6 years
In regards to the previous anonymous comment, I would have to agree. When someone compliments you, just sitting there silently accepting the comment is always going to give the impression on entitlement and arrogance. It's not hard to just say casually back, "Oh, thanks. I love your *insert compliment here*." To be honest, too, there are few friendship-related pitfalls more annoying than the friend that thinks you're jealous of her for her appearance and that's the reason behind every slight snub or difference of opinion. Please don't ever repeat your mother's belief that all of your circle are jealous of you to *them*, even if you do believe it to be true.
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