Why I Love Being Intimidating

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Me: I don’t get it. If the guys wanted to ask me then why didn’t they?

Friend: …because you’re intimating Abigail!

Me: Me intimidating? How?!

Friend: no one wanted to be the guy that you turned down because that would make them look like fool for even trying.


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This was 12th grade. It was about prom. This conversation never really left me. I have always remembered these words and how I wasn’t asked to prom because every guy and any guy that knew of me who was interested remotely to me believed that I was intimidating.

At that age, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I was intimidating. I had spent my life at that point trying becoming the best I could be in everything. But unfortunately, 18-year old version of me thought, “even with all that I have accomplished, I am still not good enough.”

I know, I know! I shouldn’t allow the opinions and perceptions of these boys to dictate how I feel about myself. But this weed began growing in the back of my psyche and I felt it’s sharp roots wrapping around my mental health, self-worth, emotional health, and dignity.

I wanted to share this with you because recently, I heard those words again, “Abigail you’re intimidating.” Now, I’m no longer an 18-year girl trying to get a guy to ask me to prom. Instead, as an adult, I had to figure out if this was something I would dispute or own up to. I had to do some research and figure out if being an intimidating woman was really what I wanted to be.

I read an article by Cait Munro titled: 7 Women Discuss What It Means to Be An “Intimidating Woman”

The majority of these women that were featured in this article said that they had been called intimidating by both men and women. Each woman had their own reaction towards the statement they received but ultimately, they all concluded that they were, in fact, glad, happy, to have been called that. This made me start questioning if whether it was my perspective that needed to be changed or the perception that people had of who I am.

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

- Proverbs 28:1

So I began asking myself these questions and I think all women and men who have ever been called intimidating should ask themselves this:

  • What does it mean to be intimidating?

    • A: to be perceived as a person who is unapproachable by their actions or nonverbal communication methods

    • B: to be perceived as a person who exhibits confidence and rever themselves as self-assured.

  • Why do people call you intimidating?

  • Do you perceive this comment as negative or positive? If negative, why do you perceive it as such?

  • Does being intimidating line up with who you want to be in life?

  • Would the younger version of you be proud of you for being called this?

After asking myself these questions, I began to understand that at the end of the day, the woman that I looked up to were intimidating people. The women I wanted to be like growing up - and still do - are rule breakers, trailblazers, and shook up their environment because they were confident enough to be who they were always meant to be.

Women like Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Janelle Monae, Toni Morrison, and even our mothers were and still are trailblazers. It is safe to say, in order to be a woman who isn’t forgotten, you’ve got be somewhat intimidating.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
— Maya Angelou | Phenomenal Woman
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Until next time…

-🌿 Abigail