People have told me that I can come across as intimidating, intense, mean, overly confident, etc. While part of me will never believe that I am capable of intimidation, in some way, I really enjoy hearing these comments.
Let me explain. For most of my life, I was very quiet and shy. This is different from being introverted, which I am as well. An introvert needs to spend time alone to recharge. Introversion and extroversion are more personality traits than anything else. Being shy is more indicative of social anxiety and insecurity.
Up until my late teenage years (recently), I was extremely shy. It was difficult for me to make friends in school, especially when I was in a large group of people and expected to interact with others. Talking to a group is still difficult for me. But I believe that my inner change from shy to confident slowly blossomed from a period of self-discovery I went through during ages 19 and 20. I was in intensive therapy and treatment for anorexia, foremost, and later for depression and anxiety. During this time I had to confront my low self-esteem and utter lack of self-worth.
It took a long time for me to gain real confidence, and sometimes it still feels tenuous or fake. And I’m still quiet. I’m not as shy, but I am a quiet person by nature, I think. Either way, it feels good to know I seem confident. I worked hard for that!
But, in a self-gratifying and somewhat twisted way, I do enjoy hearing that people see me as intimidating. Ha! Me! In my mind, I will forever look like the silly chipmunk-cheeked child that no one can take seriously.