Advertising
Advertising

Hang Out With People That Intimidate You, It Will Better You

Hang Out With People That Intimidate You, It Will Better You

Most of us have felt intimidated by other people at one time or another in our lives. As children or teens, we were often intimidated by bullies or the most popular kids in school. As we grow to adulthood, we can feel intimidated by many kinds of people, even when there is no direct threat to us. We may feel this way in the presence of people who are beautiful, charismatic, famous, or smart. People who intimidate us as adults are also likely to have power and influence. In these cases, the feeling of intimidation comes from experiencing these two things simultaneously:

  • An admiration of someone because they possess a trait or traits deemed desirable by you and or by society.
  • Feelings of inadequacy in that person’s presence because of your perceived lack of these desirable traits in yourself.

While your natural inclination might be to avoid such people, spending time with them can really help you grow personally and professionally. Here are 5 things you will learn by hanging out with them:

Advertising

1. You will learn to conquer fear

When you learn to act in spite of your fears, you learn courage. Try going up to someone you feel intimidated by and introduce yourself to them. What’s the worse that can happen? You might feel embarrassed for something you say. But did the world end? No, life will go on. It’s more likely that the interaction is more positive than you ever imagined. Most importantly, you learn to act and reach out to people even when you are afraid. You will gain an advantage over others by creating more opportunities to form relationships with potentially influential people.

2. You will learn that everyone is human

We can’t help but put the people we admire on pedestals. We treat them in such a way that we forget that they are human beings like the rest of us. They too may even have fears and times in their lives when they felt intimidated. Remembering our common human connection can be a powerful reminder that the person we feel intimidated by may be yearning to be treated like a normal human being, not a superhuman.

Advertising

3. You will learn that everyone has a story

When you learn to engage people you feel you have nothing in common with, you might be surprised to learn that their life story is similar in some ways to yours. How can you learn their story? Just ask. People love to talk about themselves when given the opportunity. Dale Carnegie, in his book “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” says “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.” You may learn the story of how they came to be thought of as “intimidating.” You may even learn that they fall short in something that you have mastered. Learning their story will reduce feelings of inadequacy in their presence and improve your self esteem. If you truly listen to their story with interest, you will also win their admiration and respect.

4. You will learn new skills from them

People who excel often have acquired wisdom that we can all benefit from. Also, we tend to imitate the people we admire. If you want to learn how to “work a room”, spend time with a charismatic person. Learn what makes them attractive to others. It could be their warm smile, their positive attitude, or the captivating stories they tell. Ask them about what motivates them to stay positive when most people are not. You may learn some powerful insights that you can apply and benefit from in your own life.

Advertising

5. You will learn how to increase your confidence in dealing with people

The more you spend time with people that intimidate you, the more you will gain confidence in your ability to navigate personal interactions and relationships. You will learn how to approach and talk to all kinds of people. Indeed, if you can gain friendships with people that intimidate you, you can gain friendships with almost anyone. This will put you on a path of personal growth and personal and professional success.

So, what are you waiting for? Go hang out with that intimidating person in your life today.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: SEVENHEADS via pixabay.com

More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths 5 Warning Signs That You’re A People Pleaser (And How To Fix It) 34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success 15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next